Angus Trumble’s 1727 In Retrospect


“John Cheny began publishing Cheny’s Horse Matches, a digest of Newmarket and other match books. In Philadelphia, the Junto Club was founded by Benjamin Franklin and 12 of his friends, all workingmen. Before long they created the first public library in America. With curious symmetry, the Metropolitan Philotheus of Tobolsk died in Tobolsk....”

Esopus’s resident chronologer sets his sights on 1727, recounting the mundane (the earliest documented use of potatoes in savory dishes), the monumental (China’s first invasion of Tibet), and nearly everything in between.

Angus Trumble (1964–2022) was the director of the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, Australia. He was also a senior research fellow at the National Museum of Australia, as well as a curator at the Yale Center for British Art and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Trumble wrote several books, including A Brief History of the Smile (Basic Books, 2004) and The Finger: A Handbook (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2010). In 2015, he was named a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. In 2022, he was made an honorary fellow of his alma mater, Trinity College, Melbourne.