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Thomas Hood or Tom Hood’s Invisible Library June 30, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Thomas Hood or Tom Hood’s Invisible Library

Tomorrow the monthly round up of interesting emails and communications – Beachcombing is slaving to get them ready in time. In the meantime,  a further Invisible Library to add to the one that Frank Buckland discovered in late nineteenth-century Reading and that was featured here a couple of days ago. The following list was created […]

Incest in Ancient Egypt June 29, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
Incest in Ancient Egypt

Incest is a fringe interest in most societies. However, Beachcombing has learnt, on a morning trip to his local library, that there are some curious exceptions: a number of Hawaiian clans, certain tribes in the Solomon Islands and, of course, the most famous of them all, the Egyptian pharaohs. Now, it is common knowledge among […]

Invisible Library at Reading June 28, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Invisible Library at Reading

Beachcombing pioneered, early in his blogging career, an invisible library tag for books that have never existed save in the imagination of bookophiles: Beachcombing has, in fact, been preparing his own list for the last year for a false door in the family mansion for which readers kindly offered various titles. To keep the tag […]

Bishop Q June 27, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
Bishop Q

Today a curious Roman marble inscription from Terni in central Italy – not Rome as often reported – that probably dates from towards the end of the Empire, perhaps from the end of the fourth century (Olybrio = consul?). It is an inscription that is so unexpected that it is difficult to know where to […]

The Were-Hyenas of Ethiopia June 26, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Were-Hyenas of Ethiopia

In the winter of last year Beachcombing had the werewolf mania bad and before he got bored with the hairy-handed ones he started to make notes on the Buda of Abyssinia, a winsome African lycanthrope. The following text was published in the second quarter of the nineteenth century and was written by a one-time European […]

King of the Tramps June 25, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
King of the Tramps

Beachcombing has neglected both Forgotten Kingdoms recently and an earlier enthusiasm for the Crusades. He thought that he would correct both these errors with a short post on the King of Tafur and his Tafurs – the einsatzgruppen of the Holy Wars. The source is Guibert of Nogent (obit 1124). There was another kind of […]

Review: The Great Pretenders June 24, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Review: The Great Pretenders

Don’t tell Mrs B but Beachcombing is presently suffering from a rather silly teenage crush. The subject of his desire is a Scandinavia rheumatologist named Jan Bondeson who writes books in his spare time about strange things. It all began last month. Beachcombing bought twenty odd different volumes from various online sources – several of […]

Lincoln’s Prophetic Dream June 23, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Lincoln's Prophetic Dream

Beachcombing has been having some troubling dreams of trails of gold sovereigns in the snow and a Babylonian Mother Goddess called Lindsey. This got him thinking of famous historical dreams and he settled, for today’s post, on a classic – Lincoln’s dream of his own death. Now, as all good Americans know, 14 April 1865 […]

Christian Orgies June 22, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
Christian Orgies

On rainy nights, when the children have gone to bed and Beachcombing wants to provoke his ultra Catholic wife, there is little he loves more than to quote from the following early third-century Christian text, where some of the first pagan criticisms against the upstart religion are aired. As well as describing how Christians eat […]

Torturing Guy June 21, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Torturing Guy

At present, the Beachcombing family are under assault from a group of teenage toughs who have taken to ringing their bell in the evening and running off into the dark. Of course, the sensible thing would be to ignore the little idiots and hope that their antics don’t wake up the children. But Beachcombing never […]

Oaks: Sacrificial and Otherwise June 20, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Oaks: Sacrificial and Otherwise

***This post is dedicated to Justin, who introduced Beach to the Tree that Owns Itself*** ‘From little acorns might oaks…’ blah blah blah. But, seriously, oaks have long caught the human imagination from sacrificial oaks – Beach has a ‘book’ memory of a German tribe that use to hammer one part of their victim’s guts […]

The Green Devil of Quimper June 19, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Green Devil of Quimper

Beachcombing was taught many years ago not to trust Breton sources: there is (an almost Gaelic) tendency to colour over the terrible monotone of reality with illusory rainbow details. This rule probably holds good if you are dealing with a twelfth-century saint’s life written about a sixth-century saint (many other posts, many other days). But […]

Giving Birth in a Coffin June 18, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Giving Birth in a Coffin

Beachcombing has recently been toying around with the idea of a publication on ‘buried alive’ stories from Boccaccio to Poe. It would be a short volume, but one that would keep most of us awake past our bedtimes. Any suggestions for vaguely literate buried-alive tales please contact: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com Beachcombing has got […]

Immortal Meals 4#: Eating a French King’s Heart June 17, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Immortal Meals 4#: Eating a French King's Heart

There are great men among great men (Plato, Galileo, Einstein…)  and great eccentrics among great eccentrics. For this second exclusive club Beachcombing’s candidates would include the charming and irrepressible William Buckland (obit 1856), Victorian geologist and zoophagist and, towards the end of his life, inmate in a mental asylum. Buckland – unlike his more mannered […]

Jousting with Medieval Tanks June 16, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Jousting with Medieval Tanks

  Leonardo da Vinci: what isn’t there to like? Beachcombing certainly has always found LdV much more entertaining company than the obnoxious and pitch-perfect Michelangelo. And as a tribute of sorts  Beachcombing thought that today he would share Leonardo’s attempt to build a tank four hundred years before the Cambrai front was swarming with them […]

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