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  • The End of the Werewolf Faith in Strasburg January 14, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The End of the Werewolf Faith in Strasburg

    Beachcombing recently examined the death of the fairy faith in the Yorkshire town of Ilkley and sold it to his readers as a melancholy moment in that community’s history. Today he thought, instead, that he would give evidence for the beginning of the end of faith in were-wolves in the area around Strasburg (‘Germany’ or […]

    The Ass Who Became a Saint January 13, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Ass Who Became a Saint

    Yesterday Beachcombing visited the doghead legend of St Christopher and today, in sympathy for that early canine holyman he thought that he would recount the remarkable canonization of an ass. The version that Beachcoming is about to give appears in a rather obscure but very worthwhile book: The Life and Adventures of Nathaniel Pearce (1831) describing the doings of […]

    Review: Nuns Behaving Badly January 8, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Review: Nuns Behaving Badly

      Crag Monson, Nuns Behaving Badly: Tales of Music, Magic, Art and Arson in the Convents of Italy (University of Chicago 2010) Mrs B. bade farewell, a decade ago, to a Catholic friend who had decided to pass into a nunnery in the Swiss Alps. Giulia, then in her twenties, said goodbye to family and […]

    Mary Anning and the Fire from Heaven January 4, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Mary Anning and the Fire from Heaven

    Beachcombing is in disgrace tonight for accidentally sitting on ten-day-old Tiny Miss B – she was wrapped in a duvet on a sofa and Beachcombing homes in on comfort wherever it is to be found. Beachcombing will expiate his guilt by writing about Mary Anning (obit 1847), the fossil hunter and an extraordinary fire-from-the-heavens episode […]

    Fairy Death in Ilkley January 2, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Fairy Death in Ilkley

    There is a melancholy time in rural communities when belief in fairies dies – a moment in a village life comparable to the moment in a child’s life when he sees his grandfather’s face behind the Santa beard. Wentz examined this fairy death in Ireland and Scotland and Wales in The Fairy Faith in Celtic […]

    Martin Luther and the Fire from Heaven December 29, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Martin Luther and the Fire from Heaven

      Beachcombing has looked before at hinge moments – moments where a simple incident changes history; moments which, had they not happened, would have resulted in a quite different world. Beachcombing thought that, in this spirit, he would today visit Mansfeld, Germany 2 July, 1502 where a young student, Martin Luther, is out walking. Luther’s great fortune […]

    Droit de Foreigner December 27, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Droit de Foreigner

    Internet provider still playing up…. Beachcombing has had the pleasure of spending some time in the company of the sixteenth-century European traveller Varthema (obit 1517) previously – in connexion with a unicorn at Mecca. And today, he is going to return to the side of the eastward-bound one, now in Tarnassari (Tenasserim) India. The king of the said […]

    The Catalan Caganer December 25, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Catalan Caganer

    A fascinating book needs to be written – Beachcombing might possibly publish it: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com – on nativity scenes around the world. After all, you can sketch out a geography of Western culture with the way that different regions set out their Xmas scenes. From the life-sized North American nativities, to the wooden […]

    Review: Moa Sightings December 22, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Review: Moa Sightings

    [automatic reserve post]   When Beachcombing was just a wee sprog, he used to read books and be transported to other  worlds. Those were the times when three hundred pages written by John Buchan, Evelyn Waugh or Enid Blyton could set off fire balls in his head. But then Beachcombing lost his innocence – schooling […]

    C-section by Banana Wine December 19, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    C-section by Banana Wine

      Beachcombing is going to break several rules today. First, he is going to write on the same topic two days in a row: apologies, apologies, but the C-section question has even excited him out of his recent Atlantis itch. Then, second, he is writing two posts on the same day. This is in part natural […]

    First C-section and Pig Gelding December 18, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval, Modern
    First C-section and Pig Gelding

    Beachcombing is presently watching his beloved village disappear under that ghastly white stuff called snow. Mrs B., meanwhile, is running around with Little Miss B. upstairs in a state of wide-eyed childish bliss. She seems to have forgotten that, given she is now eight and a half months pregnant and given that the nearest hospital is […]

    A Medieval Buddha at St Pancras Station? December 16, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    A Medieval Buddha at St Pancras Station?

    Beachcombing is rapidly coming down with flu at the moment and so will have to satisfy himself with a short post today. He will, in fact, take the reader to nineteenth-century central London, at a time when St Pancras Station (opened 1868) was being built up and connected. Beachcombing – sick or well – loves stations because they are vortexes of anarchy and […]

    The Emperor of the United States December 14, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Emperor of the United States

    Beachcombing heard today some sad news from Perugia (central Italy) where Compagno Paolo, a Perugian eccentric and perpetual member of the Communist Party (twenty years after the Soviet Union was found out) has just passed away. Paolo was, certainly, a legend in the modest Umbrian capital where he was loved by many and known to all. A local tour guide (the Little […]

    Review: Creative Malady December 13, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Review: Creative Malady

    George Pickering (obit 1980) was, when he wrote his three-hundred-page essay Creative Malady (George Allen and Unwin 1974), a retired Professor of Medicine from the University of London and Master of Pembroke College (Oxford). In his younger days he had worked on headaches, hypertension and peptic ulcers – all illnesses then linked to mental states. And […]

    Vasari’s Corridor December 12, 2010

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Vasari's Corridor

    Beachcombing had – notwithstanding his recent rudeness about Giorgio Vasari – the fortune of the devil yesterday. He managed to tag onto the work group of Mrs B (absent because too heavily pregnant) as they went to one of the most exclusive tourist destinations in the world, Vasari’s Corridor in Florence. Florence, as any who have […]

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