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  • History Roundup 470 including Prison Women’s Hats July 27, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Uncategorized
    History Roundup 470 including Prison Women's Hats

    Today’s links follow. 1) Ancient Village Rediscovered: Guam 2) Pre Roman Town Turns Up: Britannia 3) Spirit Stalker: US 4) What Georgians Ate: England 5) Terroir Wine: US and France 6) Prison Women (and their hats): US 7) Nun Who Turned To Stone: Afterlife 8) Wonderful Library (stepping back into the 1890s): New York and […]

    The Tower Monster #3: A Magnetism Account July 17, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern, Uncategorized
    The Tower Monster #3: A Magnetism Account

    This account of the Tower Monster comes from an enthusiast for magnetism, William Gregory and was published in 1851, almost a decade before the Notes and Queries material. At the trial of Queen Caroline, in 1821, the guards at the Tower were doubled, and Col. S., the keeper of the Regalia, was quartered there with […]

    Roman Octopus: Sewer Gator or Godzilla? July 10, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Uncategorized
    Roman Octopus: Sewer Gator or Godzilla?

    What is the earliest instance of an exotic animal (gator etc) in a sewer? Well, go online and you will read about New York legends from the 1920s and some isolated cases from other cities in the US from the second half of the nineteenth century. But a couple of years ago, in a fascinating […]

    Whipping Boy: Origins of a Royal Institution July 7, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Uncategorized
    Whipping Boy: Origins of a Royal Institution

    The whipping boy needs little introduction. He was the child, brought up with a prince or with a young king, and punished on his behalf, when the prince or king was naughty: crucially the royal and his proxy were friends so any pain was vicariously felt. And why not just hit the royal in question? […]

    The Monster of Piper’s Hole: Scilly July 4, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Uncategorized
    The Monster of Piper's Hole: Scilly

    This was one that really got the curiosity going. Samuel Drew was an early nineteenth-century author who have we visited a couple of times on this blog: once while describing a Cornish bear monster (about 1500 years after bears had disappeared from Cornwall) and once being set up as the author of a fictional sky […]

    D’Annunzio and PR May 30, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Uncategorized
    D'Annunzio and PR

    Gabrielle d’Annunzio was one of the most ghastly men to have walked the earth and, yet, he was unquestionably a genius, ‘a talented shit’. He dominated Italy’s literary scene for a half a century and packed more into his lifetime than most of us would manage in ten: a random line from his biography ‘fell […]

    Lenin Meets the Bandits April 9, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Uncategorized
    Lenin Meets the Bandits

    19 January 1919, a wonderful moment where Lenin almost got offed by the forces he had created. On this day, Lenin, Chabanov, his bodyguard, and Maria, Lenin’s sister were driving with bourgeos ostentation on the outskirts of Moscow. At a railway bridge they were stopped, however, by three armed men, that Lenin and Chabanov assumed were […]

    Macarius and the World Soul March 16, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Uncategorized
    Macarius and the World Soul

    Nothing like a medieval eccentric, there are so few of them: this was an age, after all, when originality was neither enjoyed nor, all too often, tolerated. How about Macarius then, allegedly an Irish monk though that name – Greek? – doesn’t seem Gaelic or the kind of name that Gaels would adopt in their […]

    Daily History Picture: Sea Monster March 12, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures, Uncategorized
    Daily History Picture: Sea Monster

    I’m curious about this. Do we have one of the giant sea women sometimes found on medieval beaches?

    Books and the Ghost March 11, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Uncategorized
    Books and the Ghost

    Aspenshaw Hall is an elegant, still standing, eighteenth century home in Derbyshire central England. It came to the attention of this blog because of a rather charming ghost story. A mile distant, and not far from Ollersett pit, is Aspenshaw Hall, which for many years was empty. It is in the middle of a wood […]

    Unlucky Jobs: Japanese Prime Ministers, 1900-1950 March 7, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Uncategorized
    Unlucky Jobs: Japanese Prime Ministers, 1900-1950

    Beach recently added to his tag on the worst careers in the world, noting how being an English or, God forbid, a Scottish king was really very dangerous in the Middle Ages. He has now decided to bring these observations up to date with presidents and prime ministers. Instead of covering periods of 500 years, […]

    Daily History Picture: Dividing Germany February 11, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures, Uncategorized
    Daily History Picture: Dividing Germany

    German propaganda poster about what the allies would do should they win the Great War: it may have been wise…