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  • The Pirandello-Lenin Statue July 9, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    The Pirandello-Lenin Statue

    Beach has proud form in reporting stories of Lenin statues: including one in the United States and one (what spasm of Soviet insanity…) in Antarctica. However, he was thrilled to be recently sent this great story by LTM, to whom this post is respectfully dedicated. This letter appeared in the London Review of Books and […]

    Did William the Conqueror Fall? July 8, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Did William the Conqueror Fall?

    One of the stories handed down to generations of British school-children is the idea that William the Conqueror, on arriving in England, slipped as he was coming ashore. This, of course, was a terrible omen (for the Anglo-Saxons). In his eagerness to get to the shore, as he leaped from the boat, his foot slipped, […]

    Burning Libraries: Seleucus of Seleucia July 7, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    Burning Libraries: Seleucus of Seleucia

    Seleucus of Seleucia is one of the most intriguing writers of all antiquity: not least because practically everything about him is up for debate, a natural consequence of the loss of his writings. When did he live? Probably the mid second century B.C., but there is some uncertainty. Where was he from? Seleucia certainly, but is that […]

    Review: Spirits of an Industrial Age July 6, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Review: Spirits of an Industrial Age

    There are few pleasures greater in the second decade of the twenty-first century than picking up a self-published volume and finding that it is actually a good read. (For younger readers this simply did not happen thirty years ago). Enter from the left stage Spirits of an Industrial Age: Ghost Impersonation, Spring-heeled Jack and Victorian Society […]

    You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down July 5, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    You Can't Keep A Good Man Down

    Beach is proud to present this family story from West Virginia from Alan Moses. It took place in 1933. Old Man Bill Mason was my grandfather’s childhood mentor and post-adolescent friend and bootlegger. Bill spent a lifetime doing heavy farm work, his spine arthritic and bent in his old age as a result. When Bill […]

    Curious Royal Epithets July 4, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    Curious Royal Epithets

    There is a long tradition in Europe of giving kings, queens and even aristocrats epithets: e.g. Catherine the Great, Louis the Pious… Of course, epithets make particular sense when dynasties repeat names endlessly: you need to distinguish one George from another, say. Beach has spent an hour looking through collections of lists of these epithets, […]

    Tenth-Century Sasquatch? July 3, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Tenth-Century Sasquatch?

    ***Thanks to Ed, an old friend of this blog, for sending this in and making the sasquatch connection*** Do we have evidence from the Urals for a Sasquatch like figure in the tenth century? No one seems to have made this connection before but consider the passage charitably before we drag out the sledge hammer […]

    Historical Children Scarers July 2, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
    Historical Children Scarers

    ***Dedicated to Invisible*** Parents have scared children for generations with conjured horrors: the fairies, the black boggart, Jenny Greenteeth and many, many more. However, Beach today wants to look at a very select category. Historical personalities who were so horrific (or at least were imagined to be so horrific) that parents could credibly say: ‘Get […]

    Beachcombed 73 July 1, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Beachcombed
    Beachcombed 73

    Dear Reader What a month of good and bad: Brexit, a rogue Italian bureaucrat demanding thousands, a visit to grandparents, a car crash, a visit from grandparents and, of course, now Beach has gone and lost one of his jobs: all because he wouldn’t force twenty students to sit through a conference that didn’t have […]

    Index Biography #31: Prize a book June 30, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Index Biography #31: Prize a book

    The Index Biography is a new form of biography pioneered by this blog and introduced in a previous post. The creator must find a biography of a famous individual from history, they must turn to the index and write down eight peripheral facts about the individual’s life. We offered up previously here Sheridan le Fanu and Joseph […]

    History Roundup 682 including Female Bruisers June 30, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 682 including Female Bruisers

    Today’s links follow. 1) Women Who Fight: UK 2) Saga Proved True: Norway (being the Vikings this involves a dead body) 3) Myth of Post Mortem Photography: the lab 4) Make Your Own Tank: the garage and from the archives 5) Pagan Wells? Other links: Gladstone vs Disraeli

    Daily History Picture: Sea Monster Beached June 30, 2016

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

    Probably a giant squid behind this!

    Weird Wars: Lost Maps, Lost Plans June 29, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Weird Wars: Lost Maps, Lost Plans

    You’ve all had that awful sinking feeling. You’ve prepared your masterful attack with a vast army across the entire front and then some fool goes and misplaces the map: and next thing you know the scrap of paper ends up in the hands of your opposite number, in the enemy  high command. There must be […]

    History Roundup 681 including Occult London June 29, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 681 including Occult London

    Today’s links follow. 1) Southern AS Cemetery: England 2) Lifesaving Telescope: the Seven Seas 3) The Fourth Dimension: the great beyond 4) Occult London: History Today and from the archives 5) Forgot the Suicide Pills Other links: Yom Kippur

    Daily History Picture: Samurai Poses June 29, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Samurai Poses

    A medieval knight photographed. Shivers.

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