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  • Daily History Picture: US Anger September 3, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: US Anger

    1976, a US flag becomes an unlikely weapon in a demonstration.  

    History Roundup 478 including A Martyr for Archaeology September 3, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 478 including A Martyr for Archaeology

    Today’s links follow. 1) A Martyr for Archaeology: Syria [compulsory reading] 2) Teen Takes Down Professor: US 3) Fake Diaries and Power: the study, the library 4) Irish American Fairies and Witchcraft: New England 5) Australian VC: Vietnam 6) Hippy Commune Photographs: US and from the archives 7) Eaten by Rats Other links: right-wing enemies […]

    The Chester Cat Hoax of 1815 September 3, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Chester Cat Hoax of 1815

    This is a short story published some 90 years after the event it supposedly described: Chester is a city on the northern Welsh borders. This story is frequently retold in miscellany of the bizarre, local histories and Francis Wheen includes it in his marvelous The Chatto Book of Cats, 1993. There are three interesting points: […]

    Daily History Picture: Winston and Kaiser September 2, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Winston and Kaiser

    The Kaiser meets the most presumptuous Briton of his generation: love Churchill’s boyish face.

    History Roundup 477 including Buying a Time Machine September 2, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 477 including Buying a Time Machine

    Today’s links follow. 1) Amazing Flight Boots: The West (read to the end) 2) Mystery Sword: British Library 3) Were the Romans White?!: The Med 4) Time Machines You Can Buy: the marketplace 5) Talking Through the Ether: the paranormal 6) A History of the Corporation: the world and from the archives 7) The Golden […]

    Waldensian Courage, Waldensian Blood September 2, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    Waldensian Courage, Waldensian Blood

    In a recent post Beach looked at the extraordinary survival of the Waldensians, a courageous proto-Protestant sect, which  managed to weather the full rage of the Church in the Alps between France and Italy. The history of the Waldensians is a long catalogue of courage and atrocity: the courage of the Waldensians and the violence of the […]

    Beachcombed 63 September 1, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Beachcombed
    Beachcombed 63

    Summer is over, sigh: first class tomorrow. I’ve put the very best 10,000 words below for posts from this month. Happy September! Beach American Wild Men: Bruce T. on banging stones, and Luke on a Texas wild man… Anticipating the Telephone: Sam has come across a supposed ancient telephone… Baby Loving Snakes: David M brings up […]

    The Index Biography #21, Prize a Good Book August 31, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    The Index Biography #21, Prize a Good Book

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

    In Search of the Most Beautiful Pictures Ever Seen August 30, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    In Search of the Most Beautiful Pictures Ever Seen

    One of the nice things about running a blog is that you can ask people things and as Beach is now at a point of nervous desperation on this issue he is going to open this obsession to a wider public. In 1993, 1994 or possibly 1995 Beach was walking down a street in a […]

    Butter Tricks and Witches August 29, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Butter Tricks and Witches

    Here is a silly story from nineteenth-century Wales followed up with a serious point: or as serious as this blog ever gets. Mrs. Braithwaite [of Caergwrle, Flintshire] supplied a Mrs. Williams with milk, but a short time ago refused to serve her, and the cause was as follows: Mrs. Braithwaite had to that time been […]

    Sentries and Ghosts August 28, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Sentries and Ghosts

    While recently writing on the Tower of London ghosts Beach learnt something. Sentries see ghosts: there was the case from 1817 and the second case from the 1850s. The following list is limited to the British newspapers from 1875-1900 and represent a very quick survey: 1877 Aldershot: a ghost was repeatedly seen by sentries at […]

    Review: Victorian Studies in Scarlet August 27, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Review: Victorian Studies in Scarlet

    Best read of the summer? For Beach an easy choice, Richard D. Altick, Victorian Studies in Scarlet: Murder and Manners in the Age of Victoria. OK it was first published in 1970 but what is forty years between friends? Altick, who died in 2008, was a maverick academic: it would be great to induct him, sooner […]

    The Longest Surviving Medieval Heresy August 26, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    The Longest Surviving Medieval Heresy

    Imagine this. You wake up one morning in 1216 and say ‘to hell with it’. You walk into the local square of piazza stand on an upturned wheelbarrow and talk to your neighbours about the cosmos. Perhaps you’ve learnt that Christ married Mary Magdalene and had twins; or that the angels are worms in universal […]

    Living in Interesting Times: Britain’s Next Five Years August 25, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    Living in Interesting Times: Britain's Next Five Years

    This blogger has followed British politics for the best part of thirty years and things have never been so ‘interesting’: there is a storm building up around the UK, which Britain’s neighbours and allies have been slow to recognise. What has created this storm? Put simply two big things have happened at once: important existential […]

    Early Bionic Ear August 24, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Early Bionic Ear

    Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen (obit 1676) was a seventeenth-century German author with a penchant for fantasy. Here is an invention dreamt up for one of his novels. In Simplicius Simplicissimus (published 1668) he wrote this extraordinary passage. And when I had fancies, and lay awake many a night thinking how might contrive new finds […]

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