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  • Migrating Birds and the Edge of the World April 3, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval, Prehistoric
    Migrating Birds and the Edge of the World

    Year in year out birds follow migratory routes from north to south and from south to north. These travelling birds have long intrigued humans who have looked amazed as waves upon waves of birds fly to destinations unknown. These birds have entered human legend: the storks going to Africa to fight the pygmies, the wild […]

    History Roundup 56 including Vicky Breastfeeding and Icelandic Witches April 2, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 56 including Vicky Breastfeeding and Icelandic Witches

    1) Queen Victoria as Mother: not so bad 2) Vanderbilt Wedding Cake Found: 90 years old 3) Icelandic Museum of Witchcraft: a bit late with this one 4) Excavating the Holocaust: Treblinka 5) Sanxingdui: and the finds that are rewriting Chinese history 6) Lost London: sketches of a forgotten city 7) Screw Clovis! new findings […]

    Gordon Selby: The Luckiest Survivor of WW2? April 2, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Gordon Selby: The Luckiest Survivor of WW2?

    Long, long ago I did an article on the unluckiest individuals in history. But spurred on by the Gannet Club I’ve started to think in terms of the luckiest and I’ve come across an absolute winner, Gordon Selby, a much decorated son of a Wiltshire farrier. GS (obit 2007) was twenty when the Second World […]

    Beachcombed 46 April 1, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Beachcombed
    Beachcombed 46

    Dear Reader, In 30 days term ends and I say goodbye, bar some trifling summer courses, to the world for May, June, July, August and half of September and, finally, make some time to write. God is great and the anticipation is bucking me up no end. Other news: I’ve discovered kindle (wow, worthwhile technology), […]

    History Roundup 55 including Rat Blame and Jinkenmen March 31, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 55 including Rat Blame and Jinkenmen

    Today’s post is part of the Index Biography (though note I accidentally put two up for the first four hours, sorry!) 1) Runaway Slave: Joins British Navy 2) Mad Jack: ww2 Sword Play 3) The Devil’s Footprints: 1885 Revisited 4) Wildmen in Norway and Selkies on Skis: the title alone… 5) False Pregnancies in Early Modern […]

    The Index Biography 5#: Prize = A Good Book March 31, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    The Index Biography 5#: Prize = A Good 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 54 including the first cliff hanger March 30, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 54 including the first cliff hanger

    Today’s post on a renaissance love goddess. 1) Watching Vesuvius Erupt: reconstruction 2) In King Tut’s Shadow: Carter etc 3) Beachy Head Lady: loved this… African Roman slave in Essex? 4) Human Evolution: the Neanderthal in the Family 5) The First Cliff Hanger: Pauline and her Perils 6) Getting to Grips with Anglesey Neolithic: Wales […]

    Love Goddess #8: Simonetta Vespucci March 30, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    Love Goddess #8: Simonetta Vespucci

    Our latest in the love goddess series (for a full list see below) is Simonetta Vespucci (obit 1476), a woman that had the reputation for being the most outstanding beauty of Florence at the apogee of that city’s golden age. We know that she came from Genova (her maiden name was Cattaneo de Candia), we […]

    History Roundup 53 including a flatulent fuhrer March 29, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 53 including a flatulent fuhrer

    Today’s post on totalitarianism and urban legends: now for the history roundup: 1) Bonnie Prince Charlie: drunken wife-beater 2) Suffragettes: on and off the rails 3) Exhibition for lost Chinese civ: look out for science fiction… 4) More on Cats as Weapons: but can we trust NG? 5) Violet Jessop: little miss unsinkable 6) Should […]

    Totalitarian Leaders, Urban Legends and Motorbikes March 29, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Totalitarian Leaders, Urban Legends and Motorbikes

    Totalitarian states put their leaders at the very heart of civic life as symbol and reality of fascism/Nazism/communism (or whatever other nightmare a country has fallen into). One of the consequences of the popular focus on the duce/fuhrer/stalin is that the individual citizen comes to feel a special warmth for the head that they might […]

    History Roundup 52 including VE Sex and Gigantism March 28, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 52 including VE Sex and Gigantism

    Today’s post is lies on free fall. 1) World’s Oldest Yacht: Mann 2) Dad’s Army: Maps… 3) Early Evidence for Gigantism: out west 4) Sex on VE Day: what if the king had seen? 5) In Search of Dead Babies: in archaeology 6) Being a Nazi’s Son: in Egypt 7) Genius Who Killed Himself: blood […]

    Expert Opinion on Deadly Free Fall March 28, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Expert Opinion on Deadly Free Fall

    Of course, medical and scientific opinion more generally has been proved wrong time and time again over the centuries with red faces enough all around. But Beach stumbled on an early twentieth-century example that had entirely escaped his notice. He quotes from Peter Hearn’s excellent Sky High Irvin: The Story of a Parachute Pioneer. Strange […]

    History Roundup 51 including Medieval Teenagers and Little Ice Ages March 27, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 51 including Medieval Teenagers and Little Ice Ages

    Today’s post on making mummies in the twentieth century 1) Lessons from the Little Ice Age: climate change etc 2) Lessons from Waco: no words… 3) Medieval teenagers: kids, apprentices, beatings… 4) Walking in the Moccasins of the Ancestors: remembering the ancients 5) 7000 Year-Old Cave Painting: India 6) Iowans in Rare 19 Cent Films: […]

    How to Make a Mummy: According to Bob Brier and Robert Wade March 27, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    How to Make a Mummy: According to Bob Brier and Robert Wade

    Checklist. You don’t believe in the resurrection of the dead? You are not squeamish about your body being messed around with after you have passed? You have no dangerous blood-bourne diseases? And you would like a form of immortality? Then why not volunteer to become an Egyptian mummy? This anyway is what happened 24 May […]

    History Roundup 50 including Georgian Bums and the New Neolithic March 26, 2014

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 50 including Georgian Bums and the New Neolithic

    Today’s post is on 19 cent gold detectors 1) That big Georgian bum: Georgian dresses 2) Building Tanks: impressive photos 3) Goodbye Richard Halliburton: A pre war hero remembered 4) Saving WW1 Photos: thank the rubbish man 5) New Neolithic Burrow: Wiltshire 6) Who Killed Jane Stanford: as in the university 7) Tolkien and the […]

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