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  • Daily History Picture: Soviet Monstrosity February 13, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Soviet Monstrosity

    The Palace of the Soviets, begun in 1937 and never finished thanks to the war: it now has a cathedral on top of it which says it all…

    Dumb Duels #6: Spanish Duel February 13, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Dumb Duels #6: Spanish Duel

    Beach lived for three glorious years in Spain and there is something very Hispanic about the following Spanish duel. Honour, pain and everyone taking themselves a little too seriously. Two officers have decided to fight. The duellists are fencing experts of unusually high standard, and the bitterness between the two men was so great that […]

    New History Books: Art of the Affair February 12, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : New History Books
    New History Books: Art of the Affair

    Catherine Lacey and Forsyth Harmon, Art of the Affair An ‘illustrated history’: could be very good or rather bad…  

    The Invisible Bean Spell February 12, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Invisible Bean Spell

    Location: the spell is described by the English writer John Aubrey in the 1680s. He alleges though that it was from ‘[t]he Jewes’. Aim: to grow a number of magic beans that will render the eater briefly invisible. Ingredients: some black beans, a decapitated human head, a young child. Method Aubrey’s Spell (Aubrey 1881, 102-3) […]

    New History Books: House of Spies February 11, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : New History Books
    New History Books: House of Spies

    Matthews, House of Spies British intelligence in the 20C

    History Roundup 771: Miscellaneous Tales February 10, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 771: Miscellaneous Tales

    Today’s links follow 1) A Snowman: England (perhaps favourite post of this week, I’d love to collect historic prints of snowmen) 2) Finding Rheged: Scotland 3) Victorian Blackmail: London 4) Strange Inaugurations: US 5) Gambia’s Canonball Origins: Africa and from the archives 6) A Western in Early China? Any links to send in: strangehistorylinks AT […]

    Daily History Picture: Brazilian Slaves February 10, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Brazilian Slaves

    Two slaves and their owner.

    The Raven Stone Spell February 10, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval, Modern
    The Raven Stone Spell

    Location: tradition found in the Germanic regions of Continental Europe and Scandinavia, and also in parts of Britain. Aim: The collection of the raven stone (korp-sten in Scandinavia, Lloyd 1854, 331) that will render the owner invisible, though note that the stone is also credited with bringing luck and curing humans and cattle of diseases: […]

    History Roundup 770: Animals Real and Otherwise February 9, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 770: Animals Real and Otherwise

    Today’s links follow 1) Black Dog Phantom: Ireland 2) Cat Boat: Amsterdam 3) Presidential Animals: US 4) Taming Cats: the wild 5) Animal Games: the Review and from the archives 6) Nietzsche, Prostitutes and Piano Any links to send in: strangehistorylinks AT gmail DOT com Other links: North Korea Madness (never get tired of the […]

    Beach’s Book of Shadows February 9, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Ancient, Medieval, Modern
    Beach's Book of Shadows

    Beach has a heaving filing cabinet full of spells: spells from the Middle Ages, spells from early modern Europe and spells from as recently as the Second World War. Some of these apparently date back to deepest antiquity; some are probably the spontaneous invention of men and women with borderline psychologies and would, as such, […]

    Daily History Picture: Slave Market in Roman London February 9, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Slave Market in Roman London

    Not sure about this one…

    Redhead the Lost Spaniard February 8, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Redhead the Lost Spaniard

    Get ready a human flotsam and jetsam story. A few months ago Beach introduced the Itza, the last independent Indian state in the Americas. The Itzas held out against the Spanish in Guatemala until 1697, a remarkable achievement. When he was looking through the sources he ran across the following reference in Jones, The Conquest of […]

    History Roundup 769: World War Stories February 8, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 769: World War Stories

    Today’s links follow 1) End of the Iron Dream: Berlin 2) US Submarine Stories: Spain 3) Blitz Murder: Britain 4) Hitler’s Phone: Auction House 5) Dangerous Italo-Americans: US and from the archives 6) Vampire Story Any links to send in: strangehistorylinks AT gmail DOT com Other links: Science of happiness

    Daily History Picture: Scott’s Gramaphone February 8, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Scott's Gramaphone

    He took a gramophone with him…! No wonder he never got home.

    Was Napoleon III an American?! February 7, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Was Napoleon III an American?!

    Beach has already proved (to no one least of all his own satisfaction) that Napoleon III survived death. But Beach now discovers, to his horror, that Napoleon III was not Napoleon III. This story appeared in the American press in 1858. This was a story given by one Louise Mercier on her sick bed in 1853. […]

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