jump to navigation

A List of Supercentenarians November 21, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern

  The following list of long-living folks crops up in a book from the very early twentieth-century. Different versions of this same list had already appeared in various publications through the nineteenth century and names seem to have been added and dropped as easily as editors clumped decades onto the supposed Methuselahs: John Effingham, for […]

American Indian Settlers in Iceland? November 20, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
American Indian Settlers in Iceland?

Iceland, the tiny nation floating between Britain and Greenland, has been isolated for much of its history. This isolation has given the island two extraordinary resources: one is a spectacular landscape, untainted by industrialisation (see above); and the second is a closed DNA pool. A closed DNA pool = an extraordinary resource? In days gone […]

Big Bones in Churches November 19, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Big Bones in Churches

At the end of the nineteenth century the Reverend Wilkins Rees put together a short collection of examples of enormous bones that had found their way into English and Welsh churches. He mentioned five impressive instances, four of which he seems to have seen himself. 1) Foljambe Chapel, Chesterfield Church: ‘This bone, supposed to be […]

A Dark Age British Sasquatch? November 18, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
A Dark Age British Sasquatch?

*** This post is dedicated to Adrian S *** One epic poem survives from Anglo-Saxon England: Beowulf. Beowulf, for those who do not know, was a Danish hero who, in the course of said poem fights three monsters: first Grendel, second Grendel’s mother and third a dragon who gets the better of him. Grendel particularly […]

Magic Translation and Flowers November 17, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Magic Translation and Flowers

Beachcombing previously in this place examined magical displays from medieval India and particularly levitation, which Beach still hasn’t got his head around. As a follow up of sorts he thought that today he would quote this description of parlour magic plus from the sub continent in the late nineteenth century. Some of the tricks sound […]

Hitler’s Italian Fantasy Life November 16, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Hitler's Italian Fantasy Life

Beachcombing offers today an other example of a historical dream. However, unlike the nightscapes of Leonardo or Augustine, here, instead, is a fantasy from Adolf Hitler. Now Hitler’s private life is not particularly well known. There are unsubstantiated rumours about his genealogy and his sexual preferences, and his family relations (including a possibly murdered niece). […]

Marengo: Napoleon’s Horse November 15, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Marengo: Napoleon's Horse

Napoleon had a great fondness for horses, he was often painted in the saddle and Hegel went so far as to call the Corsican general ‘the worldspirit on horseback’. But Marengo, Napoleon’s favourite steed, must go down in history as one of the unluckiest horses that ever lived.  Allegedly purchased by his diminutive master in […]

Fairy Investigation Society November 14, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary