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  • Desperately Seeking Marjorie June 26, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
    Desperately Seeking Marjorie

    ***Dedicated to whosoever helps Beach to find Marjorie*** It is very bad form to write two articles on fairies in as many days, but Beach has been excited since Splendid Chap emailed with the exciting information that Marjorie Johnson is still alive in Carlton, Nottinghamshire (UK). Marjorie was born in 1911 and by 1956 she […]

    Romans in Japan?! June 25, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    Romans in Japan?!

    ***Dedicated to all these who sent this in: sorry I’ve misplaced the list!*** Beach has long since pioneered the wrong place, wrong time tags that set out examples of artifacts, languages, ideas and even DNA turning up in unexpected places or unexpected time periods. These have included such wonders as the last Latin speakers of […]

    On the trail of Captain Quentin C. A. Craufurd (and his fairies) June 24, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    On the trail of Captain Quentin C. A. Craufurd (and his fairies)

    Dedicated to a Splendid Chap Splendid Chap sent in an article by one of Beach’s chief interests in life, the enigmatic Capt Quentin Craufurd, founder of the Fairy Investigation Society: yes, that’s his picture! Beachcombing doesn’t put this up because the article is particularly inspiring: it reads like post theosophy c. 1950. He has put […]

    The Eastern Origins of Playing Cards June 23, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
    The Eastern Origins of Playing Cards

    There are few things in history more entertaining than the transference of ideas  from one culture to another and the various misunderstandings that arise as the borrower fails to understands the lender. In our own day it is enough to hear an American university lecturer speak about Derrida or a Saudia Arabian discuss the British […]

    The Survival of the Marranos June 22, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
    The Survival of the Marranos

    A Beachcombing favorite to day, the Marranos of Belmonte. In 1492 Spain expelled its Jews or at least those who refused to convert to Catholicism. Some of these fleeing Spanish Jews crossed the border into Portugal where they joined an already substantial Jewish population and the Jews of all descriptions there were driven out of […]

    All Hail the Male Witch! June 21, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    All Hail the Male Witch!

    Why were witches, in the early modern period, women? The simple answer is that they were not. In all parts of Europe there were male witches and in some part of Europe male witches (witch = those put on trial for that crime) outnumbered narrowly or substantially the number of female witches. So at one […]

    Llewellyn Thompson: Champion of the World June 20, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Llewellyn Thompson: Champion of the World

    Beach has pioneered on this blog ‘hinge moments’, those instances when world history changes. In any list of these moments, the Cuban Missile crisis is a must, because this is, of course, the closest the human race has come to mutually assured destruction. But what moment within the missile crisis was the key one? Almost […]

    The End of the Britains: Rome Abandons Britannia June 19, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    The End of the Britains: Rome Abandons Britannia

    ***Dedicated to Southern Man*** If you want to imagine Rome and Roman Britain in the last difficult decades of their existence you might do worse than think of an egg trapped in a vice. The Empire was surrounded by hostile barbarian peoples who envied its wealth and lived according to the logic and for the […]

    Crowds #2: Speaking to Crowds June 18, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Crowds #2: Speaking to Crowds

    W.B.Yeats once wrote that the most important thing for a ‘man’ was, in his day, no longer a sword but a tongue to speak to the masses. Yeats was living in an age when that was still true. Microphones were allowing the amplification of voices and transport meant that a politician or preacher could travel […]

    Desperate Men: 490 BC June 17, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
    Desperate Men: 490 BC

    The Battle of Marathon is one of those events that has been so polished by historians and lyricists that it has become a mirror held up to every age which has cared to look into it. But behind the bumph and the pumph there remains a very real mystery. How did a (then) obscure Greek […]

    So You Want to Catch a Fairy… June 16, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    So You Want to Catch a Fairy...

    So you want to catch a fairy. Well, first get a butterfly net and collecting jars and for good measure a mousetrap bated with sugar and nutmegs… Ok seriously here are a couple of ‘recipes’ from a seventeenth-century (?) alchemist’s collection. An excellent way to gett a Fayrie. (For myself I call Margarett Barrance; but […]

    Decapitation Gone Wrong in China, c. 1900 June 15, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
    Decapitation Gone Wrong in China, c. 1900

    ***Gruesome post warning*** Bad day? Children sick? Feel a bit depressed? Dog ate your laptop? Then do yourself a favour and move on. The following includes some very unpleasant details from a Chinese execution c. 1900, when medieval lingchi (death by cutting) was still in operation. The following execution was not planned as lingchi but […]

    A New Digital Library of Alexandria: Mark II June 14, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
    A New Digital Library of Alexandria: Mark II

    When Beach was a strapping young man he had heart-felt, thought-out views on everything from abortion to zoophilia. By now in very advanced middle age there are only a couple of things that really get him going: and one of these is the digitalisation of humanity’s books; the possibility, in short, of making all knowledge […]

    Trolls in Staffordshire (in the 1970s!) June 13, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Trolls in Staffordshire (in the 1970s!)

    ***With thanks to Invisible*** Beach usually limits his cryptozoology to historical sightings and is a little uneasy at reporting an event from his own lifetime. But this particularly rumpus in the dark has a lot to recommend it in fairy terms so it caught his interest: the full account can be found at Nick Redfern’s […]

    Worthless Currencies June 12, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary
    Worthless Currencies

    As Beach writes Mrs B is travelling on a plane to [first destination deleted] to open a bank account in [second destination deleted] to get the Beachcombing family ‘fortune’ (ahem) as far as possible from the Euro Zone. It may or may not work as, while the Italian State has provided lots of identification documents, […]

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