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  • The Word Poltergeist in English December 2, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    The Word Poltergeist in English

    When did English-speakers start using the word Poltergeist? The conventional answer to this question is in 1848 when Catharine Crowe wrote, in her The Night Side of Nature, the following passage while describing spirits of the dead. [B]ut there is nothing sportive or mischievous, nor, except where an injunction is disobeyed, or a request refused, […]

    Beachcombed 66 December 1, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Beachcombed
    Beachcombed 66

    Dear Reader, thanks as always for all the emails and communications. Everything great at chez Beachcombing. In fact, only five or six ulcers on the tongue are distracting from the pleasure of life. This month was supposed to be dedicated to Bella in the Wych Elm, but new data is still dripping in: witchcraft spy, […]

    History Roundup 538 including the True King of Scotland November 30, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 538 including the True King of Scotland

    Today’s links follow. 1) A Spy in Spice: the high seas 2) Invention of Thanksgiving: US 3) Accountant is True King: Scotland 4) Viscount Valencia and Murder: UK 5) Smiling Evolution: US (fascinating and unexpected, could you date with smiles) 6) The Last Royal Mail Coach: UK and from the archives 7) Victorian Lesbian Cobblers Other […]

    Daily History Picture: Young Putin November 30, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: Young Putin

    Young Putin, unmistakable…

    Index Biography #24: Prize a book November 30, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Index Biography #24: Prize a 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 […]

    A Fourteen-Year Second World War?! November 29, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    A Fourteen-Year Second World War?!

    Strangehistory recently featured the longest European war of the twentieth century, that between Greece and Albania (1940-1987). While looking at this Beach was intrigued, nay amazed by the true duration of the Second World War. In fact, this morning his room has taken on a strange orange sheen. For example, how long was Britain at […]

    New History Books: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines November 28, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : New History Books
    New History Books: Trapped Behind Enemy Lines

    Anderson and Piuk, Trapped Behind Enemy Lines Rescuers in WW1, a new subject for me: can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

    Tony Judt: A Reluctant Historian? November 28, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Tony Judt: A Reluctant Historian?

    Tony Judt wrote twelve fine history books* before his untimely death in 2010, one of them ‘the unmatched and perhaps unmatchable’ (Snyder) Postwar (2005). When he died, after a courageous fight with an impossible illness, eulogiums rained down. But there was a minority opinion that Judt was something less than a new Gibbon. Dylan Riley wrote […]

    History Roundup 537 including Real Hobbits November 27, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 537 including Real Hobbits

    Today’s links follow. 1) Ancient Board Game: China 2) Anne Frank as Refugee: USA and Netherlands 3) Pirates and Parrots: the Seven Seas 4) Witch Killings: Italy 5) Were Hobbits a Separate Species: Pacific 6) Wrong Place Greek Settlement: Ukraine and from the archives 7) Ardeatine and Truth Other links: Doomsday Scam and ISIS, Old […]

    New History Books: A Handful of Hard Men November 27, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : New History Books
    New History Books: A Handful of Hard Men

    The hopeless fight in Rhodesia… Enter Mugable left stage. Wessels, A Handful of Hard Men  

    Daily History Picture: R2D2 Boxed November 27, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: R2D2 Boxed

    A bit of Star Wars nostalgia

    What Do Demons Look Like? November 27, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    What Do Demons Look Like?

    Beach really, really, really doesn’t like ceremonial magic, creepy pentagrams and casual acquaintances with books by the ‘Beast’ Crowley on their shelves. But he recently steeled himself to read The Magus (1801) by Francis Barrett, mainly to see what the alchemists and magi had to say about fairylore. There is a lot of material as it […]

    History Roundup 536 including Sicilian Blue Room November 26, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : History Roundups
    History Roundup 536 including Sicilian Blue Room

    Today’s links follow. 1) Paranormal Photograph: UK 2) Eamon de Valera: Ireland 3) Lost Island: Mediterranean 4) Roman Treasure: Switzerland 5) FBI and Spontaneous Human Combustion: US 6) Blue Arabic Room: Sicily (incredible) and from the archives 7) Knock on Wood/Head Other links: Myth of Stockholm Syndrome, Andrew Neil on Paris (marvelous)

    Daily History Picture: War Service November 26, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Historical Pictures
    Daily History Picture: War Service

    The queen in front of her truck (note ‘L’)

    Ritual Murders in Nyasaland November 26, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Ritual Murders in Nyasaland

    The following was a written answer given in a written exchange in the British parliament 13 March 1962. At this date Nyasaland (aka Malawi) was a British territory and would be for another two years. (In the postwar period the British government was often put under pressure over the question of responsibility for colonial possessions […]

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