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Fiume under D’Annunzio: An Incubator of Evil April 17, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Fiume under D'Annunzio: An Incubator of Evil

***Dedicated to Ray G*** Everyone has dreamed of walking through Kublai Khan’s ice palaces or straying into the outer reaches of Dante’s paradise (after St Bernard has spoken) or, for those with a rural bent, strolling through the wood of Keats’ nightingale. But one early twentieth-century community spent the best part of eighteen months in […]

Forgotten Kingdom: Inbetween Saddleworth March 22, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
Forgotten Kingdom: Inbetween Saddleworth

Saddleworth is a late entrant in the Forgotten Kingdoms series. A stupendously beautiful patch of Pennine land in the north of England, it sits uneasily on the border between the White Rose County, Yorkshire and the Red Rose County, Lancashire. Saddleworth is, in fact, a reminder of how differences between communities are messy not clean-cut: […]

A Forgotten (Fairy?) People: the Ranties February 16, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
A Forgotten (Fairy?) People: the Ranties

Early medieval historians estimate that there were perhaps two hundred separate tribes or kingdoms in Ireland c. 500 but that these tribes were slowly subsumed or at least yoked to the growing Irish monarchy (and foreign successors) that reached an apogy under Brian Boru in the eleventh century. However, long after those times, the memory […]

14 Agege Motor Road, Idi-Oro, Mushin: the Kalakuta Republic! January 18, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
14 Agege Motor Road, Idi-Oro, Mushin: the Kalakuta Republic!

The Kalakuta Republic appears as part of our longstanding Forgotten Kingdoms tag. Kalakuta was the brain child of one of the most significant African musicians of the post-war period, Fela Kuti. Kuti, for those who don’t know the name, was a Nigerian with both talent and attitude. He spent formative years outside his home country living in […]

The Wessel Coins #3: Kilwa and its Sultanate July 27, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
The Wessel Coins #3: Kilwa and its Sultanate

  Kilwa (or Quiloa as it was often called in European sources) was a small almost-tidal island off the coast of Tanzania. ‘Almost tidal’ because in its early history there was allegedly a causeway and even in later centuries it was possible to wade to Kilwa at low tide. The city of Kilwa was a […]

Forgotten Kingdoms: The Gagauz and Identity Problems July 24, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Forgotten Kingdoms: The Gagauz and Identity Problems

Eastern Europe is full of unexpected populations. But few are as fun as the Gagauz,  a proud and ancient people, based in what is today southern Moldova. Of course, most modern westerners have never heard of Moldova – historically part of Romania – let alone that country’s tiny minority in the south. But the Gagauz […]

Forgotten Kingdoms: Enclave London! July 12, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
Forgotten Kingdoms: Enclave London!

In 410 the walls of Britannia came crashing down. In a situation of great confusion Rome apparently disavowed its interest in the island; the island that had always been its poorest province, and got on with trying to save its continental possessions: the failure of that task a generation later marked the end of the […]

Forgotten Kingdoms: August Gissler’s Cocos May 15, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Forgotten Kingdoms: August Gissler's Cocos

  When August Gissler (obit 1935) became, at last, governor of Cocos Island, off Costa Rica, in 1897, he was not interested in the tiny and transient population of tobacco growers there, most of whom he had brought over from his home country. The German was obsessed, instead, by the vast quantites of gold (allegedly) […]

Germania: A Nightmare Deferred March 17, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Germania: A Nightmare Deferred

‘Egypt’s might is tumbled down/ Down a-down the deeps of thought;/ Greece is fallen and Troy town,/ Glorious Rome hath lost her crown,/ Venice’s pride is nought./ But the dreams their children dreamed/ Fleeting, unsubstantial, vain/ Shadowy as the shadows seemed/ Airy nothing, as they deemed,/ These remain.’ Beautiful poem Mary (Coleridge), but thankfully some […]

Goa the Golden February 14, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Goa the Golden

***Sorry this was accidentally pre-released yesterday…*** Goa was both the oldest continuous and one of the most curious of European colonial territories and is included here as part of our Forgotten Kingdom series. An important medieval Indian state it was attacked and captured by the Portuguese in 1510. Portugal would then run Goa up until […]

Miskito: A Forgotten Early Modern Kingdom January 30, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Miskito: A Forgotten Early Modern Kingdom

***Dedicated to Alan*** A very long trivia question. Where in the world would an early modern traveller have found an Episcopalian non-European kingdom with monarchs with English names, many of whom died by violence, whose tax base depended on raiding neighbouring territories and which survived the best part of three hundred years? No idea? Well, […]

The Mirage of Brasil December 25, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
The Mirage of Brasil

Almost every European people with a coastline have invented magical lands for themselves in the waves out there… Some of these islands are sunken, some are on the surface. Some move around, some stay still but can’t be reached. Some are sentient (really!), some are just pieces of rock. Some are coastal, some are far […]

The Republic of New Afrika April 2, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
The Republic of New Afrika

The Forgotten Kingdoms series continues with an interesting and ultimately bloody recent experiment in nationhood: the Republic of New Afrika [sic]. Created 31 March 1968 the RNA was a post Malcolm-X attempt to create a homeland for Afro-Americans who could not be, the founders believed, represented or protected by the US government. The brain-child of […]

In Praise of the Hindoestanen February 29, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
In Praise of the Hindoestanen

Beachcombing has run, over the months, a series of forgotten kingdom posts: lands and peoples that time forgot. Sometimes he has stretched this definition to its elastic limit by including forgotten communities: a personal favourite, for example, were the Confederates who fled from Lincoln’s peace and came to settle in Brazil. Another group that he […]

P.R.A.W.N.S. October 5, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
P.R.A.W.N.S.

*** Dedicated to Ricardo*** One of teenage Beachcombing’s favourite films was Ealing Studios fabulous Passport to Pimlico that describes a small London borough seceding from the United Kingdom in the years after the Second World War. Classic scenes include a tube train jittering to a halt and a ladder coming down through the roof so […]

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