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World Centre September 30, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
World Centre

Autumnal flu continues despite helpful advice from readers, a foot massage from Mrs B and neck-breaking kangaroo jumps from little Miss B. In this reduced, nay pitiful state, Beachcombing thought that he would celebrate a true forgotten kingdom: the World Centre of Communication. Its creators Henrik Christian Andersen and Ernest Hébrard were intent – in […]

Favourite Historical Cities September 3, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
Favourite Historical Cities

And so it begins… Three hours sleep, arguments about syllabi, a terrifying public-speaking engagement, a walk in the wood (six snakes spotted – an omen?), sleep and stress. In short, the students are back and the cycle of sow/reap/harvest (lesson/field-trip/exam) is starting up once again. They look (as always) like nice kids. But in an […]

The Cha-Cha of the Dahomey August 31, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Cha-Cha of the Dahomey

While reading up on the Amazons of the Dahomey kingdom (Benin) a long month ago, Beach came across a fascinating if little known figure, Francisco Felix De  Souza (obit 1849). De  Souza was a Brazilian merchant who came to the West Coast of Africa in the early nineteenth century and set up a huge slave […]

The Kingdom of Yetholm July 13, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Kingdom of Yetholm

Gypsy history provides a rich field for bizarrists: after all, here is a people from the Indian subcontinent who hiked half way across Eurasia for reasons that are completely mysterious to modern historians causing confusion and marvel wherever they went. Nevertheless, even in such a rich field Beachcombing has an easy favourite: the Gypsy Kingdom […]

King of the Tramps June 25, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
King of the Tramps

Beachcombing has neglected both Forgotten Kingdoms recently and an earlier enthusiasm for the Crusades. He thought that he would correct both these errors with a short post on the King of Tafur and his Tafurs – the einsatzgruppen of the Holy Wars. The source is Guibert of Nogent (obit 1124). There was another kind of […]

Flinders Island May 5, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Flinders Island

Beachcombing tries to get a geographical spread going with his posts where – if there is a depressing bias towards Europe and Blighty – he covers pretty much the whole globe  in at least a token fashion. However, some parts of the world are underrepresented. Take Australasia. Bar some reports of moas in New Zealand […]

Crocker Land April 3, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Crocker Land

Where do good bizarrists go when they die: why to Crocker Land, of course. And where is this anomalist’s World of Cockayne? Well, unusually for such a fantastical place we can be exact: it stands at 83 degrees N, longitude 100 degrees. Hell, Heaven, Eden and Purgatory never enjoyed these kinds of specifics. And how was it […]

Iambulus’s Island March 3, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
Iambulus's Island

**Beachcombing dedicates this post to author and Diodorus scholar Ed Murphy (After the Funeral) who inspired the following** Ancient historian, Diodorus Siculus (obit 1st cent BC) has appeared before on this blog for his description of a mysterious island out in the Atlantic. However, Diodorus, at the end of his second book, also wrote about an […]

Diodorus’ Island February 10, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
Diodorus' Island

Perhaps next to Forgotten Kingdoms Beachcombing should set up a tag on Invisible Kingdoms: realms that very likely only ever existed in the imagination of ancient and medieval writers. There would be Atlantis, of course, the land of Prester John, the Seven Cities of Gold and El Dorado. And to these it would be a cinch […]

When Muhammad Kissed Ferdinand January 9, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
When Muhammad Kissed Ferdinand

What do Beachcombing and Osama Bin Laden have in common? Diabetes? Permanent facial hair? Exclusive education in London? Start up fund from the CIA? No, no, no, no and no. The answer is, of course, a love of Al-Andalus. Al Andalus, as Osama himself would tell us were he a blogger, was the last Muslim kingdom […]

The Emperor of the United States December 14, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Emperor of the United States

Beachcombing heard today some sad news from Perugia (central Italy) where Compagno Paolo, a Perugian eccentric and perpetual member of the Communist Party (twenty years after the Soviet Union was found out) has just passed away. Paolo was, certainly, a legend in the modest Umbrian capital where he was loved by many and known to all. A local tour guide (the Little […]

The forgotten kingdom of Mannau November 24, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
The forgotten kingdom of Mannau

It is difficult to not to get all lyrical when looking at the early history of Man, the tiny island that stands halfway between the UK and Ireland, not least because that history is so obscure. Beachcombing is not referring to the later Norse destinyof the island, when Man was a pirate base for several thousand frightful Norwegians and […]

The Great Republic of Rough and Ready October 22, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Great Republic of Rough and Ready

Pascal and Small Coloured Things’ visit to Beachcombing’s Italian house is continuing, Little Miss B is changing her sleeping patterns, to the consternation of all, and Mrs B is not getting any (sleep). But, not withstanding this whirl of inactivity, Beachcombing can still find it in himself to slip down to the study with a […]

Calleva: the Last Romano-British City October 14, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Medieval
Calleva: the Last Romano-British City

Beachcombing finishes, today, his rapid tour around bizarre or curious near-London and London sites: a work he has undertaken partly for Canadian History Student and partly out of nostalgia – he is in Italy at the moment.  And what better place to end than Calleva Atrebatorum, the Woody Place of the Atrebates Tribe, way out […]

A Kingdom in a London Hotel Room September 22, 2010

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
A Kingdom in a London Hotel Room

Over the last weeks Beachcombing has offered a collection of posts from his Forgotten Kingdoms file. And he thought that today he would add to this with the smallest recognised state known to him: Suite 212 at Claridge’s. First a little background. Claridge’s has long had a reputation as the most exclusive London hotel. And […]

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