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Was Nessie a Kelpie? December 22, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Was Nessie a Kelpie?

A post a couple of weeks ago on the kelpie of Loch-na-Bestie got Beach thinking about the most famous kelpie in Caledonia. Who else but that stalwart of Scottish tourism, that gift to fake photographers everywhere, the greatest floating log of them all, Nessie?  Yes, it is true that Nessie has been seen, photographed and […]

River Mermaids in Southern Spain November 1, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
River Mermaids in Southern Spain

***Thanks to Invisible for this tip*** Norman Lewis’s The Tomb in Seville had, to say the very least, a bit of an unusual publication history. It is a back-looking account of a trip in southern Spain in 1934, taken with a mafioso, written decades later, while NL was in his ninetieth year and brought out […]

Hot Mermaids from Renaissance Venice! October 22, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Hot Mermaids from Renaissance Venice!

Beach is feeling very shallow today and so he thought that he would celebrate a wonderful new book that arrived through the post: Alison Luchs, The Mermaids of Venice (Brepols 2010). Why shallow? Well, he can’t celebrate the scholarship of the good Prof Luchs because he hasn’t read any of her words yet (another post, […]

The Existence of the Mermaid is Now Certain c. 1794 September 24, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Existence of the Mermaid is Now Certain c. 1794

We haven’t done mermaids for a long time. Yet who can forget the submarine and the mermaids or the Queen of Cuba or the mermaid that ate boiled fish or for that matter Christopher Columbus and the mermaid and the mermaid killed in Exeter. Oh happy days… Anyway, from memories of the past to a new […]

Fairy Knick Knacks: The Five Strangest August 21, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
Fairy Knick Knacks: The Five Strangest

Beach has had a couple of trippy days looking for unusual fairy gifts for a close friend. In doing so he began to understand what a truly strange yet enchanting world modern fairy enthusiasts inhabit. Here are Beach’s top five favourite fairy gifts for the Celtic Faery Shaman who has everything. Enjoy. In fifth place […]

Silent Fairies January 4, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Silent Fairies

Fairies and silent films… Who would have guessed that our great great grandparents troubled to make shorts about the winged folk? But they did and some are really quite beautiful. The first one that we stumbled upon was Princess Nicotine (aka The Smoke Fairy), a classic of its kind. A smoker falls asleep and then […]

The Queen of Cuba, Mermaids and a Far-Swimming Slave October 2, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Queen of Cuba, Mermaids and a Far-Swimming Slave

***Thanks to Invisible for the gem below*** 7 August 1871 this appeared in the Brooklyn Eagle, having apparently been excerpted from the Richmond Dispatch. The story’s title was Saved by Mermaids: A Story which Lacks Confirmation, one way of being polite about an enjoyable farrago. Apologies ahead of time for the racist tone of parts […]

A Welsh Mermaid and the Bastard with the Binoculars June 9, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
A Welsh Mermaid and the Bastard with the Binoculars

When people see strange things they rave to friends, family and (sometimes) newspapers. When they see strange things that reveal themselves to be something utterly pedestrian, the marvel is quickly forgotten. This is, in some ways, a shame as accounts of misperception probably bring us closer to the enigmas of the world than hours and […]

The Problem with Sea Apes May 24, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite, Contemporary, Modern
The Problem with Sea Apes

***Dedicated to Andy the Mad Monk and Invisible*** Beach has, since the early days of this site, shown a persistent interest in mermaids. It would be outrageous then to pass by the important new documentary coming out (or has it already aired?) on Animal Planet. The following is borrowed from Wikipedia (courtesy of the inestimable […]

Irish Merman Off Connemara April 21, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Irish Merman Off Connemara

***Beach dedicates this to Mike Dash who sent in the clipping*** The Nottingham Evening Post, Aug 26 1937 ran with a merman story that was new (at least to this mermaid enthusiast). Note curious claims for his dimensions or is this just a misunderstanding on the part of the journalist in the English Midlands. The […]

Newspaper Archives as Controls or Filters April 18, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Newspaper Archives as Controls or Filters

Beachcombing spent more time than was strictly necessary last summer looking at nineteenth- and twentieth-century newspaper archives. It is an extraordinary world. You constantly find yourself caught up on headlines (‘Sea-monster seen in the Channel’, ‘Germans eat the French’) that cannot easily be ignored and then you take one last look over the page and […]

A Dutch Mermaid March 24, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
A Dutch Mermaid

Beachcombing recently stumbled on this semi-mermaid story: if that is what it is. At that time there was a great tempest at sea, with exceeding high tides, the which did drowne many villages in Friseland and Holland; by which tempest there came a seawoman swimming in the Zuyderzee betwixt the towns of Campen and Edam, […]

Mermaid Killing in Exeter February 24, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Mermaid Killing in Exeter

Beach recently stumbled upon yet another nineteenth-century British mermaid article. ‘…the most extraordinary, the most minute (I had nearly said the most recent), and certainly the most domestic of all stories of Mermaids, as well as that in which the veracity of the narrator is the most completely pledged for the accuracy of the detail, […]

An Aberystwyth Mermaid February 13, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
An Aberystwyth Mermaid

Mermaids are the most despised of all the creatures of the British imagination. Folklorists have only had the decency to write two half decent books on them over the last century. The result is that there are lots of accounts out there that have never been gathered in. This one seemed, at least to Beachcombing, […]

Mermaids, Ahoy! January 14, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Mermaids, Ahoy!

Beachcombing still hyperventilating from the terrifying task of talking in front of 200 plus ‘new’ students yesterday. Only syllabus writing is worse. Anyway, back to the far more serious task of charting the perversions of the human imagination. Beachcombing had been going to spend the Christmas holidays writing serious academic ‘stuff’ about Marco Polo. But, […]

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