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  • Not the Shawl, Josephine! March 24, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Not the Shawl, Josephine!

    This is a chamber pot story, one which Beach stumbled upon during his recent research into chamber pot enemies. We are in France in the theatre at Saint-Cloud and during the first act, Napoleon’s wife, the Empress Josephine ‘was seized with an uncontrollable desire to make water’. This comes from an edition in 1896 and […]

    Chamber Pot Enemies March 14, 2015

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Chamber Pot Enemies

    Chamber pots have been practically banished from modern western households but as late as the Second World War most families had a ceramic bowl that passed as a toilet; a potty for grownups with no running water in the house. These chamber pots were, of course, carefully decorated. Some of them were twee, some were […]

    Lords of Karma and Military Reincarnation March 30, 2013

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
    Lords of Karma and Military Reincarnation

    In 1964, Hugh Dowding, hero of the Battle of Britain, wrote a nostalgic letter to Canadian millionaire Lord Beaverbrook. Dowding recalled how he and Beaverbrook had been in the right place and the right time in the summer of 1940, for the good of the Empire and of the world. Any normal military hero in […]

    Marengo: Napoleon’s Horse November 15, 2011

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Marengo: Napoleon's Horse

    Napoleon had a great fondness for horses, he was often painted in the saddle and Hegel went so far as to call the Corsican general ‘the worldspirit on horseback’. But Marengo, Napoleon’s favourite steed, must go down in history as one of the unluckiest horses that ever lived.  Allegedly purchased by his diminutive master in […]