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  • Napoleon and the Dorset Convent October 29, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Napoleon and the Dorset Convent

    Beach recently ran with a story that Napoleon was believed to have visited Britain incognito in 1803: Wales to be exact. Here is an annex to that post. The wonderful idea that Napoleon’s brother had holed up in a convent in Dorset at Marnhull no less! These were the glory years when the French were […]

    Napoleon in Wales November 17, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Napoleon in Wales

    Beach recently offered up the gem of a story that Göring, of all people, had hidden out in a British bomb shelter in the second world war. At that moment he alluded to the fact that in a previous period the British had been convinced that Napoleon himself had visited Britain on the eve of his […]

    Marshal Ney Survives Death November 6, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
    Marshal Ney Survives Death

    Marshal Ney was Napoleon’s greatest general and even those who, like Beachcombing, loathe old Boney, feel some regret when they read of how Ney was executed 7 Dec 1815. The great man stood in front of the firing squad and himself gave the order to fire after telling his soldiers: ‘I have fought a hundred battles […]

    Napoleon and Hitler Coincidences October 14, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
    Napoleon and Hitler Coincidences

    Personally Beach has always found the ‘coincidences register’ the most irritating of all genres. Typically, an historically illiterate conspiracy freak, notices some interesting parallels between two different events or more usually individuals. He or she, then, sends out a communication pointing out the ‘striking’ parallels. Then, other readers note other parallels (occasionally making them up) […]

    Historical Children Scarers July 2, 2016

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
    Historical Children Scarers

    ***Dedicated to Invisible*** Parents have scared children for generations with conjured horrors: the fairies, the black boggart, Jenny Greenteeth and many, many more. However, Beach today wants to look at a very select category. Historical personalities who were so horrific (or at least were imagined to be so horrific) that parents could credibly say: ‘Get […]

    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 […]