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BB and Fairy Belief December 4, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
BB and Fairy Belief

BB (Denys Watkins-Pitchford, obit 1990) was a superlative writer and illustrator, who spent most of his time celebrating gnomes, the English countryside and fowling: his pseudonym comes from the BB shot used to bring down wild geese. For present purposes, we are interested in BB and gnomes for the man wrote two excellent gnome books […]

Billesley and Shakespeare: Books, Weddings and Fornication November 8, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Billesley and Shakespeare: Books, Weddings and Fornication

Many times on Strange History we have looked at the possibility that a small community is capable of remembering a tradition over decades, generations and even centuries without any recourse to writing. And Beach has just stumbled on a possible example of this in the deep English village of Billesley in Warwickshire. There are fewer […]

Shakespeare’s First Anne October 29, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Shakespeare's First Anne

Earlier this year we publicised that famous inventor of the compass, Flavio Gioia, who never, in fact, existed. Today, we offer a parallel tale from English literature: the story of Shakespeare’s first love. We refer here not to that hated appendage, Anne Hathaway, who married the bard after he got her pregnant and eventually got […]

Indecent Lifting and Heaving May 6, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Indecent Lifting and Heaving

Beach recently came across the custom of ‘lifting’ for the first time courtesy of Invisible and Two Nerdy History Girls (an excellent blog should you get the chance). The girls describe an instance of lifting in Shrewsbury. This is part of the relevant extract: the full extract is to be found chez Nerd following the […]