Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Alfred Stevens

I've just found this beautiful head of Medusa on the V&A's website. It was made by the 19th-century sculptor Alfred Stevens as a model for an architectural frieze. You can read more about Stevens and his many works here. Stevens was one of many sculptors who practiced a style known as The New Sculpture. The face on this bronze by Frampton is (I think) quite typical of the style.

Three Americas

An excellent four-part series on immigration, migration, and the changing face of America from journalist Johnathan Tilove.

Beginning in the 1980s and with surging speed in the '90s, it became plain that people moving within America choose different destinations from those moving to America, and that in the interplay of these movements, one America was coming to more nearly resemble three. They are:

-- The Melting Pot. Two decades and counting of record immigration has transformed the places most newcomers settle into a multicultural America without precedent anywhere in the world. It is in this tumultuous America -- the large metropolitan areas and states on both coasts, plus Texas and Chicago -- that most immigrants arrive. With their arrival, increasing numbers of existing residents leave. In the '90s, 25 percent more immigrants poured into the Melting Pot than in the '80s; at the same time, the exodus tripled.

-- The New Sun Belt. Unlike most immigrants, most people moving within the United States are relocating to an entirely different America -- a New Sun Belt with the feel and allure of a vast, immaculate suburb. This ascendant America of fast-growing states in the Southeast and non-California West accounts for about a fifth of the U.S. population as a whole, but was home to 79 percent of all the growth in the white population in the '90s. In all, these states gained twice as much population in the '90s as they did in the '80s.

-- The Heartland. The third America is less touched by arrivals, either from the rest of America or abroad. It is made up of the Midwest minus Chicago, New England minus Boston, and the parts of the South that are still more William Faulkner than Ted Turner. America's Old Country, it is becoming different from the other two Americas not because it is changing, but because it is not.

Parts one, two, three, and four.

December's Early Modern Hero

November's Early Modern Print Culture was dedicated to the little gentleman in black velvet. He (or possibly she) was the mole who supposedly killed William III. We need an early modern hero for December's dedication. Any suggestions anyone?

Moldova's negotiable nationalism

The Romanians in Bessarabia awoke in the late 1980s, quipped the writer Ion Druta, but they forgot to get out of bed. The disappointment that many intellectuals felt with the outcome of the national movement was part of a long history of disillusionment experienced by generations of nation-builders. At every turn, Moldova has turned out to be something other than what most observers had either hoped or expected. It was one of the most sovietized of the Soviet republics, with high rates of linguistic assimilation to Russian and marriage across ethnic lines. But it also witnessed a divisive and violent conflict between forces supporting independence and those intent on maintaining the unity of the Soviet state.

This is fascinating!

Some Links

Hello, this is my first post on the Dictionary of Received Ideas. My personal blog is at Pearsall's Books. To get myself started, here are some links to some long historical pieces I've written on my blog:

Oil and geopolitics in Central Asia. Part one, part two, and part three.

The failures of Puritan moral reform under Oliver Cromwell. Part One and part two.

Why did France lose its Indo-Chinese empire? Part one and part two.

CT55615- candlestick 1648

I was just looking through the V&A's access to images site when I saw this delftware candlestick made in 1648. (If the link no longer works type the catalogue number into the main search page) It's a fascinating artefact because it was made to replace confiscated Royalist silverware. I quote from the catalogue description:

The English Civil War of 1642-6, though localised in terms of the actual fighting, caused havoc in London and at other strategic places like Oxford. Royalist supporters were obliged to surrender their silver tablewares under threat of penalties and inspections were carried out. City Livery Companies like the Mercers in 1643 were forced to dispose of their treasures and to replace them with similar objects made of wood or delftware. It is probable that the table silver of a wealthy member of the Fishmongers' Company such as William Withers, the first owner of this candlestick, would have suffered the same fate.

You can read more about the civil war here.

The full Gulliver

I learnt from the Eighteenth Century Worlds list that today was the birthday of Jonathan Swift (1667). There's an excellent complete Gulliver's Travels with critical apparatus on the web.

A gay Alexander?

The debate about Alexander the Great's sexuality (in light of the Oliver Stone film) is raging on several email lists to which I belong. A couple of sensible references by Jeanne Reames-Zimmerman can be found here and, more briefly, here.
And a film review here.

Hysterical Liberties

I'm posting links to historical fiction over on Hysterical Liberties.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Code Napoleon

Prof. Dieter Langewiesche argues that Napoleon was a definitive influence on bourgeois society and unification in Germany (in German, requires subscription), but that nationalists wrote him out of German history after 1870 (summary in Le Monde, in French).

British Pathe

You can now preview 3500 hours of historic film footage on British Pathe's site. I'm sure this must be a great help to students of film history and a lot of fun for the rest of us.

2-Tone and ska music

Tonight Channel 4 is showing a documentary about one of my favourite record labels ever, 2-Tone. (It also has one of the coolest logos of all time...) So, to mark the occasion...

2-Tone Info

Brief history and interviews

The Specials

What is Ska music?

The Ska Lyrics Archive

(Records of choice for this evening: The Selecter, Too Much Pressure; The Specials, The Specials; The History of Trojan Records vol. 1)

Online Book Reviews

I've posted a list of recent online reviews of books in early modern history today, over at EMN.

History blog round

Greg tells us about the good and bad points of the Alexander biopic.
Gallic war hoard unearthed. From David at Cronaca. (Oops I almost missed it! Also see this older story about a ceramics theft from the V&A)
The Tale of the Revolutionary teapot. From Siberian Light.
Joel tells us about the origin of the Sumo championship system.
Scribbling woman brings us news of an auction of 17th-century porn.
Le Corbusier in America from Rhine River.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Trying to revive the revival

Here's an interesting look back at the Welsh revival.

Stealing from churches

This post isn't about history per se but it discusses a horrible problem facing the guardians of England's most precious architectural treasures.

La Nouvelle France

Since the new Cliopatriarch works in Montreal, I thought I would compile some links related to New France, the French colonies in North America that extended from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

New France/New Horizons is a joint project of Canadian and French archivists (English portal/French portal). It has a searchable database and a summary of archival holdings in Canada and France.

La Nouvelle France: Ressources Française (in French), from the French Cultural Ministry, summarizes history and shows some important primary documents. Here is a manuscript of Jesuit activities.

Musée virtuel de la Nouvelle-France (in French, English portal) describes social history and exploration. The best part is the comprehensive look at educaiton in the colonies.

La Nouvelle France chez Couture (in French) has a chronology and, at the bottome of the page, essays on history and culture.

Tracing the history of New France is a Canadian government website that looks at documents and history.

Marie Curie

A review of the new biography of Marie Curie, Obsessive Genius by Barabara Goldsmith (free New York Times subscription required). From the summary, it looks as if Goldsmith focuses more on Curie's relationships with men.

Science, Women, 20th century

History Transmission

DeutschlandRadio produces a five minute segment each day about some historical issue or figure, providing links to both the broadcast version and the transcription (you can find a list of the programs here). Yesterday they looked at the life of Georg Forster, a German philosophe who became a revolutionary leader in Mainz in its heady "republic days." Today they look at one of my favorite subjects, Konrad Adenauer, his attitude toward nuclear weapons, disarmament treaties, and how Europe could defend itself without developing nuclear capabilities of its own.

Dictionary of the History of Ideas

The Dictionary of the History of Ideas (originally published in 1973, but long out of print) is available in searchable and browsable form online.


The death of Cleopatra from an asp bite is one of history's greatest romantic tragedies. But can the verdict of suicide, accepted for 2,000 years, stand up to a modern-day investigation by a forensic expert?

Bye bye Maggie

Fourteen years ago, Margaret Thatcher was ousted from office. A cause of both mourning and celebration.

BBC On this Day

The resignation speech from the Guardian

The Margaret Thatcher Site

Margaret Thatcher Foundation

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Hester Thrale

On a family history site I've just stumbled across a huge collection of the writings of Hester Thrale, from Song on his Majesty’s Nuptials [George III, written in 1758] to the sad farewell to the Dean of Derry in 1806, prefaced:
Another Death! nothing else indeed I think—the pleasant Bishop of Limerick; gay, gallant, chearful Creature that he was— when known by name of Barnard Dean of Derry: Friend & Companion to dear little Goldsmith Reynolds, Burke, Johnson; all the old Coterie of the Turks head: where after Supper he used to sing the Song of Polypheme in Acis & Galatea:—Can one then help exclaiming…

Famous Art Quotes

Famous Art quotes from Art news.

History repeating itself

A Guardian review of Winston's folly: Imperialism and the creation of modern Iraq

The Eastern Question that haunted the chancelleries of 19th-century Europe has returned to haunt George Bush and Tony Blair; or rather, the consequences of the failure to find a satisfactory answer to it have blighted all attempts to create a new international order in the aftermath of the cold war. ...

Becoming American

Nathanael discusses an article on how Americans came to think of themselves as a continental society.

The English colonists combined the category of the continent with their perception of the relationship with the land. Drake sees the Boston Tea Party as revealing: it shows how the colonists identified themselves as the new indigenous people of the Americas. It was not just the local Native Americans that they were replacing, but a whole continent of people who, in their opinion, did little to develop the civilization of the continent. The new Americans were there to do what the old Americans failed to do.

Drake, in the process of comparing Spanish and Anglo-America, draws on an event from Mexican history that resembles the Boston Tea Party. The Spanish Mexicans never saw themselves as the replacements for the natives; they were overlords and conquerors. Nevertheless they took the identity of Indians to protest the policies of the mother country...

Baseball is British (so there)

OK, a bit slow finding this, but never mind.

Baseball: a Thoroughly British Invention

(It's still not cricket.)

From da Vinci to Moldova

Is there anything fresh to be written about Leonardo da Vinci? Lisa Jardine assesses biographies by Charles Nicholl and Martin Kemp The Guardian

After posting a couple of days ago on some lesser-known Byzantine empresses, I thought I had to put together something on my favourite, Theodora, wife(and spine-stiffener) to Justinian. Philobiblon

The hedonistic excesses of Weimar Berlin were always overshadowed by fear. Lisa Appignanesi on the dangerous allure of cabaret. The Guardian

There was already something surreal about the life from which she walked out to become an artist in 1921. In 1936, Roland Penrose and Herbert Read asked her to exhibit in the International Surrealist Exhibition - the only British woman to show there. She had reservations about being called a surrealist, but remarked on her good fortune in being seen in joint exhibitions in Tokyo, New York and Europe.
The Guardian

The Venerable Bede: The father of English history. BBC Radio 4

In 1992 Moldova experienced a brief but bloody conflict over the territory lying east of the Dnestr River, the region known to Romanian-speakers as Transnistria and to Russian-speakers as Pridnestrov'ia. The thin strip of land, less than 30 kilometers wide and only 4,118 square kilometers in area, had once been part of the Moldovan autonomous republic in the interwar period but was joined with Bessarabia to form the M[oldovan]SSR after the Soviet annexation in 1940. Far Outliers

Friday, November 26, 2004

Partition and Pakistan

Far Outliers continues its look at the history of Pakistan through the effects of the partition on Kashmir, Hyberabad and Junagadh.

Rodrigo at Looking Outside Inside has a compehensive post about the relationship between West and East Pakistan after the partition. Although a state defined by its Muslim population (against the Hindu majority of India), tensions were created because Pakistan was meant to be a secular state.

The French Project Gutenberg

Gallica is great sight run by the French National Library that reprints old texts in pdf (and sometimes txt) form. It is especially useful for finding canonical literature, philosophical tracts, and histories written before 1850.

In memoriam

In memory of Anthony Hecht. From Language Hat.

The fall of Turkey

The fall of Turkey. From Caleb.

Living history: Maggie Thatcher

I think Boris Johnson MP might have a crush on the Iron Lady.

She sat under the glazed roof of the central courtyard of Portcullis House - the building completed about five years ago and housing 210 Members of Parliament and their staff at a cost of about £1 million per MP. Her guests were held in thrall and she was lost in concentrated discussion. To her observers, however, she beamed something altogether different: her filigree hairstyle and immaculate chic suit looked more wonderful than anything most of us had ever seen. As a distraction to those in the coffee area, she would occasionally emphasise a point by tapping on her ivory knees peeping out from below her outfit and stretch out her slender calves as an afterthought.

Read more here.

The Closing of the Pageant

Brandon Watson at Siris writes:

We bring to a close the St. Catharine's Day Pageant here at Siris. It has, I hope provided something a bit different from the usual course of blogging. If you've only just come upon our celebration, here is the course of the pageant (in order from the beginning):
Read on here

Thursday, November 25, 2004


Scribbling Woman has made a lovely collection of Victorian literature (including Darwin and H.G. Wells) and curiosities

I was particularly taken with Hand Shadows to be Thrown Upon a Wall and recommend an exploration.

Librarians' Index to the Internet

The Librarians' Index to the Internet (LII) is another extremely useful resource for historians. Their weekly update has a RSS feed (http://lii.org/ntw.rss), or you can sign up to get it as an email.

This week, for example, it includes

The Illingworth Cartoons in the National Library of Wales

The Potato Then and Now

The UNESCO Archives Portal

The Washington Calligraphers' Guild

The Clinton Presidential Library & Museum

Korean sexual history

Robert Neff of The Marmot's Hole brings us some Korean sexual history. Steer clear if you're easily offended.

Reasons for historians to be in H-Net

If you aren't already familiar with H-Net, why not?

Here are just a few interesting things in my H-Net discussion list mailbags lately.

From H-Atlantic, for Atlantic world history c.1500-1800:

Review of The Mapmaker's Quest: Depicting New Worlds in Renaissance Europe

Review of Sources and Methods in African History: Spoken, Written, Unearthed

From H-Albion, for British and Irish history:

A discussion thread on the shortcomings of current textbook histories of 20th-century Britain (starts here)

From H-Teach, for teaching college history:

Threads on the issue of the teacher's politics in the class room and on alternative learning styles (which has sparked a sometimes heated argument about the quality of history education in high schools vs. universities): for either, start from the message logs page for November here

There are many, many more discussion lists: something for everyone. Not to mention announcements of CFPs, conferences, etc and Job listings.

[Added by Nathanael:] If you are looking for H-France, don't go to the H-Net website at Michigan State, but to this website at University of Akron.

History today and yesterday

According to a new biography of the German industrialist, there was no Schindler's list, the legendary document containing names of Jewish employees at his Polish factory who were designated as "essential workers" and thus spared from the concentration camps. The Guardian

The Ayatollah and the transsexual The Independent

Archaeologists have hailed the discovery of an early Bronze Age cemetery as one of the most significant in Britain after new technology enabled them to pinpoint the date of graves. The Independent

Scientific analysis of a scratched, 18ct gold pocket-watch was presented as evidence yesterday that one of the most controversial theories about the identity of Jack the Ripper might be true. The Independent

Derry has grown remarkably since Bloody Sunday. The multistorey flats that were the backdrop to the shootings are long gone. "The city is now far bigger and far younger," the professional woman said. "In the 1970s, it was a very depressed place, and a very depressing place. There was little to do. Now it's a vibrant city; we get tourists." The Independent

Good history series on Radio 4

Document- An award winning Radio 4 History series. Listen to 5 fascinating programmes here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

For Thanksgiving Day

(A bit of cross-posting from Early Modern Notes)

Thanksgiving at Plimoth Plantation
The History of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving History
The First Thanksgiving
Bountiful Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving in Canada
Thanksgiving Day Holiday and the Pilgrims
Thanksgiving Its True History

Blogging Thanksgiving (including recipes!)

A Thanksgiving Lesson
Mince Pies at Thanksgiving
And when the Pilgrims came to Singapore
Wherein I Give Thanks... (contains: a) strong language and b) a picture of the President of the USA being, er, gobbled by a turkey)


Emigrants and Settlers
13 Originals: Founding the American Colonies
Religion in Colonial America
Colonial North America, including:
First Thanksgiving Proclamation
The American Colonist's Library (primary sources)
Religion and the Founding of the American Republic (a lovely online exhibit: if you visit just one link in this post, make it this one)

North America, seventeenth century, holidays

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Reclaim the night

"Herstory of Reclaim the Night"

Reclaim the Night marches and rallies have traditionally been organised by collectives of unpaid women who have worked together in their communities to organise peaceful protests against sexual violence towards women and children, and to promote women's strength and survival. Reclaim the Night represents a claim for women's basic human right to live in freedom from discrimination and fear of violence.

The first rally took place in Rome in 1976, as a reaction to reported rapes reaching 'astronomical' figures (16000 per annum). Around 10,000 women and children marched through the centre of the city ....

Library links

Here at the University of Wisconsin we have some great librarians, constantly telling us about new resources and bending over backwards for us. Some of these thing may be Wisconsin specific, but hey, what's wrong with a little Wisconsin in your life?

Wisconsin Historical Society has some great resources, like all of these digital resources, including the Wisconsin Pioneer Experience.

The Medical Collections librarian clued us in on:

The Arts Collections. The first submission to this collection is Arts in Society, a journal published on the UW campus from 1958 to 1976.

Icelandic Online Dictionary and Readings, a free-access, Web-based course in Modern Icelandic language and culture, with supplementary resources. Major partners in developing this project were the University of Iceland in Reykjavík and the UW-Madison.

Virginia M. Kline Collection: Ecological Communities of Wisconsin. This collection includes a series of slides reflecting the natural history of Wisconsin, past and present. Also included are a series of audiotapes from the course "Reading the Landscape," taught by Dr. Virginia M. Kline. The images were part of the personal slide collection of Dr. Kline. The collection records a story of the natural history of Wisconsin and of the life and work of Dr. Kline.

Notes from the Stone-Paved Path: Meditations on North India presents photographs taken in the north of India between 1995-96 with pages photographed from books pertaining to this region among the holdings of Memorial Library. They speak to themes ranging from agricultural economics and autobiography to short stories, and reflect sensibilities from the mid-14th century to scholarship of the late 20th century.

Women's Audio Visuals In English (WAVE) is a database maintained by the University of Wisconsin System Women's Studies Librarian's Office that lists documentary, experimental, and feature film and video productions by and about women.

Tooting our own horns

I guess we contributors are having problems referencing our own posts. Here is some of the recent postings we have made in the last few days:

Overlook mountain house

The Catskill Mountains were America's premier resort area starting in the 1820s up until the 1920s. The high elevations offered clean air and sublime views of some of the greatest scenery in the world. In the early 1800s it was thought that America could not compare with the vistas offered in Europe. The work of the Hudson River School of painters, such as Thomas Cole, and writers such as James Fenimore Cooper and Washington Irving helped popularize the Catskills as a tourist attraction. The work of these painters and writers was part of a larger process of creating a sense of nationalism, by “imagin(ing) and propagat(ing) the idea of a historically unique people conjoined to its own state.”

Read on here.


Joel at Far Outliers ups the ante on Language Hat's discussion of the origins of kamikaze.
There is nothing intrinsic in kamikaze that suggests suicide (less than there is in an American slogan like "Remember the Alamo!"), but there is a strong suggestion of a devastating air attack on shipping. I wonder if the suicide submarine Kaiten Tokkoutai ('Turn Heaven Special Attack Force') also wore hachimaki with kamikaze written on them. I can't quite make out the characters on the hachimaki in the photos at the link, but I doubt they say 'Safety First'. Like the original kamikaze, the suicide submarines and airplanes both aimed to destroy ships at sea.
Asia, World War Two


JFK Reloaded is a new video game released online which allows you recreate the Kennedy Assassination in its entirely. You are placed at Lee Harvey Oswald's vantage point in the Texas Book Depository and given the task of recreating the timing and targeting of Oswald's fatal shots. The game's basic purpose is to completely debunk those people with complicated conspiracy theories to explain the shots. it is supposed to serve as a 'proof' of the lone gunman theories that were laid out in the Warren Report.

Kohl, Uniter

The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (English portal) has a comprehensive overview of the chancellorship of Helmut Kohl (index page) (in German).

The Game of Kings

The game of kings has a long and controversial history. It's been said to have been played by Aristotle, and biblical figures like Japhet, son of Noah, Shem, Solomon, and even Adam himself, after the murder of Abel.

One myth places its origin in a clever mathematician from India, another idea argues an Irish origin (see the ninth provision of this will). A traditional explanation argues that chess was born after gambling was banned in India, turning Chaturanga from a game of chance into one of skill.

The short story, though, is that nobody knows.

And here is the most fascinating chess story. The Lewis Chessmen:

From Kent at Dock of the Bay.

Database of Shoah Victims

Also from Cronaca, news that Yad Vashem has placed online its massive Database of Shoah Victims' Names

So far, it contains biographical information for three million people.


Housekeeping thoughts to fellow contributors: should we get a blogroll going?

Bevin Boys

A Herald article about the 'Bevin Boys', young men conscripted to work in the coal mines between 1943 and 1948.

They are the forgotten heroes of the second world war, conscripted to serve in the armed forces but forced to do their service under brutal, dangerous conditions in Britain's coal mines...

The Scottish Mining Museum in Newtongrange, Midlothian, is now trying to build up an oral history of the Bevin Boys who worked in Scottish mines...

(Hat tip to Cronaca)

Monday, November 22, 2004

Austen, Burney, Finch et al

Ellen Moody's website covering:
"Anthony Trollope (1815-1882); Jane Austen (1775-1817); Sophie Cottin, née Marie Risteau (1770-1807); Frances (Fanny) Burney d'Arblay (1752-1840); Isabelle de Crousaz, baronne de Montolieu (1751-1832); Samuel Richardson (1689-1761); Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661- 1720); Vittoria Colonna (1492-1547); and Veronica Gambara (1485-1550). There are also sections organized by genre, era, and sources of the materials (publications, literary and academic lists, teaching materials)."

I'm particularly taken by the Anne Finch material, including a full biography here.

Waterloo's Legacy and other stories

Ed at Gnostical Turpitude has been busy finding interesting newspaper stories so we don't have to. A selection for historians:

A story in The Independent on the legacy of Waterloo.

A Times review of a book on 'absent-minded imperialists'.

The Washington Post (registration required) on The relationship between history and entertainment in Alexander the Great (the latest piece of Ancient Hollywood)

And while I think of it, Jason Kuznicki at Positive Liberty discusses reactions to the Alexander film, developing into a discussion of homosexuality in the ancient world, modern 'gayness' and Foucault.

Dead Socialist Watch

The Virtual Stoa (cool political blog) has a long-running series of mini-biographies (with handy links) of Dead Socialists. Some famous, some you may never have heard of. Recent examples:

Jack London, author

Caroline Benn, educationalist

Robert Owen, utopian socialist

Playing cards 1679

Men and women of late 17th-century England lived in the shadow of the British Civil wars . During the frequent periods of political crisis under the later Stuarts some people feared a return to the bad old days. If you want to read more about that Andrew Lacey's The Cult of King Charles the Martyr is a good place to start. It's interesting to note that preoccupations with the civil wars translated themselves into the production of material goods like these playing cards of 1679. There's a lot more to say on this fascinating subject but it's been a long day and my dinner's burning under the grill. I'd love to hear if anyone has anything to add.

Abduction of women during the partition

I've just been listening to the latest edition of Sleeping with the enemy on BBC Radio 4. This week's episode told the story of the thousands of Hindu, Sikh and Muslim women who were abducted during the partition of India and Pakistan. It was a fascinating and moving programme. This evening's edition about spies who used sex as a tool looks good as well.


Brdgt of Fear of a Female Planet has an entry about the the problematic four decade study of Syphilis in African-American men.
Implicit in this are two major assumptions 1) these men would never seek treatment on their own 2) they never had any intention of treating them (there was a treatment for syphilis available in 1932, and a cure after World War II). It's findings were published in various respected journals. There was no outrage until 1972. Why did the study go on for so long when the findings were essentially "untreated syphilis causes death?"
Medicine, USA, 20th Century

Holocaust Literature

A history of the writing and publication of Irène Némirovsky's Suite Française, a novel written during and about the Holocaust in France. (New York Times, free subscription required)
... It has been acclaimed because it is a finely made work of fiction that portrays occupied France with both severity and sympathy. It is also written with extraordinary detachment by a woman who seemed to know that her own days were numbered. This month it won the Renaudot literary prize ...
Western Europe, Holocaust

Honour killings

Following from my post on this subject on my own blog yesterday, the Kurdish Women's Action Against Honour Killings has some useful-looking resources on the subject.

Asian/Mideastern studies

Eastern Studies database
"EasternStudiesDatabase.com is an apolitical, non-profit, independent, educational resource which provides professionally researched course materials for educators and students within the areas of Asian and Mideastern Studies."

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Isaac Newton

Linker extraordinaire, scribblingwoman, brought us some magnificent Newton resources a couple of days ago, inspired by learning of an exhibition at New York Public Library, The Newtonian Moment, which runs until next February.

See also Newton's Alchemy, recreated

And while we're in the Science section, there is this website on Order from Chaos: Linnaeus Disposes

Europe, History of Science, early modern

Stasi romeos

From The Guardian, sex, love and espionage during the Cold War.

Gabriele Kliem was engaged to her 'dream man' for seven years. But all along he was a Stasi agent, whose job it was to seduce women into handing over secret documents. Linda Pressly on the Stasi 'romeos' who haunted West Germany during the cold war...
Germany, 20th century, Cold War

So who was Arthur Cleveland Coxe?

The author of The Chimes of England, Arthur Cleveland Coxe (1818-1896), was the second Bishop of Western New York from 1865 to 1896. Apparently bishops in those days were like popes or English monarchs - you don't get them to retire, they go on and on and on till they're promoted to glory.

Also see A Vision of Britain through time and The Chimes of England.

(I changed the template. I hope nobody minds. This one's just a suggestion)

Extra reading

The Directory of Open Access Journals boasts 37 history journals and four archaeology journals, here. The Philosophy and religion sections might also be of interest, also law and political science.
Set aside an hour or two!

Counting the pennies

From the 18th-century email list, a site where you can calculate the total of coins in pre-decimal England.

History blog round

I suspect that the correct name is "Sampson". Jim has problems with early modern handwriting that we can all sympathise with.

Experiences of a Korean War Veteran. From Greg.

Sepoy brings us South Asian historians fighting it out old skool.

An interesting post from Konrad at Frog in a Well the Japanese history group blog.

Art Historian Linda Murray remembered. From Renaissance weblog.

The Great Vowel shift. From Language Hat.

Lady Mary Shepherd's Causal theory. From Brandon.

The Ottoman Khilafa. From Miland.

And finally, don't forget to look at these blogs if you can read Portuguese.

Celebrating Martin Luther

From the Idaho Examiner Blog:

Martin Luther - A Legacy of Courage by Paula West

One outstanding November date in addition to Thanksgiving is the birth of Martin Luther. When he came into the world on November 10, 1483, there was no way that his parents could have foretold the tremendous impact that their son and his work would have on the lives of people in their time or on the lives of generations of people yet to come.
Europe, Reformation, Biography

Teaching history of philosophy

By Michael Cholbi at Metatome, The history survey RIP?

I’d like to know people’s thoughts about a ubiquitious feature of most university’s philosophy curricula, the history of philosophy survey course. Usually, these courses are meant to cover a particular era of the history of Western philosophy (ancient, medieval, early modern, nineteenth century, etc.). I’ve also heard of courses simply entitled ‘History of Philsophy,’ which strikes me as comical in its ambition. I’ve taught early modern several times, and am teaching ancient philosophy this quarter. I’ve enjoyed teaching these courses, but I’ve come to have reservations about the coherence of the history survey course as a way of dispensing knowledge about philosophy and its history...
History of philosophy, early modern, teaching

Saturday, November 20, 2004

History Book Reviews

For those looking for something to read this week, The Guardian has (as usual on a Saturday) plenty of book reviews to consider.

The suffering and the glory. Adam Thorpe enjoys Alistair Horne's Friend or Foe, an account of the turbulent history of France.

Money made the world go around. The 14th-century mercenaries that people Frances Stonor Saunders's Hawkwood remind Anthomy Sampson of our own troubled times.

A tale of idiocy, fear and suspicion. Nicholas Lezard salutes Graham Robb's thoughtful and enlightening Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century.

Europe, medieval and modern

Anniversary of Liberation of Alsace

Resistance en Alsace-Moselle (Newspaper Article summarizing a conference that took places this week, in French)

Note: this link will disappear in a few days. I have provided an extended quote that is within the bounds of fair use. Contact me if you would like a full copy of the article.
Le colloque, organisé au CIARUS à Strasbourg, par la fondation Entente franco-allemande, met en évidence les différentes actions de résistance, active ou non, des Alsaciens-Mosellans pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Les réactions de la nombreuse assistance, composée notamment de témoins de cette époque tragique, montrent que les plaies ne sont pas toujours refermées. Mais, le colloque, qui se termine ce samedi matin, a le mérite de tenter de replacer ces événements dans une perspective historique au delà de la simple mémoire ...

... Entre 1942 et 1945, 100 000 Alsaciens et 30 000 Mosellans ont été incorporés de force. D'après Eugène Riedweg (Mulhouse), « cela représentait pour l'Allemagne l'ultime étape de la nazification et de la germanisation. » Un dixième de la population alsacienne était touchée et toutes ses classes sociales concernées.
Le combat des Malgré nous contre une cause qui n'était pas la leur était particulièrement difficile étant donné l'annexion et le régime policier imposé jusque dans le moindre petit village. « La résistance, avant tout individuelle et affaire de circonstances, réclamait, selon E. Riedweg, beaucoup de courage et de soutien à cause des risques encourus par eux-mêmes et leurs familles. » ...
Western Europe, Second World War

English Renaisance Man

Henry Winstanley by Claire at Early Modern Print Culture
... He began his career as an engraver but became well known for the strange mechanical devices at his house in Littlebury in Essex. These apparently included a joke chair with moveable arms that imprisoned anyone who sat in it. He also ran a place of entertainment called the Water Theatre or Winstanley's Waterworks at the lower end of Piccadilly ...
Western Europe, 17th Century, Biography

History of Fallujah, Iraq

Fallujah 101: a history lesson about the town we are destroying by Rashid Khalidi at In these times

Note: mostly politics with good background information.
There is a small City on one of the bends of the Euphrates that sticks out into the great Syrian Desert. It’s on an ancient trade route linking the oasis towns of the Nejd province of what is today Saudi Arabia with the great cities of Aleppo and Mosul to the north. It also is on the desert highway between Baghdad and Amman. This city is a crossroads.
Middle East

Social Origins of Dictatorship in Pakistan

Pakistan's Barelvis and Deobandis by Joel at Far Outliers

... Deoband is a town a hundred miles north of Delhi and a madrasa was established there in 1867. It brought together many Muslims who were not only fiercely hostile to British rule but also committed to a literal and austere interpretation of Islam. The founders of the madrasa saw modern technology as nothing more than a method by which the people of the West kept Muslims in subjugation ...

South Asia, 19thC and 20th Centuries

Genocide in Cambodia

Who was buried in Pol Potter's Field? by Joel at Far Outliers

Analysts can provide a range of answers as to why a group of Cambodians who were fervent followers of what they understood to be Maoist thought presided over the death through execution, forced labour and starvation of up to two million of their compatriots ...
South Asia, 20th Century

Friday, November 19, 2004