tells "the fascinating story of smuggling in 18th and 19th century Britain, when high taxes led to an dramatic increase in illegal imports. As the 'free trade'" grew, smugglers openly landed contraband in full view of the customs authorities: columns of heavily-armed thugs protected the cargoes." Includes a gazetteer with Google maps links so you can scope out some lonely cove
to land contraband of your own in the footsteps of your forefathers and introduces you to famous smugglers
like Isaac Gulliver
, who never killed a man in a long career. Though of course, it was an enterprise where things often would turn ugly
posted by Abiezer
on Oct 9, 2008 -
epic poem Idylls of the King,
Lyonesse is the place where the final, epoch-shattering battle between Mordred
and King Arthur
takes place. In the older Arthurian romances, Lyonesse
is the birthplace of Sir Tristan
, and it is supposed to have bordered Cornwall
in the southwest of England. No historical evidence of Lyonnesse has been found, and the academic consensus seems to be that the French author
of the Prose Tristan
got his British geography catastrophically wrong, and that he really meant Lothian in Scotland.
that Lyonesse was a real realm which once reached from the Scilly Islands
to Land´s End.
The people of Penzance
and southwestern Cornwall certainly seem fond of stories about sunken lands
, church bells in the deep
, and drowned forests.
According to family legend
, the ancestor of the local Trevelyan family
was a sole survivor who rode across the causeway to Cornwall as Lyonesse crumbled into the sea behind him.
posted by the_unutterable
on Sep 27, 2008 -
, the same British conservative think tank who brought you reports such as the tastefully titled The Hijacking of British Islam
), have released a new report, Cities Limited
(pdf), which states that the only solution for people living in the North of Britain - where unemployment and poverty are high - is to abandon their homes and move south
. Leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, minced no words in his response: "This report is rubbish from start to finish
. I think the author himself said it might be a bit barmy. It is barmy. I gather he's off to Australia. The sooner he gets on the ship the better." Conservative bloggers have been very quick to distance themselves from the report, some going as far as to blame it on Liberal Democrats
. Co-author of the report, Tim Leunig, a lecturer in economic history at the London School of Economics, defends his position
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing
on Aug 14, 2008 -
The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume Illustration
has drawings of uniforms and regimental regalia from all over the world. Assembled by one of these great, eccentric collectors of the late 19th Century, Dr. H. J. Vinkhuijzen, a Dutch medical doctor who started out as an army physician and eventually rose to the position of official court physician to Prince Alexander of Netherlands. He pulled plates out of books, colored in black and white drawings and painted his own watercolor illustrations. His collection includes pictures of the soldiers of many different nations and eras
, from military superpowers like the Roman Empire
and Great Britain
, to lesser known, but no less formidable forces, like Byzantium
and even taking in such minnows as Luxembourg
, Monaco and Montenegro
. Due to Vinkhuijzen's unusual classification system it can be hard to find some of the more interesting images, such as pictures of Etruscan cavalry
, Spanish military musicians
and 1830's Belgian ambulance
posted by Kattullus
on Aug 4, 2008 -
Oh, I say old chap--do you mind not going all "immigrant
" on me, and spitting all over the place? Thank you very much
. (how Britain proposes to solve the problem of integrating its migrant population)
posted by hadjiboy
on Feb 6, 2008 -
is an excellent way to keep tabs on what's fresh in the British popular music scene without having to live in a rainsoaked armpit. There are four podcasts for you to download, the flagship Best of Unsigned Podcast
, Homegrown Mix with Ras Kwame
, Scotland Introducing
and BBC Radio Northampton's Weekender
. All feature bands that are either unsigned or just recently signed and the music ranges from hip hop to punk rock to what sounds awfully like the soundtrack for a NES game with half-hearted chanting over it. This is an excellent resource whether you're casual searcher for new songs or the kind of anorak who knows which British indie band was first to use an 808.
posted by Kattullus
on Nov 5, 2007 -
In October 1947, the directors of J. Lyons & Co
(think - teashops, nippies, bakeries, ice-creams, steakhouses, hotels, Wimpy Bars and Dunkin' Donuts), decided to take an active role in promoting the commercial development of computers.
In 1951 the LEO I
computer was operational and ran the world's first regular routine office computer job.
posted by tellurian
on Oct 1, 2007 -
David Oluwale arrived in Britain in 1949, one of many African immigrants. By the close of 1969, he was dead
. Two years later, two police officers were charged with his murder, although they got away almost scot-free despite a massive amount of evidence against them. Although it caused a national scandal at the time, more because of police malpractice than racism, Oluwale's sad story has been forgotten since (apart from a play, written by Jeremy Sandford
, a few years later). However, it deserves to be remembered not just because of a tragic and unnecessary death, but because it was the first recorded death of a British black person as a result of police racism
. A new book, Nationality: Wog, The Hounding of David Oluwale
is helping bring Oluwale's plight back into public consciousness. Via the BBC's Thinking Allowed.
posted by humblepigeon
on Jun 6, 2007 -
BBC News: "Gee, I just love your accent."
The American nation may be more wary of crossing borders, but their love affair with the British accent continues unabated. Despite the fact that there are multiple variants therein, and what may be considered a "low-class" accent in the UK is still considered a "high-class" posh accent in the US.
Naturally, the Brits will play this up to the hilt - and it may help in getting them jobs, credibility, Oscars and Emmys, by no less an authority than Stephen Fry
posted by badlydubbedboy
on Mar 21, 2007 -