France is losing Algeria. It’s lost Indochina. Sure, it’s culturally very productive, with Nouvelle Vague
cinema at its height and existential philosophy gaining ground in the world at large. But to the nation of Napoléon and to one that preferred to emphasise the Résistance in its more recent history, that wasn't enough. What to do? Why, propose political union with Britain, of course.
posted by Aidan Kehoe
on Jan 15, 2007 -
Henry's Machyn's sixteenth-century Chronicle
was nearly destroyed in an eighteenth-century fire, but editors Richard W. Bailey, Marilyn Miller, and Colette Moore have just published a new online scholarly edition, comprising both a reconstructed text (thanks to the very posthumous assistance of John Strype) and images of all the pages. There are several other sixteenth- and seventeenth-century diaries and chronicles online, including Dana F. Sutton's edition of William Camden's Diary
(in both Latin and English), J. G. Nichols' Victorian edition of the Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London
, and the Earls Colne project
's transcription of the diary of clergyman Ralph Josselin
. (Machyn link via the very handy Textual Studies, 1500-1800
posted by thomas j wise
on Dec 11, 2006 -
The Memorial Gardens in Surrey has a pigeon problem, and has hired a marksman to come to town & conduct a three year program of pigeon sniping to resolve the issue. The people of Surrey respond, via some of the funniest letters to the newspaper I've ever read
(letters published at the bottom of the article).
posted by jonson
on Dec 6, 2006 -
is an all too brief Flickr Photoset of Penguin Book cover designs from decades past. For those interested, this book
is highly recommended.
posted by jonson
on Oct 24, 2006 -
The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called for a purge
of liberal and secular teachers from the country's universities. Now that this former rogue nation has fallen
, we can turn out attention to the real terrorist threat: Britain
posted by thirteenkiller
on Sep 5, 2006 -
After the Romans left
Britain was divided into a number of Celtic kingdoms
that fought with each other and, increasingly, with the Germanic invaders
we know as "Anglo-Saxons." The most famous alleged defender of Celtic Britain, of course, is King Arthur
, but he's more myth than history. What catches my imagination is The Gododdin
, by Aneurin
), an epic lament for the band of men who gathered at Eiddyn (Edinburgh, main town of Gododdin
) around the year 600 and headed south for a last-ditch battle against the Saxons at Catraeth (probably Catterick
in northern Yorkshire), where they were wiped out. One contingent was from Elmet
(Elfed in the poem), a kingdom that had been holding the line against the invaders in what's now Yorkshire; once Elmet was conquered, there was no stopping them. And all of this history was basic to the poetry of David Jones
, one of the best unknown poets of the previous century, and important to one of the best known, Ted Hughes
with photos). "Men went to Catraeth, familiar with laughter. The old, the young, the strong, the weak."
posted by languagehat
on Aug 31, 2006 -
90 years ago today, whistles blew around the river Somme in France as British troops prepared for an attack on German trenches. By the end of the day they had suffered 57,470 casualties. By the battle's end in November, there were over 600,000 Allied casualties, with perhaps the same number of German casualties. The Imperial War Museum
has launched an online exhibition, where you can find out more about how the battle was planned, personal stories
of those involved, and myths
about the attack. Elsewhere you can find copies of Army reports on the first day
, look at film
of the attack, diaries and letters
home from the troops, go on tours
of the trenches
, listen to contemporary songs and music
inspired by the battle, and see some more modern responses
posted by greycap
on Jul 1, 2006 -
Ever wondered what old amounts of money would be worth today?
Or what you could buy with your current salary if you went back 200, 400, or 600 years? Now you can find out with a tool that converts English currency from 1270 onwards into today's prices. Based on Treasury records, it tells you that Mr Darcy's £10,000 a year would now be worth nearly £350,000, or that your house would only have to be worth the equivalent of £500 now to qualify for the vote after 1832.
posted by greycap
on Jun 28, 2006 -
by Badsey Council School children describing life in a market gardening community in 1933. A great insight into their lives and some excellent penmanship to boot. [via]
posted by tellurian
on Jun 19, 2006 -
Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads
Digital images, plus the occasional sound file, for the Bodleian's massive collection. In addition, Samuel Pepys
was an enormously important collector, and the Early Modern Center at UCSB has digitized his collection
--again, with some sound files. See also the Francis J. Child Ballads
, taken from Child's The English and Scottish Popular Ballads
. (For previous MeFi sojourns in the wonderful world of ballads, see here
, and here
posted by thomas j wise
on Apr 14, 2006 -
British soldiers filmed beating Iraqis.
A British tabloid has released footage showing British troops beating Iraqi rioters. The video, available in realplayer format
or Windows Media format
, was apparently taken by a British corporal, and shows at least eight British soldiers dragging four young rioters inside a British army compound, where they were repeatedly beaten with batons, boots and fists, and kicked in the genitals. Arab television and the BBC have since aired the footage.
posted by insomnia_lj
on Feb 13, 2006 -
BBC News: British unconvinced on evolution
"More than half the British population does not accept the theory of evolution, according to a survey.
Furthermore, more than 40% of those questioned believe that creationism or intelligent design should be taught in school science lessons."
Nice to know that the maxim for the UK being five years behind the US still holds true, more or less.
posted by badlydubbedboy
on Jan 26, 2006 -
Thanksgiving sucks. The English went on setting fire to wigwams of the village. They burned village after village to the ground. As one of the leading theologians of his day, Dr. Cotton Mather put it: "It was supposed that no less than 600 Pequot souls were brought down to hell that day." And Cotton Mather, clutching his bible, spurred the English to slaughter more Indians in the name of Christianity.
posted by j-urb
on Nov 24, 2005 -
In 2001 America destroyed
the Kabul offices of al-Jazeera with two smartbombs; officials said it was an accident. In 2003 America destroyed
the Baghdad offices of al-Jazeera with missiles; officials said it was an accident. Now, two British civil servants are on trial for leaking a memo revealing that Bush intended to bomb al-Jazeera... at their headquarters in allied Qatar
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Nov 22, 2005 -
The Portable Antiquities Scheme
is a voluntary effort to record archeological objects found by the U.K. public. Searchable database
of finds from the Paleolithic, through Roman times, up to the 18th-century. With images
, and an accompanying website for kids
posted by steef
on Nov 18, 2005 -
- central aim ... is to convey the richness and complexity of links
between Britain and South Asia, through the story of plants and people
posted by Gyan
on Nov 12, 2005 -