439 posts tagged with england.
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And All That

"Harold’s death at Hastings by an arrow to the eye remains one of the most enduring ‘facts’ in English history. But this detail may have been the product of historians writing generations after 1066, and the Bayeux Tapestry, the most famous witness to Harold’s death, may not show the king being shot by an arrow at all." [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Oct 14, 2016 - 17 comments

God's Own Country: the nation of Yorkshire

Yorkshire is a county in t'north of England. It has a distinct range of dialects; for example 'nowt' means 'nothing', 'who?' means 'what?' and 'how are you?' is asked ... differently, with further variations across the county. Yorkshire is famous for its pudding, caustic cricket commentary, rhubarb, having its own day, one of the earliest surviving film fragments, the chocolate bar, poetry, tea, and ferret legging (alternative explanation). The anthem of Yorkshire, On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at, is about hats, death and cannibalism. Like other English regions, such as Cornwall and Wessex, Yorkshire has movements towards devolution, greater autonomy and ultimately independence. But what is the essence of Yorkshire? [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Sep 20, 2016 - 39 comments

The judges will handle your plums to check their size and consistency

In Sutton Bonington you can milk a cow or toss a sheaf, in Stoke Hammond admire tomatoes of a substantive nature, while Kelsale cum Carlton (real place) likes your rude vegetables (page 8) and Axmouth gives you the option of trimming your onions or not. Meanwhile, Barlaston has a vegimal category, Broomhill asks 'Are your buns even better than Nigella’s?' while in free-spirited Radcliffe on Trent, the Homemade Scones Bake Off has 'no rules'. At one extreme, Lambley Village have a Victoria Sponge category requiring three eggs, jam filling and caster sugar, while at the other Stretham simply wants 'Cake'. And Grimsargh? The inevitable category for 'An Unusual Shape Fruit or Vegetable!'. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Sep 16, 2016 - 25 comments

"he can also be a loudmouth whose favourite subject is his own rights"

Court judgments are often long, dense and full of legal jargon. But in the English Family Court case of Lancashire County Council v A & B Mr Justice Peter Jackson has given a judgment carefully written to so that the children involved, and their mother, can understand it. [more inside]
posted by Major Clanger on Sep 14, 2016 - 62 comments

2016 Christmas shopping: underway

As the (northern hemisphere) summer rapidly disappears, the nights draw in and temperatures plummet, so the English are Christmas shopping. Seasonal foods appear on shelves, while the Selfridges Christmas store is now open and big supermarkets flag the approaching holiday. At Harrods, the Christmas range has been launched, while in Derbyshire Christmas pudding production is ramping up, and inns and hotels in towns such as Durham compete for Christmas Day meal bookings. For shoppers too impatient to wait, the 2014 British video game "Christmas Shopper Simulator" (play through). Days to go.
posted by Wordshore on Aug 3, 2016 - 43 comments

"... and rough beasts come slouching through it to be born."

"British politics has never seen a purer example of the Overton window than the referendum on membership of the EU." Brexit Blues, John Lanchester for LRB [more inside]
posted by cwest on Aug 1, 2016 - 29 comments

Tired of the Treachery and Political Confusion of the 21st C?

If so, you can revel in the continual treachery and political confusion of the long history of England in its assorted forms via the History of England Podcast. The genial and enthusiastic David Crowther works his way through the tumultuous course of events, only occasionally enlisting his children to put on amateur theatricals to illustrate some dramatic moment or other. [more inside]
posted by GenjiandProust on Jul 10, 2016 - 12 comments

"Hello. Could we cut your grass?"

Kidlington is a quiet little suburb in Oxfordshire, England. Well, it was quiet until tourists mysteriously started showing up for no reason.
posted by JoeZydeco on Jul 7, 2016 - 64 comments

"We wear flashy boots."

So why is it we still call him an idiot? Why is it when a semi-professional footballer is done for drug dealing, Sterling’s face is used to sell the story on social media?
Carl Anka: We need to talk about Raheem Sterling.
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 1, 2016 - 21 comments

How to grow a Weetabix

How to grow a Weetabix. James Meek writes in the LRB about food, farming, conservation and the Brexit debate.
posted by tavegyl on Jun 14, 2016 - 7 comments

Mapping Decline in Regional Diversity of English Dialects

Professor David Britain from the University of Bern added: “People in Bristol speak much more similarly to those in Colchester now than they did fifty years ago. Regional differences are disappearing, some quite quickly. However, while many pockets of resistance to this levelling are shrinking, there is still a stark north-south divide in the pronunciation of certain key words.”
posted by veedubya on May 28, 2016 - 24 comments

"Of Albions glorious Ile the Wonders whilst I write"

Poly-Olbion is a cycle of 30 poems describing England and Wales, county by county, composed by Michael Drayton in the late 16th and early 17th Centuries. It was published in two parts, 1612 and 1622, along with sumptuous black and white maps engraved by William Hole meant to be colored in by its buyers. Now Poly-Olbion will be republished as a coloring book entitled Albions Glorious Ile. The Poly-Olbion Project website is worth exploring, as well as its blog and tumblr.
posted by Kattullus on May 21, 2016 - 7 comments

"The best. Of any sport. Anywhere."

It's time to sit back for two hours of non-stop cricket action, collected here for the first time on video: Classic ('80s) Test Finishes, hosted by Richie Benaud. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim on May 20, 2016 - 21 comments

“My name is Sadiq Khan and I’m the mayor of London!”

Sadiq Khan, “a Labour Party leader, a former human rights lawyer and a son of a bus driver from Pakistan” has been elected Mayor of London with “the largest personal mandate of any politician in UK history.”
Acceptance Speech. A March profile in The New Statesman.
His rival, Zac Goldsmith, “accused Khan of ‘pandering to extremists’.” In an op-ed in The Guardian on lessons learned during the campaign, Khan has referred to the Tories as ‘using tactics “straight out of the Donald Trump playbook.” They were also decried by the Tory-affiliated Conservative Muslim Forum.
posted by Going To Maine on May 7, 2016 - 68 comments

Is the globalization of football making English football stronger or just weirder?

This Premier League season has been insane. What the stories of other over-performing smaller clubs and failing giants telling us about English football now. [more inside]
posted by General Malaise on May 7, 2016 - 16 comments

Rankin-Bass Presents “The Wicker Man”

Radiohead have released a video for “Burn The Witch”, the lead single off of their upcoming album. It was directed by Chris Hopewell.
posted by Going To Maine on May 3, 2016 - 88 comments

Leicester City: Dirty Dozen or Harvard Case Study?

With three matches to go, Leicester stands seven points clear at the top of the Premier League. If I had bet on Leicester, I would need to keep the ticket in a bank vault: it will be worth 100,000 pounds if the team wins just one of its remaining three games (and Leicester may not even need to do that if the second-placed team, Tottenham Hotspur, slips up). Earlier this month, fearful bookmakers started offering Leicester fans the chance to cash in their betting slips early for around 75 percent of their potential value. [more inside]
posted by veedubya on Apr 27, 2016 - 67 comments

Even though ye are naughty, I still luv ye... aye!

Who is this naughty raven? It's Izzie of the Knaresborough Castle Ravens. Read about the adventures of Izzie and her fellow ravens on their website: "One Saturday I was busy chatting to a local resident when Izzie decided to get up to mischief, she spotted a potential victim and like a spider drawing a fly into its web, Izzie did like wise with this poor unsuspecting visitor..." [more inside]
posted by bobobox on Apr 21, 2016 - 12 comments

Order! Ordaaaar!

The northern UK Member of Parliament, Dennis Skinner, attacked David Cameron in Prime Minister's Questions this week, and was thrown out of the chamber for refusing to take back the blistering epithet - Dodgy Dave. [more inside]
posted by Stark on Apr 15, 2016 - 28 comments

“To begin with I was hoping it was just a phase.”

What should we do about paedophiles? by Sophie Elmhirst [The Guardian] They have committed unspeakable crimes that demand harsh punishment. But most will eventually be set free. Are we prepared to support efforts to rehabilitate them? [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Mar 2, 2016 - 37 comments

Finance, old wood, and flame

How do you make a secure record of a debt or exchange if you can't read or write? Cut a number of notches across a stick to symbolize the assets involved, then split the wood lengthwise: you now have two tamper-proof receipts, one for each party to the transaction. The split tally method formed the basis for much of European bookkeeping between medieval times and the modern era. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Feb 25, 2016 - 20 comments

Marriage is like money – seem to want it, and you’ll never get it

'Silver Fork' or Fashionable Novels are the largely forgotten English popular novels of the 1820s and 30s which depicted aristocratic life and scandals as a how-to guide for rising middle-class readers while also exploring growing political and class anxieties in the post-Regency. Advice on how to romance, eat, party and raise children like a member of the upper class from Silver Fork novels via Bizarre Victoria (previously).
posted by The Whelk on Jan 15, 2016 - 7 comments

Maribou State: "We don’t set out to make celestial, sublime music"

The duo of Maribou State have come a long way from impressing Fatboy Slim with their remix of Praise You that landed them on his label. Last year, they dropped their debut album, Portraits (YT playlist, Bandcamp), "occupying a space somewhere between ambient electronic and a more house-nodding, four on the floor sensibility," and they had the honor of getting the first Essential Mix for 2016 (Mixcloud; Soundcloud). “We don’t set out to make celestial, sublime music. We aim for something more uptempo and less atmospheric. But that’s the way it comes out.[more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 9, 2016 - 4 comments

"It's really hard to mess up a Yorkshire Pudding"

There's a lot of folk wisdom and myths surrounding baking Yorkshire puddings, so J. Kenji López-Alt decided to test them all and figure out which (if any) are true.. Previous perfect puddings post.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 28, 2015 - 54 comments

Hail Hail The Royal Mail

A German Christmas card with just "England" on the envelope has reached the right address in Gloucestershire.
posted by marienbad on Dec 25, 2015 - 32 comments

Capturing Northern Rail, one station at a time

Scott Willison has been diligently visiting and "collecting" train stations in Northern England on his blog Round The North We Go for the past 8 years; he first started with Merseyrail, but later expanded to include every station on the Northern Rail map. The end is finally in sight, just as Arriva takes over the Northern Rail franchise next year. (Important note: Scott is not a trainspotter.)
posted by plasticpalacealice on Dec 24, 2015 - 7 comments

The Luttrell Psalter Film

The Luttrell Psalter is a mid-14th century English illuminated manuscript containing a large number of illustrations of everyday life in medieval England. In 2008 the Psalter was adapted into a 20 minute short film for The Collection Museum in Lincoln, drawing on 35 scenes from the manuscript. There is also a blog describing the making of the film. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Dec 21, 2015 - 4 comments

"A bold race bred there, battle-happy men causing trouble & torment"

“So at Christmas in this court I lay down a challenge: / If a person here present, within these premises, / Is big or bold or red-blooded enough / To strike me one stroke and be struck in return, / I shall give him a gift of this gigantic cleaver / and the axe shall be his to handle how he likes. / I'll kneel, bare my neck and take the first knock. / So who has the gall? The gumption? The guts? / Who’ll spring from his seat and snatch this weapon? / I offer the axe — who’ll have it as his own? / I’ll afford one free hit from which I won't flinch, / and promised that 12 months will pass in peace, / then claim / the duty I deserve in one year and one day. / Does no one have the nerve to wager in this way? [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 10, 2015 - 14 comments

"with the door locked; because of the morals of the maids’’

Sex, Death and Mushrooms
posted by telstar on Nov 8, 2015 - 24 comments

This day is called the Feast of Crispian

The battle of Agincourt was fought on a muddy field in northern France 600 years ago on Sunday – St Crispin’s Day, October 25th 1415. Legend says Agincourt was won by arrows. It was not. It was won by men using lead-weighted hammers, poleaxes, mauls and falcon-beaks, the ghastly paraphernalia of medieval hand-to-hand fighting. It was fought on a field knee-deep in mud, and it was more of a massacre than a battle. [more inside]
posted by PlusDistance on Oct 25, 2015 - 63 comments

Apparition, by Stealing Sheep

The new song and video by the psychedelic pop band from Liverpool is on Vimeo and YouTube. A discussion of the video, with screenshots and storyboards. The Stealing Sheep website and twitter; also, wikipedia. More on the video: Nowscopitone, Guardian, folkradiouk, Frontview. The video credits.
posted by Wordshore on Oct 17, 2015 - 19 comments

Six Degrees of a Different Bacon

Six Degrees of Francis Bacon. Collaboratively mapping connections in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England. (Via)
posted by immlass on Oct 15, 2015 - 9 comments

Cake is one of the major food groups

Scott Waters is a 66 year old American, artist, photographer and ex-Apple Computer employee. He recently took a trip in England (Portreath, Redruth, Wadebridge, Padstow, Ashby de la Zouch, Little Eton, and Oxford) and listed his observations on Facebook. It went viral; coverage in Cosmopolitan, Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph, and the Metro. Naturally, some people disagree. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Oct 6, 2015 - 254 comments

CORBYN CRONY'S LUST FOR BLOOD

Can You Survive A Week As Jeremy Corbyn? The press hates you, lots of your party hates you – can you make it through a week without resigning? (NSFW, Buzzfeed, Choose Your Own Adventure format)
posted by Wordshore on Oct 3, 2015 - 33 comments

A particular emphasis on the word "dread"

Dreadpunk feels like a perfectly natural term for the recent trend in Gothic-inspired horror and fantasy. Typified by the popular series Penny Dreadful, the word implies a subversive take on fog-drenched Victoriana, tales of the supernatural mixed with late 19th-century aesthetics, and the recent wave of Gothic horror like The Woman In Black and Crimson Peak.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 24, 2015 - 38 comments

True Tube Topography

Thanks to a Freedom of Information request, Transport for London have released a geogrphically-accurate map of the tube. [PDF] [more inside]
posted by schmod on Sep 18, 2015 - 22 comments

The game they play in heaven

The eighth Rugby World Cup (@) kicks off tomorrow in England (and Wales), contested by twenty qualifying teams. While the All Blacks are unbackable (5/4) favourites to be the first team to retain Bill, the Cup is equally a celebration of the diverse world rugby family, offering the minnows a chance to pit themselves against the best. [more inside]
posted by wilful on Sep 17, 2015 - 76 comments

"it was very embarrassing at the time"

Great 1977 video interview with Mrs. Jessie Roestenberg describing a 1954 UFO experience in Staffordshire, West Midlands, England. This blog post shows part of a 1959 newspaper clipping with a photo of Mrs. Roestenberg (presumably from 1954, going by the apparent age of her children in the photo; click image for larger view), and a drawing she made of what she reported seeing, as well as an undated, unsourced photo of the by-now-elderly Mrs. Roestenberg holding an artist's rendering of the figures she described. [more inside]
posted by taz on Sep 17, 2015 - 24 comments

GCHQ and Me

My Life Unmasking British Eavesdroppers. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Aug 20, 2015 - 14 comments

A different breakfast every day

Breakfast -- Eating the World Every Morning is a series of dispatches about breakfast around the world. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Aug 18, 2015 - 35 comments

“Neoliberal England is a boring dystopia. Here’s why.”

The Evil of Banality
The writer, theorist and academic Mark Fisher recently set up a Facebook page called ‘Boring Dystopia’, and invited the submission of photographs of Britain in the 21st century to illustrate the concept. I’ve already uploaded a few snaps, as manifestations of dullness and decay have long been an interest of mine, particularly the places where the banal and the broken intersect, and the true, terrible, tedious horror of modern life is revealed.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 7, 2015 - 40 comments

Sanctuary! Sanctuary!

"So you are in 13th century England and you’ve been accused of, or maybe have actually committed, a murder. To be taken into custody and tried would likely result in execution, so you need to go to ground, fast." What do you do? Run to a church and claim sanctuary! [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Jul 27, 2015 - 35 comments

Goscelin, patron saint of academics on contingent, short-term contracts

Eleanor Parker of A Clerk of Oxford writes Public Engagement and Personal Enthusiasm, St Mildred and Me
I can't say how far the personal inspired the scholarly interest, or the other way around - perhaps I was drawn to Mildred because I'm from Thanet, or perhaps studying Mildred has made me more interested in Thanet's Saxon history, which I didn't really know about or think about when I actually lived there. It's probably a bit of both. Who can explain why they're drawn to the subject they study?
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 20, 2015 - 3 comments

"The desert snail at once awoke and found himself famous"

In the mid-1800s, a snail spent years glued to a specimen card in the British Museum (now the Natural History Museum) before scientists realized it was still alive. What became of this snail? Ask Metafilter found out! [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack on Jul 14, 2015 - 55 comments

"The consistency of your dishonesty is positively breathtaking"

In 2004 Ashley Mote stood as a European Parliament candidate for the anti-EU right-wing UK Independence Party on a platform of opposing corruption. Elected, his standing with UKIP was withdrawn when the party discovered he was being prosecuted for benefit fraud, for which he was later convicted despite attempting to invoke immunity from prosecution. But that offence was dwarfed by the expenses fraud he committed as an MEP. In May this year, Mote was convicted of embezzling nearly half a million pounds, and today he was sentenced to five years in prison. Mr Justice Stuart-Smith did not exactly mince his words when handing down sentence.
posted by Major Clanger on Jul 13, 2015 - 32 comments

A Ruff To Remember

21 Things Only 1590s Kids Will Understand!
posted by The Whelk on Jun 24, 2015 - 35 comments

"There are mussels, whelks, oysters, cockles, limpits, razor shells"

The Mystery of the Margate Shell Grotto [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 8, 2015 - 10 comments

And nobody used this for a fantasy novel yet?

So it turns out rather than religious fanatics unused to the freedom found in Holland, New England was actually founded by a bunch of Anglo-Saxon sell swords who had fled the British Isles after the Norman invasion on land given by a grateful byzantine emperor on the north-east coast of the Black Sea. Confused? Intrigued? Let Dr. Caitlin R. Green explain and set out the evidence for the existence of a 11th century New England/Nova Anglia.
posted by MartinWisse on May 27, 2015 - 32 comments

The eeriness of the English countryside

Robert Macfarlane, in The Guardian: In music, literature, art, film and photography, as well as in new and hybrid forms and media, the English eerie is on the rise. A loose but substantial body of work is emerging that explores the English landscape in terms of its anomalies rather than its continuities, that is sceptical of comfortable notions of “dwelling” and “belonging”, and of the packagings of the past as “heritage”, and that locates itself within a spectred rather than a sceptred isle. Such concerns are not new, but there is a distinctive intensity and variety to their contemporary address. This eerie counter-culture – this occulture – is drawing in experimental film-makers, folk singers, folklorists, academics, avant-garde antiquaries, landscape historians, utopians, collectives, mainstreamers and Arch-Droods alike, in a magnificent mash-up of hauntology, geological sentience and political activism. The hedgerows, fields, ruins, hills and saltings of England have been set seething. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Apr 26, 2015 - 57 comments

Dave or Ed? The 2015 UK General Election

In just 12 days, the 2015 general election for the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) takes place. On the surface, the math is simple: there are 650 seats, so winning 326 gives you a simple majority. In the previous parliament, governance was through a coalition of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. But this time, predicting who will be Prime Minister, or have the most seats, or what form the government will take, is ... complicated. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Apr 25, 2015 - 110 comments

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