"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]
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]
Mark Twain reveals his surefire method for memorizing the reigns of the English monarchs. [more inside]
Richard III of England was interred today at Leicester Cathedral (official site for the burial). A New York woman was responsible for creating the traditional altar linens used in today's service. Richard III previously.
Chairs, they're everywhere these days. They seem simple enough, and they are indeed ancient in general existence. But it was the chest, the bench and the stool that were the ordinary seats used in everyday living, and the number of chairs which have survived from an earlier date is exceedingly limited. In China, chairs brought about a change in posture and display of hierarchy, and into the 17th century England, the chairs in a household reflected the social hierarchy for family and guests. Even into the 1970s, chairs served to mark hierarchy in the workplace, and it took an examination of workplace injuries, turn-overs and general productivity to re-evaluate how chairs were selected for office workers. [more inside]
"Margery Kempe was a self-proclaimed holy woman, visionary, mystic and medieval pilgrim. She is also unique because although she was not proficient at reading and writing, she was determined to record her visions, journeys and spiritual experiences. She dictated her book to a scribe of which only one copy survives, now housed in the British Library. Nearly everything we know about her comes from her book." -- Susan Abernethy writes about a woman we only know about because she wrote a tell-all autobiography.
On this day in 1819, 60,000 people turned out at St Peter's Field in Manchester for democracy...and the Yeomanry turned out for a massacre. [more inside]
In placing before my readers in the following pages the results of my twenty-five years’ experience of Rat-catching, Ferreting, etc., I may say that I have always done my best to accomplish every task that I have undertaken, and I have in consequence received excellent testimonials from many corporations, railway companies, and merchants. I have not only made it my study to discover the different and the best methods of catching Rats, but I have also taken great interest in watching their ways and habits, and I come to the conclusion that there is no sure way of completely exterminating the Rodents, especially in large towns. If I have in this work referred more particularly to Rat-catching in Manchester that is only because my experience, although extending over a much wider area, has been chiefly in that city, but the methods I describe are equally applicable to all large towns.
"I curse their head and all the hairs of their head; I curse their face, their brain (innermost thoughts)..." From the 14th to 16th Century, The Border Reivers turned the border regions between England and Scotland into "a permanent battleground" or lawless area much like the American Wild West. Learn more about these strange groups or cheer for the Rugby team.
The Life of King Edward the Confessor. A 13th century manuscript.