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  • 03/07/14--04:45: The Friday Digest 07/03/14
  • THP Friday digest 
     

    This week's update features 'walking corpse' delusion, the Victorian Titanic and the German centenary commemorations. 


    Gravestone


    * So far this year the First World War centenary commemorations have been high on the agenda for many people in the UK but in Germany people rarely visit First World War cemeteries and Germany's low-key plans for the centenary have been criticised, but why?

     

    The public attitude was not kind to conscientious objectors. Image from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-26190500





    Robert Corfield. Image from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-26126565


    An Aberystwyth hairdresser's death during the First World War has been officially recognised by the army nearly 100 years later. West Wales War Memorial Project (WWWMP) campaign researchers have won an eighteen-month battle to secure formal recognition for Gunner Robert Corfield.
     
     
    Pte Tandey VC DCM MM.JPG. Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Tandey
     
     
    * The remarkable story of Henry Tandey VC, best known as the British soldier who spared Hitler's life during the First World War
     

    Just how close did the world come to peace in 1914?
     
     

    dscn08521
     
     
    * From murderous saints to soldiers who cut off their own heads in battle, here's ten very weird history facts ... 


    Elephants hanging from hot-air balloons - Vintage Victorian Book Page Art Print Steampunk. Image from https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/162081864/elephants-hanging-from-hot-air-balloons?ref=shop_home_active_2

     

    Historical Honey round up the best historical finds on Etsy - I like the sound of the illustrations printed on pages from Victorian books ...


    RMS Tayleur Wrecking

     

    * The heroes and rogues of RMS Tayleur- the Victorian Titanic.

     

    Victorian Mining

     

     * Did Victorian prudery end female 'slavery' down the mines? 


     Adverts for cigarettes and tobacco products were once commonplace


    Leeds' 'ghost signs' bring the city's hidden past into plain view.


    Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) with his family in New York


    How accurate is 12 Years a Slave? Fact and fiction in one of the year's biggest blockbusters. 


    What would it be like to live in Bronze Age Britain? Rosemary Sutcliff's novels explore this and many other historical periods. Photograph: Sean Smith for the Guardian


    * Can you recommend historical fiction for children and teenagers which isn't about the world wars?


    Ashley Perez


    19 things women writers are sick of hearing ...


    blank page, coffee cup


    How to complete every writing project you start. Become a completion addict. 


    (Credit, Randy Yagi)


    The history of Mardi Gras.

     

    Stonehenge, Wiltshire

     

    Was Stonehenge a giant glockenspiel? A new study looks at the acoustic properties of the Stonehenge bluestones. 


    Enid Blyton.jpg

     

    The first exhibition of the work of author Enid Blyton opens in Newscastle, forty-five years after her death. 


    Terry Deary


    *  Terry Deary marks the twentieth anniversary of Horrible Histories by visiting a bookshop in Cumbria


    Xian Di Pipa Pu, reproduced by permission of the Master and Fellows of St John's College, University of Cambridge


    A book stored in Cambridge for the last two centuries has been identified as a rare record of early Chinese music. It is believed the book was printed in China at around 1770.


    iTunes U

     

    Could textbooks be replaced by iTunes U downloads? 


    Collapsed wall in Pompeii (2 March 2014)


    Damaged Pompeii is to receive emergency rescue fund to save the ancient city, after flooding caused walls to collapse


    The corpse of a lady wearing a ruff and an elaborate head-dress. Credit: Wellcome Library, London.


    Is this an eighteenth-century case of Cotard or 'walking corpse' delusion? 


    William Shakespeare

     

    The White Lady - was she the first of Shakespeare's lovers?


    World Book Day Fest

     

    * Thursday 6 March was World Book Day, with people celebrating their love of both print and ebooks. But which books would never be on your shelves and how should you organise the ones that are? 

     

    Stephen Page at last week’s UK Independent Publishers Guild with a photo of TS Eliot in an editorial meeting for his “Four Quartets.” 


    * Robert McCrum's controversial article claims that publishing as we knew it is dead with the credit crunch and the internet making writing the hardest it has ever been. Tom Morton's witty response is well worth a read, as is the Bookseller's
     

    UK independent publishers call for bolder experiments


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    Billericay is a very historic town whose origins go back to pre-historic times although for many years it was not an independent town, but was regarded as a hamlet of the village of Great Burstead; albeit a very large hamlet .  The town is connected with two important events in British history and one event that at the time attracted national and international attention.

    In the summer of 1381 some of the residents of Billericay took part in the Peasant’s Revolt against the unfair imposition by the Government of the day of a Poll Tax on the population of England.  It was in Norsey Wood just to the north of Billericay that the Peasants made their last desperate, but unsuccessful stand against the forces of the King.  During the 19th Century a workman who was digging gravel in the Wood found a ditch and a cave containing some charcoal and pieces of brick which may have been connected with the Peasants’ last stand.

     

    The Story of Billericay - Charles Phillips

     

    Billericay is also associated with the Mayflower Settlers of America. The Secretary of the Mayflower Settlers was Christopher Martin who came from the town and who also owned three properties in it.  Two of the properties were across the road from what is now the Chantry Café, and this is probably why the suggestion that he lived in that building arose.  Christopher Martin was a mercer  (linen draper) and a former church warden  of  Billericay’s then mother parish  Great Burstead, who it appears may have had differences with the vicar of the latter, William Pease, who was  a tenant of his and so turned Puritan and from there got involved with the Mayflower Settlers.  When Christopher Martin went to America with him also went his wife and his step-son.   During the mid 1920s there was a possibility that Christopher Martin’s supposed old home might be sold, dismantled and shipped to Boston in America and re-erected  there. The news of the possible sale, dismantling and shipping to America made national news and the matter was raised in Parliament in London.    Fortunately this did not happen. The Mayflower is commemorated in several ways in Billericay.  A likeness of it features on the town sign.  There is a Mayflower Hall in Billericay and one of the town’s secondary schools is named after the ship.

     

    The Story of Billericay - Charles Phillips

     

    During the First World War on the night of 23rd/24th September 1916 the German Zeppelin airship L32 was brought down just to the south of Billericay with the loss of its crew.  The place where the airship had crashed attracted great crowds who came not only from the immediate neighbourhood, but also further afield including London.  The Great Eastern Railway, which served Billericay, put on six special trains to enable people to go to the town to see the site of the crash.  In booking the large number of sightseers back home the town’s railway station ran out of tickets. The event was reported in newspapers throughout the world as well as in Britain.  One of the local newspapers serving Billericay, the Southend Standard, produced an illustrated supplement on the airship’s crash. The airman who was responsible for the destruction of the airship, Second Lieutenant Frederick Sowrey, Royal Flying Corps was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for having brought down the airship. 


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     The First World War in 100 Objects

     

    Peter Doyle will be at Waterstones, Manchester Deansgate on Saturday 22nd March from 2pm. He will be giving a talk and signing copies of his new book, The First World War in 100 ObjectsFor more information click here

    Objects allow us to reach out and touch the past and they play a living role in history today. Through them we can understand the experience of men and women during the First World War. They bear witness to the stories of men whose only morning comfort in the trenches was the rum ration, children who grew up with only one photograph of the father that they would never get to know, women who would sacrifice their girlhood in hospitals yards from the frontline, pinning a brooch on to remind themselves of a past life. Weapons like the machine gun and vehicles like the tank that transformed the battlefield; planes that had barely learnt to be flown entangled in dogfights far above the barbed wire of the frontline; German submarines that stalked shipping across the seas. Through these incredible artefacts, Peter Doyle tells the story of the First World War in a whole new light. 


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     The First World War in 100 Objects

     

    Peter Doyle will be at Waterstones, Liverpool One on Friday 21st March from 7pm. He will be giving a talk and signing copies of his new book, The First World War in 100 ObjectsFor more information click here

    Objects allow us to reach out and touch the past and they play a living role in history today. Through them we can understand the experience of men and women during the First World War. They bear witness to the stories of men whose only morning comfort in the trenches was the rum ration, children who grew up with only one photograph of the father that they would never get to know, women who would sacrifice their girlhood in hospitals yards from the frontline, pinning a brooch on to remind themselves of a past life. Weapons like the machine gun and vehicles like the tank that transformed the battlefield; planes that had barely learnt to be flown entangled in dogfights far above the barbed wire of the frontline; German submarines that stalked shipping across the seas. Through these incredible artefacts, Peter Doyle tells the story of the First World War in a whole new light. 


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     The First World War in 100 Objects

     

    Peter Doyle will be at Waterstones, Stratford-Upon-Avon on Thursday 20th March from 7pm. He will be giving a talk and signing copies of his new book, The First World War in 100 ObjectsFor more information click here

    Objects allow us to reach out and touch the past and they play a living role in history today. Through them we can understand the experience of men and women during the First World War. They bear witness to the stories of men whose only morning comfort in the trenches was the rum ration, children who grew up with only one photograph of the father that they would never get to know, women who would sacrifice their girlhood in hospitals yards from the frontline, pinning a brooch on to remind themselves of a past life. Weapons like the machine gun and vehicles like the tank that transformed the battlefield; planes that had barely learnt to be flown entangled in dogfights far above the barbed wire of the frontline; German submarines that stalked shipping across the seas. Through these incredible artefacts, Peter Doyle tells the story of the First World War in a whole new light. 


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     The First World War in 100 Objects

     

    Peter Doyle will be at Waterstones, Chichester on Wednesday 19th March from 7pm. He will be giving a talk and signing copies of his new book, The First World War in 100 ObjectsFor more information click here

    Objects allow us to reach out and touch the past and they play a living role in history today. Through them we can understand the experience of men and women during the First World War. They bear witness to the stories of men whose only morning comfort in the trenches was the rum ration, children who grew up with only one photograph of the father that they would never get to know, women who would sacrifice their girlhood in hospitals yards from the frontline, pinning a brooch on to remind themselves of a past life. Weapons like the machine gun and vehicles like the tank that transformed the battlefield; planes that had barely learnt to be flown entangled in dogfights far above the barbed wire of the frontline; German submarines that stalked shipping across the seas. Through these incredible artefacts, Peter Doyle tells the story of the First World War in a whole new light. 


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     The First World War in 100 Objects

     

    Peter Doyle will be at Waterstones, London Trafalgar on Tuesday 18th March from 7pm. He will be giving a talk and signing copies of his new book, The First World War in 100 ObjectsFor more information click here

    Objects allow us to reach out and touch the past and they play a living role in history today. Through them we can understand the experience of men and women during the First World War. They bear witness to the stories of men whose only morning comfort in the trenches was the rum ration, children who grew up with only one photograph of the father that they would never get to know, women who would sacrifice their girlhood in hospitals yards from the frontline, pinning a brooch on to remind themselves of a past life. Weapons like the machine gun and vehicles like the tank that transformed the battlefield; planes that had barely learnt to be flown entangled in dogfights far above the barbed wire of the frontline; German submarines that stalked shipping across the seas. Through these incredible artefacts, Peter Doyle tells the story of the First World War in a whole new light. 


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    Some of the biggest challenges that crop up when making lifestyle changes, however big or small, are related to motivation (or the lack thereof!) and maintaining your momentum can be one of the most difficult things to do. We asked our authors for their tips and they provided 12 top tips, to keep you motivated and on track with your goals. 

    1. Turn off the internet and avoid social networks. Facebook and Twitter are not your friend.

    2. Just start writing. The hardest part is getting started but you can’t edit what isn't there, so get something down on paper or on screen.

    3. Discipline is key. Think about your aims and write goals to reflect them.

    4. Practice makes perfect. Like any skill, writing needs to be done regularly to see any kind of improvement. Writing every day helps to keep you focused and ensures that you don’t stray from your objectives (see above)

    5. Stop writing when you are not quite through with what you want to say. Apparently Ernest Hemingway used this technique which he outlines in ‘A Moveable Feast’; “I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing; but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it”

    6. Enjoy what you are writing about. If you are genuinely passionate about your subject, it will show in your writing and it will be more engaging for your readers.

    7.Share your research with an interested audience and get some feedback. Whether it is positive or critical, it will help to refine your writing and improve your book.

    8. Working to a schedule with firm deadlines helps you focus; it is amazing how much easier it is to write when your deadline is looming!

    9. Being professional makes all the difference. Don’t just sit in your pyjamas to write, however tempting it may be, as your prose could end up as slovenly as your clothes…

    10. Saying that, flexibility is key. If a chapter isn't working, try focusing on another one to shake off that mental block. Doing other exciting things can also help shake you out of a creative stupor; and a visit to a key location can get those creative juices flowing!

    11. Have a genuine desire to share stories and remember history.

    12. Perhaps most importantly, reward yourself with good food and drink. Our authors suggest coffee, cookies or hot chocolate with a Flake…

     Join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter and share your tips for getting, and staying motivated.


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  • 03/14/14--04:45: The Friday Digest 14/03/14
  • THP Friday digest 
     

    This week's update features silk pyjamas, unlikely spies and a 182-year-old giant tortoise.

     

    Victory medal


    A victory medal from the First World War One has been found after forty years

     

     

    *  Poetry and literature were not the only art forms to be influenced by the chaos of war, but who were the four First World War composers to define the conflict?

     

    The report states: “Two (2) cats and a dog are under suspicion, as they have been in the habit of crossing our trenches at night; steps are being taken to trap them if possible.” Photo: ALAMY


    * It sounds like something from Blackadder Goes Forth but actuially happened on the Western Front during the war: First World War British intelligence officers suspected two cats and a dog of spying for the Germans.


    Henry Williamson


    Myth, memory and the First World War: the strange case of Henry Williamson


    Peter Doyle The First World War in 100 objects


    Direct from the trenches: the objects that defined the First World War


    Soldiers march along the front line trench of a newly discovered first world war mock battlefield in Gosport, Hampshire. Photograph: Ben Mitchell/PA


    * The First World War training battlefield discovered in Hampshire was found after Rob Harper, conservation officer at Gosport council, identified it from old aerial photographs. 


    Lucy Adlington in the silk pyjamas and boudoir cap


    * Milady's Boudoir shares her enthusiastic response to the 'History Wardrobe' Premiere: Women and The Great War



    * Recently there has been a lot of Italian fury surrounding the rifle ad that stars Michelangelo's David but should there be restrictions on how a country's cultural heritage is used?  


     

     


    * Scientists have digitally reconstructed a Renoir portrait with its original colours as they would have looked to the artist when he finished the painting in 1883, before the red pigments he used had faded.  

     

    George Cruikshank. Image from www.fineartamerica.com

     

    George Cruikshank: the man who drew Dickens's Artful Dodger.  

     

    Gunpowder plot. Image from Wikipedia


    * Five historical assassination attempts that went horribly wrong ...


    darkechronicles200

     

     * 'Crime Fiction Lover' reviews The Darke Chronicles: Tales of a Victorian Puzzle-Solver.  


    Doing the honours … detail from Triumph by Aleksandra Mir (2009). Image courtesy of the artist. Photograph: Aleksandra Mir/South London Gallery

     

     * The Guardian provides a round up of rivalrous literary awards.   


    In the era of the Kindle, a book costs the same price as a sandwich. Dennis Johnson, an independent publisher, says that “Amazon has successfully fostered the idea that a book is a thing of minimal value—it’s a widget.” Construction by Ian Wright.


    * George Packer asks if Amazon is bad for books? 


     Are we on first name terms yet? Matt Houlbrook ponders on what #twitterstorians should call their subjects.


     Are we on first name terms yet? Matt Houlbrook ponders on what #twitterstorians should call their subjects.


    An old advertising appearing on a wall in Kildonan Road, L17

     

    Liverpool's advertising history has been revealed in ghost signs across the city


    Jill Krementz's iconic photo of Stephen King.

     

    * Publishing Perspectives asks just how should you write? 


    What to expect from the first ever Sherlock convention


    Sherlocked: What to expect from the first ever Sherlock convention


    The Viking descendant population is much more prominent up in the northern parts of the British Isles

     

    Apparently a million Vikings still live among us, with one in thirty-three men claiming to be direct descendants from the Norse warriors.


    The first device I used with an internet connection


    * On the 25th anniversary of the world wide web, here are 25 things you may have forgotten about the internet ...


    Malorie Blackman Photo: Clara Molden


    * Malorie Blackman asks why are libraries mandatory in prisons but not schools?


    jane austen emma thubmnail


    * Is Jane Austen's Emma a girl for today? 

     Jonathan


    * Meet Jonathan, St Helena's 182-year-old giant tortoise

     

    Tony Benn


    * Former Cabinet minister and veteran left-wing campaigner Tony Benn has died at home. Benn was one of the biggest - and at times most controversial - figures in Britain's Labour movement and was the first Peer to renounce his title after the passing of the Peerage Act in 1963.


    Authors John Harris and Richard Wilbourn made the discovery while examining the remains of Hess's Messerschmitt at the Imperial war Museum in Cambridge


    * New evidence suggests that Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess had help during his secret flight to Britain.  

     

    Which history and publishing stories have you enjoyed reading this week?


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     Paul Nixon on Banter

     

    When it comes to verbals in cricket, how much is too much?

    This question has arisen from the feisty Ashes series dominated by Australia, where there has been a great deal of flak flying on and off the field. I have been asked several times about this since the series started, and in my view, some of it has been overblown - but yes, there have been times when a line has been crossed and certain parties have let themselves down.

    Let us be straight here. This stuff has always gone on in cricket, and not just the highly-pressured Ashes. It occurs in the greatest arenas in the world, and I cannot think of a nation that doesn't play its part. In my autobiography, Keeping Quiet, I described how the Sri Lankan fielders treated me to the most fierce verbal 'welcome' I have ever received when walking out to bat in the 2007 World Cup. They were like a pack of wild animals. The content of what they said wasn't for the faint-hearted - you'll have to buy the book for the uncensored account.

    There is no shame in dishing it out and taking it, when the heat is on and you are going hard at each other as teams. There is something to be said for subtlety with your words and actions - getting under an opponent's skin, mentally, doesn't have to be achieved through abuse - but international cricket should always be about passion and intensity. There is no more challenging arena.

    The game, though, has moved to a different place during the later years of my career and since I retired. There are cameras and microphones picking up almost every utterance in the middle. There is no point in the players objecting to that - it is there, and they have to adjust their actions accordingly.

    Sometimes it is difficult to know what is acceptable and what isn't. Once the current Ashes series is over, I imagine Michael Clarke, the Aussie captain, will regret saying that Jimmy Anderson should "get ready for a broken arm" - a comment that was heard in the First Test at the Gabba. There is a line that shouldn't be crossed and Clarke will probably accept that such a remark strayed a bit too far. But again - in the heat of the moment certain things happen that normally wouldn't. It is not always easy to contain it.

    Cricket is a man's game. In many ways there is nothing to do other than step up to the plate, as my old friend Steve Waugh often says. With their performances and attitude Australia have certainly done that. They have deserved the success they have had. I do think, though, that elements of the Australian press have joined in a little too eagerly. Some of the front-page treatment of England players like Stuart Broad has been in poor taste. I think those sections of the Aussie media let themselves down. On the pitch, did David Warner also drop his standards when he celebrated his Perth hundred by roaring in the faces of some of the England players?

    Again, it's a matter of opinion. Mine is that I'm all for players showing emotion, but this game has a habit of biting your backside if you treat it badly. Old Mother Cricket comes around you, taps you on the back and says that certain things ought to be remembered. If you make a hundred in an Ashes Test, you are free to celebrate it big-style (unless you've been dropped five times and ridden your luck all the way home). It's a superb achievement that few cricketers are able to touch. But there is no reason why this cannot go hand-in-hand with a bit of humility. I think the time is coming when we will see a couple of rival players going toe-to-toe in the middle when things get really over-heated.

    The game needs to be aware of this and umpires and captains need to be on alert. International cricket is a special game because of its intensity but it would be a serious shame if things got really out of hand.

    Follow Paul Nixon on Twitter @Paulnico199...

     

    Paul Nixon - Keeping Quiet

    Paul Nixon's Keeping Quiet is available for £2.99 from our website...


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      Edward, prince of Wales and Aquitaine, duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester, founder knight of the Order of the Garter, hero of Crécy, victor at Poitiers, the Black Prince, died on 8th June 1376, Trinity Sunday, the feast day for which he had particular reverence. It was recorded that the news was received in England and across the Channel with great sadness and mourning and not only for the sake of form.His life and death exemplified many of the incongruities of the political milieu in which he lived and his career mirrored the triumphs and disasters of the nation that he represented. Much of his brief life was characterised by war, and as the term ‘Hundred Years War’, the conflict to which the prince dedicated himself, has been misapplied to a punctuated confrontation that lasted at least 116 years,  so likewise the name by which Edward of Woodstock is most commonly known is uncertain in origin and in meaning. It was in common usage by the end of the sixteenth century.

      Leland named him as such in his Itinerary, and Holinshed used the term in his Chronicles, which may have been a source used by Shakespeare.  The idea that the name derived from a penchant for black armour remains unsubstantiated, as does the theory that the name was of French origin, brought on by the brutal raids and his victories in battle.

      Nonetheless, the prince’s reputation in France was certainly ‘black’ and is, for example, apparent in the Apocalypse tapestries Louis of Anjou commissioned in 1373 and which are said to depict Edward III as a demon followed by his five sons.

    source:http://www.edp24.co.uk/lifestyle/travel/cointreau_chateaus_and_fine_wines_exploring_the_richly_built_and_liquid_heritage_of_angers_france_1_1439537

      In a subsequent panel, the primary horseman is said to represent the Black Prince. In this series of images, the war perpetrated by the prince and his father ‘is rendered monstrous, a virulent plague sent by the heavens to punish mankind’ with the Plantagenets a dark instrument of divine (or diabolical) judgement. Considerably later, King Charles VI, prior to Agincourt, says they must fear Henry V because:

    he is bred out of that bloody strain That haunted us in our

    familiar paths:

    Witness our too much memorable shame

    When Cressy battle fatally was struck,

    And all our princes captiv’d by the hand

    Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales;

    While that his mountain sire, on mountain standing,

    Up in the air, crown’d with the golden sun,

    Saw his heroical seed, and smiled to see him,

    Mangle the work of nature and deface

    The patterns that by God and by French fathers

    Had twenty years been made.

     Such comments, made over 200 years after the death of the prince, may be seen as a mark of the impact made by both Edward III and his eldest son on the collective memory and imagination of the country. Politically and in terms of ‘national’ reputation – although such a concept was probably alien to the prince – the years 1346-67 were unquestionably triumphant, and by contrast with the collapse of English power in France and the fractures of the Wars of the Roses in the fifteenth century, there was undoubtedly an Edwardian ‘Golden Age’ to which those in the sixteenth century could look back. 

    The Plantagenet and Valois family trees

    His reputation, contradictory still, was set by the sixteenth century if not earlier, and perhaps before his death. That reputation was indicative of the troubled times through which the prince lived and the stark contrasts between his triumphs at the battles of Crécy, Poitiers and Nájera, and the debacle of the failure of the principality of Aquitaine and loss after 1368/9 of nearly all that the English had gained in the years since the war had begun. The contrast was intrinsic also in the prince’s health and character, and further more was evident in the changing nature of the chivalric ethic with which the prince was associated from a very young age and of which he had become an exemplar by the time of his death.

    * Extracted from The Black Prince by David Green.

    The Black Price by David Green

    To find out more about The Black Pince and his life, read The Black Prince by David Green.


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    Gallantry medals. Image taken from Professor Peter Doyle's book The First World War in 100 Objects


    It is easy to collect and collate a random collection of objects from a period in history as diverse in material as the Great War. At one scale, the war can be considered as an industrial conflict, with mass death from such weapons as the artillery shell and the machine gun. At another, it was to define the personal: the letter home, the souvenir of service. But what is the worth of objects (beyond mundane views of monetary value)? And how can we glean something of the history of the war from an assembled collection of things?

    Even before the Great War was finished, Governments woke up to the fact that they needed to gather objects that would form the basis of national collections, of new war museums. The Imperial War Museum was born in this way in 1917, as was the collection that would become known as the Australian War Memorial. This was the vision of the war correspondent Charles Bean, who ‘believed that objects collected from the battlefield would be one of the most important tools for telling the Australian’s story’. But why?

    To anthropologists, objects can be considered as ‘material culture’ – evidence of the ‘myriad relationships between people and things’. One of those relationships is the act of creation, with objects ‘holding within themselves the worlds of their creators’. But there are very many others. Objects may be considered to be mute witnesses to events, recording devices that might allow a clearer understanding of a time or event – if only we can read them. 


    Telegram. Image taken from Professor Peter Doyle's book The First World War in 100 Objects


    Seeking to understand the lives of our families, to connect with their experiences, is how many people now connect with the past that is the First World War. In many cases, their starting points are the creased photographs, the fading postcards and the tarnished medals. In the United Kingdom, soldiers, sailors and airmen were awarded campaign medals that, fortunately, were named. This act of naming allows the narrative of both the medal group and the person who was awarded them to be interpreted and read. Each campaign medal is essentially the same, yet ultimately different. Coupled with the availability of records through archives and the internet, family historians are able to unlock the story of their objects and the actions of their forebears.

     

    The First World War in 100 Objects examines the conflict from artefacts that ultimately mean something to people, and which, with correct interpretation, can be shown to mean something to very many more.  The basis for the book is an examination of surviving objects and the interpretation of their individual narratives – covering most fronts, nations and phases of the war; the war on land and in the air, and the war on the home front. What is achieved is an examination of the high points, of way markers that allow us to connect directly with the events and times of this war. Each object has a story, a unique narrative that is there to be interpreted and read. And at the heart of this story are people.


    The First World War in 100 Objects


    Peter Doyle is a military historian and geologist, specialising in military terrain. He is a familiar face as television expert on documentaries, including WW1 Tunnels of Death: The Big Dig, Battlefield Detectives and The Great Escape: Revealed on Channel 5. He is Visiting Professor at University College London and is co-secretary of the All Party Parliamentary War Heritage Group, which is actively supporting the British government’s commemorations for the centenary of the First World War.

    He has co-written Beneath Flanders Fields: The Underground War 1914-18 and Grasping Gallipoli , as well as Battle Story: Gallipoli 1915 , Battle Story: Loos 1915Trench Talk: Words of the First World War and Remembering Tommy: The British Soldier in the First World War


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    Four Thousand Lives

     

    Clare Ungerson will be at The Weiner Library, London on Thursday 20th March at an exhibition for her new book, Four Thousand Lives: The Rescue of German Jewish Men to Britain in 1939

    Clare Ungerson tells the remarkable story of how the grandees of Anglo-Jewry persuaded the British Government to allow them to establish a transit camp in Sandwich, East Kent, to which up to 4,000 men could be brought while they waited for permanent settlement overseas. The whole rescue was funded by the British Jewish community, with help from American Jewry. Most of the men had to leave their families behind. Would they get them out in time? And how would the people of Sandwich – a town the same size as the camp – react to so many German speaking Jewish foreigners?

    Four Thousand Lives is not just a story of salvation, but also a revealing account of how a small English community reacted to the arrival of so many German Jews in their midst.


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    The Story of Cardiff

     

    Nick Shepley will be at Wellfield Bookshop, Aberystwyth on Saturday 22nd March signing copies of his new book, The Story of Cardiff

    Cardiff has been on the frontline of Anglo-Welsh history, a place where the hammer blow of the past has periodically fallen hard. To really understand the character of a city you have to be aware of its scars: listen to the suffragettes, soldiers, slaves, martyrs, rebels, pirates and priests, and in the testimonies of each and every one you will find a number of prescient truths about Cardiff. Nick Shepley has an eye for a telling anecdote and this, together with his lively and authoritative research, makes The Story of Cardiff appealing to anyone who is seeking to find out more about this fascinating city. 


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    The Third Plantagenet

     

    John Ashdown-Hill will be at Gloucester Museum on Saturday 22nd March giving a talk and signing copies of his new book, The Third Plantagenet: George, Duke of Clarence, Richard III's Brother

    Less well-known than his brothers, Edward IV and Richard III, little has been written about George, Duke of Clarence, leaving us with a series of unanswered questions: What was he really like? What set him and his brother Edward IV against one another? And who was really responsible for his death?

    Here, John Ashdown-Hill brings us a new full biography of George, Duke of Clarence, which exposes the myths surrounding this important Plantagenet prince, and reveals the fascinating results of John's recent reexamination of the Clarence vault and its contents


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  • 03/21/14--05:00: The Friday Digest 21/03/14
  • THP Friday digest 
     

    This week's update features the origins of ebooks, the Ides of March and a comedy podcast inspired by the history of the Knights Templar (yes really!).


    The Martyrdom of St Edmund by Brian Whelan, 2004


    * A painting depicting the death of St Edmund, the former King of East Anglia, is being recreated by 100 artists in Suffolk this weekend


    Goodreads image from http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/02/millions-of-people-reading-alone-together-the-rise-of-goodreads/283662/

     

    The founders of Goodreads talk about its success after being bought by Amazon in 2013, and its goal of making literature a community experience.

     

    British Museum. Image from http://www.historicalhoney.com/road-christianity-british-museum-conversion-process/ 

     

    * The road to Christianity: the British Museum on the conversion process.  


    Amazon


    * Are authors being bullied with one-star Amazon reviews? 


    Charlton Heston as Moses in The Ten Commandments (1956) Moses with some early tablets ... a 1989 hardware edition of the Bible was one of the precursors of today's ebooks. Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext/Paramount


    * Where did the story of ebooks begin? 



    * Why are so few books from the twentieth century available as ebooks?


    An illustration of Julius Caesar's funeral pyre.


    * Last Saturday, 15 March, marked the Ides of March but what are they and do we still observe them?


    The Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial in Oswiecim, Poland. Photograph: Czarek Sokolowski/AP


    * A former Auschwitz medic was arrested in Germany this week on multiple charges of aiding and abetting murder



    * There has been lots of feedback online recently about what publishers should be doing, but what is Penguin Random House not doing?  


    The clock tower at the Gallery of Modern Art is due to be refurbished in time for the Commonwealth Games


    Historic Scotland is to invest £2 million in old buildings to help repair Scotland's crumbling landmarks. 


    "Writing on the bus. #writing #work" by Tammy Strobel http://www.flickr.com/photos/8760851@N05/8334819262/in/photolist-dGw8oo-btYXts-8amXGb-aaHDon-9U2yCf-fVhMwU-b721Dr-ccW1Jj-bwaAVw-dCoqyu-8J3hcc-dChZRM-byh8i6-9U2C9h-gdd2w7-9pNca3-aR9RYx-aHJb9P-bzqbQd-ajwDhK-dLBzcN-dZBRpa-dQhhr8-9eJ92Y-c3PnNN-7Fro46-7Fro7M-cUBc6q-8gYbdY-8gUTWp-g7LV9q-8gUUx4-8gUUpt-8bpGBh-8gYbmY-8gUSF2-8gYah5-8zf4DX-8euxa7-e31R59-9eubb1-bDM49P-faVdj6-879rXQ-e3ZTVZ-eSEeqz-bDMEYH-afbayC-by358b-8dABt1-9cKGne


    * Joanne Harris asks how much is a writer really worth?


    hatc 2

     

    * 1950s style: dress me, don’t suppress me ...


    Louvre-museums-instagram


    14 museums with stunning Instagram accounts


    A Seal of the Knights Templar. Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_Templar


    A comedy podcast inspired by the history of the Knights Templar (yes really!)


    Cover Let Books Be Books


    Publishing Perspectives ask: should UK children’s books be non gender-specific?


    Stranger than fiction … Ben Miles (Thomas Cromwell) and Lydia Leonard (Anne Boleyn) in the stage adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall. Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian

      

    * How true should historical fiction be? 


    Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. Katniss Everdeen … The Hunger Games heroine is just one literary character that World Book Day hopes will challenge and inspire young readers. Photograph: Murray Close


    * The best teen reads that will change your life
     
      

    Which history and publishing stories have you enjoyed reading this week?


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    Autochrome of British colonial soldiers from Punjab Province, France, 1917


    What do we know about the international contribution to the First World War? Not a lot, apparently. The British Council released a report in February 2014 detailing that less than half of the 1081 people questioned were aware that the Middle East (34%) played a part in the war, and less than a quarter are aware that Africa (21%) and Asia (22%) were involved in The Great War. Many of the territories in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Australasia and beyond were part of the British Empire, and later the Commonwealth. And they did not just fight on The Western Front as many believe, but around the world in places like Egypt, Turkey and modern day Iran.

    2014 marks the centenary of the First World War, and this provides us with the ideal opportunity to look at and commemorate the impact that this remarkable and pained time in our history has had on us today. Britain is a wonderfully multicultural society, and arguably some of these multicultural roots can be seen in the Commonwealth to the First World War. But what exactly was the Commonwealth contribution to the First World War, and why is it important that we remember it as part of our commemorations?

    The British Commonwealth contribution to the British war effort, and the wider Triple Entente war effort, was massively indispensible to the success of the Allies at the end of the First World War. This contribution was substantial in terms of manpower, auxiliaries, monetary aid and economic resources. It stretched the German forces to a much wider geographical war, and it ultimately helped to defeat the Triple Alliance.


    Lahore Division travelling to the front in WW1 in TfLOfficial buses


    The sheer number of troop figures from the Commonwealth is striking in itself, of over 9 million or so troops that fought on the side of the Allies around 1.2 million were from Undivided India, 100,000 from New Zealand, 500,000 from Australia – that is about 1 in 10 of the male populations of both countries at the time and around 15,000 men from the West Indies to name but a few. The fatality and casualty figures were massive, and the impact that these deaths had was greatly influential on societies at the time.  These men were fighting and dying in far off lands for a country they probably had never been to and knew very little about. More importantly, they were not conscripted like British soldiers were for a large part of the war; rather they were volunteers who felt it their duty to fight for a foreign King and country.

    Commonwealth soldiers were sent on arduous and long journeys to unknown places to face an unfamiliar enemy alongside foreign men without any home comforts and not knowing if they would survive the war. However, out of respect and appreciation for their service, the British did try and to accommodate Commonwealth troops as best they could. For example, Brighton Pavilion was set up as a makeshift hospital for treating wounded soldiers from Undivided India. Here separate kitchens were created to prepare food for Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs respectively. When white British officers led soldiers from Undivided India they insisted on eating the same meals as their men out of solidarity, parathas and potatoes rather than eggs and bacon!

    Letters written home by Indian soldiers fights for the Allies spoke poetically, albeit censored, about the differences they encountered. Bakhshis Singh of Sialkot Cavalry Brigade writing from France in February 1916 spoke of how stunned he was by the fact the French drank apple juice all day long rather than water. However, the horrors of the war were also depicted. Isher Singh of the 59th Rifles wrote to a friend in May 1915 from the Indian General Hospital housed in Brighton Pavilion:

    When the German attack they are killed in the same way. For us men it is a bad state of affairs here. Only those return from the battlefield that is slightly wounded. No one else is carried off. Even English officers are not lifted away. The battleground resounds with cries.”

    The battleground did not care for the creed, colour or religion of a man. It did not matter where you were from or what language you spoke; in death we are all equal. Around the world the Commonwealth War Graves show the headstones of Johnsons and Smiths alongside Singhs and Khans, they fought together, fell together and died together. This is truly the impact that the Commonwealth Contribution has today on us as a society.

    Why is it important that we remember the Commonwealth Contribution as part of our commemoration of the First World War? Firstly, the repercussions on history are huge. The Commonwealth contribution arguably contributed to many of the independence movements that subsequently followed the First World War, and came to characterise the most important conflicts of the Twentieth Century. Secondly, the Great War was one of the first instances where a man from Cornwall could find himself alongside a man from the Punjab in the trenches together fighting for the values we hold so dear today, such as freedom and democracy. These shared experiences are part of the shared values we hold dear, and the Commonwealth contribution to the First Would War was indispensible in shaping into the nation we are today.


    Commonwealth contribution logo


    Inara Khan is working on The Curzon Institute's WW1 Commonwealth Contribution project and has an undergraduate and masters degree from the War Studies department at King's College London, where she also worked as a research associate with the War Crimes Research Group. Her masters thesis on the legacy of international justice and reconciliation was published by Routledge in 2013. She has previously worked as a legal associate for an international NGO in New York and as a consultant for a Qatari production company. Inara has also worked as a freelance editor, writer and producer, most recently with the BBC. 


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    The Third Plantagenet

     

    John Ashdown-Hill will be at The Stockwell, Colchester on Saturday 29th March signing copies of his new bookThe Third Plantagenet: George, Duke of Clarence, Richard III's Brother

    Less well-known than his brothers, Edward IV and Richard III, little has been written about George, Duke of Clarence, leaving us with a series of unanswered questions: What was he really like? What set him and his brother Edward IV against one another? And who was really responsible for his death?

    Here, John Ashdown-Hill brings us a new full biography of George, Duke of Clarence, which exposes the myths surrounding this important Plantagenet prince, and reveals the fascinating results of John's recent reexamination of the Clarence vault and its contents


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    North Yorkshire Folk Tales

     

    Ingrid Barton will be at Waterstones, York on Saturday 29th March from 1pm, storytelling and signing copies of her new book, North Yorkshire Folk Tales

    Whether hailing from the open Yorkshire Dales or the close-knit neighbourhoods of its towns and cities, North Yorkshire folk have always been fond of a good tale. This collection of stories from around the county is a tribute to their narrative vitality, and commemorates places and people who have left their mark on their communities. Here you will find dragon-slayers, boggarts and giants, tragic love affairs, thwarted villainy, witches, fairies, ghosts and much more. Historical characters, as rugged and powerful as the landscape they stride, drift in and out of the stories, strangely transformed by the mists of legend. North Yorkshire Folk Tales features Dick Turpin, General Wade, St Oswald, Mother Shipton and Ragnar Hairy Breeches, among others. These intriguing stories, brought to life with charming illustrations, will be enjoyed by readers time and again. 


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    The ever popular Frances Doughty Mystery Series follows on a young slueth in Victorian london as she uncovers the mysteries of the secretive local residents.

    The latest instalment, available from April, surrounds the unusual and sudden death of overweight business man, Thomas Whibley. Sparking an acrimonious furore between rivialing diet doctors and the extremist Pure Food Society, Frances must search for the true cause of death amidst further deaths and vicious attacks. Where will Frances turn? Will un-knotting the mysteries of Whibley's former colleagues lead Frances down the right path?


    Praise for the Frances Doughty Mystery sereis  

    'The atmosphere and picture of Victorian London is vivid and beatifully portrayed'
    www.crimesquad.com
     
    'Every novelist needs her USP; Stramann's os her intimate knowledge of both pharmacy and true-life Victorian crime'
    Shots Magazine


    To find out what happens next, read An Appetite for Murder by Linda Stratmann, available from April 2014 through The history Press and all good bookshops; or for a limited time only, through a goodreads giveaway! 

    Goodreads Book Giveaway

    An Appetite for Murder by Linda Stratmann

    An Appetite for Murder

    by Linda Stratmann

    Giveaway ends April 11, 2014.

    See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

     


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