History Carnival No 81

Welcome to the monthly carnival – a browse across the highways and byways of the past 2,500 years, or so, as recorded in the blogosphere.

Women’s history is rather my thing, so I’m going to start with them: the heroines, the success stories, and the (possible) murderesses.

On Indiecommons, you can meet four of the foremothers of photography – I doubt that you have ever seen such beautiful pictures of algae. No, really!

And on Zenobia, you can meet another ancient woman, the philosopher and mathematician Hypatia, the subject, I learn of a new Hollywood movie, Agora. If you are planning to go to see it, you might want to save reading this until after that. No I haven’t seen the movie, just too many disappointing “historical” movie in general.

Another story of achievement, if of a rather different kind, is that of Eliza Jumel Burr, the daughter of a prostitute and a kept woman herself, who went on to become the richest woman in America.

And on Executed Today, the fascinating story of in England. Not at all a clearcut case…

So that finishes with the women, but allows me to move on to another subject close to my heart – London.

On Strange Maps is the hexagonal map of London – designed to stop hackney cab drivers getting away with daylight robbery.

And the unmissable Diamond Geezer’s been visiting a fan museum in a Georgian house in Greenwich. As you’d expect, it’s rather small.

Opening out from my own interests, and starting in the ancient world, Memorabilia Antonius is reluctantly convinced that Nero’s rotating dining room has been found. And Aardvarchaeology has been seeing some fascinating, high-tech research on burial urns.

Going medieval, the historical fiction writer Elizabeth Chadwick on Living the History sets out what she knows about the life of John Marshall, a formidable medieval warrior. And Sound and Furry looks at sticks in my crow, really, it is crow, not craw, using it as a fascinating exploration of the relations between the birds and the aristocracy – “fetch me my hunting crow”.

I’ll use my host’s privilege here to point to one of my own posts – some very new archaeology revealing the history of the Chateau de la Perriere in Burgundy, its most famous owner being Nicholas Rolin.

And a little later in the dark ages indeed for humanity, there’s an account on Early Modern Whale of the martyrdom of the young Catholic priest Edmund Geninges in 1592. Not one for the squeamish.

Then there’s a small collection of 20th-century history: a letter from Verdun in October 26, 1918, and a more cheery post on Mary Beard’s A Don’s Life about the history of holidays.

And Daniel Finkelstein on his Times blog has some critical comments on The Boat That Rocked, a film about pirate radio stations. It’s whitewashing the role of the Labour government, he suggests.

Chapati Mystery is going back a little further, but also right up to date, wiith a post on the challenge of Securing Afghanistan – in 1842.

Then we ought to have a little bit of theory: Mary Kate Hurley has been reflect on methodolgy and medieval literature. And on Mercurius Politicius there’s the vexed question of reading pamphlets in electronic form. Is it really the same?

And finally, this is being just a little bit circular, but why not? The Ancient and Medival Carnivalesque, the special Halloween edition. Spooky!

You can find out more about the History Carnival on its home page.


  • November 2, 2009 - 2:03 am | Permalink

    Hi Natalie:
    Thanks so much for the inclusion of a letter on Soldier’s Mail in this Carnival! From a Women’s Studies perspective, there is also much of interest to discover on the site under the category “Letters from the Home Front.” Here can be found rare letters from home that offer insights into the lives of the women mobilized for victory on the Home Front.

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  • November 2, 2009 - 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for mentioning my post on Hypatia. Read it anyway because the film Agora will not be released until 18 Dec. Bad as it looks from the trailer and PR, it is not a *Hollywood* movie: the director is Alejandro AmenĂ¡bar, and it appears to be a Spanish production. As I said on the blog, AmenĂ¡bar seems to be way out of his depth.


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