History Carnival 148


August 2015

This is the first time that I’ve hosted the Carnival, so I wasn’t too sure of the criteria to be set for inclusion. In the end, I opted for being fairly wide-ranging, but with some bias towards the 18th century in Britain. That’s my specific period of interest and where I follow most blogs. My apologies, therefore, if you believe your own pet period or topic has been neglected unjustly.

It’s also the ‘silly season’, so I plan to include as many funny, silly or just plain weird subjects as I could find.

Serious Stuff

Let’s deal with the serious posts first, then get on to the fun.

There’s a new treasure trove of letters at the British Library, giving a fascinating insight into the siege of Lucknow in 1857.

On the Home Front, it seems the negative perception of English cookery goes back a long way. as this post, Wastefulness and the Negative Perception of English Cookery, shows.
We’ve also been loosing our newsagents – or have we just misplaced them? In nineteenth-century America, however, the patent-medicine business was in the midst of a boom and entrepreneurial women weren’t slow to get aboard, as this post, “I Would Just Want To Fly”: Lydia Pinkham, Women’s Medicine, and Social Networks, reveals.

If this is too commercial for your taste, how about spending some time with Defining Beauty: The Greek Body; or deciding whether medallions are an unjustly neglected form of art? Maybe The History of Turkish Carpets is more to your taste? Or how about checking out The Language of Love De-Coded (1777)? If all else fails, you might try to Charm it with Smiles and Soap.

Of course, if social history is your thing, you would enjoy considering Religion & the Sickness Experience in Early Modern Britain, or wondering why drowning was such a danger in Tudor England. Maybe it’s true that 1816 was a bad year to be alive or dead.
On an even darker note, here’s a post on Pogroms in Medieval Norwich, occasioned by some recent archaeology. Still further back in time, how about reading 4,000 year old writings by and about women?

Political and military historians could find themselves asking Equality? Huh! Who would have thought it? ; or Learning the Lessons of Waterloo; or considering A Lighter Side Of The Peninsular Campaign; or even even wondering whether Napoleon could have escaped from St. Helena?  Then there was a fascinating post on Chaplains at Sea in the Age of Fighting Sail. And if smugglers are more to your taste, check out The Seasalter Company.

Finally, you might want to explore how archaeologists identified the burials of some prominent persons amongst the first Jamestown settlers.

The Fun Stuff



If you’re going to commit a crime, do it with style. That seems to have been the motto of 19 year-old typist Hilda Lewis, who was prosecuted for stealing from her employers, after “masquerade[ing] … as the millionaire heiress of a wealthy Indian tea planter” for eighteen months.

I’m sure Hilda dressed to impress, but this wasn’t always good for your health, as Georgian Hair and Clothing – Fashionable but Fatal shows.

If you’re depressed by this, you might always freshen up with A Dip in The Briny; though that wasn’t for the faint-hearted in Georgian days either. Then there’s always that old stand-by A Riotous Night Out. However, remember to take A Necessity for 18th & 19th Century Ladies, if you intend to get drunk on Gin in the Eighteenth Century; and watch out for people like William Parsons, Highwayman, Swindler and Rogue. He’s just the type to fancy a spot of Adult Breast-feeding in the Renaissance and Early Modern World. You might even end up singing Rude Songs of the Regency, then fall prey to someone Enlisting Women Soldiers.

The Weird Stuff

Maybe it’s not surprising that The Scottish Yeti caught my eye. And until this month it had never occurred to me to wonder either about America’s role in the fall of the Roman Empire. However, the Daily Telegraph has and ran a story called Did America Bring Down the Roman Empire? to prove it. Of course, our transatlantic cousins have always been troubled by strange events, perhaps due to Anti-Christianity in 19th-century America – though this post on An Early-modern American Monster and this on The Devil and 18th-century general Jonathan Moulton suggest the Horned One had been there some time before. At least that continent managed to avoid Father Time and the Unfortunate Incident with the Barrage Balloon and The Great Berners Street Hoax, as well as Britain’s Most Shambolic Attempts at Revolution

Animals are always good for some truly strange stories. I wonder if it was Cat Pianos, Sound-Houses, and Other Imaginary Musical Instruments which led to The Great Sheep Panic of 1888? Even horses took to eating strange things in Georgian times. Don’t believe me? I got it Straight from the Horse’s Mouth I tell you.

I’m very fond of cats, as are many authors, so I would probably have enjoyed talking with The Lady who was once a Tabby Cat about A Grumpy Cat in the Tower of London. Indeed, this month’s posts even prompted me to wonder if the First English Novel was about Cats. The sad case of the ghost of a murdered cat in 1825 London suggests a specially loved one might even resist leaving its mistress to go to The Great Cat-basket in the Sky. There was even a post about The Philanthropic Cat. Dogs have always been a bit more chancy, especially small ones. Wasn’t there The Pug who Bit Napoleon?

So … that’s about it for this month. Oh, before you go, Anyone for a Game of Eel Pulling?

William Savage

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About William Savage

Author of mystery stories set in Georgian Norfolk.
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1 Response to History Carnival 148

  1. Always like to check out the carnival links. Jack Le Moine, History Moments blog.


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