Clement Attlee (The National Archives reference INF 14/19)
Clement Attlee bore little resemblance to the contemporary politician. He had no time for the things that are now the stock-in-trade of all serious aspirants for high office: image and public relations. Attlee was so apparently unconcerned with presentation that when a reporter asked him whether he would like to make a comment on Labour’s general election campaign, then in full flow, he simply said ‘No’. It is difficult to envisage a tw… »
I’ve been writing a book about the same man for almost ten years now and I still don’t know what to call him. There is one obvious reason for this: my subject is an elusive international trickster who changes names and stories almost at will. If you add the aliases he used as a gentleman crook to the pseudonyms he wrote under to the names under which he hid from public view towards the end of his life you end up some a number approaching forty. At least I think you do. After all, the most succe… »
Robert Brier Research Associate, German Historical Institute, Warsaw Cross-posted from Humanitarianism & Human Rights
“1989” has become shorthand both for the triumph of human rights over state-socialist dictatorship and the subsequent implementation of a “neoliberal” reform agenda. Yet the coalescence of these two phenomena in Eastern Europe twenty-five years ago is quite surprising once we focus on the prehistory of 1989. Following the crooked paths that led to the annus mirabilis is thus a g… »
15 January 1840 Yesterday, when the boys’ lesson was over, Walter Tunmore was sent to bed so the surgeon could treat a puss on his side. Passing by his cell, Sarah Martin heard the boy sobbing and went to speak with him. He pleaded with his teacher to make sure to come and see him…
In October 2012, I wrote a blog post with the title, “Can We Measure Historiographical Turns?” In it, I picked a series of representative authors and measured their citation rates in three journals: The Journal of British Studies, Albion, and The Historical Journal. The results were interesting. So, I though that I would revisit the question with another set of tools.
I have taken the titles of all essays published in the Journal of British Studies between 1969 and 2009. After normalizing t… »
This video shows a land map of the continent of Europe. Using timelapse editing techniques, we are given an idea of how the borders and territories of the continent have changed so dramatically from 1000 AD to today.
Men deserted the armies of the North and South in their thousands during the American Civil War. They did so for many different reasons; some tired of the rigours of military discipline, while others had become emotionally drained by their experiences. Some simply lost faith in the fight, or enlisted only with the intent of getting a quick buck before immediately deserting. Local newspapers ran advertisements which offered bounties for the apprehension of deserters- here are some that relate to… »
The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington offers fellowships to support the growing community of scholars whose research focuses on George Washington, Colonial America, the Revolutionary Era, and Early Republic. Both long and short-term fellowships are available for trained scholars of all profes
When researching my PhD, I spent a lot of time following the minutes of parks committees and those of the Labour Party, South Wales Miners’ Federation, and the surviving slithers of welfare associations. Few of the characters really stand out, not because they were unduly anonymous, but because the same spirit of civic duty and working-class solidarity was evident across the board. The exceptions – Mark Harcombe, Lewis Jones, Llew Jenkins, George Paget, D. L. Davies, Abel Morgan – had something… »
On International Women’s Day, Routledge is joining celebrations across the world to honour women’s achievements throughout history. This year, we’ve decided to give you free online access to a number of Routledge Women Studies resources from Saturday 8th March to Monday 10th March.
Trading Game: France—Colonies, 1941, O.P.I.M. (Office de publicite et d’impression), Breveté S.G.D.G. Lithograph on linen, 22 7/8 x 32 1/4 in. The Getty Research Institute, 970031.6
From the Getty going free, to card games introducing French children to colonial management, to First World War body armor. Here are the week’s top picks in imperial and global history.
*In case you missed it, the Getty Research Institute has now made millions and millions of photos free. That’s r… »
In 1905, Dr. Guy Clifford Powell, of Peoria, Illinois invented and marketed a device he called the “Electro-Vibratory Cure for Deafness.” The apparatus apparently cured a patient of deafness by pumping air through the ears via cotton-covered electrodes soaked in salt water. After pumping in air, a jolt of electricity generated by the solenoid coils … Continue reading →
The Humanities Matters Tour and Webseries failed to reach its Kickstarter funding goal today.
And while I use the word “failed,” in no way do I consider the past month a failure. In the past 30 days our project raised $10,000 from 175 backers, had blogs posted on some of my favourite blogs, and received moral and financial support for friends, strangers, and institutions. While we did not reach our Kickstarter goal and won’t be receiving any of the money pledged, I consider this project a resou… »
This week has been all about the primary sources, both online and offline. On Monday I went to the British Library to read a couple of books I hadn’t been able to get hold of elsewhere, and transcribed most of an oral history interview. The rest of the time, I’ve been using the internet to find out extra information about the nineteenth-century guidance books I’ve read so far. I’ve also found a couple more such books I want to read along the way, and got a four-week trial for Mass Observation »
The Egypt Exploration Society was founded in 1882, as the Egypt Exploration Fund in order to explore, survey, and excavate at ancient sites in Egypt and Sudan, and to publish the results of this work. Today it is one of the leading such archaeological organisations.
Today I signed a book contract with Pickering and Chatto for their Studies for the Society for the Social History of Medicine series. I’ll now be spending the rest of this year working on the manuscript for my first monograph on the topic of Payment and Philanthropy in British Healthcare, 1918-1948. At some point next year, you’ll hopefully start finding copies in university libraries and, if you’re really lucky, perhaps even on your own bookshelf. I’m sure that by the time the book arrives it … »
University staff battling anxiety, poor work-life balance and isolation aren’t finding the support they need • The blog that started the debate: there is a culture of acceptance around mental health issues in academia
Mental health problems are on the rise among UK academics amid the pressures of greater job insecurity, constant demand for results and an increasingly marketised higher education system.
University counselling staff and workplace health experts have seen a steady increase in num… »
On this day in 1902, Boer forces defeated the British at the Battle of Tweebosch during the Second Boer War. The battle began when Lord Herbert Kitchener, who wanted to trap Boer guerrilla forces in the Orange Free State of South Africa, constructed lines of blockhouses that were connected by barbed wire. He launched a hunt for Roos De la Rey, Boer General, and for other commanders in the area. A skirmish took place between De la Rey and Lieutenant Colonel S. B. Von Donop on February 24, which … »
This week, ending in March 6th, 2014:
Today’s thread is for open discussion of:
History in the academy
Historiographical disputes, debates and rivalries
Implications of historical theory both abstractly and in application
Philosophy of history
And so on
Regular participants in the Thursday threads should just keep doing what they’ve been doing; newcomers should take notice that this thread is meant for open discussion only of matters like those above, not just anything you like … »
Mount Vernon. Photo Credit: Ad Meskens (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons
Jennifer Tyburczy’s brilliant observation that all museums “have played an important but often overlooked role in the institutionalization of categories of sexual ‘normalcy’ and ‘perversity’” can also be applied to house museums and historic sites. House museums, as sites for interpreting private lives, are engaged in complex ways with presentations of sex and sexuality. The most famous and oft-visited house museums in the »
Invitation to Toronto’s semi-centennial in 1884. Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Room, “1884. Reception. VS”.
By Kaitlin Wainwright
Today marks 180 years since the former Town of York was incorporated as the City of Toronto. It was given a new name, distinguished from New York and a dozen or so other places in the province. The city’s earliest neighbourhoods were the five wards named for the patron saints of the British Isles: St. George, St. Andrew, St. Patrick, and St. David, and for St. L… »
What might a historian of modern empire uncover within the long-running cartoon book series, Asterix the Gaul? Orientalism, French cultural anxiety about American neo-imperialism, and fears of cultural corruption in the face of the forces of global commercialism, of course.
The new Asterix volume, Asterix and the Picts, is not only the first in the series to be drawn/written without the involvement of either of the original creators, Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo; it has also led »
This is the fifth in History Matters’ series of blogs on LGBT History. All of the blogs will appear here as they are posted.
So LGBT History Month is over. Ironically, if we take this month seriously (by doing some history) we actually learn that we should be taking its name with a pinch of salt.
LGBT History started out with the G. That is, post-war narratives tend to centre on gay men: both negative attention and emancipatory activism, landmarked by the Stonewall riots in 1969, has focused la… »
Slate.com recently published an interesting article by an Indiana University graduate who in 1966 created Project Flame, an early “computer” dating service. Students would fill out a punch-card questionnaire, but were not actually matched using a computer. Instead, he and his friends randomly shuffled the cards together to provide the illusion of computerized expertise.
Although Project Flame might have been a fraud, 1966 was a formative year for computer dating. The article referenced a… »
Are there any merits to these "doing history" acts? I’m not a fan of battle reenactments (a recent thread brought this idea to the forefront of my mind) or recreated towns like Colonial Williamsburg. I see them as telling us more about ourselves now than they do about the past and I think it’s a mistake (detrimental?) to use them as ways in which history/the past is taught to the public and to students.
I’ve read some stuff about place, memory and history: Making Place, Making Race: Performances »
The esteemed British foreign policy thinker Robert Cooper has just come out with a thought-provoking piece drawing close parallels between the European Union, that well-intentioned yet currently somewhat ailing project, and the Habsburg Monarchy, which has been dead for pushing a century. Parallels there certainly are between the EU and the Habsburgs: both were improvisation…
The Royal Society of Edinburgh is Scotland’s National Academy of Science & Letters. It is an independent body with charitable status. The Society organises conferences and lectures for the specialist and for the general public. It provides a forum for informed debate on issues of national and international importance.
Arsenic and its Discontents
Despite its poisonous nature, arsenic was very easy to get a hold on in the 19th century. It could be found in many household products. Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele mixed copper, arsenic, hydrogen, and oxygen to produce a brilliant green pigment. These pigments were used in everything from children’s toys to soap, wallpaper, fabric, and even sweets! The fabric of a lady’s green ball gown might contain 100 grains of arsenic–and it takes only 4.5 grains to kill »
You are currently reading post number 100 on the many-headed monster. On realising this (statistically) significant event was approaching, we monster heads decided it would be worth marking in some way. The blog has been enormously rewarding as an arena to think through our ideas and to share our archival discoveries, but also as a way to connect with you, the reader. Since our first post in July 2012, we have had more than 40,000 views and 541 comments, and we are enormously grateful that so m… »
During a peace mission in Japan in 1916, American physician Morton Prince sent many postcards to his wife who remained at their home on Beacon Street in Boston. While exploring the cities of Yokohama and Tokyo, the doctor wrote short explanatory notes about the scenes on the postcards. Here are two of the many cards in the Morton Prince papers which illustrate the natural beauty of Japan’s landscape in stark contrast to the urban development of the Kanto metropolitan area in the early 20th cent… »
As Ukrainians struggle forward they remember the past
(The photo is of the entrance to a palace in Lviv).
I’ve been traveling backwards and forwards to Ukraine for various WW2 related projects for many years, and so I’ve been particularly concerned about recent developments there. The sight of young people who are prepared to die under the much derided flag of the European Union must make us all think – or in some cases rethink – about the value of European integration. Given a choice between… »
A couple weeks ago, NPR’s On the Media interviewed the historian Nick Turse, author of the recent book Kill Anything That Moves: the Real American War in Vietnam, about the Pentagon’s website commemorating the Vietnam War, which went up, rather […]
People think I’m obsessed with syphilis, and maybe I am. But it’s only because of my recent indoctrination into 18th-century history by aficionados of the period, such as Lucy Inglis, Adrian Teal and Rob Lucas. I can’t read 10 pages of a medical casebook without coming across a reference to lues venerea. By the end of the century, London was literally crawling with the pox.
And it’s no surprise. Sexual promiscuity was as much a part of Georgian England as were powdered wigs and opium. For a few »
As intellectual historians, we often note how much the importance of cultural memory plays in the development of ideas over time. For African American intellectuals, battles over the importance of how we conceptualize both memories of the African American experience, […]
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