There was no possibility of taking a walk that day

So I stayed at home and read a book.

poetrysociety:

Today, in 1788, George Gordon, Lord Byron, was born in London.

poetrysociety:

Today, in 1788, George Gordon, Lord Byron, was born in London.

Today is the final day of revision before my ‘British Isles in the Long 18th Century’ exam, which is worth 70% of the overall module mark. Eep. I’ve found the subject fascinating, and have chosen to use the century for my dissertation topic. Over the next couple of months this blog is going to be flooded with books about Georgian and Regency England, male fashion and texts on gender and sexuality studies - you’ll find out why very soon, but until then: REVISION BOOKS!
For all you budding historians who really enjoy reading primary source material - because let’s face it, we’re the cool ones out there - then this is an excellent resource for eighteenth century studies.
‘An Age of Elegance: Life in Georgian England' by A. F. Scott (Gresham Books: Surrey, 1979) is an old but reliable collection of source material, covering a wide selection of topics including: Royalty, London, Family, Education, The Arts, Health, Trade, Money, Industry, Religion, Travel, Crime, Famous Figures… 
Each section described above is broken down into sub categories, so each topic is explored in detail, using sources which by the author’s own admission are ‘in the interest of the general reader’. So, it’s not dense and it’s not difficult. It’s a real joy to read even if you aren’t a scholar. It also includes very useful illustrations and a good bibliography, so if you’re a beginner to intermediate in the subject of Georgian England then this is definitely a great anthology to get you started. 
What I like most about it is the heavy use of poetry, prose and diaries. In this way we get a very personal account of the century, whereas some anthologies focus almost exclusively upon political or economic texts. I suppose it depends what sort of scholar you are, but I personally prefer the intricacies of emotional and intellectual history - the study of ‘worldview’.

Today is the final day of revision before my ‘British Isles in the Long 18th Century’ exam, which is worth 70% of the overall module mark. Eep. I’ve found the subject fascinating, and have chosen to use the century for my dissertation topic. Over the next couple of months this blog is going to be flooded with books about Georgian and Regency England, male fashion and texts on gender and sexuality studies - you’ll find out why very soon, but until then: REVISION BOOKS!

For all you budding historians who really enjoy reading primary source material - because let’s face it, we’re the cool ones out there - then this is an excellent resource for eighteenth century studies.


An Age of Elegance: Life in Georgian England' by A. F. Scott (Gresham Books: Surrey, 1979) is an old but reliable collection of source material, covering a wide selection of topics including: Royalty, London, Family, Education, The Arts, Health, Trade, Money, Industry, Religion, Travel, Crime, Famous Figures…

Each section described above is broken down into sub categories, so each topic is explored in detail, using sources which by the author’s own admission are ‘in the interest of the general reader’. So, it’s not dense and it’s not difficult. It’s a real joy to read even if you aren’t a scholar. It also includes very useful illustrations and a good bibliography, so if you’re a beginner to intermediate in the subject of Georgian England then this is definitely a great anthology to get you started. 

What I like most about it is the heavy use of poetry, prose and diaries. In this way we get a very personal account of the century, whereas some anthologies focus almost exclusively upon political or economic texts. I suppose it depends what sort of scholar you are, but I personally prefer the intricacies of emotional and intellectual history - the study of ‘worldview’.

(Source: kaabradl, via teacoffeebooks)

"It’s quite simple. Papa thinks Hitler and the Nazis might win the elections. If that happened he would not want to live in Germany while they were in power, and nor would any of us." When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Judith Kerr.
I’m revisiting an old favourite this week.
‘When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit' by Judith Kerr is one of my favourite children's books and it still makes me smile every time I read it.
I think what makes it such a timeless classic is the way it combines a serious plot with a light hearted narrative voice. Though it deals with a thorny subject (the flight of a Jewish family across Europe in the early years of the Nazi regime) it is told through the eyes of a little girl who in general does not realise the implications of her new life, only seeing it as an adventure.
There are moments when Anna is hit by the danger she and her family are up against - these instances are very sobering when mixed among the more amusing scenes of familial life. For instance, when one reads the scene in which Anna has a nightmare about the price upon her father’s head for writing anti-Nazi literature you get a real lurch of sympathy for her, then a few pages later she is in Paris with her older brother trying to buy a red crayon from a friendly stationer, a lovely back and forth involving a German-to-French dictionary and a lot of witty banter.
Similarly, these is the chapter which gives the book its namesake - when the family finds out that their home in Berlin has been confiscated, along with all of their property, and all Anna can imagine is her toy pink rabbit being ‘snuggled’ by Hitler.
It’s almost like you’re reading two plots next to one another, a child’s world alongside that of an adult. 
If you are interested in WW2 literature, then this is a must read! Short, but funny and heart-warming. What makes it even better is that the book is in fact an autobiographical work based upon Judith Kerr’s own experiences, as are the other books in the series that trace her adolescence and young womanhood: 'Bombs On Aunt Dainty' and 'A Small Person Far Away'. 

"It’s quite simple. Papa thinks Hitler and the Nazis might win the elections. If that happened he would not want to live in Germany while they were in power, and nor would any of us." When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Judith Kerr.

I’m revisiting an old favourite this week.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit' by Judith Kerr is one of my favourite children's books and it still makes me smile every time I read it.

I think what makes it such a timeless classic is the way it combines a serious plot with a light hearted narrative voice. Though it deals with a thorny subject (the flight of a Jewish family across Europe in the early years of the Nazi regime) it is told through the eyes of a little girl who in general does not realise the implications of her new life, only seeing it as an adventure.

There are moments when Anna is hit by the danger she and her family are up against - these instances are very sobering when mixed among the more amusing scenes of familial life. For instance, when one reads the scene in which Anna has a nightmare about the price upon her father’s head for writing anti-Nazi literature you get a real lurch of sympathy for her, then a few pages later she is in Paris with her older brother trying to buy a red crayon from a friendly stationer, a lovely back and forth involving a German-to-French dictionary and a lot of witty banter.

Similarly, these is the chapter which gives the book its namesake - when the family finds out that their home in Berlin has been confiscated, along with all of their property, and all Anna can imagine is her toy pink rabbit being ‘snuggled’ by Hitler.

It’s almost like you’re reading two plots next to one another, a child’s world alongside that of an adult. 

If you are interested in WW2 literature, then this is a must read! Short, but funny and heart-warming. What makes it even better is that the book is in fact an autobiographical work based upon Judith Kerr’s own experiences, as are the other books in the series that trace her adolescence and young womanhood: 'Bombs On Aunt Dainty' and 'A Small Person Far Away'. 

Yes please, one day!
myidealhome:


books, books and more books! (via The Hometrotter)

Yes please, one day!

myidealhome:

thefeministfairy:

So very very true…

“She liked books more than anything else, and was, in fact, always inventing stories of beautiful things and telling them to herself.”

—   A Little Princess // Frances Hodgson Burnett (via madamedaydream)

(via cup-of-letters)

books0977:

American Girl, November 1932. Artist: Jean Calhoun.
Girl walking past shelves of books, with some novels under her right arm and an impossibly tall stack of books cradled on her left arm.

books0977:

American Girl, November 1932. Artist: Jean Calhoun.

Girl walking past shelves of books, with some novels under her right arm and an impossibly tall stack of books cradled on her left arm.

(via teacoffeebooks)

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." “Very deep,” said Arthur, “you should send that in to the Reader’s Digest. They’ve got a page for people like you.”

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
“Very deep,” said Arthur, “you should send that in to the Reader’s Digest. They’ve got a page for people like you.”

"To the ship she followed him and when he had gone aboard, she turned back with a terrible cry; and soon after the knight died. And from that time on no knight has been able to see her without dying soon afterwards. But when a knight comes who is bold enough to dare to kiss her, he shall not die, but he shall turn that damsel into her proper shape, and he shall be lord of her and of the islands." The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, p. 54.
I have to say, I think out of all the medieval literature I’ve read this semester The Travels of Sir John Mandeville has to be my favourite of all. It’s well written, lively and ridiculous.
First appearing in 1356, Mandeville’s travel guide was immensely popular throughout the following centuries even though it was wildly inaccurate in its descriptions of other races and of the lands to the East. However, it was for this very reason that it attracted such attention - it satisfied the curiosity of those wishing to learn of the world outside of Christendom.
Mandeville claimed to have travelled throughout the Holy Land, Egypt, India and China and to have interacted with the people there, observing and recording their habits minutely. He went into great detail in regards to their outlandish appearances and customs, describing deformed and cannibalistic men, gold-digging ants the size of dogs and religious practices offensive to the God-fearing West. He advised travellers - most notably merchants and pilgrims - of the best routes to take via land and sea, what provisions they would need and what troubles and local hostilities they would run into along the way. He wrote as if he knew such places intimately.
But in reality, the likelihood of him ever setting foot outside of his own country is somewhat dubious. If examined closely we see that the work is one elaborate mishmash of other medieval travel guides and chronicles, that Mandeville borrows widely from other authors and relies heavily upon myth and hearsay, as opposed to fact and first-hand experience. Even the authorship of the work is disputable. Purportedly written by an English knight, the name ‘Sir John Mandeville’ is probably a fictitious persona or pseudonym used to mask the true identity of the author. Despite the best efforts of academics nothing is known for certain of the true author of The Travels, apart from what he chooses to tell us at the start of the book. Is this outright deception, a literary device, or something else entirely? We will probably never know his motivations, only the impact his work had.
The outcome of the publication was quite amazing in terms of assessing the medieval world view, especially if we consider the number of copies which still survive today - nearly 300! By 1400 it was available in every major European language, with copies serving the pioneering adventurers of the Renaissance such as Columbus, Frobisher, and Raleigh. Even Leonardo da Vinci had a copy in his library. It was still immensely popular by the 17th century, a more enlightened time when virtually nobody would take it seriously as a piece of geographically accurate reference material.
The reason for this is probably the same reason I have for loving the book - it is fantastical, humorous and incredibly entertaining. If you haven’t read it I heartily recommend it! If you’ve ever looked at a medieval map and wondered why it is so misshapen, why there are mutants and mythical creatures crawling at the edges, or why Jerusalem is depicted as the centre of the civilized world, then this book will give you the answers to all of your questions. It paints a worldview which to our modern eyes seems impossible, even absurd, but at one point in history it seemed very real indeed.
For more about the theories regarding Sir John Mandeville, check out the work of historian C. W. R. D. Moseley, C. M. Seymour and R. Tzanaki.

"To the ship she followed him and when he had gone aboard, she turned back with a terrible cry; and soon after the knight died. And from that time on no knight has been able to see her without dying soon afterwards. But when a knight comes who is bold enough to dare to kiss her, he shall not die, but he shall turn that damsel into her proper shape, and he shall be lord of her and of the islands." The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, p. 54.

I have to say, I think out of all the medieval literature I’ve read this semester The Travels of Sir John Mandeville has to be my favourite of all. It’s well written, lively and ridiculous.

First appearing in 1356, Mandeville’s travel guide was immensely popular throughout the following centuries even though it was wildly inaccurate in its descriptions of other races and of the lands to the East. However, it was for this very reason that it attracted such attention - it satisfied the curiosity of those wishing to learn of the world outside of Christendom.

Mandeville claimed to have travelled throughout the Holy Land, Egypt, India and China and to have interacted with the people there, observing and recording their habits minutely. He went into great detail in regards to their outlandish appearances and customs, describing deformed and cannibalistic men, gold-digging ants the size of dogs and religious practices offensive to the God-fearing West. He advised travellers - most notably merchants and pilgrims - of the best routes to take via land and sea, what provisions they would need and what troubles and local hostilities they would run into along the way. He wrote as if he knew such places intimately.

But in reality, the likelihood of him ever setting foot outside of his own country is somewhat dubious. If examined closely we see that the work is one elaborate mishmash of other medieval travel guides and chronicles, that Mandeville borrows widely from other authors and relies heavily upon myth and hearsay, as opposed to fact and first-hand experience. Even the authorship of the work is disputable. Purportedly written by an English knight, the name ‘Sir John Mandeville’ is probably a fictitious persona or pseudonym used to mask the true identity of the author. Despite the best efforts of academics nothing is known for certain of the true author of The Travels, apart from what he chooses to tell us at the start of the book. Is this outright deception, a literary device, or something else entirely? We will probably never know his motivations, only the impact his work had.

The outcome of the publication was quite amazing in terms of assessing the medieval world view, especially if we consider the number of copies which still survive today - nearly 300! By 1400 it was available in every major European language, with copies serving the pioneering adventurers of the Renaissance such as Columbus, Frobisher, and Raleigh. Even Leonardo da Vinci had a copy in his library. It was still immensely popular by the 17th century, a more enlightened time when virtually nobody would take it seriously as a piece of geographically accurate reference material.

The reason for this is probably the same reason I have for loving the book - it is fantastical, humorous and incredibly entertaining. If you haven’t read it I heartily recommend it! If you’ve ever looked at a medieval map and wondered why it is so misshapen, why there are mutants and mythical creatures crawling at the edges, or why Jerusalem is depicted as the centre of the civilized world, then this book will give you the answers to all of your questions. It paints a worldview which to our modern eyes seems impossible, even absurd, but at one point in history it seemed very real indeed.

For more about the theories regarding Sir John Mandeville, check out the work of historian C. W. R. D. Moseley, C. M. Seymour and R. Tzanaki.

One day, I will have a study like this.
teachingliteracy:

Book nook (by ✈ M ✈)
"Emperors and kings, dukes and marquises, counts, knights and townsfolk, and all people who wish to know the various races of men and the peculiarities of the various regions of the world, take this book and have it read to you." - Marco Polo, The Travels, p. 33.

"Emperors and kings, dukes and marquises, counts, knights and townsfolk, and all people who wish to know the various races of men and the peculiarities of the various regions of the world, take this book and have it read to you." - Marco Polo, The Travels, p. 33.

Hello there!

As a History undergraduate I tend to read a lot - fiction and non fiction alike, primary sources and secondary - and I would like to share that with all you other book lovers out there! So, this blog is for everything I am currently reading, whether that be for my course or simply for pleasure.

Also, this happens to be my second tumblr. If you would like to check out my artwork and drawing music, head on over to: http://shelly-butler.tumblr.com/ and like, reblog and follow!