You are browsing the archive for History.

The Dances of the Ages (1913)

- February 2, 2018 in banquet, dance, History, miniaturisation, special effects

Miniaturised dancers give a history of dance from the stone-age to the early 20th century, all upon a table-top.

The Dances of the Ages (1913)

- February 2, 2018 in banquet, dance, History, miniaturisation, special effects

Miniaturised dancers give a history of dance from the stone-age to the early 20th century, all upon a table-top.

The Dances of the Ages (1913)

- February 2, 2018 in banquet, dance, History, miniaturisation, special effects

Miniaturised dancers give a history of dance from the stone-age to the early 20th century, all upon a table-top.

The Strange Adventures of a Pebble (1921)

- February 28, 2017 in geography, geology, History, pebble

The natural history of the world from the point of view of a personified pebble.

The Strange Adventures of a Pebble (1921)

- February 28, 2017 in geography, geology, History, pebble

The natural history of the world from the point of view of a personified pebble.

Writing his Life through the Other: The Anthropology of Malinowski

- January 22, 2014 in anthropology, Articles, bronislaw malinowski, diary, ethnography, History, Science, trobriand islands

Last year saw the works of Bronislaw Malinowski – father of modern anthropology – enter the public domain in many countries around the world. Michael W. Young explores the personal crisis plaguing the Polish-born anthropologist at the end of his first major stint of ethnographic immersion in the Trobriand Islands, a period of self-doubt glimpsed through entries in his diary – the most infamous, most nakedly honest document in the annals of social anthropology.

Inside the Empty House: Sherlock Holmes, For King and Country

- January 8, 2014 in arthur conan doyle, Articles, conan doyle, History, Literature, royal baccarat scandal, sherlock holmes, sir arthur conan doyle, tranby croft affair

As a new series of BBC’s Sherlock revives the great detective after his apparent death at the hands of Moriarty in ‘The Empty Hearse’, Andrew Glazzard investigates the domestic and imperial subterfuge beneath the surface of Sherlock Holmes’s 1903 return to Baker Street in Conan Doyle’s ‘The Empty House’.

Elizabeth Bisland’s Race Around the World

- October 16, 2013 in around the world, Articles, Books, cosmopolitan, elizabeth bisland, Events, History, Literature, nellie bly

Matthew Goodman explores the life and writings of Elizabeth Bisland, an American journalist propelled into the limelight when she set out in 1889 – head-to-head with fellow journalist Nellie Bly – on a journey to beat Phileas Fogg’s fictitious 80-day circumnavigation of the globe.

A Dangerous Man in the Pantheon

- October 2, 2013 in Articles, Denis Diderot, Encylopedié, Enlightenment, France, History, Literature, Panthéon, Philosophy, Rousseau, Voltaire

This October marks 300 years since the birth of French Enlightenment thinker Denis Diderot. Although perhaps best known for co-founding the Encylopédie, Philipp Blom argues for the importance of Diderot's philosophical writings and how they offer a pertinent alternative to the Enlightenment cult of reason spearheaded by his better remembered contemporaries Voltaire and Rousseau.

Re-examining ‘the Elephant Man’

- July 24, 2013 in Articles, david lynch, deformity, elephant man, freakshow, History, joseph merrick, Science, sideshow, tom norman, victorian

Nadja Durbach questions the extent to which Joseph Merrick, known as the Elephant Man, was exploited during his time in a Victorian ‘freakshow’, and asks if it wasn’t perhaps the medical establishment, often seen as his saviour, who really took advantage of the man and his condition. The scenes are among the most heartless in cinema history: a drunken, abusive showman exhibiting the severely deformed Joseph Merrick to horrified punters. David Lynch’s The Elephant Man begins with its lead character being treated little better than an animal in a cage. But it soon finds a clean-cut hero in the ambitious young surgeon Frederick Treves, who rescues the hapless Merrick from his keeper and gives him permanent shelter at the London Hospital. Supported by charitable donations, the victim recovers his humanity: he learns to speak again (in a decidedly middle-class accent), to entertain society guests and to dress and behave like a well-heeled young dandy. Merrick, no more the degraded show freak, reveals his inner goodness and spirituality and dies happy. Lynch’s movie is based largely on Treves’ sentimental chronicle. But that narrative is merely one version of events – and one that in the end tells us more about middle-class [...]