Tag Archives: history

Oh that? That’s a *special* kind of mist

“Lonely Standing Stone in mist and rain” by Nic Howes (CC BY-SA 2.0)

You can tell a society’s priorities by its vocabulary. For instance, these recent tweets caught my eye:


Words related to battle and its aftermath? We have loads of those!

Anatomy? Eh, one word should do for all the bendy parts.



Photo: Lonely Standing Stone in mist and rain (Nic Howes) / CC BY-SA 2.0

Looking for Harold? He’s under the bed.

Wikimedia Commons
Coronation of Harold

The history books record that on 14 October 1066, Harold was brutally hacked to death by four Norman knights, after being struck by an arrow to his eye. The scenes of Harold gripping the arrow were later depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry.

Archaeologists will now explore a claim that the king survived the battle and lived as a hermit until he died of natural causes in his eighties – about 40 years after the battle.

via We found Dick, now let’s find Harry: After Richard III’s remains were found in a Leicester car park, the hunt is on for King Harold – News – Archaeology – The Independent.

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings!

I have a manuscript under the bed (metaphorically) which touched on Harold having survived the battle, though it wasn’t the main plot of the story. Maybe someday I’ll bring it out & see what I can do with it.

In the meantime, I’m doubtful about how this search will turn out. Looking for someone who died four centuries earlier than Richard III who may not have even died at the time or place he was supposed to makes the whole thing just a tiny bit more complicated & much harder to prove even if they find a body.

100 years ago: People were just as crazy over politics

I followed the link from this tweet to the July 22, 1914 edition of the New York Tribune and noticed this tiny article which made me chuckle:

Screenshot 2014-07-21 09.05.29 crop

There’s a story behind this. Too bad there’s probably no way to find out just what it is at this point (I’m not sure I want to go digging through hundred-year-old court documents even if they’re available).

I’m sure there was probably more going on between Mr. John and Mr. Ward than a simple matter of getting one to kiss President Wilson’s picture. I can imagine a long, possibly (hopefully?) friendly, political rivalry going on between the two neighbors. I wonder whether this ended the shenanigans or escalated them.


TBT: John Quincy Adams and the balloon

I find the mention of the balloon interesting. How many of us would bother to comment on this in our diaries today? But in JQA’s day, this was probably akin to what a Space Shuttle or other rocket launch is for us.

Ballooning had been around for about 30 years in 1814, so it wasn’t entirely new, but it wasn’t an everyday event. I think hot air balloons (in Adams’ case, it may have been filled with gas) are still novel enough that we stop & point them out when we see them (at least I do) but they’re probably not noteworthy enough to be one of the main things we mark down about our day.

Hot air balloon

Last week, the temporary display welcomed its landmark 100,000th visitor, having opened only six months ago.

The last moments of the second phase of the Greyfriars dig by University of Leicester, on Flickr

via Richard III centre is set to be approved | This is Leicestershire.

100,000 visitors in 6 months. Not bad. I bet some little touristy places are wishing they could dig up a long-missing king on their property to bump up their numbers.

Sadly, I’m not one of those 100,000 visitors (yet). Not to worry, though. I’ve been stalking the archaeologists virtually.

They seem to have a nice sense of humor.

It’s been a long month and Intern Claire shows how she feels as the dig comes to an end by University of Leicester, on Flickr