As we make the transition from February to March, it feels as though we are also leaving winter behind us and moving into spring. While it’s perhaps a little early to tempt fate by packing away your winter woolies *just* yet, the days have started to feel lighter and brighter of late (today is the 1st of March, and I am typing this bathed in the bright spring sunshine pouring in through my study window), the birds seem to be singing that little bit more loudly, and the first spring flowers have emerged from the frozen soil. February has also provided fertile ground for the history blogosphere, so we have an exciting and eclectic mix of blog posts to showcase in this month’s History Carnival!
Early in February (perhaps as a reminder that winter wasn’t quite over yet!), Jane Winters posted this great account of The Frozen Thames over at the IHR Digital History Blog.
February, of course, meant St Valentine’s day, which triggered a number of Valentine themed blog posts. Over at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Blog, curator Victoria Osborne published one historic valentine per day in the week leading up to 14th February, culminating with Sealed with a Kiss (or 300) – a cute love letter from 1834. A fascinating blog post at Victorian Gothic also explored the nineteenth century tradition of gifting hairwork as a token of romance or sincerity in The Lost Art of Sentimental Hairwork. My favourite Valentines related blog post though, was the ever excellent Retronaut’s collection of Vintage Valentines, a fantastic gallery, ranging from the curious to the downright creepy!
February also means pancakes! So, over at Shakespeare’s England we were treated to some lovely insights into pancake days of old, in Dainty Ballerina’s When the Pancake Bell rings we are free, which included some authentic seventeenth century pancake recipes. While we’re on a food-related theme, C Hayford’s blog post Who’s Afraid of Chop Suey? Or, the Politics of Authenticity at Frog in a Well introduces a wealth of thought provoking ideas, and also links to a longer article about the role of Chinese food in the West. Chris Gehrz also touches on the issue of authenticity, this time related to the realm of public and ‘living history’, in his blog about Dickens World at The Pietist Schoolman.
February was also a good month for fans of transport history and for rail enthusiasts in particular, with Reannon Muth’s post on The History of Rail Travel featuring at Tripbase while David Turner was busy celebrating the second anniversary of his blog TurnipRail, with a couple of special guest authored posts and his own roundup of The Best of the Second Year.
At the ever excellent Chirurgeon’s Apprentice, Lindsey Fitzharris took us ‘beyond the grave’ to explore Concepts of Death in Early Modern England. Meanwhile, at Necropolis Now, Caroline Tully posted a fascinating Interview with Professor Ronald Hutton which provided some great insights into his work on magic, witchcraft and paganism. There were also distinctly supernatural undertones to Romeo Vitelli’s post Listening to McKinley’s Ghost, which detailed an attempted assasination attempt made on Theodore Roosevelt in the run up to the 1912 US Election.
Melodee Beals’ post Scottish Solidarity and the Historigoraphy of the Tobacco Trade relates some of her recent research findings to the established historiography of Scottish tobacco merchants and their involvement in eighteenth century Atlantic Trade.
Over at Anterotesis, John Levin’s Gorilla in the Roses: The Collages of Halliwell and Orton not only reviewed an interesting exhibition but also assessed an important development in British queer history, while Hastan Niyazi explored the attrition and controversial history behind Raphaels’ ‘Portrait of a Young Woman’ in From Scandal to Obscurity at Three Pipe Problem.
The promotion of infamous women in history continued at Harlots, Harpies and Harridans, with a fine blog post exploding some of the most common myths about Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Katherine Howard. On a related royal note, with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee just around the proverbial corner here in the UK, Ian Curry put the ‘royal’ into Royal Greenwich over at Vaguely Interesting, using his research into the local history to ask What is royal in Royal Greenwich?
I really enjoyed Claire Preston’s thoughts about lost intellectual treasures (something which it is easy to take forgranted in today’s digital age!) in her post on Lost Libraries over at the Public Domain Review, while Dr Kenneth Owen offered some very interesting perspectives on Teaching Localities at his Weblog The Committe of Observation and Inspection.
I’d like to draw this month’s History Carnival to a close by featuring a few of my own favourite blog posts from February. Firstly, I really enjoyed Sarah J Young’s intriguingly entitled blog post Intergalactic Zombie Agriculture, in relation to the ideas of nineteenth century Russian philosopher Nikolai Fedorov. Secondly, Alan Flower posted some wonderful diary entries from passengers who flew on the Hindenburg Airship in A Journey on the Hindenburg over at History and the Sock Merchant. Finally, one of my Swansea University colleagues Martin Johnes blogged On publishing an academic book – a pertinent post which not only ties in with the recent release of his new book ‘Wales Since 1939’ but also provides some particularly useful insights for historians (like myself) who are currently completing their first monograph.
That’s all for this month folks! The next History Carnival will be up on 1st April, hosted by Pamela Toler at History in the Margins.