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The Orkney Isles

 

Life in the Orkney Islands, like any small group of islands, is dominated by the sea. In the past it was an all present force that shaped your life, or took it if it was angry. That mostly depended on the time of year, as the sea is ruled by spirits; in summer the Mother of the Sea gives life to all marine creatures and calms the waves but in winter it is ruled by Teran, a male spirit who causes the storms that wreck ships.

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By Tom Muir and The History Press

The Friday Digest 11/04/14

11 Apr 2014 11:15:00


secateurs-2.jpg


The Friday Digest showcases the best of this week's history and publishing news. 

This week's update features debates on the future of the publishing industry, an exorcism in Elizabethan London and the curious history of the items in your tool shed.

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By The History Press

File:King Henry V from NPG.jpg


On this day, 9 April, 599 years ago, Henry V was crowned king of England. It snowed heavily in London that day. Writing a few years later, but before the king died in 1422, Thomas Walsingham, the resident chronicler at St Albans Abbey, recalled two interpretations of this unseasonable weather. Some thought it portended that the king would be cold hearted and rule his subjects harshly; others took it as an omen that vice would be frozen and new virtues would flourish in the coming spring. Both were correct.  

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By A.J. Pollard and The History Press

A map of the subordinate plans of Operation Bodyguard, the 1944 deception in support of the Allied invasion of Normandy (D-Day). Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Fortitude


Lieutenant-Colonel Roger Hesketh was a member of General Eisenhower’s deception unit, Ops B, and was a key figure in Operation Fortitude, the great Allied deception carried out against the Germans to support the Normandy campaign. After the war, Hesketh wrote a book on Fortitude, and in it he asked the question: of all the elements employed to deceive the enemy, from the fake runways and aircraft, to the dummy airborne troops, and the double agents feeding disinformation, which one had the greatest effect? Which part of Fortitude had actually fooled the Germans?

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By Jason Webster for The History Press

The Friday Digest 04/04/14

4 Apr 2014 12:00:00


The Friday Digest showcases the best of this week's history and publishing news. 

Skeleton from a victim of the Black Death (Source: http://bbc.in/O86dHX)

This week's update features the skeletons of victims of the Black Death, a First World War project that really builds up a picture of individuals serving during the war, and the best thrillers and crime writting by women. 

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By The History Press

 New information suggests Henry VIII only had five wives...

Swedish historian Dr Eurt Ton has found new evidence to suggest Henry VIII only had five wives - debunking a popular idea about the infamous king.

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By Paul Sullivan and The History Press

Christina Keith's graduation photo

 

I never knew Christina Keith, but she was my grandmother's eldest sister. She died in 1963, just a few months after my parents became engaged. In her will she made a gift to my father, her nephew, 'to help him start off in his married life'. In our family home there was an exceptionally big bookcase, which caused problems to the removal men each time we moved house. That bookcase had belonged to Christina Keith or 'Auntie Tiny' as she was known within the family. She was one among a host of legendary relatives whose names I knew, an intellectual who was somewhat eccentric and took her tins to the nearby hotel to be opened because she couldn't use a tin opener. 

That was largely the extent of my awareness of Auntie Tiny until November 2011, when my father first showed me her manuscript memoir from 1918 to 1919. In this short book Christina, using the pseudonym 'A Fool in France' recounts her experiences as a young lecturer to the troops in France at the end of the First World War. It is a story in two parts. In the first she recalls life at the base among men who were desperate to be allowed home, while the second part describes an astonishing journey which she and a female companion took across the devastated battlefields just four months after the Armistice. From the moment I read the memoir I was captivated. I wanted to know more about Christina, her life, her background and the scheme which had taken her to France as the First World War came to a close.

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs The Real First World War By Flora Johnston and The History Press

The Friday Digest 28/03/14

28 Mar 2014 12:00:00

Racy back-baring 1930s beach pyjamas, found at "Curves, Patterns and Pins"

The Friday Digest showcases the best of this week's history and publishing news. 

This week's update features Victorian street view, the boat that rocked and a guide to pyjama dressing. 

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By The History Press

Autochrome of British colonial soldiers from Punjab Province, France, 1917


What do we know about the international contribution to the First World War? Not a lot, apparently. The British Council released a report in February 2014 detailing that less than half of the 1081 people questioned were aware that the Middle East (34%) played a part in the war, and less than a quarter are aware that Africa (21%) and Asia (22%) were involved in The Great War. Many of the territories in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Australasia and beyond were part of the British Empire, and later the Commonwealth. And they did not just fight on The Western Front as many believe, but around the world in places like Egypt, Turkey and modern day Iran.

2014 marks the centenary of the First World War, and this provides us with the ideal opportunity to look at and commemorate the impact that this remarkable and pained time in our history has had on us today. Britain is a wonderfully multicultural society, and arguably some of these multicultural roots can be seen in the Commonwealth to the First World War. But what exactly was the Commonwealth contribution to the First World War, and why is it important that we remember it as part of our commemorations?

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs The Real First World War By Inara Khan and The History Press

The Friday Digest 21/03/14

21 Mar 2014 12:00:00

A Seal of the Knights Templar. Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_Templar

The Friday Digest showcases the best of this week's history and publishing news. 

This week's update features the origins of ebooks, the Ides of March and a comedy podcast inspired by the history of the Knights Templar (yes really!).

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By The History Press

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