Archive | History

Quarantine and Cultural Memory

Today I’m thinking about quarantine and cultural memory. On our road trip to Pennsylvania we listened to Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome. In the novel the children we met in Swallows and Amazons, the Walkers and the Blacketts, are enjoying a post-Christmas winter holiday in the Lake District before heading back to their boarding schools. […]

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Stumbling Stones

Stumbling Stone Not really a stone. A little bronze plate the size of a cobblestone, flush with the pavement. No one could trip over it except the way the eye catches on something bright and the mind cannot let it go, that idea that stays with you all day long until you go back to […]

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Gettysburg July 2019, Day III

On Wednesday we got up and had another camp breakfast of eggs and bacon. Taking time to cook breakfast and do the dishes after did mean that we didn’t hit the road until after 9. So we didn’t much escape the heat. We picked up at Little Round Top and did the second half of […]

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Chronological Snobbery about the Middle Ages

  We’ve been reading Men, Microscopes and Living Things, which is a sort of history of biology for children. On the whole I really like the book. It’s well written and engaging. But the chapters on medieval herbalists and medieval bestiaries both raised my eyebrows a bit and sparked some interesting discussions as I questioned […]

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School of Athens, Raphael

The Invention of the “Middle Ages”

I came across this snippet about the invention of the Middle Ages in today’s reading, one of those things that immediately lit up a dozen different connections in my brain: “Flavio Biondi of Forli (1392-1463), while celebrating Florence and Italy, provided a scheme that would dominate and tyrannize European historical thought for centuries to come. […]

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