Reference

Heritage Week Launched | OVER 1100 EVENTS ANNOUNCED AT LAUNCH OF NATIONAL HERITAGE WEEK EVENT GUIDE « Heritage Week

Who couldn’t do with this? Even if you don’t plan to get married anytime soon!

Talk & Tea: An Eighteenth-Century Gentlewoman’s Guide to Marriage, Donegal County Museum, High Rd., Letterkenny, Co Donegal (FREE) Wednesday 25th August, 7-9pm. Talk explores the way in which love and marriage were dealt with during the eighteenth century. Talk covers issues including courtship, legal requirements for marriage, the ‘companionate’ marriage, marriage customs, the duties of a wife.

via OVER 1100 EVENTS ANNOUNCED AT LAUNCH OF NATIONAL HERITAGE WEEK EVENT GUIDE « Heritage Week.

Quick Link | Dublin Life in 1597: Gunpowder,Explosions and Strikes. « Irish History Podcast

Fantastic post today from Irish History Podcast on a little known explosion that ripped apart a large portion of Dublin city in the 16th Century:

It didn’t take a genius to figure out what caused the explosion itself. That week a shipment of gunpowder had arrived in the city and was being off loaded onto the quays. The gunpowder was for the English army waging the Nine years war (1594-1603) against the O Neills amongst others. Normally this powder would be transported the short distance from the quays up to the castle (see map below). However that week conflict arose between the porters in the city and castle officials and a large supply of gun powder built up on the quays. At lunchtime on Friday it exploded with devastating consequences demolishing twenty houses around the Woodquay area of the city.

via Dublin Life in 1597: Gunpowder,Explosions and Strikes. « Irish History Podcast.

Quick Link – Bozo Sapiens: The Rainbow Warrior Sinking: Necessity

Another fine post from the Bozo Sapiens folks!

Seeing an opening, Greenpeace campaigners brought their flagship, Rainbow Warrior, to New Zealand. Their plan was to sail into the military exclusion zone around the atoll, forcing the French to abandon their tests for fear of endangering life.  It was a gesture, and an insulting one. L’État responded.

via Bozo Sapiens: The Rainbow Warrior Sinking: Necessity.

What I'm reading: Thirty Years of Woe

Peter H Wilson's Europe's TragedyAs ever my reading list is long with both History and Science Fiction but I think it is worthwhile mentioning a few of the history books here as they are most enjoyable.

The first and best of the lot is Europe’s Tragedy by Peter H. Wilson. There are excellent reviews around so I’ll point you to them rather than write my own right now. I’d point out one small irritant which is that Wilson has a tendency to shift what seems to me abruptly between theatres of conflict. I’m getting used to it, but combined with the huge line up of notable actors in the period, it can make reading harder going that I’d like.

The Telepgraph
Worse than the Black Death, worse than the First World War, worse than the Second World War, worse than the Holocaust – that is how the Thirty Years War lives on in the collective German memory. This is just one of many arresting pieces of information to be gleaned from this colossal history of one of the longest and most destructive conflicts in European history.

The Times
The lead-lined window that sparked it all is still there, of course: you can even open it, and peer down to the dry moat into which the three Catholic imperial counsellors were cast on May 23, 1618 by a group of enraged Bohemian Protestant gentry. The room itself is on the fourth floor of the great Hradschin Palace, which looks over the river to the city of Prague. All is peaceful now, but it wasn’t then; it was the epicentre of a storm that was to engulf much of Europe for the following three decades.

Californian Literary Review
Wilson, whose grasp of 17th century politics and diplomacy is most impressive, makes two significant contributions toward understanding the origin of the Thirty Years War. First, the Holy Roman Empire, which unified the German and Slavic states of Central Europe under Habsburg rule, was a much more effective political force than is generally realized. Differing in organization from a modern nation state, the Empire was an elective monarchy which kept order and cohesion among the component dukedoms, electorates and free city-states.

BBC History magazine
Perhaps most importantly Wilson is an enemy of historical inevitability. The first 300 pages of this book, far from being a countdown to inexorable catastrophe, are largely about why the war should not have occurred. Against the familiar line that a chaotic and enfeebled Holy Roman empire of German principalities, cities and micro-territories was already long past its sell-by date in 1618, Wilson offers a feisty defence of imperial institutions and of their remarkable success during the later 16th century in solving problems of territorial inheritance, religious rights and political rivalries.

One final observation before I leave it for today, the cover for the British and Irish edition is top left and it really is a nice cover but the US edition is really something, far superior and much more attention grabbing so I’ve included it below right.

See what I mean?
Eoin

Some Excellent History Podcasts

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=volcano&iid=8604972″ src=”7/a/1/c/Ash_spews_from_8f77.jpg?adImageId=12678428&imageId=8604972″ width=”380″ height=”534″ /]First and foremost I thought I’d remind us all that we live in times historic. A time that despite enormous change and significant scientific achievement can still be grounded by natural causes and nature itself.

But what this blogpost is about is three great history podcasts. New Books In History, Don Carlin’s, Hardcore History and 12 Byzantine Rulers.

For a long time, I missed the potential of podcasts. I didn’t own an mp3 player of any kind and I love radio so I was happy enough to listen to whatever was on air when I was walking, reading or working. Then I got an iPod Touch!

Since then I’ve found four podcasts that I listen to nearly everyday, some for short period like Mattins, a wonderful daily short reading by James Bridle and sometimes for more than an hour.

These three offer different things, one, New Books In History, is very focussed and about a single topic per episode with an obvious connection to the book being discussed. Hardcore History is much broader and covers topics in depth sometimes stretching over multiple episodes. The last, 12 Byzantine Rulers, is focussed and precise yet covers a huge sweeping history over a series that lasts about 17 episodes.

I heartily recommend them all!
Eoin

Taoiseach – TV3's new series

I have to say, I didn’t expect this of TV3. I missed the news that it was running and so missed the first episode on one of the most interesting men t hold the office, WT Cosgrave (whom we’ve mentioned here before).

The Independent carries a fine piece by John-Paul McCarthy about the series:

Cosgrave was in many ways an essentially theocratic politician, a deeply devout Catholic who once proposed that an ecclesiastical commission vet parliamentary legislation for theological deviance as soon as the statutes emerged from the Dail print shop.

And yet he held office under a classically liberal constitution, complete with an American-style establishment clause banning preferential treatment for a state church and an essentially British division of competences between an executive, a lower house and an upper house possessed of some interesting delaying powers. The Catholic Gulliver was thus immobilised for 15 years by these delicate constitutional chains. Cosgrave was also mild-mannered, unambitious personally and prone on occasion to diplomatic illnesses which allowed him to avoid contentious cabinet tussles between his headstrong subordinates. (He was formally ill during the Army Mutiny crisis in 1924 and sought to direct events from hospital.) And yet, circumstances forced Cosgrave to become arguably the most ruthless civilian chief executive the Irish State has ever produced.

Looking forward to catching up and watching the rest!
Eoin