History

Arthur, le Roi des Britons: The Influence of French Literature on England’s Greatest National Myth
10 July 2019

The Adam Matthew collection Arthurian Legends and the Influence of French Prose Romance, one of fifteen collections in Research Source: Medieval and Early Modern Studies, offers an insight into how one of England’s most famous nation-making myths was not only shaped, but transformed, by the literature of France.

The Treaty of Versailles: differing perspectives
28 June 2019

One hundred years ago today and after six months of protracted negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference, the Treaty of Versailles was signed. 

My drops of tears I'll turn to sparks of fire: Burning down and building up the Globe Theatre
27 June 2019

On 29th June 1613, a theatrical cannon misfired during a performance of Henry VIII and set fire to the thatch of the Globe Theatre, engulfing the roof in flames. Within minutes, the wooden structure was also alight, and in under an hour the Globe was destroyed.

The Toxin of Chernobyl
19 June 2019

Chernobyl, HBO’s latest hit mini-series, has thrust the catastrophic events of the infamous nuclear accident back into the public consciousness, prompting new discussions about how the disaster unfolded and who was ultimately accountable. Watching the series over the past few weeks, we here at Adam Matthew were reminded of a Soviet-made documentary we had seen in the online resource, Socialism on Film: The Cold War and International Propaganda.

Pride and Prejudice: 50 years since Stonewall
14 June 2019

The month of June is celebrated in countries around the world as Pride month. Events, parades and marches which were originally conceived as an annual commemoration of the Stonewall riots of June 1969 are today a celebration of LGBT acceptance and achievements, and a recognition of the continuing fight for rights and equality.

Extraordinary Instance of Female Friendship: Female Romance Before Gentleman Jack
07 June 2019

If you’ve switched on a television in the last month or two, you’ve likely caught a glimpse of Suranne Jones – all cheekbones, wry smile and top hat – embodying the character of ‘Gentleman Jack’. Anne Lister is one of history’s most iconic lesbian figures; her coded diaries shattered everything we thought we knew about nineteenth century “lesbianism” upon their rediscovery in 1933. Iconic female romances existed in Britain long before Lister’s notorious love affairs, however, and one such story can be found in our Defining Gender resource.

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima
28 May 2019

The Battle of Iwo Jima was one of the deadliest battles of the War in the Pacific. Whilst only a small island, it held great significance to both sides. For the United States, it offered a position to advance an aerial campaign towards Tokyo. For the Japanese, Iwo Jima had a symbolic meaning, as it was the first Japanese national soil to face foreign invasion.

The Real Life Dumbo
23 May 2019

After a recent cinema trip to see Disney’s live-action retelling of the original 1941 film Dumbo, I was intrigued to find out more about the origins of the film and the circuses that rose to popularity in the nineteenth century, and what better place to look than our fascinating Victorian Popular Culture resource. 

Skating away from war: The Four Hollywood Blondes tour Europe, 1939-40
17 May 2019

Although the outbreak of hostilities in Europe in September 1939 led the United States’ diplomatic mission to organise an evacuation of American citizens from Germany, the Four Hollywood Blondes, a rollerskating troupe on a tour of Europe, were among those who stayed, owing to contractual obligations with Berlin theatres. Their tour took in performances in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, before a refugee ship brought them home to the United States.

Salvage for Victory: Lessons on Recycling and Waste Reduction from Wartime America
15 May 2019

We all seem to have plastic on our minds. The recent growth of public interest in waste reduction is unmistakeable, and as someone who has long been concerned about the impact of our throwaway culture on the environment, it’s encouraging to see. However, while one might be forgiven for thinking this was a recent phenomenon, the concepts of waste management and recycling are anything but new.

Looking for Cognac and someone to kiss: Celebrating VE Day
10 May 2019

This week saw the 74th anniversary of VE Day, the formal acceptance by the Allies of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender. Famous photographed moments live on in public memory; a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square and soldiers dancing in London conjure up an image of all out celebration. For millions of people around the world, this was the case, but as documents from the newly published America in World War Two: Oral Histories and Personal Accounts reveal, reactions to victory in Europe were more nuanced than this.

He Hōʻiliʻili Hawaiʻi: A Brief History of Hawaiian Language Newspapers
30 April 2019

Prior to foreign arrival, ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) was a completely oral language. From the advent of the birth of the islands to our kūpuna (ancestors) who first called Hawaiʻi home, and from the volcanic deities’ love escapades to campaigns of warring chiefs staking claim over ʻāina (land), what we as Hawaiians know about ourselves and our collective histories was memorized and passed down from generation to generation via the spoken word.

A special guest blog by J. Hauʻoli Lorenzo-Elarco.

Playing God: Richard Brinsley Peake and the Fate of Frankenstein on stage
26 April 2019

Last year marked 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a novel that has since become one of the premiere titles of Gothic fiction. Rivalled only by Bram Stokers Dracula, it has been adapted for film, television, radio, opera and the theatre.The first of these adaptations (at least those recorded) however, is perhaps just as influential as the novel which spawned it. Richard Brinsley Peake’s Presumption: Or the Fate of Frankenstein, is a three act play first performed in 1823 and is included in our Victorian Popular Culture collection. What is so astounding about this version however is that it features several elements not included in the novel which have reappeared consistently in subsequent adaptations.

 

Sub-Contracting Empire: F D Lugard
17 April 2019

Sub-contracting might seem like quite a modern phenomenon, indeed many of the world’s biggest companies have built their entire business model around outsourcing and subcontracting

No Front Line in Sight: Reporting on Merrill's Marauders
12 April 2019

With the upcoming publication of the second module of Service Newspapers of World War Two, we find a report in Yank: The Army Newspaper from Sgt. Dave Richardson. Richardson spent over three months in the dense Burmese jungle fighting alongside men of the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional).

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