Archive for July, 2011

Geography is a flavour

8 July 2011

So does that make history a smell?  My network connection is acting up so I can’t put up the picture to accompany this bit of trademarked nonsense.  Can you guess who it belongs to, though?

Please suggest alternate history slogans below…

A piece of meat

5 July 2011

By Juliana Adelman

Today I sat down to an unexpectedly exciting read.  In 1891 Daniel Tallerman published a slim volume entitled “Railway abattoirs” and other papers relating to meat distribution.  Not everyone’s cup of tea, but Tallerman was a gold mine for me.  Finally here was someone who wrote about the livestock and meat trade as though the reader would know NOTHING!  Frustratingly, it wasn’t just the primary source literature on meat that assumed levels of knowledge I did not have.  Even historians seemed to think that I would know something beyond the fact that beef and pork come from different animals.  I was beginning to think I would have to apprentice myself to a butcher for a week (although that’s probably not a bad idea either).

But why oh why should I care about a piece of meat?  By the 1890s, Ireland was exporting over one million animals annually to feed booming British towns and most of them passed through Dublin.  Meanwhile, in Chicago, refrigeration and the disassembly line had turned a cattle distribution centre into a ‘dead meat’ one almost overnight.  American meat was even shipped to Britain.  [The image is from the Chicago stockyards]. Read More

Pue’s Recommendations for July

4 July 2011

Juliana Adelman I seem to be having a little thing for maps at the moment.  I just picked up a copy of Rebecca Solnit’s new book Infinite city: a San Francisco atlas which contains maps that would surprise even the post-modern geographer.  You can see them on her website.  I have previously read and loved her Book of migrations: some passages in IrelandOn the lookout for nautical charts for my pirate-obsessed son, I stumbled across the US Coast Survey’s site.  It’s a little clunky to navigate, but you can download thousands of hi-res images of historical maps for FREE.  Yes, free (OSI please take note).  Finally, I am excited that the National Library of Ireland is to open a new cafe starting this week.  I am hoping the food improves and the prices go down.  Is that too much to ask?

Lisa Marie Griffith With exams behind me I am looking forward to spending a summer peacefully reading and researching in the library and in preparation for a course next year I am about to begin George Rude, The Crowd in History: A study of Popular disturbances in France and England, 1730-1848. Despite having splurged on some course books on Amazon recently I have also managed to make it to  the Hodges Figgis book sale to pick up some bargains. Hardback copies of Tom Garvin’s Judging Lemass can be picked up for just 15 euro! I have just returned from Havana where you simply can not ignore Ernest Hemingway’s influence on the city, or at least tourist industry so I have managed to pick up some of his books for just 4.50 in vintage classics. I have a feeling that a quiet summer of reading is going to go all too quickly…

Christina Morin Recently I discovered the wonderfulness that is Lapham’s Quarterly. I don’t know how it bypassed me for so long, but I’m glad to have found it! The Summer 2011 issue is titled simply ‘Food’, and it presents a fascinating collection of historical tidbits about the weird and wonderful world of eating. So, for instance, feast your eyes on (sorry – couldn’t resist!) the 1746 Parisian account, ‘What the Dead Ate’, or the firsthand 1910 account of force-feeding suffragettes in Liverpool. Incredible stuff! I’d like to say that I’ve finished all the reading I talked about in last month’s recommendations. Alas, I’ve really only added to the list. In particular, I’m looking forward to reading Diane Long Hoeveler’s Gothic Riffs: Secularizing the Uncanny in the European Imaginary, 1780-1820.

Kevin O’Sullivan In the spirit of Lisa’s Cuba-themed recommendations last month, I’ve been stocking up on books for a trip to the western United States. Top of the pile is Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, but I’ve also snuck in Hemingway’s Spanish civil war novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls. When I get back, I really must drop in to the exhibition of Henri Matisse’s art books at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. Looks great. Speaking of which – if, like me, you’re a believer in great book design, then Our Daily Bread, a history of Barron’s bakery in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, that I came upon recently is well worth the look. Interesting piece of social history too. Finally, six months into 2011 I’m sure that most of the resolutions are dead, but have a glance at this scan of Woody Guthrie’s hand-written ‘New Year’s Rulins’ from some time in the early 1940s. Sample: ‘Help win war – beat fascism.’

Gulliver’s Marathon

2 July 2011

By Lisa Marie Griffith

During the Dublin Writer’s Festival I met the illustrator Chris Riddell, beloved children’s author, illustrator and political cartoonist. He was speaking with Paul Stewart to some school groups about how a children’s book is written and published. They had a fantastic way of engaging with their audience. It was only after the event while looking through his books that I realised he had illustrated a beautiful version of Gulliver’s Travels which I have on my shelf at home. I had purchased it to give it to a niece as a gift but it has never made its way out of my own collection, but considering the above cover who can blame me? The illustrations are really superb. Although I can’t make it I was delighted to hear that there is a marathon reading of Gulliver’s Travels being undertaken this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) for charity as part of the Trim Swift Festival. They are looking for readers, 5 euro allows you to read for 10 minutes with all proceeds going to Aware. They are looking for an audience too and readings take place in Suzuki Swift in Trim. It sounds like good fun!You can get more details here.

Islam and Europe: A picture post

1 July 2011

By Kevin O’Sullivan

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