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Proof that early modern Europeans had war elephants

From the 1702.01.03-06 Flying Post:

This is to give Notice, That there is lately arrived a large Elephant, the biggest that ever was in Europe, and performs varieties of Exercise for Diversion and Laughter, viz. exercises the Musket, flourishes the Colours very nimble and swift in several Postures; he also bears two Persons upon his Trunck; two upon his Ears, and ten upon his Back; with several Varieties. Is to be seen at the White-Horse Inn in Fleetstreet, from 10 in the Morning till 5 at Night.

 

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Twenty years of computer-assisted research

Our household has been in a bit of a spring cleaning vibe (new bookcases will do that), which inspired me to get rid of a bunch of old electronics dating from the Pleistocene. In addition to recycling some pocket electronics (an old digital recorder and an old Dell Digital Jukebox MP3 player – and where or where did my old c. 2004 Dell Axim go?), we also are unloading one very old (486?) PC and a bevy of laptops, which made me briefly reminisce on all the laptops I’ve loved, and hated, before (sung with a Willie Nelson twang): Read More…

When Google stops being helpful

Google image search: “garrison evacuation”.

My results:

Someone's taken over the Internet

Someone’s taken over the Internet (YMMV)

 

Boy, some of those images sure look familiar.

Now why didn’t I think of that?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3210506/Serial-conman-posed-Duke-Marlborough-Fawlty-Towers-type-scam-running-10-000-bills-posh-London-hotels-admits-ten-counts-fraud.html

(Sometimes I’ll let the URL do the talking. First day of school and all that.)

Once again, I’m late to the party. I probably could’ve saved some money in England if I’d pretended to be the Duke of Marlborough. Would it have worked? Depends on whether much changed between the First and Twelfth Dukes.

Bonus points for the Fawlty Towers reference!

Love and Death

A new one for the Safe Sex Manual, from the Daily Mail (among others):

Couple fall to their deaths from Vauban Fort into the moat whilst having sex.

I must admit that I too had a close call once – slipping atop the Le Quesnoy ramparts on a rainy October day. I was, however, fully clothed. And the only erotic element of my tour was the slight frisson I experienced visiting one of Vauban’s creations.

And for those seeking historical accuracy: assuming the scene of the accident was the Fort Vauban (on one of Normandy’s Chausey islands), it was actually constructed in the 1860s. But when you’re famous, you get all sorts of things named after you.

Waterloo schmaterloo

Apparently people have been talking about some big event that happened long ago.

Miscellaneous links illustrating the continued resonance of big battles and larger-than-life personalities:

  • Business Insider photos of Waterloo 2015 reenactment, some 5,000-6,000 strong. But only 170 horse? I thought reenactors were gunning for verisimilitude?
  • New issue of the new British Journal of Military History, an open-access journal (read: free to download PDFs). This issue is dedicated to the Napoleonic wars: Waterloo, Wellington and Women.
  • Waterloo Being Used for Political Purposes I: Is there room for a celebratory Waterloo Euro in the European Union? Numerous accounts about the kerfuffle over France’s veto of a Belgian Waterloo-commemorative euro coin are available online, but this short piece provides a good photo of the custom coin that’s now available.

    And you're complaining about a coin?

    And you’re complaining about a coin?

  • Waterloo Being Used for Political Purposes II: Please don’t go! French op-ed (in English) warning England that a Brexit from the EU would be a reverse Waterloo. Or something.

More substantive posts to come… maybe even one on Waterloo.

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 11.42.21 AM

 

My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender
Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way
The history book on the shelf
Is always repeating itself