History Carnival #127 – November 2013



Hello, and welcome to History and the Sock Merchant, a modern history blog which empowers history enthusiasts and academics alike by making history more accessible and interesting, bridging the gap between knowledge and public engagement and where I am very proud to be hosting the November 2013 History Carnival. Despite being a modernist this carnival contains history blogging from all periods, from the ancient world to the present day so everyone should find something they're interested in. I hope you have as much fun reading the fine work of those history bloggers selected for the carnival  as I have.
Alan Flower  

Regular readers of my blog are accustomed to a crowd pleasing opening so; For a fuller bosom, try...butter? Chocolate? Ice-baths? These and other 19th c. bust-increasing solutions.

Tool of the devil, harmless family game—or fascinating glimpse into the non-conscious mind of a middle class that should just have something better to do? Linda Rodriguez McRobbie at the Smithsonian Blog gives us the Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board.

Historians are becoming more ambitious in the breadth and depth of their coverage. Is there a danger that this will reduce the role of humans to a bit part? Not necessarily, says Paul Dukes.

If contemporary prints on display at The History of Love Blog are anything to go by, the local population of Oxford had reason to be alarmed by the arrival of charming fresh undergraduates throughout the Georgian period – with their fancy breeches and their book-learning ways – because they posed a real danger to the chastity of local girls.


Nell Darby or 'The Cotswold Historian' is a freelance journalist and social historian, living and working in the Cotswolds who uses  local archives to unearth fascinating stories of past Cotswold residents and shares them on his wonderful blog. In this post, written during the great storm of late October 2013, Nell finds escape in what was happening in his corner of the Cotswolds over a hundred years earlier. 

Simon T Abernethy is a Ph.D student at the University of Cambridge, studying London’s public transport system between the 1860s to the 1940s. At his blog: The Pirate Omnibus, celebrating the best, the worst, and the plain bewildering from 150 years of public transport, he gives us the first account of a passenger prosecuted for the heinous crime of smoking on a train, 150 years ago!

Natalie Bennett, green politician, woman's historian, book reviewer and feminist, at her blog Philobiblon, in a post that reminds me why we need blogs, introduces us to the idea that the way we eat now is not necessarily steeped in history and tradition, but a very recent development.

No one has ever featured a carnival within a carnival before but in the following days, JVC Online will feature a week of posts devoted to the connections between Neo-Victorian studies and digital humanities. Be sure to check out 'Dickens, the Digital, and The Doctor' (meaning Doctor Who).

Oscar Micheaux was an American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 films. He is regarded as the first major African-American feature filmmaker, the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the twentieth century. At the aptly named Explaining History Michael Burk tells us how this was possible less than fifty years after the end of the American Civil War.

Claire Hayward is a History PhD student writing a thesis on the representations of same-sex sexuality in public history and her blog is where public history meets the history of same-sex sexuality: join her on a heritage trail to find a statue of the widely recognised ‘gay icon’, Alan Turing.

This month marks 75 years since the Munich crisis and the culmination of the appeasement policy that would eventually destroy the reputation of British Prime minister Neville Chamberlain. Why did he dogmatically pursue such a ruinous policy? Carl Jones sheds some light on this.

History@Work" is a multi-authored, multi-interest blog sponsored by the National Council on Public History as a digital meeting place--a commons--for all those with an interest in the practice and study of history in public. Here they offer us one of three avenues to investigate the role of artefacts in society.

Erik Kwakkel, Medieval book historian at Leiden University, has discovered a medieval iPad that's a thousand-year-old time capsule.

Matt Novak writes the Paleofuture blog and this month gives us a delightful post featuring Victorian and Edwardian postcard fantasies of the year 2000.


A nineteenth century female pirate! Find out more from Elena Maria Vidal at her blog Tea at Trianon 'A place for friends to meet... with reflections on politics, history, art, music, books, morals, manners, and matters of faith'.

A Ghoulish story for Halloween from The Virtual Victorian Blog.

Emperors in the Roman Empire would frequently manipulate their public image to convey their best aspects, whether fact or fantasized, and further their private imagery to cement private belief in himself as a righteous ruler, so much so that even they would fall into the deception themselves. W.U Hstry tells us how!

The Edwardian Promendade is a history blog who's primary focus is on the social history of Great Britain and America between the years 1880 and 1920, this month they teach us to speak like a Gilded Age Criminal.

'Wonders and Marvels is a splendid community for those with curious minds that love history, this month they give us: Nine Nazi leaders and the secrets only their psychiatrist knew. 

A Social History of Love? Jen Newby reviews Claire Langhamer's new book, 'The English in Love', at Writing Womens History.

Thank you for stopping by, if you like what you see, be sure to check out the next carnival on December 1st at khronikos; a blog showcasing the research of University of Maine graduate history students.