Discussions on the history and historiography of Australia's New England

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Round the history blogs 13 - diet, independence & Brideshead Revisited

It is almost six months since I did my last history blog round-up! That's too long. For the moment, just a taste.

Over on History Today, The Best of History Today in 2011 provides free access to some of the best articles published over 2011. It's worth a browse.

They synopsis to The English Diet: Roast Beef and.... Salad? reads:

The English diet has been mythologised as one of roasted meats and few vegetables but, as Anita Guerrini concludes from a survey of early modern writings on the subject, the nation’s approach to food has been rather more complicated than that.

My first reaction was simply that theology had something to answer for. Then I thought, what's changed? Just substitute health for religion!

In Canada as in Australia, there is debate about the question when Canada became truly independent. In Constitutional meat in the blogs, Christopher Moore reports that:

Andrew Smith... is shocked and saddened by the lack of attention given in Canada to the 80th anniversary of the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931 as it "marked the effective end of Canada's subordination to Britain." 

... But Janet Ajzenstat, almost simultaneously, puts forth 1848 as the significant moment that "sever[ed] the colonies' formal connection with the mother country."  By that reading, the 1931 Statute would dwindle to a formality -- the Empire's belated recognition of what had transpired a century earlier.

I wonder how many Australians have even heard of the Statute of Westminster? I suspect that it - the question of independence - doesn't matter a great deal. It just evolved!

Over on the Resident Judge of Port Philip, Janine remembers Christmas' past in An Australian Christmas c.1963. I have written a little on this topic myself, for most Australians have similar types of memories. From an historians viewpoint, these types of memories are actually valuable raw material. I talked a little about this in Personal memories & the writing of history.

Over on my personal blog I have begun the process of digitising and publishing personal and family photos.This is partly self-indulgence, but history is never far from my writing. For those that are interested, I have created a new label, musings on photos past.

Belle's Casus Belle Époque is arguably not a history blog, but then again it is, at least in the way that I broadly define them. If you haven't yet come across Belle's blog, do have a browse. To my mind, this is a remarkably good blog.

Belle's most recent posts (here one, here two) review Brideshead Revisited.  I watched the original series while I was back studying in Armidale in 1982 and became addicted, although it started to lose me towards the end.

From my own perspective as a sometimes historian, I am interested in the relationships between novels, novelists and history. I have never really liked Evelyn Waugh, but to my mind his life does reflect changing aspects of English life.

Livius' The History Blog continues to provide interesting material. From a purely local viewpoint, the most recent post Australian museum buys 1 holey dollar for $130,000 provides a useful summary of an early element in Australia's economic history.

I have barely scratched the surface today, yet I am already out of time! Maybe another dose tomorrow. 

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