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

Monday, July 09, 2012

Podcast - Social Change in New England 1950-2000

Because of the topic, this is a cross-post on three blogs.

In April of last year, I delivered seminar paper in Armidale on Social Change in New England 1950-2000. While I knew that it was being recorded, I didn't know until last week that it was on line as a podcast.  I had a cold plus too much material, but still it's a record of some of my work.

You will find the podcast here.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Round the history blogs 14 - ancient pottery, Canadian photos with a dash of romance and just a bit more

Over on The History Blog, Oldest pottery in the world found in China records that pottery fragments discovered in Xianrendong Cave in south China’s Jiangxi Province have been radiocarbon dated to 19,000-20,000 years ago making them the oldest pottery ever discovered. Livius reports that over the past 10 years, ancient pottery finds in East Asia have upended the notion that ceramics were invented around the time humans transitioned from hunting and gathering to agriculture, 10,000 or so years ago. This discovery is fully 2,000 to 3,000 years older than previous examples.

In another story, Celebrate Canada Day with colonial-era picture, Livius records that the UK National Archives have uploaded hundreds of pictures of colonial-era Canada just in time for Canada Day. The photos are worth a browse.

In ‘Bogle Corbet’ by John Galt, The Resident Judge of Port Phillip begins:  "You may not have heard of Bogle Corbet, or of its author the Scottish writer John Galt but he was an incredibly prolific author, celebrated in both Scotland and Canada as an important Romantic-era author who based his narratives on “theoretical history” drawn from his observations and empirical facts."

I had indeed not heard of John Galt. The only John Galt I knew was the character In Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Janine was not impressed by the book, "It is a product of its time and taste, and rather forgettable." From the sound of it, it appears to be something of a thinly disguised immigration book. These, along with stories of life in the various colonies, were popular with readers in the home countries and the dominions.

I have been conscious of them for a long time, largely because they still lay around family homes and I read anything and everything that was around. Ralph Connor's Corporal Cameron of the North West Mounted Police; a tale of the Macleod trail is an example. I found this a great yarn, even if even then I found it moralistic and somewhat quaint. This is just a sample:

The rays of the sun setting far down the Pass shone through the walls and filled the tent with a soft radiance. Into this radiance she came, her face pale as of one who has come through conflict, and serene as of one who has conquered, pale and strong and alight, not with the radiance of the setting sun, but with light of a soul that has made the ancient sacrifice of self-effacing love.

"You want me?" she said, her voice low and sweet, but for all her brave serenity tremulous.

"Yes," said Cameron, holding out his arms. "I want you; I want YOU, Mandy."

"Oh," cried the girl, while her hands fluttered to her heart, "don't ask me to go through it again. I am so weak." She stood like a frightened bird poised for flight.

"Come," he said, "I want you."

"You want me? You said you wanted to take care of me," she breathed.

"I was a fool, Mandy; a conceited fool! Now I know what I want--I want--just YOU. Come." Again he lifted his arms.

"Oh, it cannot be," she breathed as if to herself. "Are you sure--sure? I could not bear it if you were not sure."

"Come, dear love," he cried, "with all my heart and soul and body I want you--I want only YOU."

And so Cameron having been saved through the Canadian experience finds final redemption.

The Idle Historian's Churchill Style: Not so Much the Accoutrements as the Attitude is a fun piece reviewing Churchill Style: The Art of Being Winston Churchill by Barry Singer (foreword by Michael Korda).

IH's own regard for Churchill is clear: "To me, Churchill is simply a very human character. As Michael Korda writes (detailing his domestic eccentricities), "it is hard to dislike such a man." Larger-than-life, and yet a bundle of faults, inconsistencies, and divided motives." Whatever Winston Churchill was, he wasn't dull! Mind you, he probably wouldn't have electable either in modern Australia.

Carol Baxter's blog continues to be very useful for all those interested in family research. Have a look at Beware the ignorant genealogist. That's experience talking.

The Dictionary of Sydney blog moved to a new location. Thanks to this blog, I have now found Signposts, the blog of the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. There is some good material here for those interested in New Zealand's history. I go further: this is a fantastic blog for a fascinating organisation! Expect more.

I am out of time for today. Talk to you later.