Historical Highlights #032

Here are this week’s historical highlights: library news, another Shakespeare exhibition, a possible Viking site in Newfoundland, and life lessons from the Brontë sisters. Enjoy.

If you missed it last week, here’s another article about Isaac Newton’s recently rediscovered alchemy recipe.

The Toronto Public Library is beginning a musical instrument lending program.

Meanwhile across the pond, about 40 protesters have been occupying Carnegie Library in London since March 31st. They are opposing the council’s plan to close the library for one year while it is transformed into a “healthy living centre.” Read the unfolding story here and here.

Since March 14 The Guardian has been running a series of articles about the world’s cities. So far they’ve covered Alexandria, Baghdad, Kingston (Jamaica), Mumbai, Canberra, Barcelona, and eleven others. I haven’t had time to read them, but wanted to pass along the link. If you read any of them, let me know what you think!

It seems that every time I turn around I read about another Shakespeare exhibition. (After all 2016 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.) This one, at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC, explores the use of Shakespeare and his plays in American history and advertising.

Shakespeare’s image used to sell New Home Sewing Machine Co products, ca 1890. Photograph: Folger Shakespeare Library

If you want to learn more about the history of nature photography, start with this 4-minute video about Lorene Squire, who took pictures of northern Canada in the 1930s. Many of her photos are held by the Hudson Bay Company Archives, part of the Archives of Manitoba.

Here’s a story that will be interesting to follow up on: using satellite images a team of researchers may have discovered another Viking site in Newfoundland. 

Are you a Brontë fan? Catherine Lowell writes, “The million-dollar question is why the Brontës and their novels are still so popular, while so many of their contemporaries have fizzled and died in our collective memories. Public interest often begins with the Brontës themselves—three impossibly tiny sisters secluded on the Moors, pretending to be men, writing epic fiction that defied the parameter of their own experiences. Yet much of our collective obsession has to do with what we don’t know. Despite exhaustive research over the last one hundred and fifty years, there are still enough holes in our knowledge to breed myths and fantasy. The picturesque romance of the Brontës depends on the incomplete picture we have; as in real life, romance and mystery go hand in hand.” She goes on to share three life lessons she’s learned from the Bronte sisters. Read the whole article here.

Have a lovely weekend, dear readers.

2 thoughts on “Historical Highlights #032

  1. Lori Ferguson says:

    I’m enjoying reading about the cities.Thanks for that link!
    Have you read Lowell’s novel about the Brontes? It got outstanding reviews on Amazon, so I put it on hold at the library.

    1. M.E. Bond
      M.E. Bond says:

      The Madwoman Upstairs? I haven’t read it but just looked it up. It does sound intriguing… I would love to write something like that!

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