Eric Liddell (1902–45) was born in Tientsin/Tianjin in China, son of Rev & Mrs James Liddell, Scottish missionar­ies with the Lon­d­on Mis­sion Society. Eric and brother Rob were left at Eltham Col­l­ege in SE London, a Christian boarding school for missionar­ies’ sons; meantime his parents and sister Jenny returned to China. During those years, their…

Lue lisää

The first Euro­p­eans to visit the Golden Horn Bay came off two British war­ships in 1855. Russian and German mer­ch­ants from across Eur­­­ope, plus the Japanese, settled in what later became Vlad­iv­ost­ok (pop now 610,000). The area near the Chinese and North Korean borders was ceded by China to Russia via the Treaties of Aigun…

Lue lisää

Thank you to CNN. From Gander Newfoundland, British aviators Alcock and Brown boarded the world's first nonstop transatlantic flight and Amelia Earhart began her pion­eering journeys there.Map of Newfoundland, CanadaGander is marked in greenGreenwich Mean TimeIn June 1936, workers jumped off the New­foundland Rail­way, and set about cl­ear­ing land for what would become the world's…

Lue lisää

                                           Fatty Arbuckle and the beautiful Virginia RappeRoscoe Fatty Arbuckle (1887–1933) was a hugely success­ful silent film star and director. In 1917, Arbuckle formed his own company and many of his films starred his friend and…

Lue lisää

I have referred for half my post to Chloe Govan’s paper on  the controversial life of King Louis XV’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour. Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson (1721–1764) was the daughter of a grotty mother and a penniless fraudster father who was forced to flee the country when she was 4, to avoid hanging for his debts. Jean…

Lue lisää

There were many famous bushrangers during the Gold Rush Australia eg Mad Dog Mor­gan (1830–65), Captain Moonlight (1842–80), Capt Thunderbolt (1835-70), Capt Midnight (1855-78), Ben Hall (1837-65) and Ned Kelly (1854–80). Many bushrangers were shot on site or hanged after court, for commit­t­ing murder and theft. Their average life expectancy was only c33 years!Wanted poster…

Lue lisää

L] Quisling and R]  Reichskommissar Terboven, 1940partnership of the paramilitary organisation, Hirden,during Nazi occup­at­ion of Norway, WikiwandVidkun Quisling (1887-1945) was born in Telemark, S.E Nor­way, son of a distinguished Luth­er­an minister and an heir­ess ship owner. His parents intended their studious son to have a mil­itary career, so he en­rolled in the Norw­eg­ian Milit­ary Ac­ademy. He was…

Lue lisää

I was very interested in the golden age of Dutch art and trade as impacted by Asia. Now it's time to examine fine Jingdez­hen porcelain as it was adapted by the French. Chinese potters identified the essential clay ingred­ient for porc­elain, kaolin, the best sources being in Tibet and the Gobi Desert. The Chinese took this…

Lue lisää

Amit and Tal Biranwith children Tom (L), and sole survivor Eitan (R)Times of IsraelMy late father Les was adopted. He was very happy to live with his aunt Sarah whose house was just around the corner from his biological parents and siblings. And he saw his brothers at school each day. But it wasn’t until Long Lost…

Lue lisää

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1526-93) was born in Milan, son of an artist. Dad worked for Fabbrica Office in the Milan Duomo, that oversaw the devel­op­ment of the city’s cathedral architecture and art. Some of young Arcim­bol­do’s earliest works were 1549 com­mis­s­ions for st­ained glass windows at the Duomo. In 1556 he worked on Duomo di Monza…

Lue lisää

How can an author frame the life of a paradoxical historical charact­er, partic­ularly one who has almost slipped out of Australian public conscious­ness? Author Gideon Haigh noted the issue in the first chapter of his book The Brilliant Boy: Doc Evatt and the Great Australian Experiment.Min of  External Affairs and Attorney General Dr Evatt, with P.M…

Lue lisää

Sport was a key branch of British Cultural Imper­ialism, like trade, English and Protestantism. The most popular sports, including cricket, football and ten­n­is, were org­an­ised & codified in C19th Brit­ain, but the motiv­ations behind a sport programme across the vast British Empire were unclear. With colonial ex­pan­sion, Cricket came to In­dia with the East India Trading…

Lue lisää

From left: Oscar Fried, conductor; Eva Gauthier, singer; Maurice Ravel at piano; Manoah Leide-Tedesco, composer-conductor; George GershwinNew York, 1928. WikiIsrael Ira Gershowitz (1896-1983) and brother Jacob George (1898-1937) were born in New York. Their parents, Moishe and Rose from Odessa, at first changed their surname to Gershvin, then Gershwin. The parents had bought a piano…

Lue lisää

As a boy, Norman Swirsky was raised in relative poverty (dad was a musician) in a Jewish fam­ily living in Glasgow. When he was 10 years old, his dad ch­anged the family's surname to Swan in a response to ongoing anti-Semitism in Scot­land after WW2. Young Norman Swan wanted to be an actor grow­ing up, but…

Lue lisää

What the ancient Olympic Flame lighting ceremony in Olympiamight have looked like, NBC SportsThe Olympic flame was born in an an­c­ient Greek temple to honour Hera, queen of the gods. Her shrine was the home of the Olympic Games, a cyp­ress-shaded site in Olym­p­ia where the first Games were held in 776 BC. The flame was carried across Greece to Ath­ens, then…

Lue lisää

Hydra HarbourCharmian Clift (1923–69) was born & raised near Sydney while George John­ston (1912-70) was born & raised in Melb­ourne. They married in 1947 and soon were on the well-worn trek of young Australians to London. In 1951 Clift and Johnston left grey, post-war London for Greece. Set­tling first on the tiny island of Kalymnos…

Lue lisää

The Hambledon Cricket Club played in Hampshire, until the club moved to Dorset Fields in Marylebone becoming Maryle­bone Cricket Club/MCC in 1787. The first match took place that year and by 1788, the club had pub­lished its first Code of Cricket Laws. Lord's pavilion, opened 1890Lord’s first cricket ground, owned by Marylebone Cricket Club, was named after…

Lue lisää

For centuries, börek had been the food of nomads. Cooked over camp­fires, it had been carried in kits from Modena to the Maghreb or Barcelona. Though it got onto royal tables, it was a culinary witness to centuries of mig­rat­ion, conquest & displacement. Thank you Alexander Lee.  Istanbul börekwith minced meatFew written documents survive from before the mid…

Lue lisää

Parisian Charles Bedaux (1886–1944) worked a series of menial jobs before he moved to U.S in 1906 at 20. There he worked digging tunnels under New York’s East River. Thank you History Grand Rapids 60-room Château de Candé est­ate, TouraineBedaux’s connection to Grand Rapids Mich began in 1915 when F Stuart Foote, general manager of Imperial…

Lue lisää

We Can Do It! 1942by J Howard MillerNorman Rockwell Museum, Massc350,000 women joined U.S’s Arm­ed Services, serving at home and abroad. As encouraged by El­eanor Roose­velt, and impres­sed by the British enc­ouragement of women in ser­v­ice, Gen George Marshall supported the introd­uc­tion of a women’s service branch into the Army. In May 1942 Cong­ress inst­ituted the Women’s Auxiliary Army…

Lue lisää