The Early Modern Commons

Search Results for "Books and literature"

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Your search for posts with tags containing Books and literature found 48 posts

Imperial historian, imperial daughter: Anna Komnene and The Alexiad

Few, if any, historians have been so high born as Anna Komnene, first daughter of the Byzantine emperor Alexios I, who came into the world in the porphyry-lined room of the Palace of Boukoleon, overlooking the harbour of Constantinople and the Sea of...
From: Mathew Lyons on 15 Feb 2021

The Well of Loneliness on trial: the government vs Radclyffe Hall

On November 9, 1928 Bow Street Magistrates Court was crowded. DH Lawrence’s The Rainbow had been successfully prosecuted for obscenity in the same courtroom 13 years earlier. Now it was the turn of The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall. The perceived...
From: Mathew Lyons on 21 Dec 2020

New Humanist: Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald

It is like a scene from a Hayao Miyazaki anime: a French WWI pilot, gliding down at twilight over enemy lines, finds himself surrounded by a flock of swifts seemingly motionless in the air. They are asleep on the wing, so close by he might reach out and...
From: Mathew Lyons on 30 Nov 2020

Literary Review: The History of Magic by Chris Gosden

“Human kind / Cannot bear very much reality,” TS Eliot wrote in the Four Quartets, the fruit of his own long struggle with spiritual torment. Eliot ultimately found solace in the late-medieval Christian mysticism of Julian of Norwich, but...
From: Mathew Lyons on 26 Nov 2020

The first Svengali

Whenever Dominic Cummings makes the headlines, commentators reach for the same word to describe his relationship with the prime minister: he is Boris Johnson’s Svengali, they write. But who was the original Svengali? Svengali is one of those rare...
From: Mathew Lyons on 20 Nov 2020

Prospect: The Light Ages by Seb Falk

There are few easier ways to enrage a medievalist than to refer to the era they study as ‘the Dark Ages’. But those who think of the medieval world – and medieval Catholicism in particular – as the antithesis of reason and progress,...
From: Mathew Lyons on 18 Nov 2020

History Today: Hans Holbein: The Artist in a Changing World by Jeanne Nuechterlein

In Augsburg’s Staatsgalerie Altdeutsche Meister there is a three-paneled painting illustrating the life of St Paul, painted by local artist Hans Holbein the Elder in 1504. Commissioned for the city’s Dominican convent of St Katherine, it includes,...
From: Mathew Lyons on 30 Sep 2020

New Humanist: An Indifference of Birds by Richard Smyth

Every winter, white storks – so elegant in the air, so rickety on land – make the long flight south from Europe to what we assume to be ancestral wetlands in sub-Saharan Africa. At least, that’s what most of them do. These days there’s...
From: Mathew Lyons on 18 Jul 2020

Literary Review: Sons of the Waves by Stephen Taylor

At their peak, early in the 19th century, there were some 262,427 of them across Britain’s naval and merchant fleets. People called them Jacks, but they are nameless mostly. Or nameless to history. Even on surviving musters, their identities can...
From: Mathew Lyons on 18 Jul 2020

The Quietus: A New Day Yesterday by Mike Barnes

It’s early 1974, British band Henry Cow is in the studio recording its second album, Unrest. One track features a 40-foot tape loop. Another is based on the Fibonacci sequence, a structural device borrowed from Karlheinz Stockhausen. The track is...
From: Mathew Lyons on 25 Apr 2020

FT: Dead Famous by Greg Jenner

On Guy Fawkes’ Night in 1709, Henry Sacheverell, an Anglican minister, preached an incediary sermon in St Paul’s against religious non-conformity in the church. It was widely interpreted as a coded attack on the then Whig government, not least...
From: Mathew Lyons on 25 Apr 2020

Living through lockdown: Julian of Norwich, TS Eliot and the life-shaped hole in our hearts

For those who don’t feel inclined to watch the film I made for A Bit Lit on life during lockdown, here’s a rough transcript. My name is Mathew Lyons, and I am a freelance writer and historian. In practice, that means I am lucky enough to mostly...
From: Mathew Lyons on 15 Apr 2020

The life-shaped hole in our hearts: thoughts on living under lockdown

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to contribute a brief film to the A Bit Lit YouTube channel, created by Andy Kesson and others as a forum for thoughts on literature, history and culture during lockdown. So here I am, talking about freedom and confinement,...
From: Mathew Lyons on 14 Apr 2020

The Author review: Book Parts, edited by Dennis Duncan and Adam Smyth

In 1723 the London bookseller Thomas Graves published a 12-page pamphlet entitled The First of April. Written in praise of the author of a recent poem named Ridotto, or Downfal of Masquerades, it comprises a title page, a six-page dedicatory epistle,...
From: Mathew Lyons on 10 Feb 2020

Literary Review: Sailing School by Margaret E Schotte

On Christmas Eve, 1789, HMS Guardian found itself in the shadow of two great icebergs some 1,300 miles south-east of the Cape of Good Hope. The ship’s captain, 29-year-old Edward Riou, ordered a double watch be kept, but, engulfed in fog and with...
From: Mathew Lyons on 27 Jan 2020

History Today review: The Matter of Song in Early Modern England by Katherine R Larson

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to hear legendary English folk singer Shirley Collins perform. One of the songs she sang was ‘Awake, Awake’, written by Thomas Deloney in 1580 but seemingly forgotten until Ralph Vaughan Williams heard...
From: Mathew Lyons on 27 Jan 2020

History Today review: Nicholas Hilliard: Life of an Artist by Elizabeth Goldring

It is July 1571, and Elizabeth I is sitting for a portrait in “the open ally of a goodly garden”, almost certainly at Hampton Court. The portrait is “in little” – what we would now call a watercolour miniature, although the...
From: Mathew Lyons on 6 Aug 2019

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Notes on Post Tags Search

By default, this searches for any categories containing your search term: eg, Tudor will also find Tudors, Tudor History, etc. Check the 'exact' box to restrict searching to categories exactly matching your search. All searches are case-insensitive.

This is a search for tags/categories assigned to blog posts by their authors. The terminology used for post tags varies across different blog platforms, but WordPress tags and categories, Blogspot labels, and Tumblr tags are all included.

This search feature has a number of purposes:

1. to give site users improved access to the content EMC has been aggregating since August 2012, so they can look for bloggers posting on topics they're interested in, explore what's happening in the early modern blogosphere, and so on.

2. to facilitate and encourage the proactive use of post categories/tags by groups of bloggers with shared interests. All searches can be bookmarked for reference, making it possible to create useful resources of blogging about specific news, topics, conferences, etc, in a similar fashion to Twitter hashtags. Bloggers could agree on a shared tag for posts, or an event organiser could announce one in advance, as is often done with Twitter hashtags.

Caveats and Work in Progress

This does not search post content, and it will not find any informal keywords/hashtags within the body of posts.

If EMC doesn't find any <category> tags for a post in the RSS feed it is classified as uncategorized. These and any <category> 'uncategorized' from the feed are omitted from search results. (It should always be borne in mind that some bloggers never use any kind of category or tag at all.)

This will not be a 'real time' search, although EMC updates content every few hours so it's never very far behind events.

The search is at present quite basic and limited. I plan to add a number of more sophisticated features in the future including the ability to filter by blog tags and by dates. I may also introduce RSS feeds for search queries at some point.

Constructing Search Query URLs

If you'd like to use an event tag, it's possible to work out in advance what the URL will be, without needing to visit EMC and run the search manually (though you might be advised to check it works!). But you'll need to use URL encoding as appropriate for any spaces or punctuation in the tag (so it might be a good idea to avoid them).

This is the basic structure:

http://emc.historycarnival.org/searchcat?s={search term or phrase}

For example, the URL for a simple search for categories containing London:

http://emc.historycarnival.org/searchcat?s=london

The URL for a search for the exact category Gunpowder Plot:

http://emc.historycarnival.org/searchcat?s=Gunpowder%20Plot&exact=on

In this more complex URL, %20 is the URL encoding for a space between words and &exact=on adds the exact category requirement.

I'll do my best to ensure that the basic URL construction (searchcat?s=...) is stable and persistent as long as the site is around.