Weekly Web Links:
- If you happen to be in London (and back in the 19th century), here is a guide for avoiding pickpockets. ‘Be aware of women asking silly questions’ is probably my favorite.
- An overview of military kit through the ages is a really interesting look at just how much warfare and soldiering has changed over time.
- An article discussing ‘lotus feet’ otherwise known as the practice of foot binding.
- Well this has ruined my hope of being immortalized by an inappropriate tombstone…
- The spectacularly bizarre history of animals being charged in courts of law.
- And finally, the dark history of nursery rhymes.
Historical Book Review for the Week:
A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor
Honestly, I don’t really have a whole lot to say about this book as a review, the contents of it is exactly what it says in the title. I bought is from the British Museum almost two years ago while I was living in London and I loved it so much that I made sure it came back to Canada with me even though I was trying to fit two years of my life into one bag (I failed-only time in my life I have ever checked multiple bags for a flight). And, even though it is only a couple of years old, it has been read and flipped through and re-read so many times that it’s looking pretty rough. Even by my own personal standards as someone who has a tendency to be very hard on books.
I would recommend this book to anyone with even the slightest inclination that they might potentially, at some point in their lives, be interested in any aspect of history. Obliviously, having only 100 objects to cover, the book has been highly selective with the items it includes and this, combined with the fact that the items chosen are all ones in the British Museum, means that massive sections of world history are left out (the title is, after all, ‘A History of the World’ rather than ‘The History of the World’). It is a selective and opinionated list that the reader may disagree with (especially if an artifact, world region, or time period they are particularly passionate about is excluded) but clear reasoning is given for the selection of every object mentioned and it is clear that each of these 100 items has been thoroughly researched. Basically, this book is just a really good look at 100 super cool objects which are used to provide a general overview of the incredibly expansive history of our world.