Odds, sods, and a contest (with prizes*)

I regret that today’s blog entry has no real theme, other than they are reasonably recent events. Consider this a commonplace collection for the internets. Most of these are at least relevant to the general purpose of the blog. They have some historical element, they relate to research or the tasks of the academic, or the inform the ongoing experiment that is the LD student in higher-education.

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How am I supposed to find this?

Aside

I like to think that my ear is rather close to the rails when it comes to current scholarship and publishing on martial literature and violence. But, leave it to a routine Amazon.co.uk search to show me this little bit of (potential) gold:

Sydney Anglo, L’escrime, La danse et l’art de la guerre: Le livre et la représentation du mouvement (Paris: BNF, 2011).

Not only is this a very recent work from the most influential writer on martial literature since Hutton and Aylward, its title is frighteningly close to the working title I have used for my MA thesis-to-book project.

I guess I have some digging to do around the internets for an affordable copy. Glad I have a functional reading ability in French.

New Research… [re-bloged]

A very convenient confluence of events means I will actually be here. Try and guess which one of the presenters sounds most like PBS?

Birmingham "On War"

New Research in Military History

A Conference for Postgraduate and Early Career Academics

16 November 2012

This conference, organised by the British Commission for Military History in association with the Centre for War Studies, University of Birmingham, intends to highlight current research being undertaken by postgraduate and early career scholars in the field of military history and related disciplines.

This is the British Commission for Military History’s third annual New Research symposium giving postgraduate and early career scholars an excellent opportunity to meet, share new ideas and discuss the latest research. Some twenty papers will be presented, on a wide range of subjects from the Renaissance to today.

The British Commission for Military History is the pre-eminent association for professional military historians in the UK, dedicated to the promotion and discussion of military history in its broadest sense. Participants at New Research in Military History will also be welcome to…

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Tempted by trauma

The History Blog, run off the BlogSpot servers, is a good source of current archaeological news and some amusing writing. I rarely cross-post things, but this excerpt is worth the effort.

The original plan for the Leicester parking lot dig that was so astonishingly successful was to excavate two trenches over the course of two weeks which would be filled in and reverted to a parking lot at the end. That was based on everyone’s modest expectations of what they might find. Then the deities of archaeological good fortune laid giant sloppy kisses all over them so they were able to locate the Greyfriars church and abbey and, most importantly, human remains of a male with scoliosis, sharp force trauma to the skull and an arrowhead embedded in his back.

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It’s not just semantics

Rather than give my patient readers at PBS one of a half-dozen possible entries complaining about some inexplicable crap that is part culture shock and part conflict of style, I will explain what I am attempting to do despite Oxford’s best efforts. I’m sorry, one of those complaints crept in under the door. I will need to get a gripe-excluder for writing sessions. I am going to try and pace those gripes between more positive entries that people could actually read and enjoy (or tolerate). It is too easy to use a blog for laundry lists of frustrations and while I am not big enough to avoid that entirely, I do have the self control to moderate it. So, instead of a bitch-fest about higher education, you get a miniature reading list on the English gentry. Continue reading

Let them fight it out, it’s better that way (edit)

For some reason, this entry resisted clean-up through the WordPress system so I have disposed of the offending original and re-posted this one.

S. J. Payling wrote a short article back in 1998 that grappled with the unresolved problem of violence, order and the judiciary in fifteenth-century England. The problem, as it appears in many studies of Late Medieval English gentry, concerns the apparent lack of teeth in the English judicial system when it comes to the prosecution of violent crimes, especially when it concerns issues of property and inheritance. The argument is that despite all the bluster of the courts and the Crown, “coercive royal justice” was unable to “control the level of conflict through the deterrence of punishment.” Part of this failure is ascribed to corrupt local officials who had little incentive to stick to the letter of the law. Most “violent self-help” was controlled at the local, social level and the crown, excluded from the process, appears weak and incapable of maintaining order on its own authority.1

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Housekeeping 3

This is a whirlwind summary of the first week here. I do this mostly for posterity, not for literary value. Z and I learned that the Merton crowd is a little younger, a little ‘posher’ and a little less welcoming than the Trinity Hall MCR. Now, there are plenty of exceptions but it is a different mix and I am feeling particularly old and out of place in this crowd. The staff in the College are all very good and that’s nice.

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