"Woman and Image of Ship." Photographs from the National Media Museum. Primary Source Media, 1895. Nineteenth Century Collections Online. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.

Elbows off the table

By Alice Clarke
3rd year student of English Literature with Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia,
Summer Intern, Cengage MarComms, Andover, 2016.

“Elbows off the table” is a phrase familiar to most ears, an order we were told as a child and to which the only response was obedience and, for me, an internal eye-roll of frustration.

For this is an etiquette that transcends generations, centuries and traditions, and yet is something that no one appears to explain why it exists. The only answer I could ever muster from my parents and grandparents is the ever-evasive “it’s rude to have your elbows on the table”, and that was meant to be enough to pacify us.

But why is it rude? Elbows aren’t unhygienic, unsafe or indeed disrespectful in any other setting than touching the wood of the dinner table.

And yet, to this day, I still sit with my elbows off the table – seemingly engrained into my very subconscious, this rule still governs the comfort of my eating despite the fact I moved away from home to university over two years ago.

To gain some sort of understanding of what this rule originally meant, a quick search of Gale Primary Sources allowed me to trace the notion of “elbows off the table” through history across multiple primary sources, allowing me to form my own theory of this particular western etiquette. Continue reading

"Laying the Corner Stone." Bulletin of Catholic University of Peking Dec. 1930. China from Empire to Republic.

Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the man who led China from Empire to Republic

By Yang Liping
Yang Liping switched to Gale digital product development in 2013 after working in editorial handling both higher education and Gale print projects for a number of years at Cengage Learning Asia. He is happy to see the several Asia-related digital collections that he has taken care of benefiting scholars across the world and looks forward to working closely with colleagues at Gale to develop more interesting and meaningful products.

Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙aka. 孫中山 or 孫文; 1866–1925) was a Chinese revolutionary and leader of a series of armed uprisings that led to the downfall of China’s last imperial dynasty (the Qing) in 1911 and the founding of the Republic of China in 1912.   November 12 this year marked his 150th birthday.

Searching for his name (“Sun Yat-sen” or “Sun Wen”) in Gale’s China from Empire to Republic: Missionary, Sinology and Literary Periodicals – a unique collection of 17 English-language periodicals published in and about China – offers the researcher a significant quantity of material about this individual. Over two-thirds of the 300-plus search results are from The China Critic and Tienhsia Monthly – periodicals run by Chinese intellectuals. His activities and ideas also attracted the attention of Westerner- or missionary-established periodicals such as The Chinese Recorder, West China Missionary News, and The China Yearbook.

"Dr. Sun Yat Sen." Chinese Recorder Mar. 1925: 214. China from Empire to Republic.

“Dr. Sun Yat Sen.” Chinese Recorder Mar. 1925: 214. China from Empire to Republic.

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"Back to the Middle Ages." Picture Post 26 Nov. 1938: 14-15+. Picture Post Historical Archive

Contention in the British Press: The Rise of Fascism

This is the second of two posts exploring how lively debate and strong clashes of opinion have coloured the British press at certain historical moments. My first post looked at the differing opinions printed prior to, and during, WWI. Firstly, this showed that opinion was split on the likelihood of war in Europe, and then, once Europe had indeed plunged into a long and bitter war, news commentators clashed on the leadership of the British army – a debate which spiralled on in the succeeding decades. (Click here to read the first post.) I’ll now be turning to the broad landscape of opinions and commentary which permeated the British press in response to the rise of fascism. Interestingly, as well as some of the most well-known arguments, this post brings to the fore views which have now been side-lined, discredited or simply eclipsed by modern interpretations. Continue reading

"Haig: highs and lows." Times 7 Aug. 2008: 26. The Times Digital Archive

Contention in the British Press: WWI – Likelihood and Leadership

The British press – one of the noisiest, most opinionated and longest-running media institutions in the world – is known for its history of wide-ranging debate and reporting. Encompassing so many digital newspaper archives, the Gale Primary Sources programme offers a comprehensive view of the landscape of opinions and commentary which have featured in the British press at any one time. This makes it a great resource for those studying contemporary opinions about a particularly issue or controversy, or how attitudes have evolved over time. This is the first of two posts looking at how persuasion, debate and clashes of opinion have coloured the British press at particular historical moments; in this case, during the First World War. Next week I’ll be posting about the altercations that arose around the rise of Fascism. As well as some of the most well-known arguments, these posts will bring to the fore views which have now been side-lined, discredited or simply eclipsed by modern interpretations. Continue reading

Book covers of volumes 1 to 3

Ernest Satow’s First Audience with the King of Siam

By Yang Liping
Yang Liping switched to Gale digital product development in 2013 after working in editorial handling both higher education and Gale print projects for a number of years at Cengage Learning Asia. He is happy to see the several Asia-related digital collections that he has taken care of benefiting scholars across the world and looks forward to working closely with colleagues at Gale to develop more interesting and meaningful products.

Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843–1929) was a legendary British diplomat. He played a key role in Anglo-Japanese and -Chinese relations, particularly in Bakumatsu and Meiji Era Japan, and in China after the Boxer Rebellion. He also served in Siam (present-day Thailand), Uruguay, and Morocco, and represented Britain at the Second Hague Peace Conference in 1907. Satow passed away eighty-seven years ago on August 26, 1929.

Young Satow

Young Satow

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"China through the Year." China. New York: DK Publishing, 2012. 44-47. Eyewitness Travel Guides, Gale Virtual Reference Library, http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=GVRL&sw=w&u=webdemo&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CCX2057500023&it=r&asid=898101593b0677c7170c612622654c00 Gale Document Number: GALE|CX2057500023

Chinese National Day

By Cathy Huang
I joined Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, in August 2015, as a new member of our China team. I’m very happy to work together with the team and it feels like a family. I’m very willing to contribute my skills to help increase awareness of Gale resources and hope more and more researchers worldwide discover Gale’s rich Primary Source collections.

Chinese National Day is celebrated on October 1st every year to commemorate the founding of the People’s Republic of China with lots of large-scale activities held nationwide. It’s followed by ‘Golden Week’, a seven-day holiday from the 1st to the 7th of October, during which many Chinese people travel around the country and abroad.

There had been Chinese national celebrations in October prior to the establishment of the PRC as the removal of the final Chinese dynasty (the Qing) sprung from the Wuchang Uprising on 10th October 1911, after which Sun Yat-sen sought to consolidate a Republic. Consequently, for many years the nation commemorated the formation of the Republic in October. In 1945 The Western Daily Press and Bristol Mirror – one of the papers included in Gale’s British Library Newspapers digital archive – briefly described how National Day was celebrated in the region that year. Continue reading

apple-pie-nursery-rhyme

The Development of the British Palate, Part 2

Written by Jess Edwards and Daniel Pullin

In case you missed it, last week we posted the first instalment of our extended exploration of the development of the modern British palate. Inspired by the events taking place around the UK for British Food Fortnight, we considered what actually constitutes ‘British Food’. The phrase can, of course, describe food produced in Britain, but it could also mean the food eaten most regularly in the UK, and entrenched in British culture – and many of the meals commonly eaten in Britain today have been introduced from foreign shores. Last week we unearthed historical copies of recipes for, and discussion about, two meals which have become staples in the British diet; curry and pasta. We also rustled up our own versions using the following historical instructions! (Follow this link to see the results of our culinary experiments!)

This week we’re continuing our investigation into the historical background of foods commonly consumed in modern Britain, and this time we’ve chosen to focus on a couple of recipes with clearer British origins. Both have still, however, undoubtedly undergone their own evolution and adaption – even if largely due to the impact of mass production! Continue reading

"Rolling out Dough Using a Pasta Machine." Daily Mail 5 Apr. 1997 Daily Mail Historical Archive, 1896-2004

The Development of the British Palate, Part 1

Written by Jess Edwards and Daniel Pullin

Daniel and I are both keen on History – and food! The events currently taking place throughout the UK to celebrate British Food Fortnight led us to consider what actually constitutes ‘British Food’. Of course, in one sense the phrase describes food produced in Britain, but it could also mean the food eaten most regularly in the UK, and entrenched in British culture, which equates to a very different interpretation of ‘British Food’. Many of the meals most commonly eaten in Britain today have been introduced from foreign shores. We decided to explore the development of the modern British palate in the Gale archives, and unearthed historical references to both foreign and native recipes – as well as learning how both have solidified their reputation and popularity in British food culture. And to add an amusing twist, we thought we’d rustle up a few dishes under the guidance of these historical recipes…! Continue reading

encyclopaedia-of-modern-asia

The Origin of Mid-Autumn Festival – “Zhong Qiu Jie”

By Cathy Huang
I joined Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, in August 2015, as a new member of our China team. I’m very happy to work together with the team and it feels like a family. I’m very willing to contribute my skills to help increase awareness of Gale resources and hope more and more researchers worldwide discover Gale’s rich Primary Source collections.

“Zhong Qiu Jie”, which is also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, is celebrated in China and Vietnam on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. It is a time for family members and loved ones to congregate and enjoy the full moon – an auspicious symbol of abundance, harmony and luck. Adults will usually indulge in fragrant mooncakes of many varieties with a good cup of piping hot Chinese tea, while children run around with brightly-lit lanterns. Continue reading

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Exciting Changes Coming to Gale Literature Resources

A new, mobile-responsive experience is available for your Gale literature resources! Users of Artemis Literary Sources, Something About the Author OnlineLiterature Criticism Online, and Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete Online will now see a “Try it Now” link at the top left corner of the product; clicking this link will immediately display the product in its new experience.

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