By Anna Sikora: Anna Sikora is a tutor, part-time teacher, and final year PhD student in the Discipline of English, National University of Galway, Ireland. She is examining the works of John Wyndham, author of over 60 short stories and 12 novels, including the famous The Day of The Triffids (1951) and The Midwich Cuckoos (1957). Anna is interested to see when and why science fiction authors began to show an awareness of environmental issues, and how this was demonstrated in their work. She is adopting some of the concepts of environmental criticism (ecocriticism) to ask how environmental concerns are articulated in fiction, and whether literature can, and should, influence our daily environmental choices or the ways in which we interact with the environment.
Ecocriticism (environmental criticism) is not exactly new to the humanities, as it has been around for nearly a quarter of a century, but it is the latest to join the set of lenses – such as Marxism, Postcolonial theory and Feminism – through which students are invited to read literature. Do these theoretical frameworks enhance our understanding of literature and the creative process behind writing? Perhaps yes; perhaps no.
We know that the Stuart Papers were acquired by George IV when he was Prince Regent (1811-1820) following the death of Henry Benedict Stuart, Cardinal York, the final Jacobite heir, and that it was around this time they were moved from Rome back to the UK. They’re now housed in the Royal Archives, Windsor Castle. I decided to search through Gale Primary Sources, focusing particularly on newspapers and periodicals, to see if I could find out more about how the papers of the exiled Jacobite heirs returned to the UK, and how it has been reported in the press at that time, and since. The initial discovery of the Stuart Papers and their subsequent journey from Rome to Windsor Castle makes fascinating reading.
When King George V died on 20 January 1936 the world was led to believe that he had died entirely of natural causes. Little did people know at the time that his death had been hastened by his physician in order to ensure that the news was reported first in The Times rather than the afternoon newspapers. It is a matter that can be explored with the help of Gale Primary Sources.
In New Orleans, Jazz began its history around 1895 with the cornetist Buddy Bolden, whom Adrian Troy called Jazz’s first great exponent. Bolden was depicted by Michael Ondaatje in his 1976 novella Coming through Slaughter as a jazz pioneer, struggling with alcoholic psychosis. Writing in The Times in 1992, Clive Davis also named Bolden the first legendary New Orleans jazz figure – legendary in that unlikely tales surround his mythical status, such as that ‘on certain nights, his playing could be heard miles away.’ Unfortunately, no recordings of Bolden are known to exist and despite the allure of rumored cylinder recordings dating to 1894 we only have the likes of Ondaatje’s novella to evoke the sound of one of the world’s first Jazz icons. Continue reading →
If you have ever met an English football fan, you will understand why the year 1966 is inscribed into the cultural memory. World Cup tournaments are generally remembered for three things: the winning team, the star players, and the surprise package that the neutral fans get behind. While England’s victory and Eusebio’s brilliance provide the first two, the third – the North Korean team – has been lost to history.
“History is not just a matter of dates. What makes history is what comes before and what comes after the dates that we all remember.” Chris Patten.
It will have been exactly twenty years, this coming weekend, since Chris Patten, the 28th and last British Governor of Hong Kong, gave his memorable speech at the ceremony marking the handover of the former British colony to China. Perhaps there was a tacit acknowledgment in Patten’s words that, actually, the Hong Kong handover was all about dates. Were it not for the clock ticking on the 99-year lease deadline for the New Territories, it is doubtful that the handover would have been negotiated as speedily and peacefully as it was.
It was 50 years ago this week that The Beatles issued their ground-breaking album, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The third biggest-selling album in the UK (and the top-selling when compilation albums are removed)  it remains one of the most influential and recognised albums 50 years after its release (although personally, I prefer Revolver). I took a look back through the collections in Gale Primary Sources to see what I could find out about this iconic album.
I first became aware that the Islamic Solidarity Games was a major sporting event last year, when a friend announced he was moving to Baku for 8 months to help plan the ceremony. His official job title for the event is ‘Aerial Flying Manager’ – remember the flying Mary Poppins’ in the opening of the London Olympics? That’s the kind of thing he does. He has spent 8 months preparing for the opening and closing ceremonies. “What are the Islamic Solidarity Games?” I asked, unable to hide my ignorance…” A bit like the Olympics for the Middle East” he replied…Well if this is the case, why hadn’t I heard about them before?
By Darren Brain, Sales Representative, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia & Northern Territory
On 19 April 1984, ‘Advance Australia Fair’ was proclaimed as Australia’s national anthem, following many decades of debate, disagreement and campaigns for change. I used Gale Primary Sources to research more about this topic, and experienced an entertaining and enlightening journey through Gale’s extensive collection of assorted British Newspapers.
‘God Save the Queen’ (or King depending on the gender of the British monarch) had been used on ceremonial and official occasions since the federation of Australia in 1901 (when the six British, self-governing colonies agreed to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia). In our British Library Newspapers series, I found a number of examples in the early 1900s of interest in an Australian Anthem to compliment ‘God Save The King/Queen’ including the below examples from the gossip column of the Nottingham Evening Post.
By James Alex Waldron I am the Marketing Communications Manager at Gale, a Cengage Company. I began my career in Journalism; and now in a role that delivers communications campaigns, I’ve chosen to use Gale Primary Sources to briefly investigate a trend in Christmas news-print advertising – all found in our Historic Newspapers programme.
When we covered The Commercialisation of Christmas last year, hundreds of you followed the story of how advertising shifted the mood of the season from religious festival to retail bonanza.
As 2016 became the year of smartphone projectors, Bluetooth headphones, and Minion Pie Faces, I used Gale Primary Sources to provide the next part in our story of evolving buying habits. Following the reflections in the Press to provide part two — from early private brand announcements to full-page menus of big-ticket goods. What happened when the retailers themselves pushed gifts that necessitated new ways to pay. Continue reading →