Two new books on Early Medieval England. Quite apart from anything else, both are exquisite objects.
"The First Kingdom" - Britain in the Age of Arthur (Max Adams 2021)
Focuses on the two centuries after the end of the Western Roman Empire around 400AD. Explores the archeological, geographical and limited textual evidence for continuity and change in this period, and the emergence of new forms of political and social organisation in the post-Roman era. [LibraryCatalog]
"The Anglo-Saxons" - A History of the Beginnings of England (Marc Morris 2021)
Covers a longer period from the end of Roman Britain to the Norman Conquest of 1066AD. Draws on much recent scholarship, archeology and analysis, but also seeks to provide a coherent narrative for the era. The role of the church and religion, and state formation, are given prominence, as well as key individuals both ecclesiastical and royal. [LibraryCatalog]
Two new books arrived today. 📚
Both advance the notion that key philosophical ideas 'remade the world' - but advance completely opposite views of what that driver was. Tom Holland argues that Christianity is the defining underpinning of the modern world, while Stephen Greenblatt argues that it was the rediscovery of pre-Christian thinking in the renaissance that defined modernity.
Dominion - How the Christian Revolution Remade the World (Tom Holland, 2019)
The Swerve - How the World Became Modern (Stephen Greenblatt)
5 stars to Inventing the World: Venice and the Transformation of Western Civilization by Meredith F. Small 📚
River Kings: A New History of Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Roads 📚
An exciting new book arrived today, detailing some fascinating new bioarchaeological findings from the Viking ‘Great Army’ mass burial at Repton, UK. A carnelian bead identified connections between western and eastern Viking expansion, travel and trade.
Witi Ihimaera appearing as Tama-nui-te-rā in Taki Rua’s the world premier performance of “Navigating the Stars”, Soundshell, Botanical Gardens, Te Whanganui-a-Tara.
Our first visit on 6 February was to Te Ana a Nunuku (Nunuku’s cave) and the petroglyphs (rock carvings) that can be found there, carved in bas relief over the top of an ancient cave mouth.
The petroglyphs depict seals, birds, faces and other elements of Moriori culture and tradition.
The 6th of February is Aotearoa New Zealand’s national day - commemorating the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi), which established British government over the islands, whilst retaining rangatiratanga (chieftainship) for iwi Māori. The Treaty has been largely honour in the breach… but things are improving.
The day was stunning.
Waitangi is the main settlement of Rēkohu (Chatham Island / Wharekauri).
Hotel Chatham is the centre of all visitor activity. It's the main accomodation, and only restaurant and bar on the islands.
The Waitangi Store is the main grocery and supply store. Given the island’s population of 600, it's not large. It seems many people import their own goods directly.
Small towns make for interesting combinations. They also tell Sam’s life story (but not necessarily in that order…)
The petrol station and hardware store:
A group of friends and I visited Rēkohu (Chatham Island) and Rangihaute (Pitt Island) over Aotearoa New Zealand’s Waitangi weekend (5-8 February 2021). These islands are the most remote part of Aotearoa, 800km east of Te Waipounamu (South Island).
The islands boast stunning natural landscapes of considerably diversity, while their cultural history is equally diverse, tragic and fascinating. Ancestral home of the Moriori, famous for their pacifist culture, rākau momori (dendroglyph tree carvings), and sadly the devastating impact of contact and colonisation by both Europeans and mainland Māori.
In the next few posts I’ll put up pictures of our trip, but I wanted to provide some context for what was a truly fascinating experience.
Below is a picture of the western coast of Rēkohu, north of the main settlement of Waitangi.
Neil Price (Oxbow Books 2013), 2nd Edition, 432 pages, hardback.
I have waited for this book for years - and now its here! What a tome. . .
“Landscape and Memory" by Simon Schama made a huge impression on me when it first came out in 1995. It still resonates today. A masterwork of history and sociology. #mbnov
LibraryThing Catalog Entry
This book pretty much is everything about me at the moment … #books #sheep #history #life #work #farming
A new book 📚 for the new library 📚 from a new bookshop 📚 #library #books #wellingtonnz #bookshop #nzbooks #nzbookshopday2020 @goodbookshopnz
"The Madman's Library" - The strangest books, manuscripts and other literary curiosities from history (Edward Brooke-Hitching, 2020)
“The Burning of Books - A History of Knowledge Under Attack” 📚 (John Murray 2020)
Attacks on knowledge and its importance are increasingly notable. Such attacks have a long history, and this book explores that history, and its continuing relevance.
James Suzman’s new book 📚 “Work - a history of how we spend out time” is a fascinating and thought-provoking review of the long run history of work and the impact of agriculture and industrialisation. It highlights the opportunity, in a world of increasing automation, to transform how we organise our lives and economies to support ourselves and each other. As John Maynard Keynes thought:
by 2030, capital accumulation, improvements in productivity and technological advances would have solved the “economic problem” and ushered in an age in which no one besides a few “purposive moneymakers” worked more than 15 hours in a week
We now have a chance to turn that prediction into reality.
Every now and then a history book comes along that helps you think about the past in entirely new ways.
This new history of the Vikings by Uppsala University archaeologist Neil Price does just that. 📚
See: Kirkus Reviews
Exposed elements of the wreck of the Hydrabad Waitarere Beach
We went for a walk up the Hokio / Waitarere beach in search of the whale burial site, and couldn’t see anything, but visited the site of the Hydrabad wreck instead:
New book 📚- “The Making of the Middle Sea” A history of the Mediterranean from the beginning to the emergence of the Classical World. (Cyprian Broodbank, Oxford, 2013)