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21 July 2010 @ 01:07 pm
random post of randomness  
1. Facepalmy book-fail: I went to the used bookstore yesterday! Why am I an idiot??? In my defense (you know, I still can't spell that word without going British on the first try), I hadn't been in months. But that probably just made the fall harder, when it came:

--Tudor Autobiography: Listening for Inwardness - Meredith Anne Skura
--Shakespeare and the Loss of Eden - Catherine Belsey
--Growing Up in Medieval London: The Experience of Childhood in History - Barbara Hanawalt
--North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell (which I've been meaning to read)
--The Mysteries of Udolpho - Ann Radcliffe (ditto) (yes, I know! for shame!)

Part of my problem is that I buy books for the future. When I am living in my mother's basement after graduating, and have no access to academic libraries, I will be grateful--or so runs my subconscious logic--that I've bought the first two books on the list, which I don't have time to read right now but have wanted to check out from the library (or have checked out, in the latter's case) on several occasions. And I have a lot of history books (mostly, but not all, used) I've bought because at some point in the future, I just might want to try to write historical fiction. And then won't I be happy to have them!

2. I was flipping through an issue of Newsweek the other day, because the cover story was about the lack of creativity in schools and workplaces:

The bit that seems relevant, given a previous post, is this: "Those who study multi-tasking report that you can’t work on two projects simultaneously, but the dynamic is different when you have more than one creative project to complete. In that situation, more projects get completed on time when you allow yourself to switch between them if solutions don’t come immediately. This corroborates surveys showing that professors who set papers aside to incubate ultimately publish more papers. Similarly, preeminent mathematicians usually work on more than one proof at a time."

Huh. Well, science says! :)

3. I was also browsing through London: The Autobiography, a collection of bits of primary sources about London's history edited by Jon E. Lewis (London: Constable, 2008), and came across the following two notices for a lost dog, published anonymously in successive issues of Mercurius Publicus in June of 1660. The editor claims that they were written by Charles II himself; I'm not sure how one would know this for a fact, but I like how aggrieved the second one is:

"A smooth black dog, less than a Greyhound, with white under his breast, belonging to the King's Majesty, was taken from Whitehal, the eighteenth day of this instant June, or thereabout. If any one can give notice to John Ellis, one of his Majesties Servants, or to his Majesties Back-Stayrs, shal be well rewarded for their labour."

"We must call upon you again for a Black Dog between a Greyhound and a Spaniel, no white about him onely a streak on his Brest and his Tayl a little bobbed. It is His Majesties own Dog, and doubtles was stoln, for the Dog was not born nor bred in England, and would never forsake his Master. Whosoever findes him may acquaint any at Whitehal, for the Dog was better known at Court than those who stole him. Will they never leave robbing His Majesty? Must he not keep a Dog? This Dog's place (though better than some imagine) is the only place which nobody offers to beg." (136)
La Reine Noire: Victorian Fanlareinenoire on July 21st, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
HA. That dog anecdote is priceless! The thought of Charles II complaining at length about people stealing his dogs is beyond hilarious.

The Skura book was very good, I remember. And I own a copy of N&S, but haven't had time to read it yet. Did you ever see the BBC miniseries? I'm not sure how faithful it is, but it's very, very good and both the leads are just phenomenal.
tempestsarekind: margaret hale does laundrytempestsarekind on July 21st, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
I know! I can just picture him telling anyone who might even appear to be listening.

I'm sort-of pretending that the Skura book might be ever so slightly relevant to my dissertation, but mostly I saw it in a bookstore back when it came out and have wanted to read it since. As for North and South, I loved the miniseries! And it's beautifully shot, too.
La Reine Noire: Victorian Fanlareinenoire on July 21st, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
::grin:: I know those books very well. I do know the chapter on A Mirror for Magistrates is just excellent and I ended up using it in my dissertation.

Oh, yes, the N&S miniseries is positively gorgeous. And not just the bits with Richard Armitage
tempestsarekind: books and flowerstempestsarekind on July 21st, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
Well, now I have that to look forward to!

Heh. Have you seen the episode of Vicar of Dibley with Richard Armitage? He is super-adorable in that: if he's a bit tortured as Thornton, he's just happy and cuddly in Vicar. And he has a lovely smile. :)

It's true, though--lung fluff should not look that pretty.
Gileonnen: Englandgileonnen on July 21st, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
^_____^ Oh, dog notices. Clearly I'm going to have to pick up that collection posthaste!
tempestsarekind: mind the gaptempestsarekind on July 21st, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
It's a nicely eclectic bunch of texts, although the seventeenth century is perhaps a bit Pepys- and Evelyn-heavy (I was hoping for more things I hadn't heard of before, I think). The book goes all the way through the 2005 bombings.

I think my other favorite bit so far is the Romano-British graffiti. :)
Crossdontcrosscross on July 21st, 2010 07:45 pm (UTC)
I can picture the second dog notice being all tear-stained because halfway through the man writing it started sobbing onto the paper. XD That's absolutely precious.
La Reine Noire: Elizabethlareinenoire on July 21st, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC)
And Charles II is exactly the sort of person who would throw a huge royal tantrum over one of his dogs. I'm picturing this version in full digging-heels-into-ground-red-faced-screaming mode.
Crossdontcrosscross on July 21st, 2010 07:56 pm (UTC)
I bet he made the best pouty faces, too.