The hottest February, so we are told. Last year was snow, and this year was sunshine. Outside Brexit rages on and political parties appear to be fragmenting, but in the world of Dave Does History we continue onward into odd avenues of history.
In February I uploaded several posts of my visits and walking adventures in the undiscovered country of nearby. This included an overview of my early year walk on the Saints Way in mid-Cornwall, as well as my pre-Christmas visit to SS Great Britain in Bristol. I’m finding that I’m falling behind on posting about various visits, to the great and small of historical significance. Perhaps a reason for this is the digression of posts to focus on the utterly insignificant, as illustrated in February’s post ‘The Value in the History of a Lonely and Rather Pointless Little Bridge’. Perhaps March will see me finally catch up, enabling me to post about St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall and other historical worthies.
Other posts included two more in the War World Cup series. Both focused on the rise of Prussia in the 1860s under the leadership of the Iron Chancellor: they defeated the Austrians in 1866, before walloping the French in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-71. The series has seemingly been fixated on Prussia’s rise, resulting in three “wins” from the three wars. Perhaps the next one will look at addressing the imbalance?
The two other posts from the month included a previous article that centred on the crime of the Lightfoot Brothers from Cornwall in the 1840s. It was published in The Cornish Banner a few years ago, and it attempts to provide an insight into the mentality of early-Victorian society with regards to public executions (I still kick myself that I didn’t have the courage to make this aspect the centre-piece of my undergraduate dissertation). The final post outlined an area of debate in a Tudors module at A-level history: out of the popular rebellions or the Yorkist threats/pretenders, which was the greater threat to Henry VII. I’ve written an intended exemplar response for the benefit of students; it is an interesting area of debate, and it re-engages with a couple of my favourite events of the early Tudor period: the Cornish Rebellion of 1497, and the impact of the cheeky, plotting De La Pole family (which is pronounced ‘Pool’, rather than ‘Pole’, but which my Plymothian tongue simple states ‘Poe’). I have the fancy of researching and writing a history of the failed attempts of the De La Pole brothers to become kings, but that is – as they say – another story.
Other Monthly Round-Ups: