Around the Maypole at the History Carnival

4 May

Welcome all to a giddy trip about the maypole at the History Carnival May 2010. What follows is a precis of good and zany posts on historical topics over the previous month.

Things topical

I begin with two  topical posts. The first is a discussion of the current and deliberate misuse of American history by the conservative Tea Party Movement. It appears on Inside Higher Ed and is a must-read for anyone interested in the politicisation of national histories.

Since the month of May marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the contraceptive pill to the US, I also begin with a post on that topic at Knitting Clio. In a fascinating (if longwinded) piece, Heather Munro Prescott argues that in spite of what Gloria Steinem might have said, a ‘contraceptive revolution’ didn’t just magically happen on US college campuses once the pill first appeared. It only started to happen after students campaigned hard for doctors to make it available.

Things Turn-of-the-Century

The swoony image below is from the turn-of-the-twentieth-century Munich magazine, Jugend, meaning ‘youth’. Over the past month, I’ve been loving the series of posts about this sumptuous Art Nouveau mag on the classy arts-journalism blog, The Blue Lantern. Lovers of Art Nouveau and fin de siecle German history, feast your eyes here and here and here and here.

For those interested in the same period in America, Edwardian Promenade‘s Evangeline Holland comes up with her usual goods in a piece on the origins of the tuxedo at Tuxedo Park. Love the pics and the detail as always, Evangeline.

On, lovers of this era can sate themselves on a post about the French singer, Mistinguett. She was nick-named ‘The Queen of the Music Hall’ in France in the era of such English music-hall greats as Maria Lloyd and Lottie Collins.

Far more seriously, Greenman Tim gives us the back-story to the attempted lynching of Edgar Freeman in Connecticut in 1878. Edgar Freeman was an African-American man accused of raping a 7 year-old white girl that year. As Greenman Tim argues, it was not in fact clear that Freeman was guilty of the crime.

At The Chicago History Journal, Joe Matthewson also discusses legal injustice towards black Americans in a pull-no-punches piece on the turn-of-the-century Supreme Court Chief Justice, Melville Weston Fuller.

Things Nineteenth Century

For those interested in heading back further into the nineteenth century, check out Karen Linkletter’s thoughtful piece on Abraham Lincoln’s legacy, and differing interpretations of his ‘House Divided’ Speech, at Milestone Documents.

You can also read the Wellcome Library blog’s brilliant excursus on ‘Siamese Twins‘, so-called after a famous conjoined duo hit European freak shows in the 1830s.

At the Virtual Dime Museum, readers will be charmed by a post on a newspaper begun by a prisoner at Brooklyn’s Raymond-St Jail in the 1870s. Read some great excerpts from the jailbird’s paper if you please.

The Virtual Victorian treats us to an exploration of Uncle Tom’s Cabin mania in the mid-century US. And what about Trish Short Lewis’ too-enigmatic piece on a female sex researcher from the Victorian era? (More information craved, Trish).

The Long View

At Zenobia: Empress of the East, Judith Weingarten introduces us to Eti, a strangely deformed female figure who appears as an image in Egypt’s Deir-el-Bahri temple. Eti is described in ancient texts as the ‘Queen of Punt’. For decades, scholars have argued about where this mysterious Punt might be. As Weingarten says, however, archeologists have now finally discovered its location. Go to the post for the breaking news.

If you can bear the ugly ads littering The Web Urbanist, Steve writes there about 10 ancient cities still inhabited today. The list includes Susa (Iran), Cholula (Mexico) and Damascus (Syria) – but to find out the rest, you’ll have to read on.

Finally, you can read about the Ice Age and view putative maps of the era at History Moments care of Jack le Moine.

That’s it for me for this month, history friends. Keep an eye out for the next host of the Carnival on the History Carnival site – or better still, offer to host it yourself!

9 Responses to “Around the Maypole at the History Carnival”

  1. hmprescott 4 May 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    Thanks for your link to my post.

    • Melissa Bellanta 5 May 2010 at 3:52 pm #

      Thanks, Heather. Incidentally, if you haven’t come across it already you might be interested in the work of Australian historian Frank Bongiorno on the introduction of the pill. He’s writing a book about sexuality in Australia between the wars, but has recently published a more specific article on the pill: ‘January 1961: The Release of the Pill: Contraceptive technology and the “sexual revolution”’, in Martin Crotty and David Andrew Roberts (eds), Turning Points in Australian History, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2009, pp. 157-70.

  2. Lidian 4 May 2010 at 11:48 pm #

    Thank you so much for the link!

  3. Evangeline 5 May 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    Thank you Melissa!

    • Viola 26 June 2010 at 3:15 pm #

      Thank you very much for the link, Maria. I love your blog! I only just found it today and I’m quite excited about it.

    • Lisa 27 June 2010 at 11:44 am #

      Hi Melissa,
      I am sorry that I got your name wrong yesterday. Thank you very much for the link to my article!


  1. History Carnival » HC 87 - 4 May 2010

    […] latest History Carnival is up at The Vapour Trail – varied as ever, highlights include Siamese twins, contraception and the Ice Age! Posted on […]

  2. Why Texas social studies standards matter: Tea Party misuse of history « Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub - 28 May 2010

    […] Tip of the old scrub brush to the May History Carnival at the Vapour Trail. […]

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