Category Archives: History
There was a rather unfortunate, though amusing, slip of the tongue on yesterday’s Antiques Roadshow. It was on the lips of the seasoned expert Paul Atterbury (also famed as the model for Andy Pandy in his infancy, his mother being the puppeteer), who was examining two sea-rescue medals.
Have you experienced an odd feeling over the last year? You get involved in some ordinary activity – family events, a work project or whatever – and life seems to be getting back to some kind of normality, until you suddenly realize with a start that what with COVID, the Social Justice Revolution, and international politics, the whole world is a lunatic asylum, and it’s the normality that is the illusion.
There is still a prevalent idea that witchcraft was predominantly a mediaeval thing, representing the remnants of pagan religion amongst the peasantry. In fact, the wave of superstitious belief in witches, pacts with the devil and so on was an early modern phenomenon beginning in the sixteenth century, and was at its height of “witchfinders general,” show trials and so on in the following century. Witchcraft was actually very rare in mediaeval times.
I came across a little-known story about the London Blitz yesterday, best summarised in this article by Londoner Simon Webb, or if you’re impatient of more reading, in his YouTube video on the subject.
I’ve just read two books to lift the heart above the media’s COVID monomania, albeit it in a bittersweet way. The second was Meadowland: the Private Life of an English Field, by John Lewis-Strempel, a birthday gift from my daughter. It traces the year in the life of a hay-meadow in Herefordshire as observed by its owner, which resonates with me because I own a hay-meadow in Devon.
In my last post I wrote about the subjectivisation of truth in the progressive programme. But it would be a mistake to think this is restricted to specific examples like race and gender, because the postmodern element of progressivism extends it to the whole of life. It is all truth that becomes subjectivised to a preferred narrative, not just particular instances. Needless to say, this has profound implications.
Looking back on the Soviet era, what Christians do you remember? Richard Wurmbrandt, perhaps, tortured for Christ in Ceaușescu’s Romania. Or Brother Andrew, risking his life to smuggle Bibles to believers. Or the pastor Georgi Vins, allowed out of prison to the west after an intensive campaign by Christians here. Or Solzhenitsyn, whose multiple accounts of believers both widely known and nameless, inside and outside the Gulag, show how the Spirit of Truth suffered under, yet finally triumphed over, Communism.
34 Boris was fifty four years old when he became king, and he reigned in London for four years… 3 In the third year of his lockdown the famine had become very great in the land, and he began secretly to doubt the advice he was getting from SAGE. In his fourth year he began to scour England and London for whatever remained of any value…
An historical perspective Fifty years on from that obscure episode in history between 2020 and 2023, now generally known as “The Covidiocy,” it is perhaps now time to reflect on one of its darker aspects. The whole period was one of darkness, of course, largely forgotten now only because of the greater darkness to which it led, culminating in the implosion of the World Equity Government after the sack of Beijing
I’m reading a recent book by Carl Trueman, recommended by a Cambridge contemporary who read my e-book, Seeing Through Smoke (and generally liked it). It’s entitled The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. Trueman is a Christian historian who seeks to explain the origin of our contemporary moral confusion. To capture his theme, how did a sentence like “I am a woman trapped in a man’s body” come to make sense?