Saturday, May 17, 2008

Of Historical Interest

I just found THIS SITE and it's probably where I'll be the rest of the night (read: week). The British Library has made high quality scans of important pieces of literature, which you can read online for free, in their original form. So little ol' me can sit here on my couch and review DaVinci's journals written by his own hand or read every word of the original Alice in Wonderful that Lewis Carroll wrote for the real Alice. This is mind blowingly exciting to me (I know, I don't get out much). You will probably have to download stuff and go through what seems like a little bit of a pain in the ass, but it is WORTH IT. If you're a dork like me. (seriously, it is a very cool site.)

I also thought this photo of a rare wrinkled bust of Caesar (there is no normal way to phrase that) was interesting. We never seem to see historical legends as they were when elderly. I went through a whole Cleopatra phase (that was one tough chick there) and then a whole Julius Caesar phase and then a whole Mark Antony phase. So maybe that's why I think it's interesting, but maybe some of you will too.

Speaking of seeing historical figures as you don't normally see them, I couldn't believe how beautiful the death mask of Mary Queen of Scots is. No wonder Queen Elizabeth locked her ass up and had her killed. Here's a cool biography about her with pictures of castles.

Just for fun, here are photos of Ephesus. Mr. Ashley and I have been here and it was AWESOME. *I* have walked down a road Cleopatra, Mark Antony and the Virgin Mary all walked down. *That* is thrilling to me. Here are some interesting facts about this ancient city.

Okay, now that I've bored half of you half to death, I'll go read the rest of Alice in Wonderland.

Edited to add: If you do like history, you must read Margaret George. She is an unbelievable writer, well researched but interesting and imaginative historical fiction, I have read (and loved) every thing she has ever written.


Kristin said...

Wow. I get to be the first to post a comment. Amazing!

Just wanted to say I love history and I always enjoy the links you put up. I love finding new and interesting things (especially when you do the work for me) :o)

Shannie said...

Oh, WOW, Ashley! Thanks! I'll be spending lots of time there, too... I love it when you go all intellectual on our asses. ;-)

Heather said...

Thank you thank you thank you for that British Library link. I too am a dork and I forwarded it to my dork father, dork brother & dork BFF all whom I know will love it as much as I.

Did I say thank you?

Alissa said...

I don't dare check out that library link because I know that I will spend the next week exploring the site and I don't have time for that shit! The Ephesus photos and facts were really cool though! And the death mask is really really neat. Thanks for sharing! I love history. It was always one of my favorite subjects in school.

Mouse said...

Thank you, from a British history nerd, for the cool links! Mary Queen of Scots is one of my current obsessions. You should read Alison Weir's books. She has a lot of biographies about this time period and British history. I love her books! She has recently started writing some historical fiction as well.

Anonymous said...

This must be a popular blog because your post already has 3 comments. I found you one day after the post because Google is somehow updating daily if not faster these days.

My search term was Caesar bust...because the German newspapers just mentioned that they found a bust of Caesar in the Rhone River by Arles...a city he founded.

What did Margaret George write? I just read the book 1632 by a time travel historical fiction writer named Eric Land.

Anonymous said...

Since I've already read 14 of the books on your list and another 3 are on my "to be read" list I'll definitely trust your book judgement! I'll have to check put this Margaret George chick. Thanks!

~ Zoe

Anonymous said...

Wow, I just realized that I commented on the wrong post. My brain is seriously fried after camping all weekend with a 2 yr old and an 8 month old. I soooooo need a margarita!

~ Zoe

Julie NJ said...

Antonia Fraser's "Six Wives of Henry the VIII" is a great read, also. Its not fiction, but chock full of documents and descriptions.

Ashley, I've read almost every book on your list and I have to say, I'm so pleasantly surprised at the nerd inside of you !!

Can't wait to check out the British link....