If you click here you will get to the Greenwich Maritime Museum page on the famous Armada Portrait. Recently saved for the nation, this iconic portrait of Elizabeth I commemorates the most famous conflict of her reign – the failed invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in summer 1588. The Armada Portrait is currently off display for essential conservation work, to preserve its fragile painted surfaces which are over 400 years old. The work is expected to take until the autumn.
The follow three minute clips explains the restoration work.
The Armada Portrait is an outstanding historical document, summarizing the hopes and aspirations of the state as an imperial power, at a watershed moment in history. But the Armada Portrait transcends this specific moment in time. Scholars have described it as a definitive representation of the English Renaissance, encapsulating the creativity, ideals and ambitions of the Elizabethan ‘Golden Age’.
Why not go an visit when it is back on display.
If you click here you will get to a lovely obituary for the great Denis Mack Smith in the Oxford Mail by .
“He challenged some of the myths that had built up around the Risorgimento, in part due to fellow historian George Macaulay Trevelyan. Mr Trevelyan celebrated the Risorgimento as an example of liberal idealism and patriotism coming together. Prof Mack Smith, however, viewed the Risorgimento in a very different light, claiming it was the result of strong political and personal rivalries in the nation. Other notable works Mr Mack Smith published during his lifetime include Italy: A Modern History, first penned in 1958, revised in 1986, and finally completely revised and reprinted as Modern Italy: A Political History in 1997.”
It is well worth a read.
In truth, I am a little disappointed that the passing of the great man (albeit at a very respectable 97!) has received so little press. He was an original thinker, and he wrote with a beautiful and lucid style. Any A level historian could do a lot worse than read Mack Smith if they want to learn how to structure an argument with clarity and without pretension.
Perhaps Mack Smith’s most important work was Cavour and Garibaldi As Jonathan Steinbeck commented he “told many Italians what they did not want to hear, but told them at a special point in their history when they had no choice but to listen. Denis Mack Smith became and has remained one of the most important historians of Italy. His confrontations with Renzo De Felice over their respective interpretations of Mussolini have taken place before huge audiences of Italian television watchers and his books are widely available everywhere in Italy”.
If you click here you will get to an Independent write up of historian Timothy Snyder’s article for The Guardian (it can be found here but is not the easiest of reads). Snyder is a leading Yale historian, who suggests that Republicans today “risk remembered like the conservatives of 1930s Germany, who were overcome by the radical right in Adolf Hitler’s ascension to power”.
- How valid are his arguments ?
- Is this good history / helpful ?
We will discuss this in a History Society session in September. For now, have a read and see what you think.
“Writing in The Guardian, Timothy Snyder, Housum professor of history at Yale University, claims the “mendacity-industrial complex of the Trump administration makes conservatism impossible, and opens the floodgates to the sort of drastic change that conservatives opposed”.
He examines the language of the President’s campaign and of his staff, from Chief Strategist Steve Bannon to the administration’s acknowledgement of Holocaust Remembrance Day, and its relation to the far-right in 1930s Germany and America.
Mr Snyder claims Mr Bannon wants to undo the legacies of 1940s America, which saw a fight against fascism and the results of President Roosevelt’s New Deal, which provided jobs and financial support for millions of Americans affected by the Great Depression…”
A little summer treat for you all from the BBC (in four 15 minute sections). A bit of art history and archaeology combine to explore Sutton Hoo. If you want to see the artifacts, they are on display in the British Museum.
“Dr Nina Ramirez reveals the codes and messages hidden in Anglo-Saxon art. From the beautiful jewellery that adorned the first violent pagan invaders through to the stunning Christian manuscripts they would become famous for, she explores the beliefs and ideas that shaped Anglo-Saxon art. Examining many of the greatest Anglo Saxon treasures – such as the Sutton Hoo Treasures, the Staffordshire Hoard, the Franks Casket and the Lindisfarne Gospels – Dr Ramirez charts 600 years of artistic development which was stopped dead in its tracks by the Norman Conquest“.
If you want access to some of those How should I vote ? quizzes, then please click on the links below…
Now go and do some revision.
Following on from today’s lesson, for prep I would like you to do the following.
- Explore the three BBC web pages below.
This account of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz II-Birkenau (here).
The audio slideshow from the Auschwitz Museum explaining the problems of preserving the ageing and crumbling 191-hectare site, with limited funds (here).
Two experts on Auschwitz arguing for and against the idea that the former Nazi death camp should be allowed to crumble away (here)
- Then post which view you agree with more (and why) below. One paragraph please.
Please note, for your post to appear, I will need to approve it – so don’t worry it is does not show up straight away.
You can of course discuss this with people at home.
If you click here you will get to a BBC report on a find in the University of Reading’s special finds department – two pages of previously unknown print by Claxton.
“Erika Delbecque, special collections librarian at the university, described the find as “incredibly rare”. The two pages, with religious texts in medieval Latin, were produced by Caxton at his pioneering printing works in Westminster – and are now going on public display for the first time since they were sold from his print shop in the 15th Century. They are believed to be from the earliest years of Caxton’s printing press, either 1476 or 1477, and are being hailed as a remarkable discovery.”
You might like follow the links on the page to find out more about Claxton.
As promised, please click on the link below for those top ten tips.
Ten Top Tips for History Exam Revision
If you click here you will get to the link for the upcoming Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths exhibition at the British Library (Fri 28 Apr – Tue 29 Aug 2017). Obviously it is to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution, and looks great.
From the fall of Russia’s last Tsar to the rise of the first communist state, this definitive exhibition takes a fresh look at the Russian Revolution 100 years on.
With rarely seen items from both sides of the conflict – from a first edition of the Communist Manifesto to anti-Bolshevik propaganda – this is a unique chance to understand the lesser-known personal stories behind the events that changed the world.
Also on display for the first time, from the British Library’s own archive: Lenin’s handwritten application for a Reader Pass.
Uniting the political and the personal, explore the Russian Revolution’s central characters, most notably Lenin and Trotsky, alongside the tales of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. Did events in Russia in 1917 transform the international landscape forever? Did they shape the world we live in today?
Bringing to life the hope, tragedy and myths of this seismic revolution, discover Russia 1917 – the biggest flame in a world on fire.
If you click here you will get to information about the Royal Academy’s Exhibition of Revolutionary Art. Obviously this is to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution, and it has received outstanding reviews.
Not to be missed – I am heading that way in March.