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Monday, August 13, 2007

Britain today : British workers have shortest holidays in Europe - Independent Online Edition > This Britain

British workers have shortest holidays in Europe - Independent Online Edition > This Britain
A new law will increase the amount of holiday British workers can take. BUt they are still well behind several countries in Europe.

Musique populaire : How 'Beatlemania' hit the embassy - Independent Online Edition > News

How 'Beatlemania' hit the embassy - Independent Online Edition > News
Souvent les élites de la société se méfient de la musique populaire... mais pas toujours. On vient de réveler des événements étranges lors de la visite des Beatles à l'ambassade britannique à Washington.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Twentieth century - 1923 Labour Election poster


MacDonald Poster.jpg - Wikipedia

This is one of the posters used by the Labour party in the 1923 election campaign. It is interesting to see that Macdonald, who had been opposed to the first world war and become very marginalized because of his position, was able so quickly to be back at the centre of the Labour party. Obviously the Labour party believed that a picture of Macdonald would help them gain votes, not lose them.

It is true that by 1923, the First world war did not necessarily seem to be as glorious as it might have appeared in 1914.

British cinema BFI Top 100 British films - Wikipedia

BFI Top 100 British films - Wikipedia

For background information, wikipedia is often useful.
Here is a list of "the top 100" British films according to cinema professionals.
There is information about many of them.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Second world war "Naming of Parts" by Henry Reed


"Naming of Parts" by Henry Reed

This site gives one of the greatest poems to come out of world war two. It is about the boredom of soldiers in training camps, and talks of the life of nature and young love which the soldiers are missing out on.

Second world war - ordinary people's memories


BBC - WW2 People's War - Nits, Bombs and a haversack bag

This BBC site includes many stories of personal experiences.

19th and 20th century - the workhouse


http://www.workhouses.org.uk/index.html?Andover/Andover.shtml

From 1834 when they were established, to 1930 when they were finally abolished, the workhouses terrified poor people. They were the only solution for unemployed people who could find no-one to help them, but it meant being separated from children, husband or wife, and subject to a humiliating régime, often half-starved in the first decades.
This website shows photos and information about British workhouses, and also includes "workhouse memories" - some of them by famous people, like Charlie Chaplin, who spent some time in a workhouse.

Second world war : British Propaganda Posters of the Second World War - Posters


British Propaganda Posters of the Second World War - Posters

Posters are a good way of bringing history to life. This site shows a large number of posters from Britain in the Second World war, and helps understand the tactics of the British government in trying to persuade people to work hard to win the war. Here is an example .

Britain Today : Parisian-style hire bicycles to beat London traffic jams - Independent Online Edition > Transport

Parisian-style hire bicycles to beat London traffic jams - Independent Online Edition > Transport

This article suggests that London may follow the example of the new Velib bike scheme in Paris.
Notice how the basic information about the scheme is not correct ( the bicycles are not white; the first half hour is free). Articles about foreign countries in the press are often rather approximate.

Popular music : Are rap artists responsible for the explosion of gang culture? - Independent Online Edition > Crime

The Big Question: Are rap artists responsible for the explosion of gang culture? -

Since the arrival in Britain of jazz music in the 1920s, popular music has been accused of being a cause of violence and social decline. THis article from this week's Independent looks at the accusations against rap.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Second world war : book : London 1945: Life in the Debris of War: Books: Maureen Waller

Amazon.com: London 1945: Life in the Debris of War: Books: Maureen Waller

An interesting book on London in 1945. Read the summary and the comments on its amazon page.

Monday, August 06, 2007

First world war : recruitment poster


During the first world war, the recruitment posters were very impressive. You will have seen the famous poster of Lord Kitchener pointing his finger, a poster used also by the USA in the second world war. This poster appeals to young women to put pressure on their boyfriends to join the army.

19th Century : William Wilberforce, by William Hague - Independent Online Edition > Reviews

William Wilberforce, by William Hague - Independent Online Edition > Reviews

Ce n'est pas souvent que le dirigeant d'un parti politique écrit des livres d'histoire.
Mais William Hague, ex-dirigeant du parti conservateur, constitue une exception. Il a écrit cette biographie intéressante d'un des dirigeants de la campagne contre l'esclavage au 18ème et au 19ème siècle, William Wilberforce.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

17th century : 1688 The Decisive Settlement (1988)

Duncan Hallas: The Decisive Settlement

A Marxist historian gives his analysis of the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688.

16th century : Book review: Reformation: Europe's House Divided

Book review: Reformation: Europe's House Divided
This article on an excellent book on the Reformation is useful. It does however remind us that no articles are neutral. If you look for articles on the web about this book, you find they are mostly written by evangelical Christians. This doesn't mean they have nothing interesting to say, but of course you cannot expect them to be unbiassed...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

British Civilization : Downing Street

They Said What?

The Downing Street website gives a number of interesting historical facts, from the official establishment point of view. You can also take a virtual tour of Downing Street and see all the rooms that the prime minister works in.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A new book - Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain

Religion and Society in Twentieth-Century Britain

19th century : La révolte des indiens contre l'empire britannique en 1857

Il y a cent cinquante ans, la révolte des cipayes, par William Dalrymple (Le Monde diplomatique)

This article in French looks at one of the most important events in the British Empire in the nineteenth centuiry - the revolt of the Indian soldiers against their British officers.