damned_colonial: Convicts in Sydney, being spoken to by a guard/soldier (Default)
[personal profile] damned_colonial posting in [community profile] readingthepast
Please suggest themes you'd like to see covered here! Cut and paste the following into a comment:

ETA: please put your theme in the subject of your comment!

Theme:
Are you prepared to run it? Yes/No
Suggested books, if you have them already:


What does it mean to run the theme?

1. At least one month in advance, you'll let everyone know about the theme and your suggested reading for it. You need to suggest at least 3 works of fiction.
2. On the first of the month, you will post a welcome/introduction/kickoff for the theme.
3. Throughout the month, you'll take an active part in discussion of the theme.

You do not have to be an expert on the theme to run it. You just need to have an interest in it.
Page 1 of 2 << [1] [2] >>

Date: 2009-05-30 11:55 pm (UTC)
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
From: [personal profile] cofax7
Okay!

Theme: Roman Britain
Run it: Um, sure.
Suggested books: Sutcliff (Eagle of the Ninth), Finney (The Crow Goddess), Bradshaw (Island of Ghosts), not sure what else. Is Finney even still in print? I'd have to look around to see what's available via Gutenberg. There's nothing available movie-wise that I'm comfortable with recommending.

This would explicitly be not an Arthurian thing, which I think of as more fantasy, but we could talk about the intersections with that myth, both within and external to the novels.

Date: 2009-05-31 01:02 am (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
Jack Whyte, maybe? His main series is Arthurian, but the first couple books are solidly Roman Britain, aside from the making of a certain sword, and they're not particularly mythical in tone (actually, I kind of got bored after the first couple).

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Date: 2009-05-30 11:58 pm (UTC)
jest: (flashman)
From: [personal profile] jest
Theme: The Crimean War
Are you prepared to run it? Depends on my school schedule.
Suggested books:

Off the top of my head...

Flashman at the Charge by George McDonald Fraser
Jack Archer by G.A. Henty

...and I suppose it wouldn't be the Crimea without The Charge of the Light Brigade.

(Ha, the Crimean War also sneaks into Sherlock Holmes as the place where Dr Watson was shot.)

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Date: 2009-05-31 01:00 am (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
Theme: Tudor/Elizabethan England
Are you prepared to run it? Uh, I guess, depends on when.
Suggested books, if you have them already: Fiona Buckey's Ursula Blanchard mysteries, Philippa Gregory (I find her work rather annoying and she tends to run with some weird hypotheses, but hey, discussion fodder!)...I'd have to look around for more, I think.

Date: 2009-05-31 05:17 am (UTC)
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
From: [personal profile] cofax7
::cough::

Dorothy Dunnett.

Also Patricia Finney, who wrote two Elizabethan thrillers as Finney and a short series of mysteries set on the Borders as PF Chisholm.

There's a ton of Elizabethan fiction, the problem is separating the gold from the dross. And finding stuff on Gutenberg.

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Date: 2009-05-31 01:16 am (UTC)
jest: (Hornblower: OTP)
From: [personal profile] jest
Theme: The Battle of Waterloo
Are you prepared to run it? No, but someone else totally should.
Suggested books, if you have them already:

An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer
Vanity Fair by Thackery
A Close Run Thing by Alan Mallinson
Sharpe's Waterloo by Bernard Cornwell

Re: US Civil War

Date: 2009-05-31 05:18 am (UTC)
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
From: [personal profile] cofax7
Shaara's Killer Angels? It's not entirely fiction, but it sure reads like it.

Re: US Civil War

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Re: US Civil War

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Re: US Civil War

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Re: US Civil War

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Re: Plagues and pandemics

Date: 2009-05-31 03:56 pm (UTC)
gloss: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gloss
If drama counts, One Flea Spare by Naomi Wallace is *stunning*.

Re: Plagues and pandemics

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Re: Plagues and pandemics

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Re: Plagues and pandemics

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Re: Plagues and pandemics

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Re: Plagues and pandemics

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Re: Plagues and pandemics

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Re: Plagues and pandemics

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Re: Colonial-era Africa

Date: 2009-05-31 05:20 am (UTC)
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
From: [personal profile] cofax7
Okay, for this I think we really need some African writers. I've been getting a little antsy looking at what we're talking about here, and thinking we need some stuff from a subaltern position (that's what it's called, yes?). Also, I think [personal profile] veejane should be prodded to suggest some things.

Re: Colonial-era Africa

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Re: Colonial-era Africa

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Re: Colonial-era Africa

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Re: Colonial-era Africa

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Re: Colonial-era Africa

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Re: Colonial-era Africa

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Re: Gold Rushes

Date: 2009-05-31 02:16 pm (UTC)
jest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jest
If you want to branch out "The Colour" by Rose Tremain covers the 19th c. New Zealand gold rush.

Re: Gold Rushes

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Re: Gold Rushes

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Date: 2009-05-31 02:30 pm (UTC)
jest: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jest
Here's a handful of themes that I don't know enough about to run myself but would love to see covered:

Homosexuality in the 1930s

Cold War America

The Boer War

Fin de siècle Europe

18th-century Korea
(The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble wasn't very good but it sure made me want to learn more about the period.)

Imperial Russia

Egyptology in Fiction



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Cold War America

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Re: Cold War America

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Re: Cold War America

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Re: Cold War America

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Re: Cold War America

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Re: Cold War America

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Re: Cold War America

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Re: Cold War America

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Re: Cold War America

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Egyptology

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Date: 2009-05-31 05:27 pm (UTC)
avendya: A picture of the night sky (Stock - stars)
From: [personal profile] avendya
I would really, really love to see science & technology covered. (That is, changes in attitude over time, etc.) Jo Graham's Hand of Isis touches on it, but it's more fantasy than pure historical. Cryptonomicon does some interesting stuff with codebreaking in WWII. Are biographies and/or non-fiction allowed? (Because if they are, I could do a whole section of science from 1900 - 1950.)

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Re: Regency Romances

Date: 2009-06-09 01:38 am (UTC)
hl: Drawing of Ada Lovelace as a young child, reading a Calculus book (Default)
From: [personal profile] hl
Late, but I've a suggestion for this discussion.

There's Emily Eden's The Semi-Attached Couple. It was published in 1860 but written and set in 1820 (if I'm not mistaken), and I remember that when reading, not only I found the style very much like Austen's (probably influenced by it!) but very curious in terms of the social and romantic dynamics. It's fun, too. :)

Re: Regency Romances

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Re: Regency Romances

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Date: 2009-06-01 03:20 pm (UTC)
florence_craye: kannathil muthamittal amudha thinking (batik gold)
From: [personal profile] florence_craye
Theme: The Wars of the Roses and/or Richard III specifically

Are you prepared to run it? No

Suggested books, if you have them already:

Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey (does that count, as it's not really set in that time)
Richard III, Shakespeare
The Sunne in Splendour, Sharon Kay Penman

Wars of the Roses in fiction (last updated in 2004, this is an archive.org cache)
An excellent R3 list is here, although it includes fiction during other medieval British rulers' reigns as well.

I am sure others have read more fiction set in this era, but this is a start from what I am familiar with as mainly a reader of non-fiction.

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The Caribbean

Date: 2009-06-01 05:55 pm (UTC)
al_zorra: (Default)
From: [personal profile] al_zorra
I am willing to run it.

Theme: From the first voyage of Columbus the Caribbean was the colonial cross-roads of the world for many centuries.

The Spanish Empire flotas were two: the one that carried New World gold and silver to Spain, that gathered first in Vera Cruz (Mexico); and the flota gathered in the Philippines that brought Asian luxury goods to Spain. These goods were paid for by New World silver -- most of the New World silver extracted from Latin America ended up in China. Both Flotas had to stop in Havana waiting for the winds that would carry them to Spain. This is why the Golden Age of Piracy is located in this region.

In early America the golden triangle of mercantile trade (including slaves) was New Orleans, Havana and Haiti.

The Haitian Revolution was a bomb that exploded Haitian culture throughout the Antilles, into South America and North America, via the diapora of fleeing planters with their slaves and the free people of color, also, often, with their slaves. The failure of the Napoleon and Britian to take back Haiti from the revolutionaries led to the Louisiana Purchase. The success of the Haitian Revolution terrified the nascent US, with consequences both positive and negative for North American slaves. The Haitian planters' choice of slaves to take with them often had to be triaged, thus those who arrived in New Orleans brought by far more women and children than men.

From the above you can see why New Orleans needs to be included in this look at historical fiction that deals with the Caribbean.

Haiti was written out of history in the U.S. until the 1930's. The same thing happened later with Cuba with the Revolution. We have two mysterious islands that previous to displeasing the U.S. were intimately connected to this country.

Fiction

Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson (forever etched in the minds of so many as THE idea of the Golden Age of Piracy pirates)

The Fortunes of Captain Blood - Rafael Sabatini (slavery of whites and blacks in the 17th C British West Indies)

The Golden Hawk - Frank Yerby (very much about Vera Cruz and pirates in the 17th C, written by an African American historical novelist, with a terrific black hero, as well as a blonde one)

Old Creole Days - George Washington Cable (New Orleans custom of placage and the local definition - meaning of 'creole', among other things -- to this day the author is considered a traitor to New Orleans by a certain class)

I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem (a slave transported from her Caribbean home to Salem, and back again), Tree of Life (an entwined family tree in Guadeloupe) - Maryse Condé

Firefly Summer - Pura Belpré (YA - At a plantation in rural Puerto Rico around the turn of the century the foreman pursues the mystery surrounding his family).

Caribbean - James Michener (an attempt to do a pan-regional history, which fails on many levels, particualarly as he ignores the Spanish Antilles almost entirely, and concentrates hard on the British islands, with some French; as far as I've been able to determine though, for instance his telling of what happened on Guadeloupe and Martinique (from where came Napoleon's Empress Josephine; btw Dumas's grandfather was a free black born in Haiti).

The Farming of Bones - Edwidge Danticat* (two lovers separated by the massacre of Haitian cane cutter-salves in 1937 in the Dominican Republic)

The Book of Night Women - Marlon James* (slavery in Jamaica in the 18th & 19th centuries)

Explosion In A Cathedral - Alejo Carpentier (the effect of the Haitian Revolution upon three wealth Cuban orphans in Havana)

All Souls Rising, Master of the Crossroads, The Stone That the Builder Refused -- Madison Smartt Bell* (The Haitian Revolution)

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Díaz* (the deconstruction of the real world destruction that the real world evil dark lord of the Dominican Republic wrought via the tropes of SF and F -- the Dominican Republic and Haiti share the same island that was called Hispanola -- Haiti was French and the DR belonged to the Spanish Empire)

Non-Fiction

The Cuba Journal - Sophia Peabody Hawthorne. Yes, she's the Peabody sister who married Nathanial Hawthorne, though whether she shared his anti-abolitionist attitude or not, I cannot quite determine -- I have come to the conclusion that basically she just didn't care. Slavery was a non-issue for her.

Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo - Ned Sublette* (starts with the Phoenicians and Africa, ends in 1951 - 1952, as the Revolution looms)

The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square - Ned Sublette (in several ways this is the continuation of the history of the region that begins in Cuban and Its Music. It actually makes sense for the reader of the extraordinarily complicated Haitian Revolution -- it wasn't unusual to have 5 conflicting sides fighting simulataneously; it's also the only history of New Orleans in print.)

Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica - Zora Neale Hurston (I love this writer -- she wrote While Their Eyes Were Watching God while in Haiti. But I don't like this book very much. But no one I know, who knows Haiti and Haitian vodún too, has read it, so I've never had anyone to bounce this off of. Among other problems I find with this book, Hurston seems to think that Haitian vodún is the same as New Orleans voodoo -- and they are not -- for reasons that have a great deal to do with almost only women and children being brought to New Orleans by the St. Dominge planters fleeing the Haitian Revolution.

A Caribbean map.


Almost all of these works have e-editions in some form. The swashbucklers have had movies made from them.

I could also do a music list.

* I have a personal relationship with the stared writers; Ned Sublette and I have been married forever. I performed an enormous amount of the research in these books; a significant portion of the text in TWTMNO is mine too, he says.

Love, C.

Re: The Caribbean

From: [personal profile] al_zorra - Date: 2009-06-01 06:16 pm (UTC) - Expand

Industrial Revolution in Britain

Date: 2009-06-01 08:20 pm (UTC)
naraht: The young Queen Victoria (hist-Victoria)
From: [personal profile] naraht
Theme: Industrial Revolution in Britain
Are you prepared to run in?: Yes, depending on when it happens.
Books:
"North and South" by Elizabeth Gaskell
"The Light Ages" by Ian R McLeod
[one more novel needed]

Background reading:
"The Condition of the Working Class in England" by Friedrich Engels
"Progress and Poverty: An Economic and Social History of Britain, 1700-1850" by MJ Daunton

Re: Industrial Revolution in Britain

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Re: Industrial Revolution in Britain

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Re: Industrial Revolution in Britain

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Re: Industrial Revolution in Britain

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Re: Industrial Revolution in Britain

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Re: Industrial Revolution in Britain

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Re: Industrial Revolution in Britain

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Women At War, WWI

Date: 2009-06-01 08:39 pm (UTC)
wychwood: Fraser walking away, with a maple leaf (due South - Fraser far from home)
From: [personal profile] wychwood
Theme: the home front and/or women at the front during WWI

Are you prepared to run it? Yes

Suggested books:
Rilla of Ingleside, by LM Montgomery (available at Gutenberg and written only shortly after the war)

I would like to include a book from the German (or other Axis) perspective, and ideally either one from a non-European / non-Anglo perspective or set in one of the areas that were being fought over / through, if anyone has any suggestions!

Could include Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain, as non-fic.

I'd like to look at stuff other than the basic "trench warfare" narratives, in particular; I can think of lots of home-front stuff from WWII, but not so much WWI, so suggestions would be really helpful.

Re: Women At War, WWI

Date: 2009-06-01 09:46 pm (UTC)
naraht: "If we knew what we were doing it wouldn't be called research" (hist-Research)
From: [personal profile] naraht
I'd like to look at stuff other than the basic "trench warfare" narratives, in particular; I can think of lots of home-front stuff from WWII, but not so much WWI, so suggestions would be really helpful.

Do you know, I can't think of anything either, apart from Vera Brittain.

Good secondary sources can be found in the "war" section of Oxford's twentieth century social history paper...

http://www.history.ox.ac.uk/currentunder/bibliographies/fhs_fs_22_britsoc20C_october_2007.pdf

Can I put in a plug for "The Great War and Modern Memory" by Paul Fussell even though it isn't strictly speaking about the home front?

Re: WW1 in general

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Re: WW1 in general

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Re: WW1 in general

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Re: WW1 in general

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Re: WW1 in general

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Re: WW1 in general

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Re: WW1 in general

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Re: WW1 in general

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Re: Women At War, WWI

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Date: 2009-06-01 08:42 pm (UTC)
wychwood: bread and roses (gen - bread and roses)
From: [personal profile] wychwood
PS We should totally include some of Charlotte Yonge's (terrible!) historical fiction, as and when we get an appropriate theme - it's a fascinatingly Victorian perspective on the past. [personal profile] oursin would probably be a good person to suggest titles from this, she's more familiar with the historicals than I am.

Judaism and Antisemitism in the UK (after 1800)

Date: 2009-06-01 08:46 pm (UTC)
naraht: (other-David)
From: [personal profile] naraht
I am possibly prepared to run it, depending on timeframe. It would have to be moderated carefully, for obvious reasons.

"Daniel Deronda" by George Eliot
"The Way We Live Now" by Anthony Trollope
"Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens
"Oliver!" [musical by Lionel Bart]
"Fagin the Jew" by Will Eisner
"The House of Rothschild" [1934 film]
"Small Change" trilogy by Jo Walton

Background reading: probably lots and lots, which I can specify at a later date. Maybe it would be worth taking out "Small Change" and just doing a nineteenth century version?

Re: Judaism and Antisemitism in the UK (after 1800)

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Re: Judaism and Antisemitism in the UK (after 1800)

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Re: Judaism and Antisemitism in the UK (after 1800)

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Date: 2009-06-01 10:31 pm (UTC)
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
From: [personal profile] vass
Theme: China?
Are you prepared to run it: I don't think I know enough to run it, no.
Suggested books:
I'm thinking things like Lisa See's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, and if autobiography counts, then Jung Chang's Wild Swans.

Date: 2009-06-01 10:36 pm (UTC)
naraht: (Default)
From: [personal profile] naraht
I think the theme would need to be narrowed down a great deal. It's a little bit like picking "America" as a theme.

Date: 2009-06-01 10:32 pm (UTC)
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
From: [personal profile] vass
Theme: Punic wars
Are you ready to run it: sorry, no.
Suggested books:
David Anthony Durham, Pride of Carthage

Re: French Revolution

Date: 2009-06-03 04:26 pm (UTC)
wychwood: G'Kar is lost in translation (B5 - G'Kar translation)
From: [personal profile] wychwood
Marge Piercy's City of Darkness, City of Light isn't too bad, and it's modern.

Re: French Revolution

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Re: French Revolution

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Re: Jim Crow era

Date: 2009-06-02 04:53 pm (UTC)
al_zorra: (Default)
From: [personal profile] al_zorra
As this is part of our work, I know quite a bit about it. Though knowing about something isn't an essential qualification, of course, for running a theme.

More novels are being published in this general era, as are histories, of the black experience between Reconstruction and the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, written by really fine writers. Toni Morrison is one of them.



Peloponnesian War

Date: 2009-06-02 08:33 am (UTC)
siljamus: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siljamus
Theme: Peloponnesian War
Are you prepared to run it? No, sorry

Suggested books, if you have them already:
Steven Pressfield: "Tides of War" (2000)
Mary Renault: "The Last of the Wine" (1956)
Aristophanes: "The Birds" (414 BC) English translations by Eugene O'Neill, jr. or by Ian Johnston. (I was thinking that we could make an exception here and include a play, seeing as we have an actual piece of fiction written at the time, which deals with the theme. "The Birds" is also hilariously funny and a short read. Or maybe Lysistrate which is more directly about the war.)

Non-fictional reading could include Thucydides "History of the Peloponnesian War" at Gutenberg or at Project Perseus.
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