Tag archives for History - Page 3

History Bookshelf – Bookshelves Abound = #Shelfie 02

The History Bookshelf sits next to the Fiction Bookshelf. You can just see it alongside in the photo. Like the Fiction Bookshelf the History Bookshelf is second of the five identical Ikea bookshelves to feature in my Shelfies. History Bookshelf The History Bookshelf, one of five Ikea bookcases This is not the only bookshelf containing history books, most of my bookcases have some history on them. The reason that I've called this one the History Bookshelf is that it has a mixture of themes on it. Most of it is WW2 history, but there are other periods too. The top shelf has a mixture of POW stories, from both British and German points of view. It also has Blitz and National Fire Service histories. There are a handful of other home front books across the history bookshelf too. Further down there is a…
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Writing Good Living History Characters for Re-enactors

This second post in the living history series is on creating good living history characters.  The previous blog post was on the five steps for scripting living history events, of which creating your living history characters is the fifth step. Cooking snacks for soldiers at a living history event Living history events are a sort of promenade theatre with a lot of improvisation. Re-enactors are often mingled with the public, and many will be answering questions one to one. So living history characters need to be more robust than if you were writing for another medium. Here's what you need to do: Outline the scenario Work out what characters you need for the scenario Provide background for each character Define limits for improvisation Cast people as your main characters & brief them 1. Outline Your Scenario Mass-produced colour photolithography on paper…
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Scripting Living History Events for Re-enactors – in Five Steps

It has been quite a while since I was last involved in scripting living history for an event. It has also been a while since I attended one, but I spent this weekend at the ECWS living history site at Newport Pagnell. The ECWS living history has come on a long way over the last few years. There is an excellent small town feel to it with a load of talented people showing a wide range of skills and aspects of 17th century life. This is how it should be. The next stage in the evolution is scripting living history cameos so that there is a hook for the public to learn more. About a decade ago the Fairfax Battalia, now sadly gone, saw this and ran a series of living history events. I was lucky enough to be able to script some…
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Battle of the Somme 1916

Today is the centenary of the first infantry attacks in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Zero Hour was 07:30, and at that point the whistles blew and the infantry began their advance across no-man's land towards the German trenches. The infantry attack was preceded by over a week's artillery bombardment of one and a half million shells. A couple of minutes before H-hour several mines were detonated under the main German positions. Public Perceptions of the Battle of the Somme The Badly Shelled Road to Bapaume (21 Sept 1916) By Lt Ernest Brooks, via Wikimedia Commons This image gives the general public perception of WW1 in general, and the Battle of the Somme in particular. It is from the Battle of the Somme, but from 20th September 1916 rather than 1st July. The Somme battle was what churned…
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Fight Another Day by J.M. Langley [Book Review]

Fight Another Day. Langley by J M Langley My rating: 5 of 5 stars Fight Another Day has been sitting on my shelf for years, right next to MI9 (which I only realised was co-authored by J M Langley). I'm not sure why it took me so long to get round to reading it. It fits my usual preferences in a number of ways. It's a first hand accout by an infantry officer, it's about escaping from a POW camp, it's about organising secret agents to work in nazi-occupied Europe. Any one of those would have got Fight Another Day onto my to-read list. Fight Another Day Fight Another Day tells the story of Jimmy Langley from his enlistment in the special reserve of the Coldstream Guards. He gets mobilised in August 1939 and goes to France, and we are…
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