The Delafield Commission.

The Crimean War was one of the first to be widely photographed. The first as far as anybody with a degree knows was the Mexican American War. An anonymous artist took several daguerreotypes of US soldiers on campaign. Then a Hungarian with the per usual unpronounceable name of Carol Pop de Szathmari took over 200 images, now mostly lost, of the Russian Turkish conflict that lead up to the Crimean War. While searching around to see if I’d missed anything I found an interesting one called the American Commission, so here’s a brief adventure in Historyland about it. Continue reading “The Delafield Commission.”

Resembling Jackson

While I was looking for a suitable picture of Thomas Stonewall Jackson to tweet, I came across one of him when he a young officer in the United States Army. Looking at it I was struck by the resemblance he shared with the Actor David Hedison who starred in, among other things, the popular TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Judge for yourself but if I had been a producer back in the day I would have instantly grabbed him to play Young Jackson in a movie, or later in a mini series if he grew a beard. I think they look quite alike. Continue reading “Resembling Jackson”

Versatile Blogger Award 2013.

I am proud to announce that fellow blogger’s think so highly of Historyland that they have nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. It is an honour to be included in a very fun way of promoting the blogs you enjoy. So according to the rules I want to thank Viking Lady Aine (already nominated) for her kind Nomination, and post a link to her excellent blog.

I also cannot thank Gemma Bagshaw enough for nominating me a second time, her fun and informative site is in my list below, “GemmaHist” and I’m sure you all will like it.

Like a good boy I have done what the VBA’s website say’s to do and nominated some of my favourite blogs, (I would have put the suggested 15 but I really don’t know that many people who have blogs, there is one guy out there who put his top 3). In this list you will find the cream of the Historyland Blogroll, for in essence this is a wider extension of it.

As the website say’s if you get nominated then you have been awarded the VBA end of story.

To finish I hereby list 7 inane and yet penetrating things about myself.
1: I am fascinated by History.
2: I love to read.
3: I like to experiment with ways to present History.
4: I like to paint, sketch and draw, mostly historical subjects.
5: I write, sometimes fiction sometimes history.
6: I know a guy who has the key to Atlantis.
7: I have Long Joh Silver’s Treasure Map under my bed,

Or you could just read the About page.


In A Roman Country Garden.

Garden Fresco from the Villa of Oplontis

 “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Marcus Tullius Cicero.  

It’s almost beginning to look like Spring outside. And with any luck we will soon have Daffodils on the verge’s and Poppy’s in the hedgerow’s, and since Daffodils are thought to be one of our most famous Roman imports, and this thought happened to coincide with my reading Pliny the Younger’s Garden Letters, I thought; “Why not do a post about Pliny’s Garden.” but let him tell you in his own words. Continue reading “In A Roman Country Garden.”

Dinner at Pliny’s.

Ever wonder what a well off Roman might dine on during the 1st Century AD?
In one of his many letters Pliny the Younger details a rather high end dinner, while at the same time ticking off a friend for not appearing to eat it. Bad show! Since Pliny had gone to some expense to provide food and entertainment for the dinner party, no small feat, for Pliny was not a man who enjoyed excesses, the least Septitius Clarus could have done was put in an appearance. Continue reading “Dinner at Pliny’s.”

Battlefields on Google Maps.

Battlefields on Google Maps.

 One of the most fun aspects of the technology afforded us by Google maps is its street view ability. It’s very useful for planning trips, and many other things besides, because of Street view I was able to give accurate directions through a major city because I have a more than passing acquaintance with the layout of the roads from the Belgian border from Charleoi to Brussels I was able to drive (within the parameters of Street View’s roaming) around the battlefield of Waterloo.

 Now I’m not saying that this cyber walk replaces actual feet on the ground investigation but for those who want a basic look at terrain and contour, even colour and weather to a point, this is could be the best gadget to come into a History enthusiast’s hands since you put down your last book, all you need is a map from a history book and an interent connection, so here’s a post that will tell you how I used it recently.


Continue reading “Battlefields on Google Maps.”