The sharp end of history
From the Times Literary Supplement this week, a history of the pineapple. Particularly pertinent since it plays a prominent place in The Libertine, which I reviewed earlier.
No, not like that - but the king at one point in trying to win over Rochester gives him a pineapple. And it turns out in modern terms to have been worth £5,000. (And a gardeners' boy would have been employed full-time just to stoke the fire in the greenhouse that would have kept it growing.
Still on the historical line, in what may be a blogging first, The Head Heeb has issued a call for papers for a blog symposium, to be held in late January. The only guideline is that you use the wonderful resource of The Old Bailey Online, which contains accounts of more than 100,000 trials at London's central criminal court between 1674 to 1834. All of human life is here!
"Submissions ranging from the scholarly to the entertaining will be welcome" - so you don't have to be a history academic (I'm not); I'd imagine if you wrote a story inspired by a case that would be welcome too.
I'm very keen on breaking across boundaries of discipline, status and approach, so this strikes me as a brilliant idea - a way of bringing a wide range of approaches together, producing a richer understanding.