Under the Hill

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Posts Tagged ‘sudeten

Revisiting Ye Olde Airship Scare

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NSRW_Dirigible_BalloonThe whole idea of what seems to be postblogging appeared to me a few times before, and Ihad some ideas of how to do it and some ideas of what to blog, yet I realized in the end that none of them were really feasible. None of these ideas though were as interesting as Brett Holman’s take on the phenomenon of Scareships, phantom airships appearing over Britain in the early 20th century. Brett is blogging appearances of those airships over Britain in 1909 on his blog Airminded in chronological order.[1]

A fascinating concept and something one might keep in mind for other historical events. As I said it has been done by others before, like Holman’s own description of the Sudeten Crisis in that form, David Silbey from The Edge of the American West describing the Boxer Uprising day-to-day or Ross Mahoney taking on the battle of the Mareth Line. I suppose history is full with stuff one could use to that effect.

So, what could be the use of blogging stuff that is long gone? Isn’t that stuff in history books anyway?

Yeah it is, but (aside from the fact that historians need to look at the sources anyway to make sure everything the books say is correct): It actually might give a whole different view on the subject than any history book or other media could convey. Breaking down the course of events in daily or maybe weekly parts, whenever the news would have appeared back then, we could have better insights into the point of view contemporaries might have had.

I think if used right one could use this idea as quite a good tool to teach and research certain historic topics. I wonder if I could maybe do something similar in this blog as well… The problem would be the topics I woul choose for that. As I am a medieval historian I would be more interested in developments from the Middle Ages. Only back then there was no such reliable source of information as the newspaper turned out to be in the 19th/20th century.

[1] he also has a whole subblog only on scareships complete with sources and maps of their occurrences

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Written by G. Neuner

10. June 2009 at 3:15 pm