Jenny Lind – the Swedish Nightingale

Eduard Magnus (1862): ”Jenny Lind”,
Reading Time: 6 minutes

| By Pauli Kettunen, Gale Ambassador at the University of Helsinki |

Whilst it is undoubtedly quality entertainment, the 2017 Hollywood film The Greatest Showman should not be taken as an accurate history lesson… However, among all the drama, singing and dancing, it does portray some facts; P.T. Barnum did start small and end up as a household name; he did bring ‘The Swedish Nightingale’ to the United States and make her tour a success like never before. Indeed, the concert tour amassed him a sizeable fortune, and the humble Scandinavian singer donated her own share – which was by no means small – to charities of her choice.

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Noddy in Archiveland

“Pop Career for Noddy." News Review. Sunday Times, 16 Nov. 2003, p. 14[S3]. The Sunday Times Digital Archive, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/FP1803638499/GDCS?u=webdemo&sid=GDCS&xid=141de559

Reading Time: 5 minutes │ By Rebecca Bowden, Associate Acquisitions Editor │ Everybody knows Noddy. Created by Enid Blyton in 1949, the Noddy books – and subsequent television show – tell the story of a wooden man who runs away from the toy store and finds himself in Toyland. There he makes his home after the town’s residents have … Read moreNoddy in Archiveland

Comfy in a Corset – Why Nineteenth-century Underwear Isn’t as Scary as You Think

"DOUGLAS & SHERWOOD'S CELEBRATED TOURNURE CORSET. (Front view)." Godey's Lady's Book, 1 Apr. 1859, p. 296. American Historical Periodicals,

Reading Time: 4 minutes │ By Maya Thomas, Gale Ambassador at the University of Oxford │ From Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind to Elizabeth Swann in Pirates of the Caribbean, it seems that no pretty woman in a historical drama is complete without participating in the infamous “corset scene”. You know the one: the beautiful protagonist reluctantly … Read moreComfy in a Corset – Why Nineteenth-century Underwear Isn’t as Scary as You Think

What is a monster? Tracking the evolution and reception of monstrosity in literature from the nineteenth century to modern day

Boris Karloff as the Creature in the 1931 film inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Reading Time: 5 minutes

│ By Tania Chakraborti, Gale Ambassador at Durham University │

The idea of what is monstrous has perhaps metamorphosed somewhat since the nineteenth century. Nowadays audiences root for the vampire (Netflix’s The Originals) sympathise with the werewolf (Twilight) or even cheer on the Devil (Netflix’s Lucifer). But in the time of Shelley, Verne and Stoker, monstrosity was far more complex (and far less American high school-orientated!)

Read moreWhat is a monster? Tracking the evolution and reception of monstrosity in literature from the nineteenth century to modern day

The Mystery of the Jacobite Poet

A poem by James Murray, the Jacobite Earl of Dunbar, early 1721. Source location: RA. SP Box 3/9/2

Reading Time: 6 minutes │ By Edward Corp, retired Professor of British History at the Université de Toulouse │ There is a poem in the Stuart Papers written by James Murray, the Jacobite Earl of Dunbar. Although it is undated it must have been written in January or February 1721 when Dunbar was obliged to leave the Stuart court … Read moreThe Mystery of the Jacobite Poet

British Royal Babies Through the Ages

Reading Time: 5 minutes| By Rebekka Väisänen, Gale Ambassador at the University of Helsinki |

All media outlets are now brimming with news about the newest addition to the British Royal Family, HRH Prince Harry and Meghan’s baby boy. In light of this, I decided to search Gale Primary Sources to see how royal births have been documented and celebrated throughout the ages. Below I explore the media hype around five royal ancestors, ranging from poetry to the decoding of names.

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The Political and Cultural Impacts of the May Fourth Movement

Reading Time: 8 minutes| By Rebecca Chiew and Emery Pan, Editors in the Gale Asia Publishing Team |

May 4, 1919 was a day to remember for Chiang Monlin (蒋梦麟), a senior member of the Peking University administration. Three thousand students from Peking University and more than a dozen other universities in Beijing demonstrated in Tiananmen Square against the upcoming signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Chiang went on to write The China Mission Year Book (1919) and in the chapter dedicated to “The Student Movement,” he offered a gripping account of the incident at Tiananmen, detailing the fury and violence perpetrated by the students on the perceived traitors of China, and the countermeasures taken by the Chinese government on the riotous protestors. Chiang also analysed the causes of the May Fourth Movement, described the philosophy that underpinned the students’ mindset, and the societal changes that this philosophy brought about. Chiang later became the president of Peking University and the Minister of Education (1928–1930).

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“We tread enchanted ground” Celebrating Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon through the years

Reading Time: 6 minutesBy Karen Harker, Gale Ambassador at the University of Birmingham
Karen is a Gale Student Ambassador and PhD student at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute. Her work focuses on digitally reconstructing and reconsidering the role of incidental music used in nineteenth-century Shakespeare productions, a project which is rooted in archival research and utilises many of Gale’s digital resources. Other research interests include operatic adaptations of Shakespeare, digital humanities, tableaux vivant, and Shakespeare performances during times of war. Karen also enjoys hiking, yoga, singing, and spending time with her cat, Monkey.

Around the 23rd of April every year, Stratford-upon-Avon becomes a different place. Flooded with tens of thousands of tourists from across the world, this small Warwickshire town pauses to pay homage to the most recognisable name, and for some, the greatest writer in all of English drama: William Shakespeare. The tradition of celebrating the life and work of Shakespeare has arguably placed Stratford-upon-Avon on the map. Even on a typical day, it is not uncommon to see throngs of school children touring Shakespeare’s Birthplace on Henley Street; patrons heading to see a show at one of the Royal Shakespeare Company theatres; or groups of visitors making their way to Holy Trinity Church to get a look at Shakespeare’s grave. For folks (such as myself) who call Stratford home, seeing Shakespeare remembered in this way, witnessing the twenty-first century style pilgrimage taken by millions of people each year, is a part of our daily life.

Read more“We tread enchanted ground” Celebrating Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon through the years

Sports Day: A Day for Everyone

Reading Time: 4 minutesBy Matt Chivers, Gale Ambassador at the University of Liverpool
I’m in my third year studying History at the University of Liverpool. I am obsessed with golf and regrettably even more obsessed about football. But at school, History took my interest; throughout Sixth Form and University I have loved studying the Cold War and, for my dissertation, the nuclear arms race. I am keen to pursue a career in sports writing and journalism – I couldn’t think of anything better than being paid to watch and write about the biggest sporting events in the world! I like film and tend to binge-watch a series or two.

I attended Dover Grammar School for Boys, and although not every student enjoyed PE, Sports Day was always a day that everyone seemed to enjoy. There were no lessons, or deadlines; everyone was buzzing, standing around the playing fields, participating or watching the various track and field events. Delving into Gale’s primary source archives, I found not only the photograph above, showing my predecessors in the now-vintage sports gear of the 1930s, but a results sheet from the Dover Grammar School Sports Day of 1948. It is interesting that back then the four houses of the school were named Maxton, Buckland, Country and Town after four different areas of Dover. The current school houses also use this theme, and are named Channel, Castle, Port and Priory.

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