The Development of the British Palate, Part 1

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Jess Edwards and Daniel Pullin

Daniel and I are both keen on History – and food! The events currently taking place throughout the UK to celebrate British Food Fortnight led us to consider what actually constitutes ‘British Food’. Of course, in one sense the phrase describes food produced in Britain, but it could also mean the food eaten most regularly in the UK, and entrenched in British culture, which equates to a very different interpretation of ‘British Food’. Many of the meals most commonly eaten in Britain today have been introduced from foreign shores. We decided to explore the development of the modern British palate in the Gale archives, and unearthed historical references to both foreign and native recipes – as well as learning how both have solidified their reputation and popularity in British food culture. And to add an amusing twist, we thought we’d rustle up a few dishes under the guidance of these historical recipes…!

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The Origin of Mid-Autumn Festival – “Zhong Qiu Jie”

Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Cathy Huang
I joined Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, in August 2015, as a new member of our China team. I’m very happy to work together with the team and it feels like a family. I’m very willing to contribute my skills to help increase awareness of Gale resources and hope more and more researchers worldwide discover Gale’s rich Primary Source collections.

“Zhong Qiu Jie”, which is also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, is celebrated in China and Vietnam on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. It is a time for family members and loved ones to congregate and enjoy the full moon – an auspicious symbol of abundance, harmony and luck. Adults will usually indulge in fragrant mooncakes of many varieties with a good cup of piping hot Chinese tea, while children run around with brightly-lit lanterns.

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18th-Century Brexit? A sneak preview of State Papers Online: Eighteenth Century: Part III

Reading Time: 5 minutes

When reading through some documents contained within the State Papers’ SP94 (Spain) series recently, I was struck by some parallels between early-eighteenth century diplomatic relations and those of our current post-‘Brexit’ times. There is palpable tension in Anglo-Spanish relations from the letters exchanged between British Ambassador to Spain Paul Methuen and James Stanhope, Secretary of State for the Southern Department.

More broadly, this was a time of flux for European relations, with 1713 marking the end of what has been termed the first ‘global’ war: the War of Spanish Succession. Lasting for thirteen years, the war placed greater strain on European ties. Developing from a dispute over the succession of the Spanish throne when King Carlos II died childless in 1700 (leaving the Bourbon, Philippe Duc d’Anjou as his heir), England, Austria, and the Dutch Republic could not countenance a Franco-Spanish alliance dominating Europe. They therefore rejected the proposed succession by declaring war. After a thirteen-year campaign, the 1713 treaty concluding the war confirmed the succession of Philippe as Felipe V of Spain. As those letters show though, this succession prompted a re-evaluation of Anglo-Spanish trade arrangement.

Read more18th-Century Brexit? A sneak preview of State Papers Online: Eighteenth Century: Part III

False predictions, chaotic systems: Revisiting US elections

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In a few months’ time, the day millions of people have been waiting for will finally be upon us: Election Day in the United States. For the first time in eight years, a new President will be elected to the White House. Pitching effervescent Republican Donald Trump against the more sedate Democrat Hillary Clinton, long months of campaigning will come to an end in what is potentially the most globally scrutinised election ever known. The successor to Barrack Obama will finally be revealed.

While the level of fanfare surrounding the 2016 election may appear unprecedented, there have been a few notable elections in the US over the years which have come close to matching this year’s furore:

  • 1948: Harry S. Truman (Democrat) vs. Thomas E. Dewey (Republican)
  • 1960: John F. Kennedy (Democrat) vs. Richard M. Nixon (Republican)
  • 2000: Al Gore (Democrat) vs. George W. Bush (Republican)

Using Chatham House Online Archive’s expert analysis, some striking continuities emerge across all three elections.

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The Stuart & Cumberland Papers Digitisation Project at Windsor Castle

Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Roberta Giubilini & Puneeta Sharma, The Royal Archives

The Royal Archives was founded in 1914 and is a private archive which offers public access to historical papers for educational purposes and academic study, while protecting the personal private papers of The Queen and members of The Royal Family. Access to the Archives is the responsibility of the Keeper of The Queen’s Archives and this authority is exercised on a day-to-day basis by the Librarian as the Assistant Keeper of The Queen’s Archives. The archival collection reflects the changing world and the monarchy’s relationship to it, and contains, among its significant collection, the papers of the last Stuarts in exile, George III, George IV, and those of later monarchs and members of the Royal Family, including the correspondence and journals of Queen Victoria.

The Royal Archives at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, is home to an extensive collection of documents related to the Royal Family and the British Monarchy spanning over 250 years. There are two collections, which are the focal point of a current project: namely the papers of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, and the papers of the exiled Stuarts.  The project consists of the surveying, conservation and digitisation of these papers, which the Royal Archives are carrying out in collaboration with Gale, a part of Cengage Learning who have employed UK Archiving to undertake the scanning.

Read moreThe Stuart & Cumberland Papers Digitisation Project at Windsor Castle

Bicycle Races are Coming Your Way: following the Tour de France in Artemis Primary Sources

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This year’s Tour de France is about to end, and like every tour it has seen its fair share of drama. The tour is still ongoing at the time of writing with Britain’s Chris Froome once again wearing the yellow jersey. It hasn’t been an easy ride for Froome, as a collision with a race motorcycle forced him to abandon his bike and run to the finish line atop the colossal Mont Ventoux. Collisions between riders and other road users are unfortunately common occurrence in the Tour, as I found in Gale Artemis: Primary Sources

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“Hurrah for the red, white and blue”

Reading Time: 4 minutes

14th July is the day of “fête nationale” in France, or “Bastille Day” as it is known in English, falling on the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille prison on 14th July 1789, in the early days of the French Revolution. It is a day of popular celebrations, grand military parade and lavish fireworks. Contrary to the 4th of July, the American Independence Day celebrating events of 1776, the 14th July was slow to establish itself firmly as a date of national celebrations in France. The chequered history of this holiday can been traced in Gale’s rich newspapers archives.

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The Ever-Changing State of Literary Criticism

Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Larry Trudeau
Larry has been an editor at Gale for over 25 years, and loves doing deep research amid the library stacks. A recent vacation included a day set aside to explore the astonishing Burton Historical Collection at the main branch of the Detroit Public Library.

I was recently reviewing an entry on Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations for an upcoming volume of Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism (NCLC), and was surprised—delighted, really—to see that we were including two reviews of the novel from 1861, the year it was published in book form.

What’s more, there was another article from 1877, in which the reviewer recalled the experience of reading the novel as it came out in weekly installments, between December 1860 and August 1961, in Dickens’s own magazine, All the Year Round. The reviewer, Edwin P. Whipple (how’s that for a good, Victorian-sounding name?), extolled Dickens’s skill at constructing his great novel essentially on the fly, with deadlines constantly looming. “When the novel is read as a whole,” Whipple marveled, “we perceive how carefully the author had prepared us for the catastrophe; but it required feminine sagacity and insight to detect the secret on which the plot turns, as the novel first appeared in weekly parts.” (Feminine sagacity and insight—another echo from another century!)

Read moreThe Ever-Changing State of Literary Criticism

Bombs, Shells and Steel: Revisiting the Battle of the Somme

Reading Time: 4 minutes

‘It ain’t the guns nor armament

Nor funds that they can pay,

But the close co-operation

That makes them win the day.

It ain’t the individual,

Nor the Army as a whole,

But the everlasting teamwork

Of every bloomin’ soul.’

Rudyard Kipling

Read moreBombs, Shells and Steel: Revisiting the Battle of the Somme

In or Out? Exploring Britain’s Relationship with Europe using Chatham House Online Archive

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Mahatma Ghandi, Winston Churchill, Benazir Bhutto. Three iconic political figures who each touched the lives of scores of people around the world during their illustrious lives. What is perhaps lesser known is that all three feature in Chatham House Online Archive, having contributed in one form or another to the world-renowned UK think tank. Ranked the second most influential think tank globally in 2015, Chatham House has offered the perfect platform for leading thinkers in their fields to voice their thoughts on the international affairs of the day.

As the EU Referendum in the UK draws ever nearer, and the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigns gather pace, I took the opportunity to delve into Chatham House Online Archive; its comprehensive coverage of over 80 years of international affairs includes the last UK referendum in 1975, which saw a two-thirds majority in favour of continued European Economic Community (EEC – the precursor to the EU) membership. Looking at five pieces of content from a range of contributors reveals some intriguing insights, and continuities, which have characterised Britain’s relationship with Europe over the past forty-four years.

Read moreIn or Out? Exploring Britain’s Relationship with Europe using Chatham House Online Archive

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