This Year in History - 1708

Davina Morgan-Witts, BookBrowse editor

Each year, as the holiday season comes around and news becomes thin on the ground, we look back into history for a snapshot of the news in centuries past .....

1708 was a rather dull year for literature, at least from the perspective of modern-day readers looking for works by authors still well known today, but it was an important year for three historians who used their retirement to produce notable works:

The first volume of Theologian Joseph Bingham's 10 volume Antiquities of the Christian Church was published; on its completion in 1722 it provided an exhaustive and methodical account of the antiquities of the Christian Church.

Theater critic and theologian Jeremy Collier published the first volume of his Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain - which, while controversial, became widely used.

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This Year in History - 1608

Davina Morgan-Witts, BookBrowse editor

Each year, as the holiday season comes around and the news stories start to dry up, we look back into history for a snapshot of the news in centuries past. This year, we start in 1608 ....

While the early settlers at Jamestown struggled for survival, London was a hive of dramatic endeavor:

Ben Jonson's The Masque of Beauty and The Hue and Cry After Cupid were both published and performed for the first time. Thomas Heywood published The Rape of Lucrece; Thomas Middleton published The Family of Love, A Mad World, My Masters and A Trick to Catch the Old One; and William Shakespeare published King Lear - to name but a few.

Elizabethan dramatist and pamphleteer, Thomas Dekker, was also in fine voice, publishing two tracts: The Dead Term and The Bellman of London; and considering that he claimed credit for 240 plays during his 60-year lifetime, it seems likely that he turned out a few plays as well.

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Election Detox

Davina Morgan-Witts, BookBrowse editor

By the time election day arrived, my election-habit had reach chronic proportions.  In the normal course of events I'm happy to catch up on the news daily at most, and find that the world gets along perfectly well without me following its every movement, but by November 4th this year I was an addict.  Not content with picking up the news every day or so, I'd moved to hourly, even minute by minute checks - keeping screens open to key sites and refreshing them feverishly every few minutes, just in case something, anything, had happened.

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Louise Penny reads Inspector Gamache
The Light in the Ruins