This week’s History Around the Web brings us some Boy Who Lived mixed with King Arthur, Anne Frank’s newly discovered ‘naughty’ pages, Royal Wedding humor, and more!
Twenty years after the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the “Boy Who Lived” shows no sign of dying, with a record-smashing Broadway show, new editions of all seven novels, and a traveling museum exhibit (the most successful of all time at the British Library).
Disturbing picture aside, this article is a fantastic read. It’s no secret that Harry Potter follows the same storied structure of the Hero’s Journey like other epic fantasy franchises like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. This article posits that there’s an even more specific relationship with Arthurian Romance. J.K. Rowling herself studied French Literature in college, so one can expect she was made quite familiar with Arthurian legends which surged in popularity among the medieval French after Geoffrey’s Historia Regum Britanniae hit the manuscript copying Monk-press. A few of the notable parallels between the two stories are the human/divine coupling creation of King Arthur & Harry Potter, the Medieval influence upon the Wizarding World/Order of Merlin, The Trio reflecting the Arthurian Knights of the Round-table, and more obvious monsters and legends!
AMSTERDAM – Anne Frank tried to cover up two pages of writing in her diary that contained dirty jokes and a description of what she referred to as “sexual matters,” pasting brown paper over the pages in her red-and-white plaid notebook.
It’s always a good day when something new is uncovered from Anne Frank’s diary. Especially when it’s some of her more naughty writings! Part of what made Anne Frank so memorable and iconic is her unabashed honesty in her writing. That’s why it’s extremely interesting to find that she attempted to censor some of her work. Researchers point to this case as demonstrating Frank’s desire to publish her work one day, covering these pages in an effort to self-edit her writing. These particular pages also point to a growth in literary narrative which proves, once again, that it’s a real shame we never got to see what she would have come up with had she survived. The Anne Frank House will be posting the full text eventually, but it will be in Dutch with no named plans to release in English translation.
In 1708, the San José- a Spanish galleon ship carrying a stash of gold, silver and emeralds – sank during a fierce battle against the British in the Caribbean Sea. Now, after sitting at the bottom of the ocean for 310 years, the San José’s shipwreck has finally been officially identified, thanks to an analysis of the distinctive bronze cannons that sank with the ship.
Somebody call Dirk Pitt!
Archaeologists working in a sprawling wetland in Denmark have uncovered 2,000-year-old human remains that are challenging traditional ideas about “barbarian” warfare in northern Europe. The research, which was published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also provides a unique look at how Germanic tribes memorialized their battles.
According to findings, most of the bones found at this site were young adult males with plenty of trauma wounds. Along with weapons found alongside, it’s suggested they all died in a battle event that took place on the site around the 1st century AD. They haven’t finished excavating the entire site yet, but a portion of it exists in bogs which means I’m crossing my fingers for some Bog Bodies likely to be uncovered. One of the reasons researchers are so excited about this recent find, is that it gives us a good idea as to the size of armies in the Iron Age. One of the first lessons I learned from my History professor in college was that you should “never trust ancient numbers” especially when you’d find a source claiming a present number of troops. Finding actual archaeological evidence fixes that problem!
Since his death on April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler has become synonymous with evil. A new study of his teeth by French researchers, however, has revealed more clues to Hitler’s life, including confirmation of his vegetarianism.
Did I just commit Godwin’s Law against my own blog?! Yes, Yes I did.
And lastly, don’t lie–you’re still not over the Royal Wedding.