“Joseph Bell, JP, DL, FRCS (2 December 1837 – 4 October 1911) was a Scottish lecturer at the medical school of the University of Edinburgh in the 19th century. He is perhaps best known as an inspiration for the literary character Sherlock Holmes.
He was a great-grandson of Benjamin Bell, a forensic surgeon. In his instruction, Bell emphasized the importance of close observation in making a diagnosis. To illustrate this, he would often pick a stranger and, by observing him, deduce his occupation and recent activities. These skills caused him to be considered a pioneer in forensic science (forensic pathology in particular) when science was not often used in the investigations of crimes.
Arthur Conan Doyle met Bell in 1877, and served as his clerk at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Doyle later went on to author a series of popular stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, who Doyle stated was loosely based on Bell and his observant ways. Bell was aware of this inspiration and took some pride in it.
Bell served as personal surgeon to Queen Victoria whenever she visited Scotland. He also published several medical textbooks. Bell was a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, a Justice of the Peace, and a Deputy Lieutenant.
Joseph Bell died on 4 October 1911. He was buried at the Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh alongside his wife, Edith Katherine Erskine Murray, and their son Benjamin, and next to his father’s and brother’s plots.” - enWikipedia
Depiction of the Battle of Hjörungavágr. Illustration by Halfdan Egedius for Olav Trygvasons saga. Heimskringla, Snorre Sturlaśon 1899-edition.
“The Battle of Hjörungavágr (Norwegian Slaget ved Hjørungavåg) is a semi-legendary naval battle that took place in the late 10th century between the Jarls of Lade and a Danish invasion fleet led by the fabled Jomsvikings.
Hákon Sigurðsson was a strong believer in the old Norse gods. Hákon ruled Norway as a Vassal of Harald Bluetooth, but he was in reality an independent ruler. When Harald Bluetooth attempted to force Christianity upon him around 975, Hákon broke his allegiance to Denmark.
The battle is described in the Norse kings’ sagas—such as Heimskringla—as well as in Jómsvíkinga saga and Saxo Grammaticus’ Gesta Danorum. Those late literary accounts are fanciful but historians believe that they contain a kernel of truth. Some contemporary skaldic poetry alludes to the battle, including verses by Þórðr Kolbeinsson and Tindr Hallkelsson.” - enWikipedia
Over the next few days I’ll be trying to get caught up with the huge repository of ‘to-post’ items I’ve had saved for H&S for many months now.
Hopefully all of the medieval document freaks that frequent this blog will enjoy the last post, and for something quite different, here is video 1/6 of a fantastic documentary from Natural World; The Chimpcam Project.
Here’s the description provided by the original uploader:
“How does a chimpanzee see the world? A research project at Edinburgh Zoo is designed to answer just that question in an innovative new way - by training chimps to use video touch screens and giving them a special chimp-proof camera. How will they react to tools which in evolutionary terms are a few million years ahead of them? As chimp specialist Betsy Herrelko finds out, trying to communicate with chimps using video technology has its trials and tribulations.”
To continue watching after video 1, you can jump here to get to the original location and follow the sidebar links.
The initial page of the Peterborough Chronicle.
“The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of annals in Old English chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons. The annals were initially created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Alfred the Great. Multiple manuscript copies were made and distributed to monasteries across England and were independently updated. In one case, the chronicle was still being actively updated in 1154.
Nine manuscripts survive in whole or in part, though not all are of equal historical value and none of them is the original version. The oldest seems to have been started towards the end of Alfred’s reign, while the most recent was written at Peterborough Abbey after a fire at that monastery in 1116. Almost all of the material in the chronicle is in the form of annals, by year; the earliest are dated at 60 BC, and historical material follows up to the year in which the chronicle was written, at which point contemporary records begin. These manuscripts collectively are known as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
The Chronicle is not unbiased: there are occasions when comparison with other medieval sources makes it clear that the scribes who wrote it omitted events or told one-sided versions of stories; there are also places where the different versions contradict each other. Taken as a whole, however, the Chronicle is the single most important historical source for the period in England between the departure of the Romans and the decades following the Norman Conquest. Much of the information given in the Chronicle is not recorded elsewhere. In addition, the manuscripts are important sources for the history of the English language; in particular, the later Peterborough text is one of the earliest examples of Middle English in existence.” - enWikipedia