So, I did some rudimentary sound-editing on my talk about witch trials in Essex and stuck it up on the internet. Just follow this link to download it. I was just using my phone, and it didn’t pick up the questions at the end very well, so I cut them out.
I spotted a few errors on listening to it again — the two “missing” prisoners pardoned after the Assizes both died, which I didn’t mention, and there are a couple of places where I said the wrong year (including a really confusing bit where I said 1641 when I meant 1644 or 1645). But overall I think it isn’t bad. You’ll just have to imagine the images.
Again, previous comments about imposter syndrome aside, I think it’s a pretty good introduction.
Over the last few days, I have been preparing for an upcoming talk to a historical society in Essex. It’s about witch trials — of which Essex has plenty — and it is thoroughly depressing.
Depressing but interesting! I remain endlessly fascinated by the weird thing about people that witch trials exemplify. There’s this strange habit of being attached to legal procedure while simultaneously acting like a bunch of pirates. I don’t know how else to describe it, but you see it in lots of these times of political and social crisis. It makes the trial transcripts fascinating reading, examples of the ways in which people use the tools they have to deal with the situations they face. The result is that weird conflict — you can’t either go “oh those primitives” or “they’re just like us!” and that’s the thing about history I find really entertaining.
Anyway, in more entertaining news, Pledge Break is back! Check out our most recent episode, which covers classic Tom Baker episode Pyramids if Mars.
OK, so I have a pretty full schedule today and I do not know if I will have time to make a full-length update. I am not even sure what it will be about, although if I can be bothered to do a bunch of scanning it will be about fun illustrations in excavation reports. However, more likely it will be about quackery and a specific quack from Iowa.
Anyway, my real point here is to say that I am giving a talk at Treadwell’s Books in London. You can find the details here. It is a sequel to my earlier talk on Lovecraft and archaeology, but you will be able to follow it if you have not seen or heard the first; I will start out with what I hope will be a good summary.
If you have never been to Treadwell’s and you ever find yourself in London, you need to go there. It is a great place. And the pub across the street, the College Arms, has (or at least used to have) some kind of 19th (?) pornographic etchings on its walls, just hanging out there in front of everybody. I am assuming they did not really look at them closely.