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The 17th Century's Journal
19 most recent entries

Date:2008-07-02 21:59
Subject:re: Illustrations of Restoration-era people

Hi everyone! I'm an illustrator who's fascinated with the 17th century (among other periods of time- I'm a big history geek). After discussing this with juliann, I decided to post a few pics you all might like.

Click for picturesCollapse )

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Date:2008-04-23 12:58

hi, i reenact the english civil war of the 1640s with the sealed knot
and in fact im about to start my BA dissertation on the english civil war

this community seems ace!

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Date:2007-11-09 16:58
Subject:17th Century Reenactment......The forgotton colony



Everyone interested in the 17th century, especially the long-neglected Dutch colony of New Amsterdam is invited join......  




It is still, of course, in its earliest stages, but I hope that with enough support and participation we can create an enjoyable and enlightening community.  New Amsterdam was always an unusually polyglot and diverse place when compared with the contemporary English settlements to the North and South.  In this same spirit I would like to emphasize that this community is open to everyone.  We need people with various areas of interest and expertise.  Eventually this group will have its own website independent of Livejournal, but for now this seems an ideal place to start.  I hope we can have fun and inspire interest in this fascinating and long-neglected colony.

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Date:2006-07-26 19:26
Subject:Colonial Jamestown?

Has anyone been to any of the Colonial Jamestown historic areas/museums? I haven't been in over ten years and I am told that they have some really impressive things now in anticipation of next spring's 400th anniversary. But I am having a hard time finding a good website :( (My Google-fu has disappeared!) All I have so far is the National Parks site on it (http://www.nps.gov/colo/)

I'll be in the area week after next and I am determined to get to spend some time there. (Our family loves Williamsburg so we always run out of time to get downriver...something I plan to fix!) But I'd really like some more information like just how accessible the places are, etc. I have been told that they are quite wheelchair-friendly but my own personal experience in the 90s doesn't square with that so I'd like better info.

Sorry I've been so quiet of late but in the autumn I will resume my history studies and will probably talk everyone's virtual ears off :) (Also the Antonia Fraser book about Louis XIV comes out in August in Europe and in October in North America.)

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Date:2006-01-19 18:06
Subject:Charles II and Panto

Sorry it took me so long to post this:

And article in the Guardian about the development of cross-gender theatrics after Charles II, most prominent in Christmas Panto.

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Date:2005-12-22 17:20
Subject:Charles Beauclerk, Earl of Burford, interviewed on NPR

As you can see from my "currrent music", Charles Beauclerk was interviewed today about his famous ancestor, Nell Gwyn, and the biography of her that he has written based on family records.

I don't know how long this will be up, but the details and audio download are here:

I'm going to keep a copy of the interview so if you miss it on the website I can email it to you, but as it is 3.7 MB it's best to get it from NPR if you are able to download it.

(Alas, another book I *desperately* want but finances just aren't cooperating :( )

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Date:2005-12-18 00:40
Subject:most impressive book

So what's the most impressive book, or article, on Restoration England that you've read this year?

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Date:2005-12-17 20:56
Subject:Restoration London

Someone on another list recommended Liza Picard’s Victorian London. I believe the same author did a book called Restoration London. Has anyone read it? Is it any good? I don’t know anything about the author – I don’t even know if it’s a serious work of history or a coffee table book.

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Date:2005-12-04 23:35
Subject:The Libertine

So has anybody been to see the libertine yet? I went to see it the other day, thought it was very good. Johnny Depp was great as Rochester. I was surprised to see Johnny Vegas in it. There is a very good scene towards the end with rochester in the house of Lords all diseased. Lovely stuff.

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Date:2005-11-09 22:42

I have created a community about Milton, which you are all invited to join, pleeeeaaase.


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Date:2005-07-04 19:29
Subject:I've been wondering about this for a while...
Mood: tired

Can anyone recommend any (recent) biographies or historical fiction surrounding Charles II?


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Date:2005-06-18 10:52
Subject:A new (old) book
Mood: amused

Just finished reading

A French Ambassador at the Court of Charles The Second
Le Comte de Cominges, from his unpublished correspondence

by Jean Jules Jusserand

Very old, long out of print...my copy is dated 1892. Bought it used, for less than what a new hardcover would cost in the states. Fun read. I don't know how it would stand up as a history today, but I really enjoyed it, very chatty, opinionated, with lots and lots of quotes from the letters between Louis XIV, Cominges, and Lionne, LXIV's foreign secretary. Cominges is in London 1661-1665, arriving back in France in Jan of 1666. He sees the war with the Dutch, fogs, plague, and so on, so it's a pretty cool little book. I wish it were longer with more letter extracts. One bonus, the appendix has untranslated (i.e., in French) versions of the extracts in question from all the letters that are referred to and quoted.

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Date:2005-05-30 14:26

Yesterday actually marked 375 years since the birth of King Charles II of England. Also, yesterday marked 345 years since the Restoration!

From Samuel Pepys's Diary:

Tuesday 29 May 1660

The King’s birthday (...) From thence toward the barge again, and in our way found the people at Deal going to make a bonfire for joy of the day, it being the King’s birthday, (...) This day, it is thought, the King do enter the city of London.

Friday 1 June 1660

...And brought us word that the Parliament had ordered the 29th of May, the King's birthday, to be for ever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny, and the King’s return to his Government, he entering London that day.

young CharlesCollapse )

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Date:2005-05-19 00:55
Subject:Barbara Villiers & Charles Fitzroy Portrait (National Gallery Appeal)


Hello, or rather, Good morning all,

I'm thrilled to have found a corner of Livejournal concentrating on my favourite century.

Don't know how many people are interested in Peter Lely portraits, but today marks the last day of the National Gallery in the UK's appeal to buy the portrait showing Barbara Villiers and the her first son as the Madonna and Child and I hope they manage to raise the cash (I put in some when I came across it by accident last weekend).

It is a really interesting portrait in that this was the only time in 17th century England (i.e during Charles II's reign) that such a commission would have been realised from the limited bits that I know as a beginner interested in 1600-1700.

Apparently the portrait went missing some time early last century and has only recently been discovered.

Best wishes to all anyway!

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Date:2005-05-18 17:24
Subject:Rochester portrait in NYC
Mood: happy

In case anyone's interested, there is a portrait of John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. I'd always read it was in the National Portrait Gallery in England, but I guess not. I just happened to wander by it; it's in a room with a carved oak staircase from the period, a very nice Thos. Tompion longcase clock, and two Lely portraits.

Were I (who to my cost already am
One of those strange prodigious Creatures Man)
A Spirit free, to choose for my own share,
What Case of Flesh, and Blood, I pleas'd to weare,
I'd be a Dog, a Monkey, or a Bear,
Or any thing but that vain Animal,
Who is so proud of being rational...

It's the portrait generally listed as attributed to Jacob Huysmans, though the Met seems more certain, leaving off the "attributed to."

X-posted to the_libertine.

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Date:2005-05-18 20:13
Subject:Short Non-Fic Review: _Dr. Simon Forman_

Dr. Simon Forman: a most notorious physician by Judith Cook

Forman died in 1616 but was implicated in trials lasting years after his death, so would have been a household name (if demonised, although erroneously) for the average Jacobean Londoner.

Forman started as a country boy, apprenticed to a salesman who was part apothecary among other things, and also taught at grammar schools. He had little formal education, however, so was entirely self-taught in his chosen profession of medicine and astrology. (Astrology was commonly used in medicine at the time and was not seen as superstition or pagan as it is today.) This book documents his life chronlogically, especially his struggles against the College of Physicians for as a self-taught practitioner he was not licensed. He was accused after his death of a great many sordid things, but there is no evidence to substantiate any of these, thus his reputation as a necromancer and/or poisoner is simply myth. (One of his clients did poison someone, and his guilt was by association, even though the deed was well after his death.)

Cook relies heavily on Forman's diaries and casebooks, with substantial use of other primary sources. The book itself is somewhat entertaining but is otherwise extremely straightforward. It is written in such a way that a secondary student should be able to understand most everything (certainly high school/sixth formers would), which leaves me with little to say other than I found it interesting, had no issues with it and it was a quick and pleasant read. If one is looking for deep historiography or scholarly theories, this is not the place.

I have immediately picked up my next read, The Herbalist about Nicholas Culpepper which conveniently begins right about where the Forman book ended.

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Date:2005-05-12 20:57
Subject:UK broadcast on Christopher Wren

Tomorrow (13 May) at 9 pm on BBC Two. I don't have a tv so if anyone does see it please let me know how it is :)

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Date:2005-05-07 02:42
Subject:intro and The Devils of Loudun

Hi, I'm new here, and it's great to find a Live Journal community devoted to my favourite century!

At the moment I'm reading Aldous Huxley's The Devils of Loudun, a wonderfully entertaining account of religious mania in France in the early 17th century. That's what delights me about this period - the combination of rationalism and superstition, of reason and hysteria.

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Date:2005-04-28 13:13
Subject:A poem
Mood: curious

I recently managed to finally acquire the diaries of Samuel Pepys, secretary to the admiralty in the reign of Charles II and James II. On the accounts of the Netherlandic raid upon Chatham, a poem was included by one Sir John Denham from Poems on State Affairs. The poem in question relates the story of the Netherlandic conquest of the Thames at the close of the third Anglo-Dutch war (1665-1667). As a Netherlander I find these poems very interesting, but I thought I would not only be indulging in shameless chauvinism, but also offer something which some of you might find useful yourselves. Since, of course, it also tells of the neglectful state of the English defenses under Charles II, who would not even be bothered during all of these events, instead opting to isolate himself in Whitehall palace with friends. In either event, I present to you Sir John Denham's poem;

"Painter! Let thine art describe a story,
Shaming our warlike island's ancient glory:
A scene which never on our seas appeared
Since our first ships were on the ocean steered;
Make the Dutch fleet, while we supinely sleep,
Without opposers, Masters of the deep;
Make them securely the Thames-mouth invade,
At once depriving us of that, and trade;
Draw thunder from their floating castles, sent
Against our forts, weak as our government:
Draw Woolwich, Deptford, London, and the Tower,
Meanly abandoned to a foreign power.
Yet turn their first attempt another way
And let their cannons upon Sheerness play;
Which soon destroyed, their lofty vessells ride,
Big with the hope of the approaching tide:
Make them more help from our remissness find,
Than from the tide, or from the eastern wind,
Their canvass swelling with a prosperous gale,
Swift as our fears make them to Chatham sail:
Through our weak chain their fire-ships break their way,
And our great ships (unmanned) become their prey,
Then draw the fruit of our ill-managed coast,
At once our honour and our safety lost:
Bury those bulwarks of our isle in smoke,
With their thick flames the neighbouring country choak;
The Charles* escapes the raging element,
To be with triumph into Holland sent;
Where the glad people to the shore resort,
To see their terror now become their sport.
But, Painter! fill not up thy piece before
Thou paint'st confusion on our troubled shore:
Instruct then thy bold pencil to relate
The saddest marks of an ill-governed state.
Draw th' injured seamen deaf to all command,
While some with horror and amazament stand:
Others will know enemy but they
Who have unjustly robbed them of their pay;
Boldly refusing to oppose a fire,
To kindle which our errors did conspire:
Some (though but a few) persuaded to obey,
Useless, for want of ammunition, stay:
The forts designed to guard our ships of war,
Void both of powder and of bullets are:
And what past reigns in peace did ne'er omit,
The present (whilst invaded) doth forget."

*The Charles mentioned here is not King Charles II, but the ship Royal Charles which took part in the sacking and burning of the coastal town of Scheveningen at the onset of the Anglo-Dutch wars. Hence the line: "Where the people to the shore resort, to see their terror now become their sport."

The conquest of the Thames resulted in the signing of the Peace of Breda shortly thereafter, as English diplomats suddenly showed far greater willingness to compromise to Dutch demands.

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