Happy Birthday Charlotte Brontë!

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April 21st would be Charlotte Brontë’s 200th birthday. As Jane Eyre is my favourite book and as a fan of Brontë’s in general, I jumped at the chance to do a little research on her and her work. I knew that some letters of Brontë’s had been published in The Times in the early 20th century, so I used those and Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography (both available via Gale Artemis: Primary Sources) to do a little digging. Having read Jane Eyre every year for the past 20 or so years I thought I knew everything there was to know about its history, but I was a little surprised by some of the things I found out…

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Packing a Punch in Colonial Australia

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With Australian Heritage Week nearly upon us (16 – 24 April), the following is a post concerning a particular perspective of Australian colonial history, being a perspective that can be researched in detail with Gale Primary Sources collections. It concerns Australia’s paradoxical relationship with England since 1788, as reflected within the pages of London’s Punch magazine and its Australian editions – most of which can be seen in Gale Primary Sources collections, Punch Historical Archive, 1841 – 1992  and 19th Century UK Periodicals.

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Tiradentes in Brazilian and Portuguese History and Culture: The Oliveira Lima Library

| By Lourdes Mena, Marketing Manager for Latin America |

On 21 April, Brazil celebrates the Tiradentes Day, commemorating the anniversary of the death of Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier (1792), considered by many to be the first martyr of the Republic of Brazil. But who is this man, who only began to be considered a national hero a century after his death? To find out more, we take a look through Brazilian and Portuguese History and Culture: The Oliveira Lima Library, one of the finest collections of Luso-Brazilian materials available to scholars.

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The Story behind Pure Brightness Festival

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By Cathy Huang

Chinese people celebrate the Pure Brightness Festival each year, they largely take it as an occasion to offer sacrifice to ancestors. I was unclear of its origin but through Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), Gale’s ebook platform, I found out the fascinating legend behind it.

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Rogue Bras to Bogarts: April Fool’s Day in the Media

As I sat down to write a blog post for April 1st, I considered composing something creative, bizarre and downright untrue – as is tradition on April Fool’s Day. Perhaps I should explain that William Shakespeare will now appear in Gale’s Biography in Context as Wally Shakespoon, because it was the great bard’s given name before his publisher recommended he assumed a pen name with more grandeur and authority…Or maybe that State Papers Online will soon include Queen Victoria’s architectural plans to install a hot-tub in Buckingham Palace? My fascination for how and where this humorous tradition originated got the better of me, however, and I decided instead to root around the (real!) Gale resources to find out more about the origins and history of what many of us now call ‘April Fool’s Day’. It quickly became apparent that the answer is somewhat elusive. Not only are there numerous possibilities to negotiate, some explanations were pranks in themselves.

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Peaceful and Quiet Conduct on the Streets of the Village: New York City in the Years following Stonewall

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By Caitlyn Colman-McGaw It’s now widely acknowledged that the Stonewall Riots of 1969 represent the historical tipping point of the Gay Rights movement. Years and years of work by LGBT folks in New York City and beyond culminated in riots on the street of the Village. With this year representing the 45th anniversary of Stonewall … Read more

Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library – tracing the exchange of ideas between East and West in the new Sciences, History and Geography module

Early Arabic Printed Books from the British Library continues to grow this week as we launch the next module, Sciences, History and Geography. As Editor, this module has been a particular joy to work on because of the breadth and depth of subject matter, covering everything from Alchemy to Zoology, and containing some of the very earliest printed works in Europe. Indeed, the presence of these early European printings in this module indicates the exchange of ideas between the Islamic and European worlds, and I thought I’d look to see if I could trace this exchange using the content in Sciences, History and Geography.

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Which (potentially unknown) American novel will inspire your research?

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American Fiction, 1774-1920, released this week from Gale, brings over 17,750 titles to digital life. If you read one of these books every hour and didn’t stop to sleep or eat, it would still take you more than 2 years to read through the full collection. The content from 1774-1900 is based on Lyle H Wright’s famous American Fiction: A Contribution Toward a Bibliography, the most comprehensive bibliography of American adult fiction during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and includes both well-known authors (Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, etc) and the obscure.

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