Atmospheric but Not Accurate – Five Ways ‘Peaky Blinders’ Stretched the Truth

Peaky Blinders newspaper images

│By Emily Priest, Gale Ambassador at the University of Portsmouth│

Since 2013, Peaky Blinders stormed the UK television charts. Five seasons and a well-deserved BAFTA later, the series continues to intrigue, outrage and fascinate viewers with its gritty, unflinching depiction of Birmingham gangs – the once very real “Peaky Blinders” gang in particular.

Read moreAtmospheric but Not Accurate – Five Ways ‘Peaky Blinders’ Stretched the Truth

Discovering FDR through Gale Primary Sources

FDR

│By Tom English, Gale Field Sales Executive – North UK │

I recently enjoyed reading three excellent books on Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), 32nd President of the United States: Jean Edward Smith’s single-volume biography, FDR, which provides an excellent overview of his life and presidency; David B. Woolner’s The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and at Peace, which gives an incisive and detailed account of the final days of his life, including negotiations with Stalin and Churchill at Yalta and his fight to the end to build international institutions to prevent future wars; and Susan Dunn’s A Blueprint for War: FDR and the Hundred Days that Mobilized America, which tells the story of how FDR outmanoeuvred those who opposed America’s support for Britain and Russia in WWII. 

Having thoroughly enjoyed the secondary sources on FDR, I thought that I’d delve into Gale Primary Sources to see what’s there…

Read moreDiscovering FDR through Gale Primary Sources

Power, Protest & Presidential Profanity: The ‘Race’ for Civil Rights

By Megan Bowler, Gale Ambassador at the University of Liverpool
I am a full-time History student studying at the University of Liverpool, a Gale Student Ambassador and a life-long Netflix devotee. With particular research interests in nuclear culture and the movement of people, groups and civil organisations, I find Gale’s primary source archives immensely valuable to my studies. In my spare time, my main hobbies include spending time with my friends and avoiding the question, “What do you want to do after you graduate?”

On 16th October 1968, two black-gloved fists were raised in solidarity on the podium of the Olympic Games in Mexico City as a silent, yet powerfully emotive protest against racial injustice. The American sprinters, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, immediately caught the attention of the world’s media as agitators, acting in defiance to the starred and striped flag and all that it appeared to represent. This transpired just six months after the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Read morePower, Protest & Presidential Profanity: The ‘Race’ for Civil Rights

A genius on the throne: Lady Jane Grey remembered

By André Buller, Gale Ambassador at the University of Portsmouth
As well as being a Gale Ambassador, I’m a third year English Literature and History student at the University of Portsmouth and Super Rep for the History subject area. If I must be forced to decide on a period, I adore Tudor history especially and have an incredibly soft spot for Romantic poetry, which is why I’ve taken on the monumental task of writing my thesis project on William Blake. After graduation this year I hope to work in the fields of narrative writing and journalism whilst continuing my academic endeavours. On the off chance that I’m not incapacitated by studies I enjoy devouring any and all literature, as well as playing the concert ukulele – much to the chagrin of my housemates.

Throughout my historical studies, I remember the speed with which teachers and lecturers taught the Tudor period. Like a child faced with a wall of selections at the sweet shop, it’s practically impossible to give the entire period as much attention as one would like. Thus, more often than not the class would undergo a whistle-stop tour of the century, passing from the social unrest of Edward to the stark Catholicism of Mary’s reign with little consideration to what came in between. Lady Jane Grey has always been an interesting figure to me, and through the incredible resources of the Gale archives it is possible to inspect her further, and see how she has been remembered in the centuries that followed her brief and tragic reign.

Read moreA genius on the throne: Lady Jane Grey remembered

‘The Very Latest Craze’ Slumming Parties in the Late-Nineteenth Century

By Megan Murphy, Gale Ambassador at the University of Liverpool
I’m a third year History student at the University of Liverpool, a Gale Student Ambassador, and a self-proclaimed Jane Austen fanatic. As a modern historian, my main research interests revolve around the development of Victorian cities – particularly the crime and deviance that took place within them. Outside of my studies, in the rare time I spend without my head in a nineteenth-century newspaper, I specialise in binge-watching Louis Theroux documentaries.

During the mid-nineteenth century, slums in the world’s largest metropolises (namely London and New York) became a site of continuous fascination. From Henry Mayhew’s famous ‘Labour and the Poor’ series in The Morning Chronicle, to Jacob Riis’ book length study ‘How the Other Half Live’, social commentators in both Britain and the US were captivating the minds of middle class society with their investigations into the living conditions of the urban poor. Yet what is perhaps most interesting about this fascination is the social phenomenon of ‘slumming parties’ which resulted. This phenomenon was readily reported on within the pages of both the British and US press, which I have been able to investigate through the British Library Newspapers and Nineteenth Century US Newspapers archives inside of Gale Primary Sources.

Read more‘The Very Latest Craze’ Slumming Parties in the Late-Nineteenth Century

The ‘Real’ Peaky Blinders of Small Heath, Birmingham

│ By Megan Murphy, Gale Ambassador at the University of Liverpool │

The hit BBC drama series Peaky Blinders – which is set in Birmingham and follows the lives of the Shelby brothers and their criminal gang the ‘Peaky Blinders’ – has captivated the minds and imagination (and – thanks to lead star Cillian Murphy – the hearts) of the British public. Given the recent fascination with Birmingham’s criminal underworld that the series has generated, I thought it would be interesting to use Gale Primary Sources to investigate the ‘real’ Peaky Blinders of late nineteenth-century Birmingham.

Read moreThe ‘Real’ Peaky Blinders of Small Heath, Birmingham

Tears, Cheers, The Archers, and Soy Sauce: The Hong Kong Handover of 1997

“History is not just a matter of dates. What makes history is what comes before and what comes after the dates that we all remember.” Chris Patten.

It will have been exactly twenty years, this coming weekend, since Chris Patten, the 28th and last British Governor of Hong Kong, gave his memorable speech at the ceremony marking the handover of the former British colony to China. Perhaps there was a tacit acknowledgment in Patten’s words that, actually, the Hong Kong handover was all about dates. Were it not for the clock ticking on the 99-year lease deadline for the New Territories, it is doubtful that the handover would have been negotiated as speedily and peacefully as it was.

Read moreTears, Cheers, The Archers, and Soy Sauce: The Hong Kong Handover of 1997

50 years ago today: celebrating the anniversary of ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

“Garner, Richard, Education Editor. “‘Sgt Pepper’ guaranteed to raise a smile on GCSE syllabus.” Independent, 14 May 2015, p. 15. The Independent Digital Archive, tinyurl.galegroup.com/tinyurl/4rQeL0. © Independent Print Limited”

It was 50 years ago this week that The Beatles issued their ground-breaking album, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The third biggest-selling album in the UK (and the top-selling when compilation albums are removed) [1] it remains one of the most influential and recognised albums 50 years after its release (although personally, I prefer Revolver). I took a look back through the collections in Gale Primary Sources to see what I could find out about this iconic album.

Read more50 years ago today: celebrating the anniversary of ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

Australia’s 183-year Search for its Own Anthem

By Darren Brain, Sales Representative, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia & Northern Territory

On 19 April 1984, ‘Advance Australia Fair’ was proclaimed as Australia’s national anthem, following many decades of debate, disagreement and campaigns for change. I used Gale Primary Sources to research more about this topic, and experienced an entertaining and enlightening journey through Gale’s extensive collection of assorted British Newspapers.
‘God Save the Queen’ (or King depending on the gender of the British monarch) had been used on ceremonial and official occasions since the federation of Australia in 1901 (when the six British, self-governing colonies agreed to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia). In our British Library Newspapers series, I found a number of examples in the early 1900s of interest in an Australian Anthem to compliment ‘God Save The King/Queen’ including the below examples from the gossip column of the Nottingham Evening Post.

Read moreAustralia’s 183-year Search for its Own Anthem

Credit where cash is due: Christmas on the plastic

xmas16-nearly-here

By James Alex Waldron
I am the Marketing Communications Manager at Gale, a Cengage Company. I began my career in Journalism; and now in a role that delivers communications campaigns, I’ve chosen to use Gale Primary Sources to briefly investigate a trend in Christmas news-print advertising – all found in our Historic Newspapers programme.

When we covered The Commercialisation of Christmas last year, hundreds of you followed the story of how advertising shifted the mood of the season from religious festival to retail bonanza.

As 2016 became the year of smartphone projectors, Bluetooth headphones, and Minion Pie Faces, I used Gale Primary Sources to provide the next part in our story of evolving buying habits. Following the reflections in the Press to provide part two — from early private brand announcements to full-page menus of big-ticket goods. What happened when the retailers themselves pushed gifts that necessitated new ways to pay.

Read moreCredit where cash is due: Christmas on the plastic

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