During her reign, Empress Elizabeth transformed a small summer palace into a splendid residence which eclipsed the fame of many European royal residences. The reign of Elizabeth I was a golden age of Russian Barocco. This elegant, exuberant style with elaborate ornamentation and dramatic lighting effects matched perfectly well the character of the empress. She was walking through the golden enfilade admiring her reflection in multiple mirrors. Today, this luxurious palace has become known as the Catherine Palace, named after Elizabeth’s mother, Empress Catherine I.
Women carrying salvaged shell boxes while soldiers look on, circa 1918.
AUGUST 4th 1914 - BRITAIN JOINS FIRST WORLD WAR
Today, 100 years later, we remember the courage of the men who fought for our country on the home and the fighting fronts (as well as the women who served as medics and munitionettes) and mourn as a nation for the people who lost their lives between 1914 and 1918.
"The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time." - Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary, 1914
Castle de Haar, Netherlands.
Interior, Palazzo Nuovo, Museo Capitolino
Photographed between 1865-1895
Source: Cornell University Library
1 July 1907: St Pancras Railway Station
“Hemophilia is a fickle disease, and for weeks, sometimes months, Alexei seemed as well as any child. By nature he was as noisy, lively and mischievous as Anastasia. As a toddler, he liked to scoot down the hall and break into his sisters’ classroom, interrupting their lessons, only to be carried off, arms waving. As a child of three or four, he often made appearances at the table, making the round from place to place to shake hands and chatter with each guest. Once he plunged beneath the table, pulled off the slipper of one of the maids-of-honor and carried it proudly as a trophy to his father. Nicholas sternly ordered him to put it back, and the Tsarevich disappeared again under the table. Suddenly the lady screamed. Before replacing the slipper on her foot, Alexei had inserted into its toe an enormous ripe strawberry. Thereafter, for several weeks he was not allowed at the dinner table.”
Robert K. Massie, Nicholas & Alexandra
June 6th 1944: D-Day
On this day in 1944, the D-Day landings began on the beaches of Normandy as part of the Allied ‘Operation Overlord’. The largest amphibious military operation in history, the operation involved thousands of Allied troops landing in France. For those landing on the beaches of Normandy, they faced heavy fire, mines and other obstacles on the beach, but managed to push inland. In charge of the operation was future US President General Dwight Eisenhower and leading the ground forces was British General Bernard Montgomery. The landings proved a decisive Allied victory, as they secured a foothold in France which had been defeated by Nazi Germany in 1940. D-Day was a key moment in the Second World War and helped turn the tide of the war in favour of the Allies. 70 years on, we remember not just the strategic victory that was D-Day but also the ultimate sacrifice paid by thousands of soldiers on both sides of the fighting.
“You are about to embark upon the great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.”
- Eisenhower’s message to the Allied Expeditionary Force
70 years ago today
Coco Chanel in her apartment at the Ritz, 1937
Princess Elizabeth, the Duchess of Edinburgh, and Queen Elizabeth playing with one-year-old Prince Charles. Princess Elizabeth is pregnant with her second child and only daughter, Princess Anne.
OMG! This is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen in my WHOLELIFE. The last 2 gifs?? Like, is this real life?
Thomas Hardy - (Honorary) Scientist of the Day
Thomas Hardy, an English novelist and poet, was born June 2, 1840. Hardy is best known for such novels as The Return of the Native and Tess of the d’Urbervilles, works that have little to do with science, but he did publish one novel with an astronomical connection, called Two on a Tower (1882). One of the protagonists, Swithin St. Cleeve, is a young astronomer, who has set up his telescope atop an unused folly tower on a country estate, in order to make his mark in astronomy. There he is discovered by the landowner, Lady Viviette Constantine, nine years older than young Swithin, whose husband has left her to spend two years shooting up the animal kingdom in Africa. Swithin endeavors to teach the Lady about the universe, and she proceeds to teach Swithin something about the human heart. The tower from which Swithin and Lady Viviette scan the universe is based on a real tower in Charborough Park in Dorset (see above). Hardy later said that his intent was to show that, in a rational world, human affairs shouldn’t amount to a hill of beans when compared to the vastness and complexity of the cosmos, and yet, inevitably, the cosmos dwindles to insignificance when people inconveniently fall in love. Two on a Tower received savage reviews for its immoral and irreligious tone (neither marriage nor the local Bishop come off very well in the novel), although the book seems fairly tame to the modern reader. Also intriguing is the fact that, in addition to infusing the book with astronomical matters, Hardy makes occasional references to “paleolithic dead men” feeding the roots of the trees around the tower. You would not find references to Paleolithic humans in many other novels of this period, since the whole concept of human antiquity was a brand new idea in Hardy’s time. We did an exhibition on this topic just last year, Blade and Bone: The Discovery of Human Antiquity, which is now available online: http://bladeandbone.lindahall.org/.
Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Mid 19th Century Apothecary case with Contents and Key
Here is a rare example of Dr. Pulte’s Tinctures with most of the original contents. Several bottles are missing and 2-3 are broken. Still, the contents are largely intact and contain the original guide to the contents and the original key. Many of the small vials are filled with tiny pellets that were mixed with water to form a solution and applied topically to aid a variety of maladies. Still other vials have liquid that has partially dried.
Dr. Pulte was on of the first pioneers of Homeopathy and was widely credited with successfully fighting Cholera epidemics of the mid 19th century. He later established a Medical College and wrote several books. Pulte died in 1874.
Morbid Monday: The Game of Thrones Written in Bones, Conquistador Edition
The bones of infamous conquistador Don Francisco Pizarro (ca. 1476 – June 26, 1541) rest in an ornate glass, marble, and bronze sarcophagus in a chapel in the Cathedral of Lima in Peru. Though Pizarro’s remains are now in a place of honor for visiting by pilgrims and historians, this wasn’t always the case. A mummy, whose identity was lost to history, stole Pizarro’s post-mortem spotlight for decades due to a case of mistaken identity.
Francisco Pizarro was a Spanish conquistador who conquered Peru, decimated the Incan empire, and founded the city of Lima. Pizarro’s life was as treacherous as it was adventurous and could have inspired anything read about in the Game of Thrones series. This conqueror’s death was as violent as his life, and the marks his brutal assassination left on his bones were key to identifying his remains more than 400 years later.
Three Terracotta Statues of Seated Goddesses from a sanctuary at Ariccia.
3rd-2nd century BCE
National Museum of Rome, Baths of Diocletian
via > telus.net
I have always been faithful to the King my lord; but perhaps I have not always shown to him such a perfect humility and reverence as his graciousness and courtesy deserved, and the honor he hath done me required. I confess that I have often had jealous fantasies against him which I had not wisdom or strength to repress. But God knows that I have not otherwise trespassed against him.