Mornings Are For Coffee And Contemplation 🌟

My body aches for adventure, my skin wants to feel the warmth of the sun upon it and for the freckles which are hidden away to come out. I want my bare feet to feel the sand and for the sea to jump up towards my knees. I want to search for shells and for the ocean sea salt to kiss my hair. My legs want to find adventures and aches in hikes to discover new places, to unravel hidden secrets and jewels given by mother nature. I want the freedom to roam, for 7am tiredness, for running to train stations, to take long naps after a day full of adventure. To discover the world which is vast and desires to be explored. To be stuck in a place lacking adventure seems dull to me. To cage ourselves away like a bird desperate to escape.

We are not birds. We are humans. We are explorers and wanderers.

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Spring Playlist #2 ☀

So last year I created a post called 25 Songs For Your Spring Playlist. As I love making playlists I thought that I would create another for 2018! It helps me remember songs that I love as well as listening to new songs! As Spring is shortly approaching on March 1st,  this will hopefully get you in the mood to enjoy Spring! I hope you give a few of them a listen and let me know what songs you have been loving lately!✨

  1. Kettering – The Antlers
  2. Zombie – The Cranberries
  3. Wildfire – SYML
  4. We’re Going Home – Vance Joy
  5. Digital Love – Digital Farm Animals
  6. Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon
  7. Knocking on Heavens Door – RAIGN
  8. The Last Of The Real Ones – Fall Out Boy
  9. Cash Machine – Hard-FI
  10. Find Me – Sigma and Birdy
  11. World Gone Mad – Bastille
  12. Midnight River – Vaults
  13. Us Against The World – Play
  14. Island In The Sun – Empty Trash
  15. IDGAF – Dua Lipa
  16. Fall – Sasha Sloan
  17. Sweat – RY X
  18. Feel It Still – Portugal ft The Man
  19. Bringing The House Down – CLOVES
  20. Running Underwater – Harper

Book Reading Challenges For 2018 📚

Here is a list of reading challenges that I have set for 2018, I thought that I would share them with you to inspire you to create your own and to read more books!

  1. A book that you read in school.
  2. A book published last year in 2017.
  3. A book that became a film.
  4. A book with a name in the title.
  5. A book with a number in the title.
  6. A book based on a true story.
  7. A book someone else recommended.
  8. A book with 500+ pages.
  9. A book you can finish in one day.
  10. An award winning book.
  11. A book with a character with your name.
  12. A book set in the future.
  13. A trilogy or series.
  14. A book you own but haven’t read.
  15. A book with an appealing cover.
  16. A graphic novel.
  17. A book about a villain or an anti-hero.
  18. A book about death or grief.
  19. A book published this year in 2018.
  20. A book with a woman on the cover.

History Post #3: In what ways was Europe of 1913 different to the Europe of 1815, and in what ways were they similar?

Here is an essay that I wrote during my second year in my undergraduate degree. I though it would be interesting to give you a little history blog post on a topic that I found super interesting! So I hope you enjoy reading and if you have any questions then please comment below 🙂 If you would like to use any of this information then please reference me or the books that I have linked below! Thank-you.

Disclaimer: The purpose for this post is not to use my essay for your own gain but merely to educate yourself on this topic.

In what ways was Europe of 1913 different to the Europe of 1815, and in what ways were they similar?

At first glance, there are many differences and yet many similarities between the Europe of 1815 and the Europe of 1913. To begin this essay, it is necessary to look at what was happening in Europe during these time periods. The main areas that will be focused on are politics, geography, emigration, country agendas and the technology at the time. By focusing on these, together with any additional information and evidence, one will be able to compare and contrast the two.

After the Napoleonic wars, Europe was in turmoil. England had lived in fear of a French invasion led by Napoleon, whilst some saw Napoleon as a hero and throughout Europe taxes were increased to fund the war.[1] “The experience of revolution and war had gone so deep and had been shared by so many, if unequally, that it could not be forgotten easily. Not everyone wanted to forget, however. Indeed, even before his death in 1821, Napoleon became a legend that still had power to move men.”[2] “The Congress of Vienna” was a significant date that took place in 1814 till 1815. Diplomats of the great countries met to reorganise the European boundaries, to settle disputes, and thus by doing so would hopefully prevent any one country from taking over Europe and maintain the structure of Europe. “The Kingdom of the Netherlands had been created; Prussia had been strengthened in the Rhineland; an international guarantee of Swiss neutrality had been given’ the Kingdom of Savoy-Sardinia had been enlarged by the annexation of Genoa. Most fundamental of all, French expansionism had been checked, at least for the time being, by the restoration of the Bourbons to the throne.”[3] Although, some Historians such as J.S. Olson criticise this act for “drastically altering European frontiers.”[4] Which in some ways are true as not every country was happy with the outcome of the congress.

“The Congress System formally ended in 1823, when the Great Powers stopped meeting regularly.”[5] One could argue that because of the Congress System formally ending, it may have contributed to Europe’s borders slowly disintegrating for some countries. “By the 1830s the Concert of Europe was no longer a concert, for each country acted as it wanted to and France had another revolution.”[6] For example, in 1830 Greece became independent after 400 years under Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was one of the largest empires in history and was made up of many countries, for example, today is modern day Turkey and Egypt. Greece led the way for Europe’s boundaries to become more fluid and for countries to take back control for independence. The unification of Italy happened in the 1850s and the unification of Germany soon followed in 60s. Due to the borders all breaking up, almost a century on in 1913, Europe was again in chaos. Tension arose in the Balkan states throughout the mid-19th century due to the points above, which resulted in the first Balkan war in Europe between 1912 and 1913. The Balkan wars were between the Balkan League and the Ottoman Empire. “The armistice for the cessation of the First Balkan War was signed on December 3 1912.”[7] The “Treaty of London,” which was the truce for the cessation was short lived as the second Balkan War broke out in 1913. Similar to 1815, there was another significant treaty in 1913. The “Treaty of Bucharest” which was signed after the Second Balkan War. Europe was on the cusp of World War I and it was only a year later that war was declared. Tension between France, Germany, Austro-Hungary and Russia had been on the horizon for many years before World War I broke out. “The basic hostilities in the late 19th century Europe were between France and Germany and between Austro-Hungary and Russia.”[8]

The very obvious differences between the two time periods, is that in 1815 Europe had just ended a war, but 1913 was pre-war in Europe. The Europe of 1913 were more prepared for war than the century before it. “There was a 300 per cent increase in the level of armaments, military and naval, in Europe between 1870 and 1914, made possible not only by decision taken by political leaders but by the increasingly wealth and advancing technology associated with industrialization.”[9]

There was a clear difference between the societies of 1815 and 1913 in Europe. For example, in the early 19th century women were certainly different from the early 20th century. With the formation of the suffragettes, who were a women’s organization protesting for the right to vote. In Britain, the leader was Emmeline Pankhurst “the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903 marked the start of a radical new phase in the fight to win the right to vote for British women.”[10] Although the suffrages were not just in the UK, there were many woman’s rights movements all across Europe. In 1913, the suffragette movement was given a new level of publicity. “Emily Davison, committed suicide by throwing herself in front of King George V’s horse during a race.”[11]

In 1913, one of the main focuses on European society was women’s rights, whereas in 1815, nationalism was the main focus of change and this continued to 1913 though it was not as prominent. “The most important political factor of the nineteenth century in Europe was the growth of nationalism. During this period the belief that the nation was the natural and inevitable form of large-scale political organization, and the only one which was morally valid, became increasingly widespread and fanatical.”[12] Nationalism, was not always seen as a good thing by people such as The Austrian royal family, the Habsburgs. “Of all the empires of Europe, theirs as the most vulnerable to nationalism. For 33 years, from 1815 to 1848, any sign of nationalism was eradicated without mercy.”[13]

Linked to Nationalism is Imperialism. The definition of Imperialism is “a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through colonization.”[14] The term and idea came about in 1815, the same time as Nationalism started gaining popularity. “Imperial expansion was continuous after 1815 as nations sought the prestige of oversea conquest. In Africa this became a ‘scramble’ as new colonial powers (like Germany and Italy) increased the momentum to secure territories before their rivals.”[15] Though Imperialism and nationalism may be overlooked by some, it was one of the many causes and contributions to World War I. The effect of imperialism were similarity in both time periods of 1815 and 1913 as Napoleon expansionism had been nationalistic, the Germany Kaiser’s will to expand previous to World War I was nationalist also.

Another area, which needs to be assessed is emigration. Emigration is an important factor both after 1815 and before 1913, showing yet again another similarity between the two. “The movement of the large numbers of people from Europe to the Americas and other parts of the world was one of the most important features of the international economy in the years after the Napoleonic wars. More than 50 million people were directly involved. Emigration could not fail to have profound effects on both the sending and the receiving countries.”[16] It was not only just people moving to America but to many other countries such as Sibera, India, China and Japan. “Migration from Russia into Siberia is thought to have involved 10 million people between 1815 and 1914.”[17] In Britain, many ships such as the Titanic “were literally selling tickets to a new life.”[18] Post-potato famine, it was mainly the Irish who were looking to emigrate. “Mostly small Irish tenants and agricultural labourers fled for the hunger, many of whom were in a state of extreme distress. Driven by recurrent food crises.”[19]

Technology was a vastly different by 1913, when compared to 1815. In the 1800s mass production was becoming increasingly widespread with many new factories forming. “The most crucial development in the latter half of the eighteenth century was mass production. Textiles, and ceramics saw huge expansion of their industries, bring a shift of labour force, from working the fields to working in town factories.”[20] Throughout the 19th century, technology and discovery had expanded. The first photographic image was taken in 1826 by Joseph Niepce and it was the inventor of the Morse code, Samuel Morse that built the first electric telegraph in 1835.[21] Not only was technology growing but so was scientific knowledge. The theory of evolution was developed and anaesthetic and antiseptic were also created. Therefore the society of 1913 were more knowledgeable than their ancestors a century before. There were more beliefs forming, causing people to think for themselves and new medicine were being used. Other major technological advances in the 1800s were the motor-vehicle and the first manned power flight. “Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903 and five years later invented the famous Model T Ford.”[22] In the same year, the first propelled petrol engine were also invented. “Orville Wright took to the air in the ‘Flyer,’ built by him and his brother Wilbur, and propelled by a petrol engine.” As the time period I am focusing on is 10 years after these inventions, they would all be well developed and may have been seen regularly in the community more so the Model T Ford.

Compared to 1815, 1913 had a bigger population which lead to better social reforms. People were living longer and the population had increased. There are multiple reason why the population was increasing. Women marrying young and having children may be an example for the late 1800s although this may have been the same in the previous centuries, “The typical working-class mother of the 1890’s, married in her teens or early twenties and experiencing teen pregnancies, spent about fifteen years in a state of pregnancy and in nursing a child for the first years of its life”[23] Which could contribute to mortality rating decreasing or that health and medicine was improving. “Of these methods, only vaccination against smallpox was in use in the first part of the 19th century, and, even then, not very widely-most of the developments just listed date from the last part of the 19th century or later. These preventive methods were responsible for much of the sharp upturn in life expectancy.”[24] Therefore the vaccine against the smallpox could have contributed to longer life expectancy amongst many other medicines. This gives an insight to the standards of living in the 1800s and early 1900s.

“Side by side with this growth in the number of Europeans went an even more rapid growth in the economy which sustained them. The result was that by 1914 the vast majority of them, though their standards of physical consumption, health and education were still low by comparison with those of the present day, were decidedly better off than their ancestors a century earlier.”[25] In 1800 Europe’s population was 150 million whereas in 1900 the population had almost doubled to 291 million in Europe.[26] “Nineteenth century life had frequently been short and uncertain, and “retirement” rare. In 1881, three quarters of men in Britain over 65 were still working. It was only in 1898 that the British Civil service began to enforce a retirement age.”[27] Due to people living longer and the population increasing this also contributed to the number of men fighting in WWI and women helping back home in the factories.

Lastly, linked with the growing population bringing change, education also improved too. It developed thus the generation of the 1900s were more educated than the generation before and instead of going straight into work, children stayed in school longer. “Before the First World War, the school leaving age was between 12 and 14 in most of European countries; at the end of the century, it was 18 in Belgium and Germany, 17 in the Netherlands, and 16 in Denmark, France and the UK.”[28] This again is a difference to 1815.

As one would expect, The Europe of 1913 had many differences to the Europe of 1815 although there were a few similarities. To compare and contrast the two, firstly the differences will be looked at. The society of 1815 had just came out of a war, many people had died causing a low population and the rest of society was trying to recover. They were not concerned with women’s rights or technology at that time. Their main focus was to stop living in fear of another revolution and thus the “Congress of Vienna” provided peace and reassurance over Europe. Compared to the citizens of 1913 which the population was ever growing, more educated and preparing themselves for war as they knew that it was a big possibility. Some wanted a war as they thought it would be short, over by Christmas and easily won. The people of 1913 were focused on women’s rights as the 1900s brought the suffragette movement, technology with the invention of the motor vehicle and scientific knowledge due to the development of the anaesthetic and antiseptic. Both societies differed in that way. One which had been damaged by war thus was slowly trying to recover and another which had been rebuilt and was preparing for war. Although there were clear differences, the most significant and important being Europe’s ever changing borders and the fact that the “Congress of Vienna” were ignored by many, as countries such as Greece fought to gain independence. The similarities in both time periods are the effect of imperialism, nationalism and emigration. Emigration was similar in both as people were searching for a fresh start, in Britain it was mainly the Irish searching for more money and to escape famine while others may have been trying to escape the past war in 1815 or the upcoming war in 1914. Imperialism and nationalism came about in the early 1800s and was still important in 1913 although it was less of an impact than it had been in the earlier century, consequently the Europe of 1913 had many differences to the Europe of 1815 although there were a few similarities, and the differences outweighed them.

Bibliography

Mather R, “The impact of the Napoleonic Wars in Britain,” http://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/the-impact-of-the-napoleonic-wars-in-britain [Date Accessed: 23/11/14] Published: Unknown.

 

Anderson M.S, The Ascendancy Of Europe 1815 – 1914, Pearson Education Ltd, 2003.

 

Olson J.S, Historical Dictionary of European Imperialism, Greenwood Press, 1991.

 

Ghervas S, http://www.historytoday.com/stella-ghervas/congress-vienna-peace-strong, Published in History Today Volume: 64 Issue: 9, 2014, [Date Accessed: 24/11/14.]

 

Munby L, Concise Encyclopaedia of World History, Purnell Books, 1977.

 

Anderson F.M, Handbook for the Diplomatic History of Europe, Asia and Africa 1870 – 1914, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1918.

 

Briggs A and Clavin P, Modern Europe 1789- 1989, Addison Wesley Longman Inc, 1997

 

“Suffragettes. Women recall their struggle to win the vote,” http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/suffragettes [Date Accessed: 23/11/14] Published Date: Unknown.

 

Professor Black J, World History, Parragon, 1999.

 

“Imperialism” http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/imperialism [Date Accessed: 24/11/14] Published Date: Unknown.

 

Baines D, Emigration from Europe 1815-1930, First Cambridge University Press, 1995, Great Britain.

 

“Titanic Village: The sinking of dreams” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-17557619 [Date Accessed: 23/11/14] Published Date: 31 March 2012.

 

“The Migration To North America” Dr Schrover M, http://www.let.leidenuniv.nl/history/migration/chapter52.html [Date Accessed: 24/11/14]

 

Easterlin R. A, The Worldwide Standard of Living since 1800, American Economic Association, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2000.

 

James H, Europe Reborn A History 1914-2000, Pearson Education Limited, 2003.

[1] R. Mather, “The impact of the Napoleonic Wars in Britain” <http://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/the-impact-of-the-napoleonic-wars-in-britain&gt; [Date Accessed: 23/11/14] Published: Unknown

[2] M.S. Anderson, The Ascendancy Of Europe 1815 – 1914, Pearson Education Ltd, 2003, P.48

[3] Ibid, P.1

[4] J.S. Olson, Historical Dictionary of European Imperialism, Greenwood Press, 1991, p.149

[5] S. Ghervas, <http://www.historytoday.com/stella-ghervas/congress-vienna-peace-strong&gt; Published in History Today Volume: 64 Issue: 9, 2014, [Date Accessed: 24/11/14]

[6] L. Munby, Concise Encyclopaedia of World History, Purnell Books, 1977, p.161

[7] F.M. Anderson, Handbook for the Diplomatic History of Europe, Asia and Africa 1870 – 1914, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1918, p .429

[8] L. Munby, Concise Encyclopaedia of World History, Purnell Books, 1977, p.170

[9] A. Briggs and P. Clavin, Modern Europe 1789- 1989, Addison Wesley Longman Inc, 1997, P.141

[10] “Suffragettes. Women recall their struggle to win the vote” <http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/suffragettes&gt; [Date Accessed : 23/11/14] Published Date: Unknown

[11] Professor J. Black, World History, Parragon, 1999, p.270

[12] M.S. Anderson, The Ascendancy Of Europe 1815 – 1914, Pearson Education Ltd, 2003, p.204,

[13] Professor J. Black, World History, Parragon, 1999, p.199

[14] “Imperialism” <http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/imperialism&gt; [Date Accessed: 24/11/14] Published Date: Unknown

[15] Ibid, p.215

[16] D. Baines, Emigration from Europe 1815-1930, First Cambridge University Press, 1995, Great Britain, p.1

[17] Ibid, p.5

[18] “Titanic Village: The sinking of dreams” <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-17557619&gt; [Date Accessed: 23/11/14] Published Date: 31 March 2012.

[19] “The Migration To North America” Dr. M. Schrover, <http://www.let.leidenuniv.nl/history/migration/chapter52.html&gt; [Date Accessed: 24/11/14]

[20] Professor J. Black, World History, Parragon, 1999, p.226

[21] Ibid, p.227

[22] Ibid, p.299

[23] R. A. Easterlin, The Worldwide Standard of Living since 1800, American Economic Association, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 14, No. 1, 2000, pp. 7-26

[24] Ibid, pp.7-26

[25] Ibid, p.125

[26] R. Cameron, Concise Economic History of the World, OUP USA, 2002) p. 193.

[27] H. James, Europe Reborn A History 1914-2000, Pearson Education Limited, 2003, p.31

[28] Ibid, p.32

A Snippet Of My HUGE To Be Read List 💪📚

So if you read my last post on here then you’d know that my first goal for 2018 is to read 24 books! It may seem like a lot but I ended up reading 19 books last year whilst doing my Masters degree and balancing two part time jobs so I’m relatively confident that I can beat my record! Here (again) is the list of books that I read last year:

A Court of Throne and Roses by Sarah J Maas
Ink by Alice Broadway
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
The Selection by Kiera Cass
The Elite by Kiera Cass.
The One by Kiera Cass.
The Heir by Kiera Cass.
The Crown by Kiera Cass.
Spellbook of The Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
I Was Dead For 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
The Future of Us by by Jay Asher
Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

So without much further ado, here is the list and plots for my huge TBR list of 2018!

 

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

The blurb according to goodreads:

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris — the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead. Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls’ bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett’s only friend — but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they’ve worked for?

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

The blurb according to goodreads:

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

The blurb according to goodreads:

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The blurb according to goodreads:

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist: Break into the notorious Ice Court (a military stronghold that has never been breached.) Retrieve a hostage (who could unleash magical havoc on the world.) Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

The blurb according to goodreads:

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

The blurb according to goodreads:

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

The Girl At Midnight by Melissa Grey

The blurb according to goodreads:

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act. Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants…and how to take it.

18 Goals For 2018 ✨

A new year means new goals and so because it’s 2018, I decided to write 18 goals for myself this year. My aim is to achieve at least half of them! I hope this post inspires you with ideas for your goals! Let me know in the comments your 2018 goals! ✨

  1. Read 24 books this year.
  2. Start looking for a full time job in March/April.
  3. Budget more! (No eating out or impulse buying)
  4. Give more unwanted items to charity.
  5. Explore more. (Camping, Visiting other cities.)
  6. Take a full day off social media once a month.
  7. Try to do an act of kindness everyday.
  8. Drink more water instead of pop.
  9. Take a photo every day.
  10. Buy a sphinx cat.
  11. Grow my hair longer and dye it less.
  12. MONDAYS: Self care. (Have a bath or face mask or do something relaxing.)
  13. TUESDAYS: Digital Detox. (Spend less time on social media)
  14. WEDNESDAYS: Clean. (Do general tidying or sort out unwanted items)
  15. THURSDAYS: Purge. (Delete emails or photos, take items to charity shops.)
  16. FRIDAYS: Donate. (Similar to that of Thursdays and try to do acts of kindness.)
  17. SATURDAYS: Health. (Eat healthy and plan meals.)
  18. SUNDAYS: Energize. (Do exercises or go for a walk or reflect on the good of the week.)

History Post #3: Literary Sources in The Medieval Period Regarding to the End of The World of 1000AD

As it’s a New Year, I thought this essay would be fitting! So here is an essay that I wrote during my masters degree. I though it would be interesting to give you a little history blog post on a topic that I found super interesting! So I hope you enjoy reading and if you have any questions then please comment below 🙂 If you would like to use any of this information then please reference me or the books that I have linked below! Thank-you.

Disclaimer: The purpose for this post is not to use my essay for your own gain but merely to educate yourself on this topic.

Widespread Panic, Or Worry From A Few? Analysing Literary Sources In The Anglo Saxon Period With Regards To The Fear Of The End Of The World In The Tenth Century.

Throughout the centuries, the fear of the end of the world and the word apocalypse have been become synonymous. In the years leading up to the millennium of the year 1000, the worry of the end of the world was not a new notion. According to Walter Klaassen, the first major writer who wrote of an impending apocalypse was Irenaeus, writing in around 180 to 200 AD. He branded the antichrist as Jewish causing this label to follow through into the middle ages.[1] Thus showing that the fear of the end of the world has spanned many time periods, and the concern surrounding an impending apocalypse have been in the forefront of people’s minds even in the modern day period. It is likely that citizens of tenth century England would have experienced similar thoughts and ideas to what we have had in the twenty first century, relating to the worry of an apocalypse. An example of this is the most recent assumption of the end of the world in 2012, coinciding with the apparent end of the Mayan calendar.[2]

The fear of the apparent apocalypse of 2012 had been trivialised by society, this was possibly due to scare mongering by the media, resulting in the majority of the general public not taking the end of the world seriously. An example of the use of scare mongering by the media is shown in an online article in The Independent which was titled “Doomsayers await the end of the world – on 21/12/12.[3]

This research seeks to answer the question of how widespread this panic truly was in the medieval world, focusing specifically on the citizens in England. This will be completed by analysing texts from the period of the tenth century as well as looking at Bede’s texts from the eighth century. The reason for the choice of Bede’s work to be mentioned, is that the text which will be analysed does not pinpoint a date for the end of the world and as Bede was well known, many writers may have sought guidance and knowledge in his texts. The three pieces of texts chosen will aim to give more of an understanding to how the citizens of England reacted to the thought of the end of the world. The question of where the concept of an apocalypse in the year 1000 originated from will also be looked at later on in this essay.

The hypothesis that this essay is based upon, is that the vast majority of citizens in England knew somewhat about the apocalypse of the year 1000. Though it should be made clear that the three pieces of texts that will be mentioned, only a select few citizens would have had access to them directly. The relevancy of linking Christianity to the end of the world, is that those who went to church may have listened to sermons about the anxiety of the apparent apocalypse, and that all three chosen sources are written by members of the clergy. The word apocalypse refers directly to Christianity and therefore the theme of linking God to the apocalypse is evident, according to a dictionary definition the world will be destroyed by God and those worthy will join him in Heaven and as such there is no denying the strong religious aspect.[4]

 

Though research will be focused on England, the anxiety of the apparent apocalypse was not just limited to Britain itself but was much more widespread, at least amongst the elite. This is shown through a source which mentions Otto III, the Holy Roman Emperor in the year 1000, who opened up the tomb of Charlemagne in an attempt to stop the apocalypse.[5] One cannot be sure how reliable the source is but if it indeed happened, then one questions if others were willing to go great lengths such as Otto III to stop what they believed was the end of the world.

Before one analyses the three literary sources chosen, the historical background of tenth century England should first be understood. The context of tenth century England could have had a major impact to how others perceived the end of the world and if the events happening in this period could possibly been linked to the apocalypse by the citizens.

The history of tenth century England, will also put into context how the writings of the scholars may have been influenced by the world around them, indeed clearly linking the history to the literary texts. There are numerous examples given as to where the fear of the end of the world may have originated from, yet there is not one clear answer, so one may assume that it is due to the fact there were many reasons which contributed to this panic.

The most obvious is that the apocalypse could have stemmed from uncertainties of the world the Anglo Saxons saw around them.[6] Around forty years before the apparent end of the world of 1000, London was hit by a plague.[7] Though there is very little evidence, if any, to show how many people were affected by this plague, its importance can be shown through the fact it has indeed been recorded. According to some historians such as R.H Bremmer, this plague showed signs of the destruction to follow and may have been the beginnings of when people started to question the end of the world.[8] One would disagree with R.H. Bremmer interpretation of how important this was and disregard the plague as a major factor. Due to the fact it is assumed to have only affected London, thus in regards to anxiety over the end of the world, it would not have had a great significance to the rest of England who were unaffected and had possibly not known about this occurrence.

A key factor and one that should not be overlooked linking to citizens panicking over the end of the world is the reign of Æthelred II. Succeeding to the throne in 978 after the suspicious death of his older half-brother Edward, whom people speculated that Æthelred’s mother may have been played a part in was not expected to be King.[9] Therefore, being a young king (possibly not even a teenager when his reign started) combined with the speculation surrounding his brother’s death may have caused the citizens to be wary of his leadership.

At the start of Æthelred’s reign he was met with the second wave of Viking raids, which one would assume would once again causing panic and ambiguity around what is known today as Britain. The second wave of Viking raiders is important to the fear surrounding the end of the world, as this may have planted the assumption that the world was ending for the citizens who were directly affected by them. It is hard to comprehend how the citizens may have reacted to these invaders, especially for those who had a king that they had no confidence in and knew would not be able to protect them. This may even have been enforced by the Battle of Maldon when Byrhtnoth and his army was defeated and the Viking raiders succeeded to victory[10] causing Æthelred to be forced to pay them to leave.[11] The Viking raiders were not a new threat to the citizens of Britain, and the Anglo-Saxons in the tenth century may have been told stories by the older generations of the previous invaders.[12]

Similarly to the previously mentioned plague of London, it is difficult to know how many people were directly affected by the Viking raids or even knew about the raids happening.  The most likely possibility of the fear of the end of the world is that people thought that the year 1000 marked the anniversary of “Christ’s Incarnation.”[13] For the citizens of England which regularly went to Church, which would have been the majority, one assumes that this anniversary would have been common knowledge amongst parishes. One English scribe mentioned that the antichrist was due to be born in the year 999[14],  if others thought this way then this date would have thus been cause for panic. Even when the world did not end in the year 1000, there was still speculation that the end was still near. Five years after the apparent end of the world there was a famine[15] and with the change of kings to Cnut the Great[16] many may have still be waiting for the apocalypse to come.

 

Since the history has been mentioned, one can now analyse the huge impact that the potential apocalypse had on the literacy of the medieval period, taking into account how the writers may have been affected by the events of tenth century England. Aspects of Bede’s writing can be linked to the apocalypse, most clearly in a text by Bede in the form of a letter written by Pope Gregory to King Ethelbert, as well as Aelfric and Wulfstan’s texts. All of these scholars were chosen due to their great influence in medieval England around the tenth century.

In the tenth century, Bede would have been well known even though he was no longer alive. All three of these writers were important figures and all closely linked to their faith. Bede grew up in a monastery and became a priest when he turned thirty.[17]  Aelfric was Abbot of Eynsham and referenced Bede in many of his works[18] and Wulfstan from the same period as Aelfric was Archbishop of York,[19] these two writers cover the entirety of England, the South and North. By analysing these texts from Aelfric and Wulfstan, it will show that the idea of the apocalypse was not only thought about centuries after the turning of the first millennia but that accounts from first hand sources testify the extent of worry.

According to historian Malcom Godden, both Aelfric and Wulfstan stated that the end of the world in 1000 was context for their writings.[20] This is backed up in the preface of Aelfric’s work, as he writes the reasons for producing this text is that as well as writing due to his trust in God but also due to “people need good teaching most urgently in this time, which is the ending of the world.”[21] Thus as it is so clearly stated there is no ambiguity as to his purpose and decision to write his manuscript. The original text of Aelfric and Wulfstan’s work is written in Old English and Bede’s writing is in Latin, therefore these texts have been translated into Modern English, leaving some words slightly interchangeable.

 

Firstly, Aelfric’s text will be analysed. This source was found in The Apocalyptic Year 1000 Religious Expectation and Social Change, 950 – 1050:

“Often people say, behold, now doomsday is coming because the prophecies that were laid down about it have passed. But there comes war after war, tribulation after tribulation, earthquake after earthquake, famine after famine, nation after nation, and still the bridegroom does not come. Also the six thousand years from Adam are completed, and still the bridegroom delays. How then can we know when he will come?”[22]

 

This text starts off with mentioning of “often people say” clearly interpreting that Aelfric is not just referring to himself in regards to the topic of the end of the world, but that others have also said similarly that the world is ending. It should be noted that Aelfric does not mention who these people are or how often they are mentioning the end of the world so it may be Aelfric justifying his own opinions thus writing that he is not the only one saying this. As Aelfric often referenced Bede in his work, one could assume that he indeed may be referring to Bede as one of the “people”.[23] Though from this piece of text he does not outright discuss who these people are. Basing on one’s interpreting of this first piece of text, it leaves the reader with the impression that the thought of the apocalypse was indeed widespread in Britain.

Aelfric goes on to say in this text that prophecies had passed, though he does not make it clear to the reader what prophecies he is in question talking of. He may have been writing in terms of biblical sense or perhaps he was referring to the plague and the Vikings which at the time of his writings were raiding Britain. Which again one questions if the fear was widespread if many prophecies have happened. At the start of this text, Aelfric clearly states the apocalypse is coming and that others also have stated this although later on one feels as though he then starts to question the end of the world. “Still the bridegroom does not come”[24]  shows that he is questioning why the antichrist has not yet arrived on Earth.

Another example of this, is “how then can we know when he will come?”[25] Again it leads interpretation if Aelfric is questioning himself or trying to reinforce the fact that he the “bridegroom”[26] as in the antichrist is coming soon.

Overall this text clearly outlines that multiple people were worried about the apocalypse, though he does not mention who just that “other” which means there is no clear evidence that this ‘other’ to Aelfric was not just a small group of monks or clergy. It also feels that Aelfric is in two minds and possibly trying to convince himself and his readers that the apocalypse is soon upon us whilst pondering on why it has not already happened yet.

 

 

The second text chosen to be analysed is writing from Wulfstan. This text is dated after the year 1000[27], therefore the date for the apparent end of the world had passed but it is shown that Wulfstan still regarded the end as soon. The same as the text written by Aelfric, this source was found in The Apocalyptic Year 1000 Religious Expectations and Social Change 950 – 1050:

“Now must things become necessarily much worse, since it is coming very close to his time, just as it is written and was long ago prophesied: “after a thousand years Satan will be unbound.” That is, in English, after a thousand years Satan will be unbound. A thousand years and more have now passed since Christ was among men in human form, and now Satan’s bonds are greatly loosened and Antichrist’s time is very close, and therefore things are in the world ever the weaker the longer it goes on.”[28]

 

 

Wulfstan makes it clear from the onset that things are becoming worse as “it is coming very close to his time”[29]  though he does not specify what is getting worse. He does not make it clear if he is referring to sociological or environmental changes hence it could be interpreted as both. His writing potentially could be referring to the second wave of Viking attacks and reign of Æthelred. This also shows the similarity between Wulfstan’s text and Aelfric’s, both wrote of the state of what was happening in England although as they are both living in the same time period this may be understandable. If things were getting as bad as Wulfstan had written then the citizens of Britain would have clearly been aware of the changes and the world getting worse.

Wulfstan writes that it is prophesied that the antichrist will be on Earth, “Satan’s bonds are greatly loosened and Antichrist’s time is very close.”[30] Again showing a similarity between his text and Aelfric. A key difference between these two texts is that Wulfstan states the end of the world as though it is a fact comparing to Aelfric whose text is full of questioning.

As previously mentioned, Wulfstan was Archbishop of York hence it must be noted that due to his high status it is entirely possible that Wulfstan’s opinions may have dictated writings of sermons for monks and priests to read. Therefore he had some sort of authority and respect to people who would be preaching sermons. As he may be directly writing for someone else to preach or analyse his words, this may be why he did not pinpoint when the antichrist would be returning to Earth and why his text is very matter of fact.

 

The last text that will be analysed is Bede’s The Ecclesiastical History of the English People in book one chapter XXXII. In which he mentions the end of world, referring to a letter and gifts send to King Ethelbert from Gregory. Though it is unclear if it is Bede’s own words or a direct copy of the letter, the fact that it was even written in his book shows the importance that Bede thought it must have had to show the history of England.

“As the end of this world approaches, many things hang over us which were not here before; namely, disturbances of the atmosphere, terrors from the sky, unseasonable storms, wars, famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places. Not all of those things are to come in our days, but all shall come after our days. If therefore, you learn of any of these things happening in your country, do not let your mind be in any way disturbed. For these signs of the end of the world are sent before for this reason: that we should be careful for our souls, and regardful of the hour of our death, and that we may be found prepared by good works to meet the coming Judge.”[31]

 

The third text similarly to the previous writings analysed also starts off by mentioning the end of the world, “as the end of this world approaches.”[32]

The context for this text is different from the two previous, as this in the form of a letter whilst the other two are aiming specifically for many others to read or preach. This piece of text is written privately between two people which one assumes would not have been expecting to be shared by a vast number of people. One can only assume that the letter between these two people mentioned are King Ethelbert who was King of Kent estimated around 560 to 616 and Pope Gregory.[33] In the text, Gregory also makes a point of mentioning the environmental changes which contribute to the end of the world such as “terrors from the sky”[34] which may be referring comets or changes in the weather. All of which is open to interpretation.

He goes on to mention “wars”[35] and “plagues”[36] though none in particular are being referred to.  Gregory also does not specify a time period nor mention when the world was ending only that is it approaching. Out of all of the text, the sentence in which is vital to using this text as part of this research on the apocalypse of the year one thousand is the statement that, “not all of those things are to come in our days, but all shall come after our days.”[37]

As he has left the date open for interpretation one assumes he means after his and the King Ethelbert’s deaths, thus in the mind of Gregory the end of the world is not in the immediate present.  He also refers to all of the things have not happened yet, again reinforcing this point.

It is ambiguous whether or not Bede had interpreted the letter into his own words or if it all words of others in a letter, though one must state that it is possibly the latter. Thus by Bede writing this letter into his own work, the reasons for adding this letter may be due to him backing up his own ideas of the end of the world. Though it should be noted that this letter is dated from the seventh century, leaving a significant time gap of four hundred years before the apparent apocalypse of the year one thousand. Though this source is still valid to this research in regards to the wider population worrying of an apocalypse throughout many centuries before. Thus for many citizens growing up in a world where many were waiting for an apocalypse, this belief of the end of the word being reinforced by the environment, wars and plagues, may give us an insight to what the medieval world was like for the residents of England.

 

It is difficult to comprehend from the little amount of sources how widespread the panic in England was, due to the percentage surviving from the tenth century. Many texts that do survive do not write in depth about the panic surrounding what the majority of citizens thought over the end of the world. The texts that we do have, the few from scholars that were concerned with the end of the world, cannot speak for the masses. Although by analysing the literary texts of Aelfric, Wulfstan and Bede and linking their texts to the questions by one’s own hypothesis, it is clear from the three chosen that the majority of citizens of England must have had a basic knowledge of the end of the world.

The text analysed by Wulfstan, clearly shows that there would have been sermons preaching on the end of the world and the rise of the antichrist thus those who would have gone to church regularly would have experienced this preaching and been informed of this knowledge. Though one is unable to prove to what extend and how much of the population knew and if there was indeed an obvious degree of panic from a few key figures, as part of a tradition of doom-saying, over the thought of the apparent end of the world. It would be interesting to be able to have a vast amount of sources showing, if they regarded the end of the world being in the year one thousand or in the next hundred years.

Though one feels that there may be many possibilities for more specialised research in this area. It is apparent that the wealthier citizens may have been able to read books on the topic and had the information readily available to them would have had more of an understanding and possibly be more panicked over the end of the world. Comparing these wealthier citizens to another citizen who did not have many opportunities available to them but merely attended a church service of a sermon on the topic of the apocalypse, would have been less troubled.

 

Bibliography

Bede and Campbell J, ed. The Ecclesiastical History Of The English People and Other Selections from the Writings of the Venerable Bede. New York: Washington Square Press, 1968.

Blair P. H. The World of Bede. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Cavill, P. Vikings Fear and Faith in Anglo Saxon England. London: HarperCollinsPublishers, 2001.

Cooper J. The Battle of Maldon: Fiction and Fact. London: The Hambledon Press, 1993.

Emmerson R. K. Key Figures in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopaedia. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Klaassen, W. Living at the end of the ages, Apocalyptic Expectation in the Radical Reform. Maryland: University Press of America Inc, 1992.

Kirby D. P. The Earliest English Kings. New York: Routledge, 1991.

Lacey R and Danziger D. The Year 1000 What Life Was Like At The Turn Of The First Millennium. London: Little, Brown and Company, 1999.

Landes R, Gow A and Van Meter D.C. The Apocalyptic Year 1000 Religious Expectation and Social Change. 950-1050, New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Lionarons J. T., The Homiletic Writings of Archbishop Wulfstan: A Critical Study. Suffolk: D.S. Brewer, 2010.

Merriam-Webster. “Apocalypse,” accessed Jan 8, 2017, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apocalypse.

Palmer J. T. The Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Restall M and Solari A. 2012 and the End of the World, The Western Roots of the Maya Apocalypse. Plymouth: Rowman & Little Field Publishers Inc, 2011.

The Independent. “Doomsayers await the end of the world – on 21/12/12,” 2012, Accessed Jan 8, 2017, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/doomsayers-await-the-end-of-the-world-on-211212-8395863.html.

[1] W. Klaasen, Living at the end of the ages, Apocalyptic Expectation in the Radical Reform (Maryland: University Press of America Inc, 1992), 1.

[2] M. Restall and A. Solari, 2012 and the End of the World, The Western Roots of the Maya Apocalypse (Plymouth: Rowman & Little Field Publishers Inc, 2011), 11.

[3] “Doomsayers await the end of the world – on 21/12/12,” The Independent, 2012, accessed Jan 8, 2017, ”http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/doomsayers-await-the-end-of-the-world-on-211212-8395863.html.

[4] “Apocalypse,” Merriam-Webster, accessed Jan 8, 2017, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/apocalypse.

[5] James T. Palmer, The Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 205.

[6] R. Landes, A. Gow and D.C. Van Meter, The Apocalyptic Year 1000 Religious Expectation and Social Change. 950-1050 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003). 156.

[7] Palmer, The Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages, 209.

[8] Ibid.

[9] P. Cavill, Vikings Fear and Faith in Anglo-Saxon England (London: HarperCollinsPublishers, 2001). 21

[10] J. Cooper, The Battle of Maldon: Fiction and Fact (London: The Hambledon Press, 1993). 73

[11] Cavill, Vikings Fear and Faith in Anglo-Saxon England, 22.

[12] Ibid, 6.

[13] Palmer, The Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages, 189.

[14] Ibid, 192.

[15] Ibid, 210.

[16] Cavill, Vikings Fear and Faith in Anglo-Saxon England, 33.

[17] P. Hunter Blair, The World of Bede (Cambridge University Press, 1990). 3.

[18] R. K. Emmerson, Key Figures in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopaedia (New York: Routledge, 2006). 6.

[19] J. T Lionarons, The Homiletic Writings of Archbishop Wulfstan: A Critical Study (Suffolk, D.S. Brewer, 2010). 1.

[20] R. Landes, A. Gow and D.C. Van Meter, The Apocalyptic Year 1000 Religious Expectation and Social Change. 950-1050. 155.

[21] Ibid, 159.

[22] R. Landes, A. Gow and D.C. Van Meter, The Apocalyptic Year 1000 Religious Expectation and Social Change. 950-1050, 163.

[23] R. K. Emmerson, Key Figures in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopaedia. 6. Routledge, 2006, New York.

[24] R. Landes, A. Gow and D.C. Van Meter, The Apocalyptic Year 1000 Religious Expectation and Social Change. 950-1050. 163.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Ibid.

[27] Ibid, 170.

[28] Ibid, 171.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Bede and J. Campbell, ed., The Ecclesiastical History Of The English People and Other Selections from the Writings of the Venerable Bede, (New York: Washington Square Press, 1968) 57.

[32] Ibid.

[33] D. P. Kirby, The Earliest English Kings (New York: Routledge, 1991). 23.

[34] Bede and J. Campbell, ed., The Ecclesiastical History Of The English People and Other Selections from the Writings of the Venerable Bede, (New York: Washington Square Press, 1968) 57.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid.