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The Resurgam Submarine ‘A Project for Annoying the Enemy’ by Peter Holt. xiv+118 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 327 2017. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784915827. £18.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784915834. £18.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

For centuries inventors have been dreaming up schemes to allow people to submerge beneath the waves, stay a while then return again unharmed. The Resurgam was designed for this purpose, as a stealthy underwater weapon which was the brainchild of an eccentric inventor realised in iron, timber, coal and steam. The inventor was George William Garrett, a curate from Manchester who designed and built the Resurgam submarine in 1879 using the limited technology available to a Victorian engineer on a small budget. This is not the story of Garrett himself as this story has already been told, instead this book tells the story how the Resurgam was built, how she may have worked and what happened to her. The book introduces Garrett the inventor then puts the creation of Resurgam in context by considering similar submarines being developed at the end of the 19th century. Garrett’s relationship with the Royal Navy is related here as they were his intended client and the tale continues with a description of how the submarine was built and how it may have worked. The end of the story relates how the Resurgam came to be lost in 1880 pieced together from documents and newspaper reports. Curiously, aspects of the tale do not fit with what was found by underwater archaeologists recording the wreck so other ideas are explored about how and why the submarine was lost.
Percy Manning: The Man Who Collected Oxfordshire edited by Michael Heaney. xviii+314pp; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white. 311 2017 Archaeological Lives . Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781784915285. £30.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784915292. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Percy Manning (1870-1917) was an Oxford antiquary who amassed enormous collections about the history of Oxford and Oxfordshire, which now constitute a valuable resource in Oxford University’s libraries and museums.

Manning was interested in all periods of history and prehistory, collecting Stone Age tools, Roman coins, medieval tiles, and relics of ways of life that were disappearing in his own day, such as decorated police truncheons and local pottery. He methodically documented and explored the archaeology of the county. He collected literally thousands of prints depicting Oxford and places throughout Oxfordshire as records of changes in the built environment, and moved beyond material objects to uncover and document superstitions, folklore and customs, especially where he thought they were disappearing. He sought out May songs and morris dancers, reviving the Headington Quarry Morris Dancers in 1899. There is scarcely a community in the county which is not reflected somewhere in his collections.

This volume provides the first detailed biography of Manning, together with studies examining specific parts of his collections in greater detail. Other chapters demonstrate how the collections can be used as springboards for in-depth study and for fresh approaches to the history of Oxfordshire. Particular emphasis is placed on Manning’s ground-breaking research into the folklore of the county in conjunction with its material culture.

About the Editor:
Michael Heaney, the editor of and main contributor to the volume, is a respected researcher into folk music and folklore who has published widely on the subject. He combines this with extensive knowledge of the collections in the Bodleian Library where he spent his professional career. He is a past Editor of Folk Music Journal (and continues on its board) and acts as adviser to and a Trustee of the country’s leading research library in the field, the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. His colleagues bring their professional expertise from the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museums, the University’s Music Faculty and Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, and beyond.
Athens from 1456 to 1920 The Town under Ottoman Rule and the 19th-Century Capital City by Dimitris N. Karidis. 292 pages; illustrated throughout in black and white. 91 2014. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781905739714. £35.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784910723. £19.00 (Inc. UK VAT) Book contents pageBuy Now

Few people are aware that shortly after 1456, when Athens yielded without fighting to the bitter end, she had become one of the bigger Balkan towns within the Ottoman Empire. The limited area confined within the boundaries of the late Roman fortification walls soon developed into a town of thirty-six mahalles. A thorough analysis of the town/country relationship within the Ottoman feudal system of production in general, and as related to Athens in particular, reveals the dynamic conditions of urban development. Athens shared many of the characteristics of prosperity based on specific modes of appropriation of surpluses and patterns of division of labour between town and countryside. Strange though it might seem, it was only after the middle of the 17th century, when land-tenure conditions changed and Athens was heading towards decline, that an ‘Ottoman’ character as such could be detected in its built environment, although Christians still strongly outnumbered Muslim citizens. That being so, the presence at that time in Athens of representatives of the European Enlightenment, hypnotized by the myth of its artistic and cultural treasures, did not affect the general conditions of development. In the 1830s, Athens, by that time a provincial town of secondary importance, was ‘ordered’ to stride from feudalism to capitalism, to transform itself into a modern capital city of a new-born state.

The shift from a small town under Ottoman rule to the modern city of the Hellenic Kingdom implied the quick transformation of belonging to a community (understood in terms of sharing common cultural characteristics) to a sense of being a member of a society (understood as an institution, as an externality demanding obedience). The amorphous masses of the medieval quarters that had arranged themselves so that unity within variety was established, where each particular architectural entity retained its meaning in so far as it was experienced as part of the whole urban fabric, had to give way to the early 19th-century planning environment, conceived more or less as a series of autonomous architectural identities understood only within a specific urban complex. It was not easy for Athens to cross the ‘line’ in 1834. The rejection of the first plan should not be naively understood as an urban restructuring triggering the virulent dissent of those Athenian landowners who detected threats to their vested interests. A violent break with the past was necessary so that new compositional stratagems could be implemented. But ever since Athens became a capital city, the pendulum of its history swung dramatically between tradition and modernism, not least because nationalism kept propagating an idealistic vision of an historical continuum that ran from the glorious ancient past down to the euphoria of the modern Greek state. Although Athens did make steady steps towards becoming a ‘modern’, ‘European-like’ city, comprehensive planning and centralized control of public works, as they had been essayed in central and western European cities in the second half of the 19th century, were totally incompatible with the build-as-you-please practice foisted on the capital city of Greece. Architectural and urban analysis of Athens between 1456 and 1920 discloses the metamorphosis of a town to a city, experienced as an invigorating adventure through the meandering routes of history. This is what this book is about.

About the Author:
Dimitris N. Karidis is an architect and urban historian, Professor Emeritus/National Technical University in Greece.
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