MN History Club?

(117 Posts)
LineRunner Sat 15-Sep-12 10:41:32


On the back of this very busy and brilliant thread here (now in Classics) about medieval history and much more besides, would MNHQ please consider a history topic / MN History Club?

There are lots of comments on the thread such as 'Best thread ever', 'I am so pleased to find others who want to talk about tudor history' etc.

I think it might fit into the In The Club category.

I'm more of a prehistory geek myself, but could start threads within the general MN History Club topic.

TunipTheVegemal Sat 15-Sep-12 10:46:26


There was the fabulous 'Ways of Dying in 1667' thread earlier this year too.

Yes, please!

There are threads in Classics about 'Ways of Dying in 1665' and 'Roman Mumsnet' (ok, I know that one was a joke!), as well as 'medieval MN' from ages ago, and if we keep on like this we'll end up filling up Classics with lovely long threads we all enjoy, but which could just as easily be their own section.

I would love to know more about prehistory line.

TunipTheVegemal Sat 15-Sep-12 10:52:40

It would be good for when you have a history question you want to ask and the odds are someone on Mumsnet knows the answer but you currently have no way of putting it where they will see it other than sticking it in chat and hoping.

MmeLindor Sat 15-Sep-12 10:56:21

It is not a particular interest of mine (being brave and admitting it on this thread when you lot are all nutty history buffs with medieval weapons) but I think this would be a great idea.

Then I would know where to ask questions about history when the DC have tricky homework.


Saying that, I read some of the Tudor thread, and found myself getting sucked in.

Fuchzia Sat 15-Sep-12 10:56:46

Yes please! The discussion on the Richard thread is great!

But that would rather nice, Mme, I think? The homework-y stuff.

No medieval weapons here. DH has weirdo mates who have a weapons cupboard in their house with replicas of all sorts, though. The wife is in the (real) army.

happybirthdayHiggs Sat 15-Sep-12 11:00:28

Another vote here for a history club, somewhere to talk to folk who's passions are different era's to mine and broaden my knowledge.

MmeLindor Sat 15-Sep-12 11:01:30

Yes, it would be like settling into Dumbledore's lair, in a plush upholstered chair, drinking butterbeer and listening to interesting stories.

<puts another log on the fire>

TunipTheVegemal Sat 15-Sep-12 11:04:17

No weapons here but I'll tie you up with wool from heritage sheep and spun with a replica Saxon drop spindle if you like. And feed you a selection of Roman snacks.

TunipTheVegemal Sat 15-Sep-12 11:04:32

sorry, that sounds rather perverted, doesn't it?

Fabulous idea, we could discuss a diferent era each week.

<edges away from tunip>

Mme, how did you know about my incipient long white beard?

TunipTheVegemal Sat 15-Sep-12 11:07:20


GoingforGoingforGOLD Sat 15-Sep-12 11:09:34

Excellent. I've just started a masters in something historic

You can all do my homework for me smile

This sounds like a fab idea! I love a bit of history and was an archaeologist once upon a time.

<waves to tunip> (I used to be VegimalStyle)

Flisspaps Sat 15-Sep-12 11:14:42

We're WWI and II fans in this house, we've got a mounted bayonet and Lewis gun (or the frame of!) in our living room. No muskets or re-enactments for us though!

LineRunner Sat 15-Sep-12 11:20:34

As well as discussing particular eras (good idea), we could talk about themes that cut across eras, and the way that developments like DNA analysis and better dating techniques are changing perceptions of the past.

And SillyBeardyDaddyman can tell us how much he looks like Indiana Jones.

Oh, yes! I would love to feel more clued up about different historical periods than I do.

(As in, about the themes cutting across ... sorry, didn't put that well.)

PicklesThePottyMouthedParrot Sat 15-Sep-12 11:30:11

Great idea!

LineRunner Sat 15-Sep-12 11:30:39

I like 'themes'. Death and burial. That fascinates me, from Natufian caves through to Victorian funerary display.

Ooh, yes! Did we end up chatting about Paul Binski's book about Medieval Death in the 1665 thread? I have a dim memory we did.

I am fascinated by stuff about literacy and learning to read, and I wish I knew more about that in different time periods. And about women's history.

MmeLindor Sat 15-Sep-12 11:34:28

<steps far far away from Turnip>

Great ideas. And I know where to come to bother people to write for my pre-teen online mag.

Making history fun for kids is important to me. When I was at school it was all v boring, but reading the Tudor thread was fascinating.

Maybe a thread on History for Beginners, or History for Kids.

And a subsection of archaeology.

Btw, in all seriousness, if we do this we will end up with stuff we will be gutted we can't publish, you know.

I can just imagine the MN bookshop line up ...

MN Guide to Babies (cute picture of gurgling infant)
MN Guide to Pregnancy (cute picture of radiant upduffed woman)
MN Guide to Death and Disease circa 5000BC-1901 (grinning skull).

It'd be fab.

akaemmafrost Sat 15-Sep-12 11:35:58

I would like this too. Probably not contribute much but would be lurking a lot.

GluedToTheVideoMonitor Sat 15-Sep-12 11:42:15

Another voice here for a history section please.

The Richard III thread has been fascinating and has inspired me to dig out some of my books again.

Off to check out the Medieval Ways To Die thread now!

MadBusLady Sat 15-Sep-12 12:00:22

Me too, me too!

I think the picking brains for homework thing is a nice idea. If even a few kids realise there are people who actually like jabbering on about this stuff, and it gives them another perspective on it from the (often sadly crap) experience of history they have at school, that's good, I'd be happy to contribute to that.

MadBusLady Sat 15-Sep-12 12:04:10

PS I saw on the RIII thread Tunip suggested putting it in with "Family history".

I like this idea - why not rename that section "History and genealogy"? I'm sure most people who have an interest in one also have (or will soon get!) an interest in the other, and it means more traffic for all.

vvviola Sat 15-Sep-12 12:04:59

Me too! I'm more of a lurker than poster usually but history stuff might make me come out of my shell a bit more.

Now-DH & I bonded over WW1 discussions on our first date, and he was the first man to take a step forward when he saw my bookshelf instead of backward (a shelf load of military history books tends to have that effect on a lot of people grin)

MadBusLady Sat 15-Sep-12 12:09:45

<thinks on> Ah, but then that doesn't mean it's "In the club" does it. Which would make more sense. Ignore me!

MadBusLady Sat 15-Sep-12 12:10:54

vvviola DP & I bonded over Byzantium. Which I know almost nothing about. I was thrilled to discover somebody who immediately started enthusiastically teaching me some history I didn't know. smile

Saltire Sat 15-Sep-12 12:18:32

I love history, never studied it at uni or anything , never even passed my O grade!blush but I do love it, in fact DS2 and I had an in depth discussion last night about the Plantagenets!

I would love a history topic but don't think I'd be on it much as you'd all be far cleverer than me!

ticklemyboobsofsteel Sat 15-Sep-12 12:18:41

I'd love to see a history section too! Please, please, please!

<big eyes>


Vagaceratops Sat 15-Sep-12 12:27:24

Oh pretty please with pink butterflies and cupcakes.

pleading eyes

I'm with LineRunner, I love prehistory and find death and burial rites fascinating (I did an MSc in Osteoarchaeology).

Please please MNHQ?

<offers mead instead of gin>

LineRunner Sat 15-Sep-12 12:30:17

I'm sure MNHQ will be considering this idea carefully once they've finished all the gin.

CagneyNLacey Sat 15-Sep-12 12:42:39

I would love a topic for history too. The Richard thread has renewed my interest in reading and I have just ordered She Wolf due to it being recommended by a few posters smile

PrincessFiorimonde Sat 15-Sep-12 12:51:32

Just adding another voice in support of the idea. Both the R3 and the Ways of Dying threads are fascinating.

EmpressOfTheGoldOceans Sat 15-Sep-12 13:27:38

Yes please! I don't know much about it except for the surface Henry VIII stuff but the Tudor thread is riveting.

scaevola Sat 15-Sep-12 13:32:12

You could try to start by camping on a disused forum and then ask MNHQ to change its name when you can show its not flash in the pan (the Great Outdoors forum started that way)

Anyone an expert in the history of MN who knows how to find old forums?

TunipTheVegemal Sat 15-Sep-12 13:34:37

I think we have a plan to hang around in Family History, then they can either move us elsewhere or they can simply change the name to History and Genealogy and the job's done.

MadBusLady Sat 15-Sep-12 13:44:12

Sounds good to me!

Have an idea for a thread I will start later...

SirGOLDBoobs Sat 15-Sep-12 13:50:54

Oooh History and Genealogy is a superb idea!!

Triggles Sat 15-Sep-12 14:15:31

Definitely would love to see this! Good idea!

MordecaiAndTheRigbys Sat 15-Sep-12 14:17:34

Is this all history or just british history? Cos I'm well versed in my Irish and British history but would love to read more from other countries, more obscure the better!

happyAvocado Sat 15-Sep-12 14:21:08

I'd love that kind of board as I would love to find out more about social history in general'

I would like to know more about Irish history (and all non-UK history).

PretzelTime Sat 15-Sep-12 14:29:33

Yes please!

rarebreed Sat 15-Sep-12 14:40:45

I would love to learn more about women's fashion/costume like this

rarebreed Sat 15-Sep-12 14:42:33
WilfSell Sat 15-Sep-12 14:47:32

Oooh, yes. And then you can invite special guest posters like Mary Beard and that one with the cool hair and clothes and the speech impediment who works for royal palaces, and that other floaty one who did the jubilee, and that Amanda Vickery who is kind of like a historian Liza Tarbuck I reckon and would have a pint with you. And then you could get Neil Oliver and Thingummy Snow in and they'd just disappear in a pile of flailing hormonal clutching hands only leaving behind a wisp of dark hair and a lantern jawbone.

LineRunner Sat 15-Sep-12 14:47:51

All history, I think, including ancient history, prehistory, archaeology.

LineRunner Sat 15-Sep-12 14:48:52

My ideal guest poster would have to be Michael Wood. He got me interested in the first place, with his In Search of the Dark Ages.

WilfSell Sat 15-Sep-12 14:50:48

Ah, Michael Wood. Twinkly dad of history telly.

MyNeighbourIsStrange Sat 15-Sep-12 14:53:04

yes please

LineRunner Sat 15-Sep-12 14:54:44

Michael Wood was a sex god back in my day. Leather flying jacket and faded jeans.

alcibiades Sat 15-Sep-12 15:00:26

Brilliant idea! Either a separate history section or combining history and genealogy.

I think a section that covers all times and places would be good. For instance, I know absolutely nothing about the history of China, but I bet there's a MNetter who could recommend a good book for a beginner.

MadBusLady Sat 15-Sep-12 15:04:50

I don't know anything at all about Chinese history, but Xinran's Voices of A Silent Generation is amazing. Only C20th, though - But I had to say it as she's amazing.

PetiteRaleuse Sat 15-Sep-12 15:11:16

Excellent idea. I read but didn't join in the Tudor thread. V v interesting to see what other people think about things.

Ewww. Looked up the etymology further. Not keen.

'1680s, from L. vagina "sheath, scabbard" (pl. vaginae), from PIE *wag-ina- (cf. Lith. voziu "ro cover with a hollow thing"), from root *wag- "to break, split, bite." Probably the ancient notion is of a sheath made from a split piece of wood (see sheath). A modern medical word; the Latin word was not used in an anatomical sense in classical times. Anthropological vagina dentata is attested from 1908.'

It's a natural orifice, not something split. Ick.

(I am absurdly squeamish, btw, so don't make too much of this reaction, it would be the same to dozens of other things most people wouldn't care about.)

Ah, feck. Wrong thread. Scuse me! grin

rarebreed Sat 15-Sep-12 15:16:17

I would like a chat with Terry Deary, he was the one that got me interested in history in the first place.

Horrible histories?

rarebreed Sat 15-Sep-12 15:34:04

Yep, collected so many of those books when I was younger

alcibiades Sat 15-Sep-12 15:36:23

Thanks, LRD. I decided to download Xinran's first book "The Good Women of China" - that's a fascinating and rather shocking book about modern China.

nickelcognito Sat 15-Sep-12 15:38:38

yes, i love the idea of a history topic too!

i love the history of women and of the working class.

I put a long post in a thread about pink and girly based on the history of fashion and its role in keeping women in their place. i would love a topic so we can have a proper discussion on that, without it becoming Feminist. grin

nickelcognito Sat 15-Sep-12 15:40:14

this is the thing - so many things that could be History end up being split into the other topics because there's no History topic.

Perish the thought, nickel! shock grin

Anyone more up for circa European C19th+ rather than all glory bones? Although I get stuck in to any bit of French history esp. Paris. Also history of fine art smile

KatMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 15-Sep-12 16:39:33


I'm sure MNHQ will be considering this idea carefully once they've finished all the gin.

<hides the bottle> We'll pass this on to The Powers That Be, thanks all!

LineRunner Sat 15-Sep-12 16:42:55

I'd really love to learn more about China, alcibiades. I did read about the one child policy and forced abortions, but only secondary not primary sources.

LineRunner Sat 15-Sep-12 16:45:11

Hi KatMumsnet!

Thank you for your response, which sounds really promising. As you can see, there is a lot of interest.

It might also tie in possible future MN events, eg a MN Academy, or a webchat, or a Q&A session.

Cheers! wine

David Starkey webchat? hmm....

What would be brill would be if a historian could come in and pretend to be a historical character and answer loads of Qs....or does that sound stupid? Or their ancestors or something talking about their family tree. blush

I would love a David Starkey webchat.

But possibly not for purely historical reasons.

The other would be brilliant though, quirrel.

Count me in too.

I have no-one in RL that I can talk about this stuff with. The Richard thread has been a godsend even though it has cost me a fortune on Amazon and will cost me even more grin

One of my audiobooks has Starkey narrating, his Elizabeth book, I think.

Whenever I have it on, DH will not stay in the room and can't understand how I can bear to listen to THAT voice.

I can talk history to my dad, but he knows SO MUCH MORE than me so it usually turns out to be a lecture, and I love my dad, but I don't love his lectures. Whatever the subject, he will derail it to accommodate his special subjects (Judaism....the Middle East....Sumer hmm). He is bloody clever. You'd have to be, to be able to somehow link Gertrude Stein and her ilk to ancient religious texts thousands of years old.....

NanBullen Sat 15-Sep-12 17:51:29

Oh yay! A history topic would be great! I just finished a book about Eva Peron which was fascinating. I don't know much about South American history (apart from the Horrible Histories Aztec song obv) so would love to find out if any wise mumsnetter knows more grin I now know that the Perons were well dodgy and she had fabulous clothes!


TunipTheVegemal Sat 15-Sep-12 17:53:06

QuirrelQuarrel - I'm sure Mary Wollstonecraft would do it. She's on Twitter and she is absolutely brilliant.

There are quite a few other historical figures on Twitter but mostly they just post their diaries whereas Mary W engages people in conversation. The sweetest thing ever was when she was cheering Mary Beard up once saying 'Oh, have you been called a hyena in petticoats too?'

?? I thought she was historical herself!! are there two?....

We like hyenas on mumsnet>>>> we need grin this with some ears on top

LineRunner Sat 15-Sep-12 18:15:55

An imposter!!

Ooh, anyone else nosy to know who quirrel's dad is?! grin

quirrel, Mary W must be some modern person pretending to be her - but she posts 'in character'.

I loved that bit with Mary Beard, too, very sweet.

LineRunner Sat 15-Sep-12 18:20:19

Who was that vile man who had a go at Mary Beard? A A Gill, wasn't it.

Let's get him on and take him apart, prejudice by prejudice. And get Brian Sewell to sit on him and drink all the mead and eat all the honey cakes.

Oh, he is such a tosser that man. A A Gill, I mean. He just doesn't like people.

My dad is very lovely and should be a celebrity but unfortunately he's not! He couldn't be some old famous professor, he hasn't a beard (although his eyebrows are quite feroce). He's talking about enrolling with me at my uni and doing a dissertation. I thinks he will embarrass me dreadfully. I wish he would!

Oh really? how fab! I wonder if there is an....Anais Nin somewhere. I wish my friend would do Colette. She is the exact reincarnation.

* He thinks
I am not quite a teen masochist.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Sat 15-Sep-12 18:28:55

Another vote for a history thread - yes, it would work well as history and genealogy, the two compliment each other.

Mirage Sat 15-Sep-12 19:24:56

I've only got a history O Level,but know a fair bit because of my voracious and eclectic reading habit.A history topic gets my vote.

Once upon a time, I loved history stuff too, but in the last few years that has fallen by the wayside.

I have so enjoyed reading through that thread and have been ordering and pulling out my old books to remind myself all about this period.

I'd like to add my vote for a History topic and think that slinging it in with Geneology is a fab idea.

I am reading a history book atm. Well, it was published in the 60s (I got it at Shakespeare and Co grin) and it's about "The French" as a peuple but it's mostly about French history. Tho am rather more stuck into my charity shop £1 virago omnibus atm, Weather in the Streets is the first book. I'm going to miss this town, charity shop heaven sad

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sat 15-Sep-12 20:53:15

Ooh yes. Please give us a home. <<looks appealing>>

TunipTheVegemal Sat 15-Sep-12 21:19:55

It doesn't have to be a posh home or have a proper chimney - we'll happily share it with the dumb beasts as long as there is a hole in the roof to let the smoke out.

PretzelTime Sat 15-Sep-12 21:24:24


thatlldopigthatlldo Sat 15-Sep-12 21:31:07

grin I love that.

TunipTheVegemal Sat 15-Sep-12 21:44:11

Oh yes. The replies from people who had not sussed it out are particularly amusing. grin

alcibiades Sat 15-Sep-12 22:40:40

I think I'm going to have to namechange in order to reflect the fact that I'm ancient. Back in the day, when I was a fresh(ish)-faced youngster, history was all about king'n'queens and generals'n'battles. Since I don't have a good memory for names'n'dates, I was useless at history.

But I recently got interested in history again, where there's now more focus on how people lived, back in the day. The link that thatlldo posted is a great example of that.

Anyway, I'm just bumping this thread to keep it in the forefront of TPTB at MNHQ. With offers of malmsey and sweetmeats, of course.

LineRunner Sat 15-Sep-12 22:45:52

I did a Greek and Roman City Planning course once. I kept thinking, Where did all the shit actually go?

alcibiades Sun 16-Sep-12 19:34:26

I think they did a lot of recycling - solid waste as fertiliser and liquid waste in the laundry business as a bleaching agent. I (vaguely) recall from reading about the American Civil War, that urine was collected so nitrates could be extracted and used to make gunpowder.

Now, that's an idea for a theme - "Pee and Poo Through the Ages" grin, including Joseph Bazalgette's magnificent London sewers.

NicholasTeakozy Sun 16-Sep-12 21:20:52

that one with the cool hair and clothes and the speech impediment who works for royal palaces

By that Wilf I think you mean the future Mme Teakozy, Lucy Worsley. I love the way she gets stuck. She's luffly.

LineRunner Mon 17-Sep-12 17:29:59

Pee and Poo Through the Ages sounds like exactly the kind of thing we should be doing, alcibiades. Excellent choice. smile

NanBullen Mon 17-Sep-12 19:32:08

So, have we got a history topic or wot then?

<impatient to talk about pee and poo and glamourous dictators>

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Sep-12 20:54:47

Hello. Yes, we will have a History Club topic soon. It's def on Tech's to do list.

Yay! smile

thanks thanks thanks

LineRunner Mon 17-Sep-12 20:58:43

HelenMN and TechMN Thank you so much. We promise we will be good(ish).

Have a wine

ticklemyboobsofsteel Mon 17-Sep-12 21:00:32

Thank you MNHQ! thanks smile



TunipTheVegemal Mon 17-Sep-12 21:18:22

'^Woop^'? Surely you mean 'Huzzah!'

Hazzah and Wassail!

(What's the Latin for 'ooh, yay'?)

For the king and St. George!!!

Better? grin

TunipTheVegemal Mon 17-Sep-12 21:28:04

Much better thank you grin

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Sep-12 22:37:18

Ta da!


MrsjREwing Mon 17-Sep-12 23:05:00


PretzelTime Mon 17-Sep-12 23:24:11

And there was much rejoicing.

nickelcognito Tue 18-Sep-12 12:41:10

Thank you smile

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