Sunday, May 17, 2020

Serenade of Peace and Joy: A Glimpse into the Song Dynasty

There has been a wave of interest in the Song dynasty following the popularity of "Serenade of Peaceful Joy" (清平乐). 

Set in the era of Emperor Renzong, this series has been praised for its beautiful sets and historically-accurate costumes. 

The Song dynasty lasted between 960-1279. It did not have the military prowess of its forerunners, the Han and the Tang. Its territory was limited compared to the Ming and the Qing. But it made up for what it lacked in imperial power by a vibrant cultural environment and an unrivaled taste for beauty.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Three Empresses of Emperor Qianlong

Emperor Qianlong's harem has been cast into the spotlight recently––with a hit tv show airing at the moment and another to come. Coincidentally, the same three women, namely the three empresses of Qianlong, are heavily featured in the two dramas, albeit in entirely different lights.

It occurred to me that a side-by-side comparison between Emperor's Qianlong three Empresses and King Henry VIII's first three wives could be interesting. Of course, given the largely discrepant cultures and historical factors, such a comparison is only superficial at best. Bear in mind that this post by no means suggests that the women were by any means similar in temperament, or shared the exact same motivations and life trajectories.

For a full biography of Henry VIII's first two queens, read Celine's post here.

In the following sections, I will simply refer to the empresses by their family names/more familiar titles for easier identification. (Like honestly who's gonna remember a title like Empress Xiaoxian Chengzheng Dunmu Renhui Weigong Kangshun Futian Changsheng Chun. No, I didn't make this title up.)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Historical Cooking with Mrs Crocombe

If you were an English lord or lady living in the late 19th-century in need of a cook, you'd probably want to hire Mrs Crocombe.

Image result for mrs crocombe

However, we 21-st century avocado toast-chomping and frappucino-sipping viewers can still get a peek into her cookbook via this Youtube series.

These videos are published under the English Heritage Youtube channel, a foundation that safeguards England's heritage structures, including Stonehedge and Audley End House where the Victorian Way series is filmed.

(I feel the need to insert a short personal ramble here. Having been at Cambridge for over three years I have passed Audley End numerous times on train rides to and from London. It has never occurred to me to visit the Audley End House, having heard of it only after I left England for good! Regrets abound.)

See?! I regret my youthful ignorance. 

You know that dopamine rush you get when your favourite Youtube channel releases a new video? YES. That is the feeling I get when Mrs Crocombe appears in my feed.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Four Greatest Beauties of China: Diao Chan

It has been so long since I last wrote on this blog. In this span of four years (or more), so much has changed in my personal life. I have attended and graduated from university, found a job, and found a lot of topics that interest me other than history. Yup, history is still fascinating. But I have gained a new outlook on things. Citations, for one. I noticed how my previous posts contained no citations at all. Citations are everything in university. My supervisors would flip if I were to hand in a dissertation full of allegations and with absolutely no citations at all.

But I digress. Enough about me and my personal life. Time to end the 'Four Beauties' series with Diao Chan, the only one who is purely fictional.

(On that note, a reader asked in a comment if Xi Shi is fictional. I will look into that. Anyway, a lot of Chinese history is so mixed up with myths and folklore it sometimes is hard to distinguish fact from fiction. I promise to be more careful on that point in the future, and include references and disclaimers when necessary)

Also, before I begin, a shoutout to fellow blogger and friend Hanfugirl who is the impetus behind this post. She runs a lovely blog centred around 'Hanfu', i.e. Han Chinese traditional dress, and I cannot recommend it enough! Check it out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Women in Wars of The Roses Part I: Books and Overview

Finally, I’m going back to writing about History! It has been a while since I last blogged about it.

I don’t really know how accurate my sources are but I’m purely going to write this post based on these references below and on memory. In case you don’t know, I’ve read all of these books right before I sleep and every time I’m free in Cambridge, even if it’s just for 15 minutes because reading is my sole entertainment. So writing this is just recounting my thoughts on what I’ve been reading for leisure when in UK:

Based on these references, written mostly based on memory:-

1. White Queen Series (drama) by Phillipa Gregory

2. Documentary of the 4 White Queen women figureheads also by Phillipa Gregory

3. Books by Phillipa Gregory featuring

a. Queen Elizabeth Woodville, by The White Queen

b. Jacquetta Woodville, by The Lady of The Rivers

c. Anne Neville, by The Kingmaker’s Daughter

d. Queen Elizabeth of York, by The White Princess

e. Lady Margaret Beaufort, by The Red Queen

4. YouTube videos, Wikipedia, and random sessions of getting lost in the internet

Sunday, October 13, 2013

On Hiatus

The writers have just started university. Updates here will be more sporadic. Thank you!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Europe Timeline

Disclaimer: Brief history and overview of the European Time Period, written in chronological order and in layman language. Whatever that is written below is to the best of the author's knowledge and interpretation; hence this post may be updated from time to time, with corrections and whatnot. Magnification of events-- mostly in Britain-- in a certain age is through the author's limited perspective, thus she only highlights what she deems eventful-- to her at least-- at that time. Insights into certain time periods may be written on separate posts, since dynasties and eras are magnificently intricate  and the author has no heart to discount them all. The author also acknowledges that the magnification of events are highly biased, but since the post is still under construction, magnification and addition of events will be improved over time. She may also reduce redundant information to prevent this post from becoming a bit too voluble; voluble information will be replaced with external links

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