Category Archives: European History

23rd December 1888: The Van Gogh story everyone wants to hear…

by Donna Yamani On the night before Christmas Eve in 1888 — a cold Sunday evening in the French city of Arles — Vincent Van Gogh took the razor he kept on his small dressing table and slashed off his … Continue reading

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20th December 1699: A new ‘New Year’

by Dr Andy Willimott Peter the Great’s reign was marked by an overriding desire to enforce reform on Russia, dragging it kicking and screaming in to line with many European practices. On 20 December 1699 (according to the Julian Calendar), … Continue reading

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16th December 1631: Vesuvius erupts again

by Prof Paul Davies Everyone knows the story of Mount Vesuvius and its destruction of Pompeii (79 CE), which remained hidden from the world until its rediscovery in the eighteenth century. Far less familiar is the volcano’s later eruption of … Continue reading

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13th December 1914: Bad apples and a mishap in the kitchen

by Dr Ruth Salter [1] The second entry taken from my great-grandfather, Arthur John Pidgeon’s W/T Signal Log (see the first entry).

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3rd December 1914: Rough weather at sea and the ship’s cat

by Dr Ruth Salter [1] While many of the dates we’re looking at in this year’s December blog series mark big, noteworthy events which impacted either on the life of a notable individual, or on contemporary society – thus potentially … Continue reading

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