History Blog

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 10:30am
Book cover of Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man by John Kasson

The University of Mary Washington's 2013 Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series continues on Thursday, February 14, with a lecture on Houdini by John Kasson, author of Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man:

 Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man considers the surprisingly complex evolution in representations of the white male body in late-nineteenth-century America, during years of rapid social transformation. John F. Kasson argues that three exemplars of physical prowess - Eugen Sandow, an international vaudeville star and bodybuilder; Edgar Rice Burroughs's fictional hero Tarzan; and the great escape artist Harry Houdini - represented both an ancient ideal of manhood and a modern commodity. They each extolled self-development,self-fulfillment, and escape from the confines of civilization while at the same time reasserting its values. This liberally illustrated, persuasively argued study analyzes the thematic links among these figures and places them in their rich historical and cultural context.

Find out more about this lecture on the University of Mary Washington's web site.

All lectures in the university's Great Lives series are held at 7:30pm, in Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall, and are free and open to the public.

For more on this topic, check out these items from the library:

Houdini!:  The Career of Ehrich Weiss:  American Self-Liberator, Europe’s Eclipsing Sensation, World’s Handcuff King & Prison Breaker by Kenneth Silverman
Pulitzer winning author Silverman delivers an entertaining biography with a multitude of photographs.

Houdini:  Unlocking the Mystery directed by Michael Meadows (DVD)
Explores the life and magic of the great escape artist through his most prized possessions – the Chinese Water Torture Cell, the Milkcan, his straitjackets, handcuffs, and lockpicks.  (catalog summary)

Tue, 02/12/2013 - 10:31am
Lawrence of Arabia by Malcolm Brown

The University of Mary Washington's 2013 Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series continues on Tuessday, February 12, with a lecture on Lawrence of Arabia by Nabil Al-Tikriti.

Springing from a somewhat unorthodox and never legalized union between an Anglo-Irish petty lord and his governess, Thomas Edward Lawrence combined an elite Oxford education, wartime opportunity, and an impressive knack for self-promotion to emerge as one of the most famous characters of the Great War. Symbolic of Britain’s imperial ambitions in the Arab World, Lawrence successfully used his liberal arts education in history, archaeology, and Oriental Studies to provide key contributions to the negotiation process which shaped today’s Middle East. After the war, with the help of American journalist Lowell Thomas’ promotion efforts, Lawrence’s reputation grew steadily, until the 1962 film “Lawrence of Arabia” ensured a continuing mythical status.

Find out more about this lecture on the University of Mary Washington's web site.

All lectures in the university's Great Lives series are held at 7:30pm, in Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall, and are free and open to the public.

Find out more about Lawrence of Arabia by checking out these items from the library:

Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda
[T]he story of an epic life on a grand scale: a revealing, in-depth, and gripping biography of the extraordinary, mysterious, and dynamic Englishman whose daring exploits and romantic profile including his blond, sun-burnished good looks and flowing white robes made him an object of intense fascination, still famous the world over as "Lawrence of Arabia."  As this magisterial work demonstrates, Lawrence remains one of the most unique and fascinating figures of modern times, the arch-hero whose life is at once a triumph and a sacrifice and whose capacity to astonish still remains undimmed. (catalog summary)

Lawrence of Arabia produced by Flashback Television Ltd. for the Biography Channel (DVD)
Ride into the desert with the Briton who helped end centuries of Ottoman domination in the Arabian peninsula.  (catalog summary)

Mon, 02/04/2013 - 1:26pm
Brigham Young, Pioneer Prophet

The University of Mary Washington's 2013 Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series continues on Thursday, February 7, with a lecture on Brigham Young by John Turner author of Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet:

Brigham Young at age forty lived in western Illinois, was a faithful disciple of the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, and had but one wife. He was known for his spiritual fire, collegial leadership, and tireless missionary service. Within ten years, much had changed. By then, Young had led thousands of religious refugees to the Salt Lake Valley, stood at the head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was the governor of the newly created Utah Territory, and had been sealed in marriage to fifty-five wives. Young, moreover, had become a very different sort of leader: hyper-sensitive to criticism, vigilant against potential rivals within the church, and violent in his rhetorical responses to everything from criminality to U.S. interference in Utah affairs. In his talk, John Turner will follow Brigham Young from Illinois to Utah, explaining how that transition affected both Young’s personality and the place of his church within American society.

Find out more about this lecture on Mary Washington's web site.
 
All lectures in the university's Great Lives series are held at 7:30pm, in Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall, and are free and open to the public.
 
Wed, 01/30/2013 - 4:17pm
Remembering George Van Sant

George Van Sant was well known in the area for his outstanding public service in the Marine Corps, at Mary Washington College, and in local politics.  To many of us, however, he was best known as an advocate for the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 6:18am
The Founding Foodies: How Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin Revolutionized Ame

The Founding Foodies, by Dave DeWitt, is an easy-going chat on matters historic and gastronomic in the Old Dominion and beyond. DeWitt dismisses some food writers’ contentions that colonial food was poor stuff.  Having attended Mr. Jefferson’s university and being thus familiar with the third president’s many accomplishments, he knew that this common opinion was surely an overgeneralization.  Jefferson, as well as Washington and Franklin, were trend-setters—learned men who easily absorbed and promulgated cultured styles of fashion, philosophy, architecture, and, yes, food, derived European trends, especially their French allies.

Besides these Founding Fathers’ culinary preferences, DeWitt also looks at curious historical periods of Virginia history where food, or lack of same, played a noteworthy role.  At Jamestown, the horrors of spoiled ships’ rations and the colonists’ inexperience with hunting and fishing made them very dependent on the native tribes’ shared knowledge. They did learn to hunt and fish which was well since the supply ship was delayed, nearly resulting in John Smith being hanged.  Desperate to turn a profit in the days before tobacco, the settlers took up fishing on a grand scale—thousands of pounds of salted cod to England and dried fish to Spain.

Mon, 01/28/2013 - 3:30am
Cleopatra: A Biography by Duane W. Roller

The University of Mary Washington's 2013 Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series continues on Tuesday, January 29, with a lecture on Cleopatra by Duane W. Roller author of Cleopatra: A Biography:

Few personalities from classical antiquity are more famous-yet more poorly understood-than Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt. In the centuries since her death in 30 BC, she has been endlessly portrayed in the arts and popular culture, from Shakespearean tragedy to paintings, opera, and movies. Despite the queen's enduring celebrity, however, many have dismissed her as a mere seductress. In this major new biography, Duane Roller reveals that Cleopatra was in fact a learned and visionary leader whose overarching goal was always the preservation of her dynasty and kingdom. Roller's authoritative account is the first to be based solely on primary materials from the Greco-Roman period: literary sources, Egyptian documents (Cleopatra's own writings), and representations in art and coinage produced while she was alive. His compelling portrait of the queen illuminates her prowess as a royal administrator who managed a large and diverse kingdom extending from Asia Minor to the interior of Egypt, as a naval commander who led her own fleet in battle, and as a scholar and supporter of the arts. Even her love affairs with Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius-the source of her reputation as a supreme seductress who drove men to their doom-were carefully crafted state policies: she chose these partners to insure the procreation of successors who would be worthy of her distinguished dynasty.

Find out more about this lecture on Mary Washington's web site.

All lectures in the university's Great Lives series are held at 7:30pm, in Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall, and are free and open to the public.

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 7:57pm
Julius Caesar by Philip Freeman

The University of Mary Washington's 2013 Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series begins Thursday, January 24, 7:30pm, with a lecture on Julius Caesar by Philip Freeman, author of Julius Caesar:

More than two thousand years after his death, Julius Caesar remains one of the great figures of history. He shaped Rome for generations, and his name became a synonym for "emperor" -- not only in Rome but as far away as Germany and Russia. He is best known as the general who defeated the Gauls and doubled the size of Rome's territories. But, as Philip Freeman describes in this fascinating new biography, Caesar was also a brilliant orator, an accomplished writer, a skilled politician, and much more. Julius Caesar was a complex man, both hero and villain. 

Find out more about this lecture on Mary Washington's web site.

All lectures in the university's Great Lives series are held in Dodd Auditorium in George Washington Hall, and are free and open to the public.

Fri, 01/04/2013 - 4:07pm

Do you long for a library catalog with more robust searching options, social networking, and reading recommendations? Are you a fan of Amazon or Goodreads? If so, we think you will love the new catalog that we will be unveiling soon. Check back here on Monday for more details and the link to try it out. We can’t wait until you experience the CRRL’s new way to connect with the library.

Sun, 11/25/2012 - 3:31am
What's New in the Catalog

Like to see the newest additions to the CRRL collection? How about seeing them right on your phone? Now you can with the CRRL mobile app!

First, you need CRRL's mobile app installed on your phone or tablet. It is available for download from your phone's app store, or you can use your phone's Web browser to go to http://crrl.boopsie.com for the download and more information.

Once the CRRL mobile app is installed, open the app and select "What's New in the Catalog." You have a choice of All, Top Choices, DVDs, Teen and Children's Books. Select one of these, and you'll see what's new this week in the category. Click on a title to put it on hold, right from your phone. Easy!

You can get the same information by email by signing up for Wowbrary's weekly email newsletter.

Don't have a phone? No problem. You can also use our mobile app in a Web browser: http://crrl.boopsie.com/m/

Sun, 11/18/2012 - 2:53pm
CRRL Hosts Civil War 150 Exhibition

The Central Rappahannock Regional Library will host Civil War 150, a national traveling exhibition, on display at the library headquarters, 1201 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, from Tuesday, November 27 to Sunday, December 16.

The library is inviting the public to an opening reception, Friday, November 30,  at 5:30. National Park Service Chief Historian John Hennessy will briefly address the themes of the exhibit.

As part of the area’s ongoing commemoration of the war’s sesquicentennial, the library invites the community to view this major exhibit that explores “the war and its meaning through the words of those who lived it," to experience the battle through the eyes of major political figures, soldiers, families, and freedmen. Through reproductions of documents, photographs, and posters, the exhibition invites visitors to learn about events that took place during the war. By virtue of letters, personal accounts, and images, learn how people grappled with the end of slavery, the nature of democracy and citizenship, the human toll of civil war, and the role of a president in wartime.

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