What I’m Reading: 02/19/2016

This is a new segment where I’ll be sharing some of the interesting articles that filter through my inbox or that I find particularly interesting online. Some of these articles will appear on the MLIH Facebook page. Others will only appear here. Here’s my round-up for today:

  1. “The Rise and Fall of the World’s Most Unlikely Pub” (via Atlas Obscura) – This pub, set high into the Peruvian Andes, served trekkers who were traveling to explore the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu until 2012. It sat at the end of a third-day hike (part of a four-day trek). Unfortunately, the Peruvian government seized control of the property due to a number of factors including raucous partying and alleged drug trafficking.
  2. “Face of Merlin carved into King Arthur’s birthplace – Tintagel Castle – but is it vandalism?” (via Western Daily Press) – A local artist carved a likeness of Merlin into the rocks near Tintagel Castle. Tintagel has long held to be the birthplace of King Arthur and also has a strong association with Merlin. Some people think this is a tourist trap and detracts from Cornwall’s history; others say that this is celebrating the legendary connection. What do you think?
  3. “How Catherine de Medici Made Gloves Laced with Poison Fashionable” (via Atlas Obscura) – The Italian Queen Catherine de Medici of France was renowned for being disliked by Protestant French. Is it possible that she poisoned her daughter’s mother-in-law, the Protestant Queen of Navarre, with perfumed gloves?
  4. “17 Medieval Snails That Perfectly Summarise Your Life” (via BuzzFeed) – BuzzFeed presents a list of 17 snails from medieval manuscripts along with some witty commentary . My particular favorite is #17: “When you finally master telekinesis and become a supreme overlord.”
  5. “Mary I: a highly impressive queen cut off in her prime” (via HistoryExtra) – Historian Anna Whitelock writes on some of the more positive qualities and achievements on Queen Mary I’s reign. The queen bears the sobriquet of “Bloody Mary” for her prosecution of Protestants, but people do forget that she was quite a good and popular queen in her own right. I think Anna provides a balanced and persuasive argument that we should reassess our thinking of this early modern queen.

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