Fancy searching for treasure?!

In his latest historical non-fiction volume of Notes & Queries David EP Dennis explores a whole range of facts, myths and legends to fascinate and intrigue. Here’s a taster of what you can expect…

In the sixth century British monk Gildas – now thought to have been Scottish, gathered up snippets of history and formed them into his work: De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae (On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain).

Around 830 CE the Welsh monk Nennius collected scraps of history and legend, collating them into a collection now known as Historia Brittonum.

Much later, Sir Isaac Newton collected his thoughts about gravity, explaining:

‘I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.’

This British tradition of assembling what seems curious and interesting is good – and it is one that I share. A giant on whose shoulders I now stand is WJ Thoms. His fascinating Notes & Queries was first published in 1849 as a weekly periodical academic correspondence magazine, in which people could exchange knowledge on folklore, literature and history.

Wikipedia says:‘The magazine has been likened to a nineteenth-century version of a moderated Internet newsgroup.’

The Notes & Queries concept was copied by The Guardian newspaper in 1989 in its weekly column of the same name.

The idea is sound. We find our shiny pebble; we study it, play with it, and this usually leads to some other fact or clue. Away we go, through the wonderful gardens of knowledge, myth, and legend.

The Cade Rebellion 1450

Published by Isabella Muir

Isabella is passionate about exploring family life from the 1930s through to the 1960s and beyond. She has published six Sussex Crime mystery novels set during the 1960s and 1970s, a standalone novel dealing with the child migrant policy of the 1950s and 60s, several novellas set during the Second World War, and two short story collections. All available in paperback from your local bookshops, or online as ebooks. Her novels are also available as audiobooks, and have been translated into Italian.

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