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Gang Rounup – June 2020

How is it even possible that it is June already?
I don’t know whether it was the lockdown (I suspect so) but time is moving weirdly for me. It was the beginning of March and now suddenly is June, and I feel as if I’m living in a different world where everything needs to be re-establish again.
Do you feel the same way?
It is destabilising and kind of scary. But I also think it is a great opportunity to go in a new direction.
I’m trying to do my best. Let’s see where I’ll go.

In the meantime, here we are again, with the Gang Roundup. I’m still a lover of history. And I still love sharing my discoveries.

Women vote in a UK general election for the first time – December 1918

14th December 1918:  An enfranchised woman votes for the first time in the United Kingdom.  (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

These are excerpts from articles of The Guardian of December 1918, when women first voted in the United Kingdom.

I’m always fascinated by historical newspapers. In general, they sound very different from ours. They sound more visual, because – I suppose – they tried to bring the reader into the news with the same efficiency tv news do today but without the images. Articles tend to be very descriptive. But also very personal. I’ve noticed that the journalist strives to give a personal perception of the subject. It’ s almost as if he were trying to elicit a similar attitude in the reader, which is not what we expect today.

But then, this is why vintage newspapers are so interesting. They are indeed a vivid window on the past.

Mary Smith performs her duties as a knocker upper
Mary Smith performs her duties as a knocker upper

Intimate portraits reveal London’s eccentric street life of 1920s

I always love a good collection of vintage photos, especially photos of street life.
Here are photos ranging from the late 1800s to the very early 1900s, mostly focusing on jobs. Most of these jobs don’t exist anymore, and some are very unusual, like the knocker upper whose job was to shoot peas at the windows of sleeping workers and wake them in time for work. Or the record player, who went around London streets with a portable gramophone and allowed people to listen to music.
We often mourn the fact that technology is killing off many jobs, but jobs evolve all the time and where some die (and many had died out from the victoria time) others emerge.

Spanish flu: The deadliest pandemic in history

Nurses preparing masks to prevent the spread of influenza in 1918 (Image credit National Archives )
Nurses preparing masks to prevent the spread of influenza in 1918 (Image credit National Archives)

Among the different topics I researched for the AtoZ Challenge in April, one of the most fascinating and which interested me the most was the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918.
I’m fascinated, surprised and even humbled by how similar that pandemic was to the one we’re living now. Considering that one hundred years separate us from them, the similarities are remarkable, I think.
This is one of the most in-depth articles I’ve found during while researching.
I’m planning to look deeper into this matter.

The Fox Sisters and the Rap on Spiritualism

The Fox Sisters' claim to be able to communicate with the spirits was the base of the birth of Spiritualism

The history of Spiritualism is surprising. Although spiritualistic practices were not new in the mid-1800s, Spiritualism started to come together and later became a spiritual movement and a cult thanks to the life and practices of the Fox sisters.
The three sisters became very famous in their teen when they asserted and later seemed to demonstrate, that they could communicate with the spirits. Later, while a creed took form based on their experience, they performed any kind of communication with the spirit for money.
There were later repents, and vices and more repents.
It’s a very complicated, quite incredible story.

Really liked this video. It is quite essential, I mean, it doesn’t go into much detail, but it gives a vivid impression of what life in the trenches of WWI was. The life of a WWI soldier was more complex than we might think, made up of periods of service in the trenches and periods of leave being the front line.
The video mostly addresses what happened inside the trenches, war action, but also boredom, the illness, the food, the weapons and the amusement.

I had never heard of this drama before. I stumbled upon the trailer as I was looking up videos about WWI.
I’m generally not very much into dramas, but this one looks good, with a great historical setting, and a story that seems quite intimate, in spite of the war.

SPIES (Ellie Midwood) Weimar Berlin, 1927 - Having recovered from the hyperinflation, the decadent metropolis is prospering against all odds. Unbothered by the turbulent events of the previous years, Berlin plunges into an orgy of life, entirely oblivious to the dangerous signs of an upcoming catastrophe.

by Ellie Midwood

Weimar Berlin, 1927

Having recovered from the hyperinflation, the decadent metropolis is prospering against all odds. Unbothered by the turbulent events of the previous years, Berlin plunges into an orgy of life, entirely oblivious to the dangerous signs of an upcoming catastrophe.

Much like the rest of Berlin’s artistic elite, Margot von Steinhoff is too preoccupied with her work on the set of the infamous Fritz Lang, to pay attention to the dark shadow of the nationalistic threat hanging over the city. When Ernst Weniger, her former lover and now an official NKVD officer, asks for her help in aiding the German communists, she refuses at first, choosing to stay apolitical, just like Lang. However, when the new Gauleiter of Berlin, Joseph Goebbels, arrives in the city and begins his relentless campaign of harassment and misinformation, Margot realizes that staying neutral is no longer an option. Playing on the wrong side can cost her not only her career but her freedom, yet Margot has never been more certain of her choice.

Adele: The Forgotten Sister of Fred Astaire
by Nicola Cassidy

ADELE (Nicola Cassidy) Adele is a tale of talent, glamour and fame at the height of the roaring 20s.

1973: Californian journalist Ellie Morgan sets out on a mission to research the life of Adele Astaire, famed 1920s dancer and comedienne, older sister to Fred Astaire. She uncovers a wealth of material from the people who knew her.

1905: Eight-year-old Adele Austerlitz moves from her humble home in Omaha, Nebraska, with her five-year-old brother Fred, to New York to begin training at a professional stage academy. They undertake a gruelling schedule of rehearsals and touring, setting the foundations of what will be the most famous and sought-after dance partnership on 1920s Broadway.

1928: Patricia Ryan, a no-nonsense Irish girl takes a job as a housemaid at Lismore Castle in County Waterford, Ireland.

All of their lives will intersect, weaving the tale of one of the most famous women of her time – charismatic entertainer, celebrity, fashion icon, muse to artists and writers, and favourite of royalty.

More Than Catsby: 20 Books Set 100 Years Ago

Such a nice compilation of books ‘about’ the 1920s to get in the mood for our new era (Covid 19 apart).
There are fiction and non-fiction, novels from the era and novels inspired by the era. There’s a good mix of ethnicities and of topics (though women and general event seem to be prevalent in the non-fiction department).
It’s a good place to start for any reader interested int he 1920s).

14 YA Books Set in the 1920s That You Need to Read in 2020

And here’s another dedicated collection.
I am less into YA fiction than I was years ago, and I have to admit this genre often falls short for me these days. Still, it’s always good to nose around. I can’t help but doing when it’s about the 1920s.


  • Sonia Dogra
    Posted June 7, 2020 at 20:57

    Thank you! This is such a treasure.

  • Steven Malone
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 16:43

    Berries, Sarah!
    Lots of useful stuff. Thanks for posting.

    • Post Author
      Posted June 9, 2020 at 16:43

      Happy you found it useful, Steven 🙂
      What is the link you liked the most?

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