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Gang Roundup – June 2021

How is the Covid-19 situation in your part of the world? 

I hope it is getting better. It is here in Italy. The vaccine campaign is going strong. I’m getting my first shot in two weeks from now. I’m practically the last both in my family and at my workplace, but I’m getting there!

I’ve researched the pandemic of 100 years ago, and I’m surprised and disconcerted by how much it looks like the one we are going through now. Sure, there was an unthinkable number of deaths back in 1918, but it was an experience very similar to ours in so many other respects. 

Here are some of the interesting articles I’ve come across while researching the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Patients suffering of Spanish flu lie in an influenza ward at a U.S. Army camp hospital in Aix-les-Baines, France, during World War I. PHOTOGRAPH BY CORBIS

Debunking 1918 Flu Pandemic Myths Can Help Us In The Future

Illness and death are among the things that most scare humanity, so no surprise that a pandemic is something extremely frightful. It’s also something uncontrollable. Since people don’t like uncontrollable and unexplainable things, they try to explain these mysterious facts in the way they can. But often, these explanations are wrong, and yet they survive long after the events have ended.
Here are some of the myth about the Spanish Flu. Many started going around back in 1918 but are still believed today.
I wonder what myths will remain about this Covid-19 pandemic.

Why the 1918 Spanish flu defied both memory and imagination

In memory of the Influenza pandemic, New Zealand

This is an article published in 2018 for the centenary of the Spanish Flu pandemic. It tells of how, unlike other pandemics of the far and recent past, the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918-19 had been totally erased from global conscience.
No surprise that it stroke me.
Today, the Spanish Flu isn’t forgotten anymore. 2020 has made sure of it. We see the similarities with today’s pandemic, and personally, I find them striking.
The article examines why the Spanish Flu pandemic might have been forgotten for a century, and it makes out some interesting points about why, in 2018, that pandemic had been perceived as different from all others.

First the Women Who Ran This U.K. Military Hospital Faced World War I. Then Came the 1918 Flu Pandemic

This is an extract, adapted from No Man’s Land: The Trailblazing Women Who Ran Britain’s Most Extraordinary Military Hospital During World War I by Wendy Moore, where the author recounts, in a very narrative, emotional way, the experience of the staff – mostly female – at the Endell Street Hospital in Covent Garden, central London. 

It is an eery echo of what happened only months ago. The bewilderment and the sense of powerlessness felt by the medical and nursing staff is something I remember from the news from last winter. The deaths among the doctors and nurses. It is so very close to home. 


The 1920s Channel

This is a YouTube channel completely dedicated to the 1920s. There are some awesome videos there, so go check it out!
Here are a couple of them.

Well, this is a particularly interesting one for a dieselpunk like me. This is what the inspiration for the genre often comes.

1920s Slang

Slang is probably one of the most recognisable things from the 1920s. This is because, despite very rich and characteristic, most 1920s slang didn’t survive that decade. Yet, there are a few words that we still readily recognise today, and this video is a collection of them.


Is it that time of the year again? Where schools are ending and days are getting warmer, and we know that soon we’ll have some time off of work. Well, at least this is what happens in my hemisphere.
It’s time to stuff up those to-be-read piles, guys!!!!


And here are a few new releases

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

THE CHOSEN AND THE BEAUTFIUL (Nghi Vo) Nghi Vo’s debut novel The Chosen and the Beautiful reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.

Immigrant. Socialite. Magician.

Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society—she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.

But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.

Nghi Vo’s debut novel The Chosen and the Beautiful reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.

Scandal in Babylon by Barbara Hambly

SCANDAL IN BABYLON (Barbara Hambly) This gripping first in a brand-new series from NYT-bestselling author Barbara Hambly brings the sights and sounds of Hollywood to life and is a perfect pick for fans of female-fronted historical mysteries set in the roaring twenties.

“You shall never have a penny of my money. Leave me alone or I will shoot you dead!”

1924. After six months in Hollywood, young British widow Emma Blackstone has come to love her new employer, glamourous movie-star Kitty Flint – even if her late husband’s sister is one of the worst actresses she’s ever seen. Looking after Kitty and her three adorable Pekinese dogs isn’t work Emma dreamed of, but Kitty rescued her when she was all alone in the world. Now, the worst thing academically-minded Emma has to worry about is the shocking historical inaccuracies of the films Kitty stars in.

Until, that is, Rex Festraw – Kitty’s first husband, to whom she may or may not still be married – turns up dead in her dressing room, a threatening letter seemingly from Kitty in his pocket.

Emma’s certain her flighty but kind-hearted sister-in-law has been framed. But who by? And why? From spiteful rivals to jealous boyfriends, the suspects are numerous. But as Emma investigates, she begins to untangle a deadly plot – and there’s something Kitty’s not telling her . . .

This gripping first in a brand-new series from NYT-bestselling author Barbara Hambly brings the sights and sounds of Hollywood to life and is a perfect pick for fans of female-fronted historical mysteries set in the roaring twenties.

Bright Young Things by Jane A. Adams

BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS (Jane A. Adams) When a man dumps a body on a beach in full view of onlookers, the investigation that follows throws up a number of dark twists for DCI Henry Johnstone.

When a man dumps a body on a beach in full view of onlookers, the investigation that follows throws up a number of dark twists for DCI Henry Johnstone.

January 5, 1930. On a cold, grey winter morning, a mysterious man walks along Bournemouth beach carrying a bundle in his arms. He lays it carefully on the shoreline and calmly walks away. The man has dumped a body.

The dead young woman is Faun Moran, a wildchild in her twenties wearing a sparkling cocktail gown. But Faun was supposedly killed in a car crash after leaving a party attended by other wealthy bright young things the previous autumn. So who was the young woman in the car, and where has Faun Moran been all this time?

Still recovering from the trauma of his last case, DCI Henry Johnstone returns to work to solve this baffling mystery. But as he and DS Mickey Hitchens investigate, the path to the truth is darker and twistier than they could ever have imagined.


I’ll se you next month for more 1920s related articles and – I’m sure! – more novel releases.


Gang Roundup (June 2021) Resources for history lovers interested in the Spanish Influenza pandemic. Videos covering 1920s subjects. New releases of novels set in the 1920s.

6 Comments

  • Yamini MacLean
    Posted June 3, 2021 at 11:05

    Hari Om
    Ooh, some interesting books there – and that channel looks fun! Loved the first vid… some of that stuff has happened (opening glass rooves and such like) and some, of course, still very much sci fi!!! Happy June to you JF! YAM xx

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted June 3, 2021 at 15:02

      Isn’t that video fantastic? I love video from the past that look into the future.

  • Gail M Baugniet
    Posted June 9, 2021 at 12:25

    The Covid situation is much improved here in Hawaii and we can actually go outside without masks now – but must still wear them in grocery stores and such.

    While doing genealogy research, I learned that my grandmother’s brother in the military died of the Spanish flu and did some reading about it years ago. At the time, I thought it odd that it targeted younger people. Still don’t understand why.

    Lots of fun slang words from the 20’s in the video.

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted June 11, 2021 at 09:28

      HI Gail 🙂
      The Covid situation is much better here in Italy too. We hope to lose our masks when outside next month.

      I researched the matter of the Spanish Flu hitting young people in my blog of last month abotu the flu. Apparently, it was a problem with the use of aspirin.

  • dan bravo
    Posted January 4, 2022 at 05:59

    The covid situation is much better now. During pandemic-19, I have researched some genealogy studies at Davis DNA which I found very interesting and informative from genealogist perspective.

    • Post Author
      jazzfeathers
      Posted January 11, 2022 at 09:16

      Especially lockdown, was an opportunity to learn many things, wasn’t it? Something positive out of it.
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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