The world as seen through the clarifying lens of the 9th Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1875-1889).

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

23. (i) The Chillingham Bull, the Turtle and the Bat

According to the Ninth is a realm where nothing is fixed, so I hope that readers will bear with me through this current stage of outlandish experimentation. You may notice that the charmingly quaint Morris-like background template (known to Blogger as Scribe) has been dropped in favour of one starker and simpler. The reasons behind this change are

1. I couldn't help but notice that every blog of vaguely nineteenth century material uses the exact same template.

2. The blockquote function in that format prints in italics, which interferes with following EB9's use of italics to denote book titles. As you will appreciate, this is deeply irksome.

3. Rare occasions allow me a few minutes of spare time from my employment to enter Interwebshire, and on those occasions the processors of the steam-driven Babbage engines at my place of work struggle to load and scroll such frivolous embellishments.

The final point has also been an excuse for keeping this site image free, however the wonder that is Freecycle has today seduced me with a flatbed scanner, and the accompanying hours of mounting frustration as the thing hums, whirrs and pauses ominously, whilst a black mess on the screen may or may not look slightly more promising than the last three dozen attempts.

There is more to Encyclopaedia Britannica than its sublime text. There are maps, beautiful engravings, and fascinating tables of all sorts of data. I owe it to the greater glory of the Ninth Edition to persevere with this new-fangled and unaccustomed technology, and I hope that this will ultimately benefit patient and loyal Accordingianists everywhere. As a foretaste, from the article FLIGHT, FLYING MACHINES, by Prof J. B. Pettigrew, I give you a most edifying set of figures, illustrating creatures that can (1) not fly, (2) sort of fly (i.e. swim) and (3) fly. Remarkable, as I'm sure you will agree.


Frank Key said...

Your tussles with the flatbed scanner will be worthwhile, if the bull, the turtle and the bat are anything to go by. Do persevere.

Meanwhile, I think I may have to steal your coinage "Interwebshire", if I may.

John Barleycorn said...

I have of course set the bar impossibly high with this particular choice of illustration.

As for Interwebshire, I would be deeply honoured to see it stolen, and spread like an illness.