Martinalia

Welcome to Martinalia. An academic career generates material which for one reason or another does not get into print. There are public lectures and keynote addresses. Some are never intended for publication. Others are commissioned for projects which never get off the ground. There is material prepared for teaching, which may be useful to colleagues and students involved in similar courses. Some projects seem worth sharing with interested readers even though they remain unfinished, lacking the final polish needed for conventional academic publication. Since 2014 I have used Martinalia to publish essays and research reports. 

The term “Martinalia” was coined by my friend Jim Sturgis.  

Mountstuart church, Toor, County Waterford

The Catholic church at Mountstuart is one of the hidden secrets of County Waterford. 

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Canadian economic history in a South African context: Pietermaritzburg, 1992

In 1992, I was invited to deliver a keynote address to the annual conference of the South African Economic History Society, in which I offered an overview of Canadian economic history and sketched some South African comparisons and possible lines of enquiry.

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Lazarus Cohen: a Jewish trader in Victorian Cambridge

Lazarus Cohen was a Jewish trader in Victorian Cambridge. One of the founders of the town's synagogue in 1847, his commercial occupations conformed to pejorative stereotypes, including sale of used clothing, money-lending and pawnbroking.

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A.C. Benson in images

The personality of Arthur Christopher Benson has been conjured and evoked through many thousands of words, his own as well as those of friends and biographers. Photographs have appeared in some of the books by or about him, but usually as silent adjuncts to the creativity of the text. This brief attempt at a photographic essay approaches Benson through the visual theme.

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How the banks wooed student customers: Cambridge, 1966

A collage of advertisements by English banks bidding for student customers in 1966 illustrates how banking culture has changed over six decades.

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To Margate by steamboat in verse, 1828

In the decades following the Napoleonic Wars, Margate's tourist traffic was boosted by the introduction of steamboat services which brought visitors from London in large numbers. A jaunty piece of verse published in an Australian newspaper in 1828 captured the flavour of the excursion down the Thames.

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Building Canberra in the 1970s: Beaumont Close, Chapman

Canberra was a rapidly growing city in the nineteen-seventies. The suburb of Chapman (named after an early federal politician) was the last part of the satellite town of Weston Creek to be developed. It was evidently planned as an upmarket area, for luxury homes that would benefit from its broad views over the city. These four photographs were taken between 1974 and 1977 from roughly the same vantage point in what became Beaumont Close.

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Magdalene College Cambridge Notes: Geoffrey Blok (1933-7)

Geoffrey Blok (later Block) was a student at Magdalene College, Cambridge from 1933 to 1937. Unlike other Jewish students who were members of the College in the interwar period, his experience of Magdalene was not entirely positive. A failure in empathy on the part of a senior don perhaps underestimated the pressures upon a young man from a high-achieving family in the challenging years of the nineteen-thirties.   

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The Cambridge Arabic Prize, 1917

Although many of its constituent colleges were almost indecently well endowed, the University of Cambridge itself attracted few benefactions in the early twentieth century.

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Magdalene College Cambridge in 1964: a reminiscence in photographs

On becoming an undergraduate at Magdalene College Cambridge in October 1964, I took a number of photographs of my surroundings, supplemented by occasional snaps of College scenes during the three years in which I was in residence.

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