Everard Digby’s The Art of Swimming 1587.

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lllustrations from Everard Digby’s De Arte Natandi (The Art of Swimming) published in 1587, considered the first English treatise on the practice.
Divided into two parts, the first is largely theoretical (Digby wrote in Latin, though it would be translated into English by Christopher Middleton eight years later).
The second part is concerned with practical demonstration borne out in a series of 40 beautiful woodcuts, all composed from five landscape blocks into which swimmers in various positions have been placed.
The work was hugely influential, not just providing a practical guide to staying afloat and different strokes but also in its attention to issues of safety. As the Wellcome Library blog notes: “The work is alive to the dangers of swimming outdoors:
Digby makes careful note of the safest methods of entering rivers, warning against jumping in feet first (particularly if the water has a muddy bottom to which your feet would stick) and advocating a slow and patient entry.
Swimmers are also advised to have a companion with them, to help if they get into difficulties. Digby also advises on the different kinds of water that can be swum in, advising against swimming in murky ponds (in which animals may have been washed).”
Born in 1550, Digby was an academic theologian at Cambridge University, though in 1587, the same year as his swimming treatise was published, he was expelled from his college of St John’s partly due to his habit of blowing a horn and shouting around the College grounds.
Read and See more via The Art of Swimming (1587) | The Public Domain Review.

White-tailed eagles return to UK after 240 years.

A white-tailed eagle, Britain’s largest bird of prey. Photograph: Mike Crutch/Forestry England/PA
White-tailed eagles are gracing the skies of southern Britain for the first time in 240 years after six eaglets were released on the Isle of Wight.
The huge birds, which are fitted with satellite tags, are expected to disperse along the south coast of England in a scheme backed by the environment secretary, Theresa Villiers, who welcomed the return of the “majestic” species.
It is hoped Britain’s largest bird of prey will eventually breed in the wild and mirror the success of the reintroduction scheme in Scotland.
The birds, which grow to have a wingspan of up to 8ft (2.4 metres) and are also known as sea eagles, were persecuted to extinction across Britain by the start of the 20th century.
It took several decades after chicks from Norway were returned to Scotland in the 1970s before the birds bred and expanded their range.
There are now 130 breeding pairs across Scotland, and the six young Isle of Wight birds were taken from Scotland under special licence.
“This release is a great opportunity for the Isle of Wight to expand its ecotourism market, creating wealth and jobs in the local economy,” Villiers said.
The Scottish reintroduction, which centred on the Isle of Mull, was found to have bolstered the local economy by up to £5m a year.
Source: White-tailed eagles return to southern Britain after 240 years | Environment | The Guardian

Dame Talkative’s Old Sayings, c.1842

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Dame Talkative’s Old Sayings,  for the amusement of young people; 1824?; E. Wallis, London.
A book of wonderfully illustrated rhymes which, although they appear to be for children, often veer into the world of more adult themes.
As well as a few thefts, at one point a boy threatens to beat a snail “as black as a coal”, a lady-bird’s children are said to be possibly dying in a house-fire, and Margery Daw is called a “nasty slut”.
The book seems to have been first published in 1818, with this being a later edition (a pencilled note on the inside pages indicating a date of 1824).
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[Source] Housed at: Internet Archive | From: California Digital Library
[Rights] Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights
[Rights] Download: PDF
Download Links and Options Available via Dame Talkative’s Old Sayings (ca.1824) | The Public Domain Review.

Milkmen from the past – 1870s onwards.

Do you remember when the milkman would still come through your neighborhood? I can just barely remember when I was a child from back in the 1950s.
What we didn’t know is that this is a job that people have held way back into the early 1800s.
The following images share a pictorial history of the job of the milkman and milkwoman from 1870 to the 1950s.
The photo above from around 1870 is one of the first-known photos of  milkmen.
As you see, they operated on foot and went door to door with their goods.
This astounding photo from the 1880’s captures a team of dogs that helped their family move their milk cart throughout the village. Many early milk carts were family affairs and they sold other goods as well.
Around the turn of the century, the milkman trade became a one-man show.
A man with either a dairy farm himself or a connection to a few of them would take a branded cart out each day.
This photo from around 1900 shows Mr. Alfred Denny of Victoria out with his goods for sale.
Source: 13 Photos Of Milkmen Throughout History – Dusty Old Thing

A Lesson in Brushwork by Elizabeth Yeats.

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The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired two copy books by Elizabeth Corbet Yeats (1868-1940), the sister of W.B. Yeats.
In the 1890s, Elizabeth was living in London, teaching art to children and involved with the Royal Drawing Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
The Society’s director, Thomas Robert Ablett, wrote the introduction to her 1896 edition.
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“Miss Yeats, who is the daughter of an artist and a skillful kindergarten mistress, has proved that she can make good use of the subject.
For several years her pupils’ brush work has obtained high awards at the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Drawing Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
In this volume, Miss Yeats gives her experience for the benefit of others, wisely choosing her subjects from the flowers of the field, so that any teacher may paint from the growing plants themselves, with the help of the advice freely given and the chance of comparing the results obtained by Miss Yeats”.
Read on via A Lesson in Brushwork with Elizabeth Yeats | Graphic Arts.