Molly Wunderli – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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April Fool’s Day: The Fake News Addition

April Fool’s Day is the perfect day to delve into a topic that has of late appeared in the headlines: fake news. While its current iteration may seem particularly upsetting, it may be comforting (in a way) to learn that this is not a new phenomenon and it, in fact, plagued late nineteenth century journalism. In the United States, a new brand of ‘journalism’ emerged, coined ‘yellow journalism’—the clickbait of the pre-internet era. Joseph Pulitzer, now known mostly for the

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Mothering Sunday

Whilst Mothering Sunday is now commonly combined and celebrated with the secular holiday of Mother’s Day in the United Kingdom and Ireland, its origin is religious in nature and separate from that of the American Mother’s Day. Starting in the 1700s, individuals would attend a special service on Laetare Sunday (the fourth Sunday of Lent) at their mother church (usually the church where an individual was baptised or their local parish church/closest cathedral). This activity was soon coined as going

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St Patrick’s Day through the years

In honour of St Patrick’s Day, we’ve dug into The British Newspaper Archive to find out how the day has been celebrated in different parts of the world over the last century. Interested in finding more examples of St Patrick’s Day celebrations? Register today and explore all of The British Newspaper Archive! Register for free today!  

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Shared passions in Sophie Raworth’s family

Last night, the final episode aired of this series of Who Do You Think You Are? It explored the ancestry of BBC anchor Sophie Raworth, and provided an opportunity to reflect on the discoveries of this series, particularly the passions and professions that have been shared throughout the generations of a family — oftentimes unknowingly! Sophie’s family was no exception to this pattern. Musical Motts An early discovery in last night’s episode was that Sophie has several ancestors who were involved in

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March scandals throughout history

At the dawn of a new month, let’s take a look through the newspapers at events that have occurred in the month of March throughout history. Events and stories that once shocked the world have, today, have been relegated to distant, vague recollections. Boston Massacre It would be an oversight indeed to speak of shocking and significant March events without first mentioning the Boston Massacre, which took place on 5 March 1770. This event is not without controversy depending on

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Valentine’s Day Poems

Over the course of its history and in its present-day iteration, Valentine’s Day has been a day fit for the writing and sharing of romantic verse. The union of romantic love and Valentine’s Day has been advantageous for aspiring poets, and the newspapers have been quick to publish such verse over the years to honour St Valentine’s Day. In the pages of the newspapers, you can find numerous poems celebrating Valentine’s Day. Here is a sampling. Discover more poems and

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For the Love of Valentine’s Day

As we covered in our last blog post, the traditions and opinions surrounding the celebration of Valentine’s Day have evolved and changed over the years. But as we search through three hundred years of stories in The British Newspaper Archive, we see that the day has endured as one of celebration and, occasionally, scandal. In the newspapers, we can see a long tradition of celebrating this day, but we can also observe the emergence of a certain skepticism and cynicism

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Valentine’s Day Throughout the Ages

Valentine’s Day in its present iteration is inexorably linked to both romantic love and commercialism. It inspires strong feelings, both for and against this day of chocolate boxes and heart-shaped cards. However, the day and its traditions have not been static. In performing a simple search for ‘Valentine’s Day’ on The British Newspaper Archive, you can start to see the ways in which the holiday — and its reception — have changed (and, occasionally, stayed the same) over the years.

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All in the (McKellen) family

  ‘Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more’. – William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V, Scene V These are the lines with which Sir Ian McKellen opens his episode of Who Do You Think You Are? As a septuagenarian, looking backwards to discover from whence (and from whom) he came, it is fitting that he should read these particular lines of Macbeth’s. Furthermore, they are

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Australia Day

On 26 January 1788, the First Fleet arrived in New South Wales, which saw the flag of Great Britain raised at Sydney Cove and the settlement of the first penal colony. The arrival also marked Britain’s proclamation of sovereignty over Australia’s eastern seaboard. This day has since become a national holiday in Australia: Australia Day. To mark this day, we’ve taken a look into its history and evolution. You can find articles on this historic landing of the First Fleet in

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