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Archive for May, 2010

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The end of the Boer War

Posted in Adventure, Anniversary, Famous battles on Friday, 21 May 2010

A skirmish during the Boer War

A skirmish during the Boer War

Today marks the anniversary of the end of the Second Boer War. On 31 May 1902, the Treaty of Vereeniging was signed by Lord Milner and Field Marshal Kitchener on behalf of the United Kingdom and representatives of the South African Republic (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State. The peace treaty brought an end to the long-running war between Dutch settlers, driven from areas of South Africa, and the British.

Winston Churchill escapes from the Boers

Winston Churchill escapes from the Boers

More illustrations relating to the Boer Wars can be found here, including pictures of Winston Churchill‘s escape from the Boers as seen above, and The Great Trek of Dutch settlers which preceded the war.

Big Ben: time… but no chime

Posted in Anniversary, Architecture, History on Friday, 21 May 2010

Big Ben

The Clock Tower containing Big Ben

The clock in the famous Clock Tower at the Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament,  began ticking on 31 May 1859 but the great bell known as Big Ben was not yet in place as it had cracked during its journey to the tower. A second bell was cast which first chimed in July 1859.

Celebrate the anniversary of the Charles Barry-designed tower with a visit to our picture gallery which contains many different views of the Tower.

The Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament

There are also many illustrations featuring the Houses of Parliament, which can be seen in the picture above by Peter Jackson.

Joan of Arc is burnt at the stake

Posted in Anniversary, Famous battles, History on Thursday, 20 May 2010

Joan of Arc leads her troops against the English

Joan of Arc leads her troops against the English

Although born a peasant girl in Doremy, Joan d’Arc became a national heroine of France when she led the French army to victory against the British at the Siege of Orleans during the Hundred Years War. Joan was later captured, tried for heresy, and burnt at the state in Rouen on 30 May 1431.

The anniversary of her death is celebrated as a feast day in France in her honour.

Portraits and pictures from the life of Joan of Arc can be found at the following link. In addition, illustrations relating to the Hundred Years War can be found here.

First ever Indianapolis 500

Posted in Anniversary, Sport on Thursday, 20 May 2010

Graham Hill narrowly escapes disaster

Graham Hill narrowly escapes disaster

The first ever Indianapolis 500-Mile Race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Memorial Day, 30 May 1911. The endurance race was dominated by American drivers and cars for many years, but was won by Scotsman Jim Clark in 1965 and English driver Graham Hill in 1966. Hill narrowly escaped a pile-up at the start of the race which wrecked 11 vehicles, as can be seen in the illustration above by Graham Coton.

Although the 2010 Memorial Weekend race marks the 99th anniversary, it is only the 94th race due to interruptions during the First and Second World Wars.

More pictures of the Indianapolis 500 can be found here. Follow this link for more motor racing illustrations and this link for more artwork by Graham Coton.

Birthday of King Charles II

Posted in Anniversary, History, Royalty on Wednesday, 19 May 2010

King Charles II

King Charles II, illustration by Ken Petts

King Charles II had more than one reason to celebrate on 29 May. As well as being his birthday (he was born in 1630), 29 May is also the anniversary of his restoration to the throne following the death of Oliver Cromwell. During his lifetime he saw two English civil wars, the Great Plague, the Great Fire of London and 29 May was celebrated for many years as Oak Apple Day, recalling the Royal Oak in which Charles hid to escape Cromwell in 1651.

King Charles II and the Great Fire of London

King Charles II and the Great Fire of London, illustrated by C. L. Doughty

More illustrations relating to the reign of King Charles II can be found here.

Follow the links for many more pictures by artists Ken Petts and C. L. Doughty.

Sir Edmund Hillary conquers Everest

Posted in Adventure, Anniversary, Exploration, History, Travel on Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Hillary and Tensing on the summit of Mount Everest

Hillary and Tensing on the summit of Mount Everest

29 May is the anniversary of the conquest of Everest. In 1953, as part of a British expedition led by John Hunt, Edmund Hillary and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay, more commonly known as Sherpa Tenzing (or Tensing), reached the summit for the first time.

More pictures from this epic climb can be found here. Other mountain expeditions and exploits, some serious and some more humorous as in the example below, can be explored by following this link.

Town Mouse and Country Mouse

Mountain climbing with Katie Country Mouse

More illustrations by Philip Mendoza here.

The Spanish Armada sails for England

Posted in Anniversary, Famous battles, History on Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Fireships scatter the Spanish Armada

Fireships scatter the Spanish Armada

28 May marks the anniversary of the Spanish Armada setting sail for England in 1588. 130 ships, including 22 warships sailed from Lisbon intending to cross the English Channel and take London. The Armada was anchored off Calais when the British sent eight fireships into their midst. Attacked again at Gravelines, the remaining ships fled north, sailing around Scotland and Ireland to escape the British fleet. Only 67 ships returned to Spain.

Many more pictures of the Spanish Armada, Elizabeth I and Sir Francis Drake can be found at the following link, as can a great many illustrations by James E. McConnell, artist of the above image.

Sir Francis Chichester’s voyage

Posted in Adventure, Anniversary, History, Travel on Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Sir Francis Chichester

Sir Francis Chichester

28 May is the anniversary of Sir Francis Chichester’s epic circumnavigation of the globe. In 1966-67, Chichester sailed single-handed around the world, the nine month and one day voyage ending in Plymouth. Chichester and his yacht, Gypsy Moth, had made only one stop – in Sydney, Australia – during the trip.

Gypsy Moth

Gypsy Moth, Chichester’s famous yacht

More pictures of Sir Francis Chichester and his epic journey can be found at this link. Many more illustrations by artist Wilf Hardy can be seen by clicking here.

Birthday of Ian Fleming

Posted in Adventure, Anniversary, Literature on Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Live and Let Die

Live and Let Die

On 28 May 1908, Ian Lancaster Fleming was born in Mayfair, London. After a career in Naval Intelligence and as a journalist, Fleming created James Bond, of the British secret service, known as 007. Fleming wrote 12 novels and two collections of shorter stories featuring Bond before his death in 1964.

Fleming was not limited to writing about Bond. His books also included non-fiction and the children’s novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, pictured below.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang above Neushwanstein in the Bavarian Alps

More examples of James Bond covers can be found here. Artists Rex Archer and Dan Escott are also represented with many more pictures in the Look and Learn picture library.

Golden Gate Bridge opens

Posted in Anniversary, Architecture on Monday, 17 May 2010

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge

Today is the anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge which crosses the San Francisco Bay and connects the city of San Francisco with Marin County. At the time it opened on 27 May 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Bridges from all eras of history, everything from London Bridge and Tower Bridge (illustrated below by John S. Smith) to disasters involving bridges, can be found in the Look and Learn picture gallery.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge seen from London’s docklands