Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Clara Grant

Clara Grant, the bundle woman of Bow, set up the Fern Street Settlement in 1907 to help poor families. Every Saturday she handed out small packages of toys to any child small enough to walk under her wooden arch made for the purpose.


The tournament was attended by the Prince of Wales and his wife, later King George V and Queen Mary.  A tarpaulin was used on centre-court for the first time.  The results below come from Wikipedia:

Men's Singles
Australia Norman Brookes def. United Kingdom Arthur Gore, 6–4, 6–2, 6–2.

 Women's Singles
United States May Sutton def. United Kingdom Dorothea Lambert-Chambers, 6–1, 6–4.

Men's Doubles
Australia Norman Brookes / New Zealand Tony Wilding def. United States Karl Behr / United States Beals Wright, 6–4, 6–4, 6–2.

Mud March

The Mud march took place on the 7th February 1907.  It was the first major march of the Suffragettes, supported by forty organisations, with 3000 women in attendance.  It gained its name from the weather of the day, "mud, mud, mud."

Brown Dog Affair

The Brown Dog Affair concerns a vivisection that took place at University College London, conducted by William Bayliss.  A group of Swedish anti-vivisectionists were present, and the result, following courtcases was a statue of a Brown Dog erected in Battersea park.  The statue became the focus for both groups, anti-vivisectionists and anti-doggers.  The anti-doggers led a march through London on December 10th, 1907.  There were clashes in Trafalgar Square between anti-doggers and suffragettes, trade unionists and police officers.

Leisa Schartau and Louise Lind-af-Hageby, Swedish anti-vivisectionists who enrolled at the London School of Medicine for Women were present at the vivisection.  Their notes suggest that Professor Starling operated on the dog to test the effects of a previous operation on his pancreas.  The dog was then given to Dr Bayliss who performed an additional operation on the dog's neck, testing its salivary glands, and finally to Mr Dale (who removed the pancreas) who killed the dog.

The notes from Schartau and af-Hageby formed the basis for The Shambles of Science, produced by the NAVS, whose secretary at the time was Stephen Coleridge.  Coleridge read out his complaint in public, forcing Bayliss to fight a libel case.  Bayliss won £2000.  This decision was supported by the Times and opposed by the Daily News.  The Daily News raised £5,735 to cover compensation, and later raised further money to pay for the Brown Dog Statue.

The Brown Dog Statue was a present from Miss Woodward, founder of the World League against Vivisection and Honorary Secretary of the International Anti-vivisection Council.  The statue was erected in Latchmere Park, Battersea, with the inscription below on it:

“In Memory of the Brown Terrier Dog Done to Death in the Laboratories of University College in February 1903 after having endured Vivisections extending over more than two months and having been handed over from one Vivisector to another till Death came to his release. Also in memory of the 232 dogs vivisected in the same place during the year 1902. Men and Women of England – How long shall these things be?”

The statue was erected on the 20th Nov 1906.  Medical students opposed the statue, and on the 20th Nov 1907 a group of up to 500 attacked the statue.  Two at leas were caught by plain clothes police, carrying crowbars and sledgehammers; they were fined £5 each.  There were further punch-ups between medical students and residents of Battersea.  On the 10th December there was a large demonstration, arranged to coincide with the Oxford/Cambridge rugby match.  The demonstrators carried effigies of the judge and representations of the dog on poles.  They tried to burn these outside Kings College London; they then dumped the effigy into the Thames.

There were scuffles at the statue and then a larger group gathered at Nelson's Column where they were charged by mounted police.  The leader was arrested.  The protest continued in the coming months, with medical students breaking in to suffragette meetings, barking like dogs and shouting "Down with the Brown Dog."

A song sung by the Brown Doggers, or anti-doggers, goes:
As we go walking after dark
We turn our steps to Latchmere Park
And there we see to our surprise
A little brown dog that stands and lies
Ha, ha, ha! Hee, hee, hee!
Little Brown Dog, do we hate thee!

The statue of the dog was above a fountain with a trough for dogs; it was removed on March 9/10 1910; there are various explanations, one is the cost of defending it.

The British Medical Journal ran articles against the Brown Dog, defending attacks on the statue, "moral duty to his college, teachers and comrades, and his strict legal duty to his king and country."

The video below shows further stills from the riots; it has clearly been adapted by the anti-vivisectionists.

A History of Pork

One starting point for the story is the title "A history of pork".  I am interested in this because of the fact that pork is such a mainstay of many diets; I have noticed it in Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Sweden and Lithuania.  I am also aware that many families raised their own pigs as a means of supplementing their diet.  The relevance then comes from a staple food that is simultaneously anathema, and of interest, it is anathema to two opposing groups, Jews and Muslims.  I was looking therefore to consider a story about how different people developed conflicting views in relation to the same thing, a narrative that could be elaborated in the context of groups immigrating into the same space.  I am thinking now that the book might be a piece of research undertaken by one of the characters.

The above is too late for the period considered, but there is something of the conflict that I suggest in the notion that the Nazis should call the Jews pigs; the sign reads "You Jewish Pigs; may your hands rot off."  Why they would choose pig I don't know; pig is a staple of the German diet and appears in just about everything, whether you want it or not.  I, for example, was served potato and mushroom soup with bits of ham; the waitress could not understand why I might object to eating such meat.

It would seem that pigs have been barred from Jewish diets for thousands of years.  A defining moment is seen in the capture of Jerusalem by King Antiochus IV Epiphanes.  The king sacrificed a pig in the temple to celebrate his victory, thus defiling the space.  When the Jews recaptured the city the began the festival of Hanukkah, Festival of Light, which bears many resemblances to Christmas, candles, presents, feasting.  Of interest naturally is once again the links between conflicting associations.  A website offering further information is available here.

Related to the History of Pork is the development of a vegetarian diet.  The following quote is new to me: 

"Our task must be to free ourselves . . . by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel Prize 1921

I am again reminded, however, of the waitress who found it difficult to comprehend that I wa a vegetarian.  Having been warned by her manager that she should tell me about the meat in the soup that she served me, she then left the soup on the table.  She seemed pleased that I had tasted it, that I might have enjoyed it and that it might indeed have served to cure me of my weakness.

There is evidence of the pigs inclusion as part of the revered dragon of the Hongshan Culture, the earliest culture of China, some 7500 years ago.  Their inclusion, along with snakes and birds suggest that they were respected for the qualities provided by their meat.  It is also shown that they were respected by the Egyptians as the picture below suggests:

They were, however, later reviled or feared, or associated with the unknown of Death and Darkness; swineherds were not allowed to marry out of their caste.  The animals were still sacrificed to Osiris and Thoth, indicating that they were prized.

Adonis, this link suggests, was birthed from a myrrh tree by a wild boar.  He was later killed by a boar whilst hunting.

Thesmophoria is a ritual from ancient Greece.  It recalls an agreement following the capture of Kore, daughter of Demeter, by Hades.  In the capture a herd of pigs also disappear.  Female worshippers of Demeter grew pigs from piglets and each year at the festival these pigs were sacrificed.  The dead pigs from the previous year were dug up and their decomposed bodies used to fertilise the ground.  Kore, in the agreement with Hades, disappeared for the winter months each year and returned in Spring.  Pigs were thus associated with death and rebirth, as with Osiris and Adonis.