Rodin and Elgin Marbles at the British Museum:
What I wanted to comment on was that last night right before I went to bed I found out that there is to be a major exhibit of Rodin sculptures at the British Museum starting in April and going through July. What is more exciting is that Rodin was inspired by the museum’s collection of marbles from the Parthenon, the Elgin Marbles, when he visited the British Museum in 1881. So there is going to be some sort of joint exhibit. I haven’t heard all the details yet. For one thing, are they going to move the Elgin Marbles to the exhibit room for special exhibitions?
This is the best exhibit I have heard about at the British Museum since at least 2013. I think that was the year of the exhibit on Pompeii at the British Museum. It is certainly the first one about the classics since then.
Have you ever seen the Elgin Marbles? When I was at the British Museum as a kid for some reason that I cannot remember we got lost and never made it past the Rosetta Stone which I remember seeing. I have been to the ruins of the Parthenon once but I have never seen the Marbles.
Cheops Books LLC publishes historical thrillers set in ancient Athens and ancient Greece as well as ancient Rome such as Helen of Troy, the Minotaur, Medea the Witch, and the upcoming novels Caesar’s Lost Legions, and Julia: A Romance.
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Rodin and “The Thinker”
British Museum Preserves American History:
Supposedly the stupid Mayor of New York City, the same one who went to Hamburg when they were having the political riots in July, has declared that New York City might well remove its statue of Christopher Columbus. That statue has been standing since 1892 in its present location. It was erected to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus sailing the ocean blue in 1492. What did Christopher Columbus do to offend the mayor? Supposedly that he was the harbinger of oppression for the native peoples of the New World. Of course that is like saying that America should never have been discovered which is really weird.
Pretty soon the British Museum will be the only place that has American artifacts and keeps them there. Earlier this year they had an exhibit of Americana and displayed some of their collection. Just as they preserve the Elgin Marbles they will have to preserve America’s history for America.
Cheops Books, LLC frequently publishes historical novels such as Inn at the Crossroads, Cherusci Plot, and Vesuvius Plot. Map Plot involves a key scene at the British Museum where Edward, Dora, T.E. Lawrence, and Leonard Woolley hide the Lawrence maps in the Rosetta Stone.
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Is This Hamlet’s Ship? A Viking Reconstruction:
A couple of years ago there was an exhibition at the British Museum on the Viking culture. I bought the book that went with the exhibit called Vikings: Life and Legend by Gareth Williams, Peter Penz, and Matthias Wemhoff. It sounded interesting. I wish I could have seen it. Too bad they don’t put the exhibitions online the way they do with the permanent collection! But at least I was able to order a copy. Little did I know then that I would be writing a novel about Hamlet, who must have been a Viking or at least a descendant of Vikings in Denmark.
Fortinbras, whether he was the king of Norway or of Sweden right across the straits from Helsingor or Elsinore, obviously had a superior naval force or he would not be attacking and invading. He had probably already killed King Hamlet, Prince Hamlet’s father, in battle. Now Fortinbras was almost certainly after Hamlet, too, and Hamlet knew it. Was he going into battle like his father or was he going to escape somehow? Either way he would obviously have to get out one of his long boats, Viking style. We have pictured here in the blog post a reconstruction of just such a Viking long boat. It is a reconstruction of Skuldelev, which must have been a famous Viking ship. It is from the British Museum exhibition.
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The British Museum In Edward Ware Thrillers:
The British Museum figures in the Edward Ware Thrillers at War Series on more than one occasion. It appears as a mysterious place, full of atmosphere and intrigue, and not as a very prim and proper and boring British institution where school kids visit on field trips. The series begins in 1914 when archaeologist Leonard Woolley is conducting a Hittite dig at Carchemish in Turkey. His assistant is a young man by the name of T.E. Lawrence. Edward Ware’s father, Sir Adolphus Ware, is an amateur archaeologist/car magnate and is helping to fund the dig. Edward first becomes enmeshed by the wiles of the spy who was later to become Helga von Wessel during this dig in 1914. She is searching for the Lawrence maps for the Kaiser.
Leonard Woolley helps Edward hide the Lawrence maps in the British Museum near the Rosetta Stone in the historical thriller Map Plot. Later still Dora and Edward return to the famed museum in the thriller Wall Street Swastika. The silent mummies and Greek statues watch them as they slink through the museum at night undetected by human eyes. It is all what helps to make the British Museum part of the Edward Ware Thriller Series.
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Chapter 12: Wall Street Swastika: Nazi Party In London:
Now that Dora, Edward, and Churchill along with the Prof had evaded the onslaught of the Nazi spies at the British Museum and at Studland Beach and had finally deposited the Lawrence maps where no one could find them for now, they could finally concentrate on Hitler. Winston invited them to stay at Chartwell for several days. At Winston’s estate in Kent they received almost hourly reports about Nazi activities in London and back in Germany itself.
The cook was serving lunch when Churchill opened a missive from one of his spies on the ground in Germany. He read it through first to himself while he was smoking a cheroot, mumbling and exclaiming. Edward leaned over his shoulder to see what was what. Dora waited in suspense to find out what strange turn was next.
“Ha! So Hitler is trying to populate the government of Thuringia with his Nazi thugs!” Churchill exclaimed. “He is trying to nominate Wilhelm Frick as the head of both ministries, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of the Interior, and the German People’s Party, the DVP, complains that the man was a man convicted of high treason for his part in the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. Good for them!”
Edward nodded, “I remember the man. We were in the streets fighting the Nazis to the last man during the Putsch,” Edward brought back an unpleasant memory. Dora had been there, too. “That man was one of the worst, the most unprincipled, bastards.”
“Does Hitler have the power to make the party accept his nominees?” Dora asked.
Winston sighed as he looked up from the letter from Germany. “Not by himself. But apparently he is lobbying industrialists in the area. And they are bringing pressure upon the heads of the German People’s Party to make Wilhelm Frick their man.”
“What exactly does Hitler want Frick to do?” Dora was puzzled.
“Frick is supposed to purge the Thuringian government of leftists and liberals and replace them with Nazi ideologues who believe in racism to the last man, including all the police and all the members of the civil service,” Edward said.
Churchill read on, practically crushing his cheroot between his teeth. “So here is something we can act upon right away!” he looked up hopefully at Edward. “The gall of the man! He is holding a fund raising event right here in London.”
“What!” Edward practically exploded.
Churchill nodded. “At the German Embassy in London. They are having a grand ball and banquet and getting English aristocrats to contribute to the Nazi cause.”
Edward rolled his eyes toward the ceiling. “I can see it now! They would be idiotic enough to do it, too. Nazism is the latest fashion in London.”
“Hitler is using this money as bribes to industrialists and party officials in Thuringia to start molding Germany to his Nazi vision.”
Edward was to appear at the ball that Saturday night. Dora was to be his guest visiting him in London. But she had to go in disguise. They could not have the newspapers reporting Mrs. Byrne to be where she was not supposed to be. After all, according to the excuse she sent to her parents and Michael, she was staying with her friend Rita Jolivet in New York to help her put her finances back together after the Crash.
Dora entered the ball on Edward’s arm. She was dressed to the hilt in the latest Elsa Shaparelli gown, but since it was a costume ball she was wearing a mask. There was a gaming table in the next room. It was presided over by that spy of spies, Herr von Wessel, Hitler’s right-hand man, and his evil wife, Frau von Wessel. Dora and Edward had encountered them many times before on other missions. They were bad news.
Frau von Wessel was dressed in a Coco Chanel original, a black dress with silver sequins that clung to her curves. She beamed with a wicked smile at the English aristocrats that she greeted by name and escorted them over to the gaming table where Herr von Wessel was presding like a Master of Ceremonies. All this occurred under the big Nazi flags that decorated the ballroom, turning the German Embassy into a kind of circus. To make things even more wicked, there was an open bar on the other side of the room with the gaming table. Drinks were on the house.
Dora and Edward split up according to plan. Edward headed for the gaming table. He pretended to be paying attention to the game, though the von Wessels were immediately on alert. What they did not watch and were not supposed to watch was Dora. She took up her position at the free bar and ordered a drink which she pretended to sip and really poured out in special container she had brought with her in her evening bag. While they were not watching her, she slipped a sleeping potion into the punch bowl. She smiled as a server immediately dipped into it and filled drinks to be taken over to the gaming table. Edward alone knew not to drink anything at the event.
Soon other gamblers were starting to nod off around Edward. Edward complained loudly that no one was taking the game seriously, and it was getting boring around here. Frau von Wessel whispered to her husband. They both frowned severely.
Edward extended his arm to Dora. She took hold of it. Smugly they both left the room resounding with snores.
“Very clever!” Herr von Wessel shouted after them. “But Hitler will answer you all too soon.”
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