78. Shrinking

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

“Chess is life in miniature. Chess is struggle, chess is battles” (Garry Kasparov). Welcome to Histories of the Unexpected where you will discover the history of things you did not know even had a history, like the history of snow or the history of leaning.

For this episode let us join the Issac Newton of historical gravity, Professor James Daybell, and the Rear Admiral of historical records,Dr Sam Willis as they take a fun-sized look at the unexpected history of shrinking.

Our two Lilliputian adventurers will take you on a teensy-weeny unexpected  journey of discovery from the Elizabethan English limner, Nicholas Hilliard’s portraits to Drake’s Jewel, the phoenix, and the cult of ‘Gloriana’, from Issac Oliver’s 12.4cm x 8.9cm ‘A Young Man Seated Under a Tree’ and the Elizabethan obsession with malady and melancholy to Sir Francis Drake’s defeat of the Spanish in Central America and international relations, and from monks illuminating manuscripts in the twelfth century to Robert Peake’s 1601 miniature ‘Eliza Triumphans’ and the politics of legs.

Sam and James will take a minute look at miniatures to discover that this unexpected history is actually all about: skill and talent, scale and visibility, portability and wearability, withdraw and isolation, recognition and manipulation, image and empire, rebirth and virginity, and morse code for legs … or coded dancing!

Listen out as Sam discovers a glove – Gadzooks says James!

“Enjoy the little things”  (Anon)

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