Martinalia

Welcome to Martinalia. An academic career generates material which for one reason or another does not get into print. There are public lectures and keynote addresses. Some are never intended for publication. Others are commissioned for projects which never get off the ground. There is material prepared for teaching, which may be useful to colleagues and students involved in similar courses. Some projects seem worth sharing with interested readers even though they remain unfinished, lacking the final polish needed for conventional academic publication. Since 2014 I have used Martinalia to publish essays and research reports. 

The term “Martinalia” was coined by my friend Jim Sturgis.  

The concept of Natal history: a useful tool for exploring South Africa's past? (1994)

In 1994, I published a review article, "Identity and Interaction: a defence of Natal history" in the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History.This argued that the concept of Natal history could offer a useful framework in which to group together and study the interaction of peoples in a region of south-eastern Africa roughly (and I stress the adverb) bounded by the Swazi and the Portuguese to the north, the Xhosa to the south-west and the Sotho and the Boers in the interior.

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Identity and Interaction: a defence of Natal history

"Identity and Interaction: a Defence of Natal History", published in the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, xxii (1994), 317-31, is now (2024) edited with an Introduction as "The concept of Natal history: a useful tool for exploring South Africa's past?":
https://www.gedmartin.net/martinalia-mainmenu-3/410-concept-natal-history.

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An interview with Edgar Harry Brookes, 1976

In December 1976, I enjoyed the privilege and the pleasure of an interview with one of South Africa's most senior liberal intellectuals, Dr Edgar Brookes. 

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Magdalene College Cambridge Notes: the Palestine connection

In the last years of British rule, two members of Magdalene College contributed to policy-making about the future of Palestine.

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Lord Bury's civilization scorecard for Canada's First Nations, 1855

In December 1855, the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs in the Province of Canada (from 1867, Ontario and Quebec), published an index of civilization among the aboriginal communities under his charge, awarding them marks on a scale from 0 to 15.

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Archival evidence and John A. Macdonald biography

In 2007, I was invited to contribute to the first issue of the Journal of Historical Biography, founded by Dr Barbara J. Messamore and based at what would soon become the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia. As I was then preparing to write about the career of John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister, I took the opportunity to discuss issues relating to the surviving source materials about his career.

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Two Canberra historians: W.K. Hancock and C.M.H. Clark

The years 2010 and 2011 saw the publication of two outstanding biographies of notable Australian historians, by Jim Davidson on W.K. Hancock and Mark McKenna on C.M.H. Clark.

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Magdalene College Cambridge and British Jewry

The essay examines the role of Magdalene College Cambridge, mostly through some of its prominent members, in the recognition of Britain's Jewish community, from their return to England in the sixteen-fifties, through the intermittent campaigns for the concession of civil and educational rights during the following two centuries. The careers of some of the College's Jewish members from the mid-nineteenth century and into the twentieth century are surveyed in the second half of the study, to give some flavour of individuals and, more generally, to indicate that their experiences of Magdalene seem to have been much the same as those of their non-Jewish contemporaries.

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Magdalene College Cambridge Notes: Tedder, Leigh-Mallory and D-Day

On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the Allied air forces that assaulted Normandy were under the joint command of Arthur Tedder and Trafford Leigh-Mallory. By strange coincidence, the two had been contemporaries at the same small Cambridge college.

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Anglican contempt for Essex Quakers: Canewdon, c. 1667

The deaths in quick succession of four active Quakers in the Essex village of Canewdon around the year 1667 were celebrated with some uncharitable verse in the parish register.

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