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.  

'Our Lady of the Snows': the Canadian context and reactions to Kipling's poem of 1897

In April 1897, Rudyard Kipling published 'Our Lady of the Snows', a poem of six verses, written over a weekend in response to the announcement by the Canadian government of a reduction in tariffs on imports from Britain.[1] Although dating from almost the same time as his most enduring poems, 'If' and 'Recessional', 'Our Lady of the Snows' did not secure the same enduring place in popular esteem, not least because Canadians disliked the clichéd association of their country with winter. However, Kipling was a great phrase-maker, and this poem became memorable if only for his influential summary of Canada's relationship with Britain: "Daughter am I in my mother's house / But mistress in my own."

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Why we say West HAM, and not West'um

This article was contributed to the Newham Recorder in July 2020. It argues that the pronunciation of West HAM (not West'um) reflects the continuing influence of an Anglo-Saxon four-letter word. 

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A tribute to East Ham

In 1965, East Ham became part of a London Borough with the invented name of Newham. It is generally overshadowed by its better-known neighbour and partner, West Ham. This light-hearted invocation of its history and identity was written for the Newham Recorder during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown.

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Coronavirus: the 1914 comparison

This brief comparison between the 2020 pandemic and the outbreak of War in 1914 originated in a letter to a newspaper (which did not publish it). It is published here in case others wish to carry the argument further.

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Maryland: an American place-name in east London?

The east London district of Maryland is probably best known for its station on the Liverpool Street suburban railway line.[1] It has been assumed that it owes its name to Maryland in the USA. This note offers an alternative explanation. 

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Street-surfing in Victorian and Edwardian Havering

This note is based on two Heritage columns published by the Romford Recorder on 14 and 21 August 2020. As part of the general call for holidays-at-home during the Covid-19 crisis, it outlines ways of exploring Havering's past through its architectural legacy.

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The Cambridge fever: the closure of Cambridge University during the Easter Term of 1815

During the Easter Term (April and May) 1815, the University of Cambridge effectively closed down as an undergraduate institution, in response to a local epidemic, loosely referred to as the "Cambridge fever". This essay explores the course of the outbreak, and examines the decision-making processes through which the University determined its responses. Reference is made to later health crises, such as the outbreak of typhoid at Gonville and Caius College in 1873. Some parallels are suggested with the challenge of 2020.

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Whatever happened to Chadwell Street? Notes on the history of an Ilford high road settlement

This study explores the history of Chadwell Street (sometimes simply Chadwell), a community alongside the Essex high road near Ilford in Essex. 

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Lockdown in Havering: exploring old maps and photographs online

This slightly edited version of a guide to online maps and old images formed two Heritage columns published in the Romford Recorder on 3 and 17 April 2020.

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Canadian history on

 This is a list with outline information of Canadian history and Canadian Studies articles, chapters and essays by Ged Martin on, as of February 2020. The material available here represents a selection of research and comment, both published and (more recently) written for the website. 

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