The comfort of a good dinner and a good inn, even in the 1700s

From A Tour in the Midlands by the Hon. John Byng later 5th Viscount Torrington, for June 8, 1790, in the Turks Head Public House at Castle Donington:

The [food] was excellent, the parlour clean; and my horses now gave me no trouble....In short, I felt as much happiness as is to be found alone, without communication, and apart from those we love....After supper I felt as I shou'd do, contented and sleepy; and at 10 o'clock retired to my stucco'd floor chamber, to make up the arrears of the foregoing night.

Modern has many measurements

From the wonderful Angela Thirkell's Miss Bunting novel from 1945:

Hallbury Rectory was a modern building by Hallbury standards, certainly not earlier than 1688.

Image from archive.org, where you can borrow an ecopy via https://archive.org/details/missbunting00thir -- I'm reading through the whole series in used copies and am enjoying it immensely:

Meanwhile back in contemporary time...

I've been discovering some wonderful new interests which I've been pursuing, especially in ancestral languages and writing systems...and have also been the caregiver for a dear sick person. My apologies if this isn't fresh for a while; this may be a very long process...

Speaking of those close to us, I've discovered something hilarious in my ongoing genealogical research -- a direct descent from two GODS. Haha!! Of course when one is getting to the BCEs one is venturing into myth territory!

Home color schemes, 1917

From Interior Decoration for Modern Needs, by a woman who says she was in charge of covering interior decoration in 3 different American magazines...reflecting how much more colorful some homes could be in those days than I often see today. Um, it pasted in funny, but I thought that was just interesting...


Below in brief are a dozen suggested color schemes. 

Living-Room or Library 
Brown floor covering,
Tan walls,
Sapphire blue, tan, brown and dull pink
drapery fabrics,
Sapphire blue velour cushions,
Dull pink shades trimmed with blue guimpe

or
Terra cotta floor coverings,
Linen colored walls,
Drapery and upholstery fabrics of terra cotta line colors with small areas of bright rose and yellow, 
Valances of terra cotta velour (to bring color up from floor),
Small pieces upholstered in green velvet,  
Two green cushions and one orange cushion,  
Rose and yellow shades,
Copper as accessories. 


Hall or Reception Room
Gray floor covering,
Gray walls and woodwork,

Burnt orange silk hangings,
Furniture with gray upholstery, 

with one small piece in black,
Orange and black lamp and shade, 
Clear green in two vases
or
Old blue floor covering, Old blue walls,
Black woodwork,
Black furniture,

Blue and black small striped hangings and upholstery,
Lemon yellow accessories. 

Dining-Room
Old gold floor covering,  
Old gold walls,
Old rose hangings, 
Amber colored accessories
or
Dull green-blue floor covering, 
Dull oak colored wainscoting,
Gray, brown, mulberry and green figured paper,
Mulberry gauze undercurtains,
Dull green plain overdrapes, 
Straw colored accessories. 
 
Porches and Breakfast Rooms
Light blue-green rugs,
Gray walls,
Blue-green woodwork or lattice,
Orange, yellow, gray and green upholstery
and hangings,
Blue-green wicker or iron painted furniture, 
Goldfish and blue pottery bowls as accessories
or
Mulberry tone tile floor,
Mulberry and yellow woodwork,
Mulberry and yellow painted furniture, 

Yellow, green and mulberry upholstered hangings,
Plain mulberry cushions.



Bedrooms
Rose rugs,
Gray walls,
Rose, gray, black, green and yellow hang
ings,
Hangings and covers bound with plain green taffeta,
Rose upholstery,
Gold and rose accessories

or 
Green floor covering,
White walls,
Green, yellow and white draperies,

Green upholstery,
Bright light yellow and clear green accessories. 

Guest Rooms
Black floor covering,
Ivory walls,
Green-blue taffeta curtains and bedspreads

edged with soft yellow,
Yellow gauze undercurtains,
Painted blue-green furniture,
All over-upholstered pieces in figured yellow,

blue and gray linen, 
Vermilion accessories

or
Purple floor covering,
Purple, yellow and tan walls,
Purple for hangings and upholstery,

A deeper shade of purple in some upholstery,  
Yellow accessories. 

from the same book:

(More about colors -- this time in the kitchen, of course -- over at https://favoritefoodthisweek.blogspot.com/2019/05/kitchen-decor-1917.html .) 

Going home

One last glimpse at life in India, as chronicled in your researcher's journal very near the end of my long sojourn there, as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...

We're GOING HOME! To America! After almost 14 years researching and writing here, I'm ready to get to a safe, civilized library in my country which I love even more after all these years. I'm packing an apron to dust off stuff in our home back there...

An international move is very complicated, and I'll be doing a lot of work on that. Even after arrival in America, only some work can continue before our stuff arrives there. My Sanskrit dictionary won't fit in my suitcase, let alone other books I need.

But I'll be happier, surely! I don't talk much at ALL about it here, but there is a ridiculously terribly high amount of violence here that has plagued us more and more over the years.
...and posted a week later:
Just found out that all but maybe one of my language books simply will not be able to arrive until mid-October at the earliest. So I'll be doing what I can but won't be able to get farther along in my goals on this site. But I surely have lots I can do with the zillions of journals and books available to me digitally and soon in the USA! Plus editing...

And I of course will have the pleasure of working, for the first time since we lived in New York, in a calm, clean, safe, beautiful environment!! I can barely even write this right now as I'm still in India and the smoke is so bad that I can't stop coughing, and the noise is deafening and of course totally distracting! Mind you, this is with closed windows and stone walls 2 feet thick!

Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India

A housekeeper's day circa 1893

This is from The Easiest Way in Housekeeping and Cooking Adapted to Domestic Use or Study in Classes by Helen Campbell -- about whom I must learn more. She wrote Women Wage-Earners and The Practice of Dr. Martha Scarborough! This sounds like an early home ec textbook -- I must tell my aunt who taught that! Ms. Campbell begins the book with a motto that it's best to get your work done not only well but quickly, and in Chapter IV she describes her recommended housekeeping routine -- but note I'm leaving out a couple of the grosser jobs one had to do in those days:

First, then, on rising in the morning, see that a full current of air can pass through every sleeping-room; remove all clothes from the beds, and allow them to air at least an hour....While beds and bedrooms are airing, breakfast is to be made ready, the table set, and kitchen and dining-room put in order.
The kitchen-fire must first be built. If a gas or oil stove can be used, the operations are all simpler. If not, it is always best to have dumped the grate the night before if coal is used, and to have laid the fire ready for lighting. In the morning brush off all ashes, and wipe or blacken the stove. Strong, thick gloves, and a neat box for brushes, blacking, &c., will make this a much less disagreeable operation than it sounds. Rinse out the tea-kettle, fill it with fresh water, and put over to boil. Then remove the ashes, and, if coal is used, sift them, as cinders can be burned a large part of the time where only a moderate fire is desired.
The table can be set, and the dining or sitting room swept, or merely brushed up and dusted, in the intervals of getting breakfast....
After breakfast comes the dish-washing, dreaded by all beginners, but needlessly so. With a full supply of all conveniences,—plenty of soap and sapolio, which is far better and cleaner to use than either sand or ashes; with clean, soft towels for glass and silver; a mop, the use of which not only saves the hands but enables you to have hotter water; and a full supply of coarser towels for the heavier dishes,—the work can go on swiftly....Wash glass first, paying no attention to the old saying that "hot water rots glass."...Wash silver next....If any pieces require rubbing, use a little whiting made into a paste, and put on wet. Let it dry, and then polish with a chamois-skin....China comes next—all plates having been carefully scraped, and all cups rinsed out....Put all china, silver, and glass in their places as soon as washed. Then take any tin or iron pans, wash, wipe with a dry towel, and put near the fire to dry thoroughly. A knitting-needle or skewer may be kept to dig out corners unreachable by dishcloth or towel, and if perfectly dried they will remain free from rust. The cooking-dishes, saucepans, &c., come next in order; and here the wire dish-cloth will be found useful, as it does not scratch, yet answers every purpose of a knife....Plated knives save much work. If steel ones are used, they must be polished after every meal. In washing them, see that the handles are never allowed to touch the water. Ivory discolors and cracks if wet. Bristol-brick finely powdered is the best polisher, and, mixed with a little water, can be applied with a large cork. A regular knife-board, or a small board on which you can nail three strips of wood in box form, will give you the best mode of keeping brick and cork in place....
The dish-towels are the next consideration. A set should be used but a week, and must be washed and rinsed each day....Dry them, if possible, in the open air: if not, have a rack, and stand them near the fire. On washing-days, let those that have been used a week have a thorough boiling...
If tables are stained,...a clean, coarse cloth, hot suds, and a good scrubbing-brush will simplify the operation. Wash off the table; then dip the brush in the suds, and scour with the grain of the wood. Finally wash off all soapy water, and wipe dry. To save strength, the table on which dishes are washed may be covered with kitchen oilcloth, which will merely require washing and wiping....
Leaving the kitchen in order, the bedrooms will come next. Turn the mattresses daily, and make the bed smoothly and carefully....With hot water wash out all the bowls, pitchers, &c., using separate cloths for these purposes, and never toilet towels. Dust the room, arrange every thing in place, and, if in summer, close the blinds, and darken till evening, that it may be as cool as possible.
Sweeping days for bedrooms need come but once a week, but all rooms used by many people require daily sweeping; halls, passages, and dining and sitting rooms coming under this head. Careful dusting daily will often do away with the need of frequent sweeping, which wears out carpets unnecessarily. A carpet-sweeper is a real economy, both in time and strength; but, if not obtainable, a light broom....For a thorough sweeping, remove as many articles from the room as possible, dusting each one thoroughly, and cover the larger ones which must remain with old sheets or large squares of common unbleached cotton cloth, kept for this purpose...For piano, and furniture of delicate woods generally, old silk handkerchiefs make the best dusters. For all ordinary purposes, squares of old cambric, hemmed, and washed when necessary, will be found best....If moldings and wash-boards or wainscotings are wiped off with a damp cloth, one fruitful source of dust will be avoided. For all intricate work like the legs of pianos, carved backs of furniture, &c., a pair of small bellows will be found most efficient....If oil-cloth is on halls or passages, it should be washed weekly with warm milk and water....All brass or silver-plated work about fire-place, doorknobs, or bath-room faucets, should be cleaned once a week....
The bedrooms and the necessary daily sweeping finished, a look into cellar and store-rooms is next in order...to see that...all stores are in good condition....A look into the refrigerator or meat-safe to note what is left and suggest the best use for it...and another under all sinks and into each pantry,—will prevent the accumulation of bones....
The preparation of dinner if at or near the middle of the day, and the dish-washing which follows, end the heaviest portion of the day's work; and the same order must be followed...Remember, however, that, if but one servant is kept, she can not do every thing, and that your own brain must constantly supplement her deficiencies.

Wow, I'm tired just reading about it! Though I finally understood how they dealt with dusty, grimy cities powered with coal etc.

e-typo

As chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...

Another gender, anyone?
 "the difference among anthropologists whether one was a male and the other an emale"
-- from an electronic update on an important archaeological site I was just reading...

Current time travel apparatus location: New Delhi, India

For a bit

As chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...

...I'm planning to work on some other projects for the most part, except for a few loose ends for the monster history work I want to get out of the way. This I'm planning for the next week at least, but maybe two weeks. I'm hoping to continue Sanskrit though, and maybe have some fun with French and German as well. I'm basically exhausted with 10- to 12-hour days spent with the history and think that in the long run I'll do better all around if I step back for a bit! I'll continue to work but for 8 hours only, please! and mostly on some stuff that's a bit lighter.

I just read last night a fascinating account by E.F. Benson of his writing process (in his
Book of Months), which he compared to having a disease! Haha. The account includes
The patient takes nothing except his malady quite seriously....Large quantities of what is known as "sermon-paper " should be given without stint by the nurses, and special care taken that there should be in every room where the patient can possibly desire to sit plenty of black ink and suitable pens....He may refuse to go out altogether, or play any game, and here it is a mistake on the part of the nurses to urge him to do so. He may, in fact, be entirely left to himself....Then a change for the worse comes over the patient. The irritability returns, and with it an attack, more or less severe, of...indescribable misgivings. He expresses a wish for a large and settled income....Then [there] succeeds an attack of apparent coma with regard to everything except the disease itself, which is now confluent and completely encompasses him. A series of absolutely happy days ensue, accompanied by great mental activity and enormous consumption of sermon-paper. As soon as this definitely sets in the nurses may make themselves quite happy for the time being....And then the...manuscript, such as it is, is complete—and, personally, he is completely happy for about a week. Then ensues a...period, which is at times brightened by finding that something is better than one thought, but oftener darkened by finding that something is worse than one thought.
It's nice to discover "one" is not the only one who's basically gone into a writing coma when writing completely "encompasses" you!

...I even have a playlist for remembering to stop work before passing out! It's "my Take a Break playlist”…


Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India

Oral history, oral literature

I originally wrote this not long after the much-lamented Sir Patrick "Paddy" Michael Leigh Fermor passed away in 2011...

In my leisure reading over breakfast, I was delighted and amazed to run across a mention of the much-lamented Sir Patrick Fermor. In his Travelling Heroes: Greeks and Their Myths in the Epic Age of Homer, Robin Lane Fox speaks, in his appendix on the dating of Homer, about the "memorable discussion" by J.A. Notopoulos of how "the orally composed Cretan 'epic'" had "elaborate anachronism...of the capture of the German general Kreipe by Paddy Leigh Fermor and his associates on 27 April 1944." I'm so pleased he's in an epic...

A Better Library work: preliminaries -- also writing and researching

As chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...

I've been working through my list of what I want to use at a better library, weeding out a few I no longer need, re-checking if any I still need are now digitized and accessible, and just making my overall list easier to use (like a master list I have now of every single one of the many journal subscriptions to which I need access). So far I've been happy to see that many of them are available at the University of Michigan rather than only somewhere in Germany! though I need to get much much farther along in my painstaking check before actually deciding on a library especially if it's not next door to where I would be staying anyway and would therefore entail a special trip. A couple days ago I was delighted to find a great source -- compliments of my favorite University of Cambridge! their Digital Himalaya Project with Professor Alan Macfarlane and Dr Mark Turin -- on Nepal. I'd really found too little on this whole country to call my monster work a history of lifestyles in South Asia. Yeah, it's a modern country, but I'm talking about the geographical area, which I can't mention just a few times and say I've covered it. Anyway, you can see some about their fabulous sources at http://www.digitalhimalaya.com/overview.php if you're interested.

I plan to spend a lot of today on working through some of the information for Nepal, using them where they fit in my very rough first draft, seeing where I still need more information and adding to my library list if necessary. This is probably the way I'll continue working for some time -- looking at my listed wanted sources, and if they are now available online using them right then within my already-done framework. (Of course even the framework may change some if the facts call for it.)

I've also worked with great pleasure on possible shorter works I could create now I have a very good idea of the facts available. My husband and I heard John Keay speak years ago in India, and I'll always remember this kind and intelligent man -- there with his lovely wife -- saying that yes it takes years and years of research to be ready to write, but that you can draw on that work for years and years too!

It still feels weird to be at this point! Happily weird!

Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India

Further exultation

Also from my online journal when I was doing early work on my Lifestyles in Early South Asia, a little closer to when I moved back to my country (btw, the page count after later editing -- this was a very rough first draft, remember -- went down to under 1000):


Great exultation

From my online journal as I researched my Lifestyles in Early South Asia, not that many months before moving back to my USA pre-evil-president:


el typo

As chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...

I found it funny that a typo from an 1800s book was "Wiktionary." Hmm, where have I heard something sort-of like that...

Current time travel apparatus location: New Delhi, India

A tip for you

...and a horrifying glimpse at my non-ideal life in India as I researched my Lifestyles in Early South Asia, from my journal of the time:

-- if you actually want to relax, don't study German all morning. But I enjoyed discovering, while looking for a German magazine, a fascinating new French magazine! With easy reading and lots of pictures, so that part wasn't work!


Unfortunately India was out in full swing though, with a crazy old man out in front of the house staring in the library windows whom the guard had to chase away, and a crazy woman he was too polite to chase away, who arrived at my door with the horrible remark that she was threatening to murder her nieces and nephews! The one who came with her appeared to be insane also -- she kept LICKING our door! I've done what I can to protect these kids...but of course with these experiences had trouble sleeping, and today in settling down to my almost-always-calming work. 


Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India 

Probably not something you need, let alone want, nowadays

From the 1915 Priscilla Helps for Housekeepers...Garnered from the Experience of Nearly 500 Practical Priscilla Housewives:


When my coal range needed a new back I bought a few cents' worth of asbestos cement and made a plaster of it...

A sketch from the same page for a different technology:


Hahaha!

As chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...

Kings, according to the Manasara, "should personally know everything." Can't you just see Mr. King: "Personally, I know everything."
They also "should kiss like a bee." (XLI.48-49) Ouch!

I am having SO MUCH FUN! This sort of work is why I started writing the history monster book/set of books. Such fascinating, fascinating stuff!!! 


Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India 

Thoughts on an important primary source

From my journals, when I was researching Lifestyles in Early South Asia; both writing and lifestyle notes:

Today was so pleasant and busy that it took until about 4:30 to actually notice I'm sick from a particularly frightful food-available-in-India experience. But other than that the day was wonderful! Lots of work done! [Omg, on a very personal note: I just noticed my youngest granddaughter was born exactly the same day years later, definitely a good day!]

I am really enjoying the big set of ancient writings on architecture -- he's really made a miniature library out of his gazillions of years of hard work: separate volumes of the original Sanskrit critical edition; the actual translation; a compilation of architectural thoughts from other old Indian writings; a book of modern illustrations that are the closest they could think of to the original written descriptions; and an encyclopedia (and its earlier incarnation as a dictionary) of the many technical and I think other architectural ideas in the main work. But so far I'm still in the midst of the many many introductory pages for all these works, so I'll know what I'm doing. Let's hope all this prep is worth it -- but it's fun, so that's fine! Tomorrow I plan on making more certain I'm looking at this in the right time period -- oh dear, if it's like 100 years later I will have to really really change my whole book(s) plan, because the whole idea was to include a work like this as one of my primary sources. I had accepted the translator's date, figuring he knew best, but just an hour ago I finally found his reasoning...and oh dear it does not convince me at all. Of course if it's a bit earlier, or even lots earlier, that's no problem....I'll find what much more recent scholars say... 
I was so very relieved, as reported the next day:

Whew, that date I had for that extremely major primary source is correct, so all can go as planned, as much as it ever does! Actually, I probably checked scholarly specialists for this already for that, years ago. Especially relieved because today is one of India's worst: noise, rabid dogs, insane criminals at the doorstep, basic utilities including main phone and air conditioning not working, etc.

Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India 

Radios as Decoration, 1926

I LOVE House and Garden's Second Book of Interiors, from 1926 -- and feel so lucky (and mystified) that my secondhand bookstore had the copy that Architectural Digest staff kept on hand 'way back when!

Today I enjoyed this chapter:


  

Ah, yes, isn't it a RELIEF that the horn has been dispensed with. But loudspeaker, yikes!

Of psychological disillusionment and physical explosions

Both a glimpse at life in India and my actual research of Lifestyles in Early South Asia, from hmm 2011 journals:

Finally finished a long new list of archaeological sites I made. Finally! But felt disillusioned. One of my sources I'd long regarded as Mary Poppins-esque -- practically? perfect in every way -- definitely is not. Unlike so many of my secondary sources, I thought this lady had it together, had done her homework.......until today when I finally checked her references. She'd given me a handful of the sites I wanted to check -- and lo and behold, they were MYTHICAL religious sites, spoken of in the 1700s and early 1800s as interesting literary sites, but never taken very seriously by real academics. Oh well, good to know about her (I had wondered, since the publisher of her work so often has authors with serious make-up-the-"evidence"-as-you-go-along problems). And it was good to go through such a list -- well, hers was almost completely useless, but for the great bulk of the sites to check I used the Archaeological Survey of India's newest list, which brought me somewhat at least up to date, as I hadn't checked in a year or so.

I hate being disillusioned though, and it was easier to feel frazzled after all that wild goose-chasing because a well is being dug by somebody through solid granite very close to our library and my ears are really suffering in spite of windows closed, ear protection, etc.

Hmm, and just as I was typing this up, our electrical system blew up. Twice. So I'm copying this, having turned off everything, and will post later!! Hopefully not too long from now! It's very convenient to have Mr Brilliant as a husband. Update: About 16 hours later our power is restored. And a hint for you: When in India, have a laptop with battery backup! A desktop model would have lost all unsaved data for me, because our normal TWO layers of battery backup (and FIVE layers of voltage surge and related protection) immediately turned off when this happened, but my MacBook just calmly started using its battery.

Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India

My German Day!

From 2010 studies, as described in the last post...

That was fun! That Proposed German Day did the trick! German no longer looks incredibly weird to me!

A day in the life...

A glimpse at life in India, as chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...


Unfortunately...sick, the kind when one can barely eat. Also I get terribly off-kilter when there are things like screaming strangers suddenly appearing, and ugly construction stuff being delivered nearby. (Fav quote on such things: "I'm a pretty quick fellow, as a rule, but when it comes to homicidal maniacs in the front garden, I am not ashamed to confess myself temporarily baffled" - Lord Biskerton in Wodehouse's Big Money.) Though had a highlight when spoke with someone with knowledge of Sanskrit about a particular word that was puzzling me, which really helps explain a fascinating passage. For the last half-hour of my work day I'll try to get a good start on another chapter of that epic.

...I should read more Wodehouse. And I do think I might make my Friday this week A German Day:

> Sometime today eat some packaged German food if you can, and read the label.
> See if you can wear something from your present wardrobe today that reminds you of German fashion past or present. 
> Set up your computer's desktop to have German posters, etc in the background, preferably including some grammar help in with beautiful German-language-countries' scenery and fun eg old travel posters (I found some of the latter through allposters, which is a wonderful source; I like their French posters in my kitchen, German in my library near my language books).
> Listen to a German song.
> If you want instrumental music playing in the background today, check out German composers and put them into a playlist for today.
> Do the next step in your German plan.
> Listen to some of Earworms' Rapid German, whichever volume you're at. If you can, listen to at least a whole volume today, but if you're going to be say taking a walk later today, do part now and the rest then.
>  Go over your flashcards/work on your German review system.
> Do the next step in your German plan.
> If you're tense, listen to some German relaxing instruction if you have it (I found some on iTunes by looking up Entspannung).
>   Do work with a vocabulary book or your dictionary/s.
>  If you're far enough along, try a German history (if that's your speciality too) article or similar now. If you're not, look for at least one you'd like to read in the future.
> Listen to a German song.
> Use your German review system again.
> If you're due for a walk or whatever, do it while finishing up an Earworms' Rapid German volume.
> Do the next step in your German plan. Do more steps today only if there's time and you're able to retain stuff.
> Try out a German podcast.
>   Do work with a vocabulary book or your dictionary/s.
> Try getting some of your world news today from a German site or digital magazine.
> If you're running out of time, decide which of the following you'd really love to do today.
> Read some of a German magazine if you can and want to.
> If you have any German-packaged cosmetic, or one of those cosmetics with its "instructions" in a zillion languages, read it as much as you can.
> While listening to German vocal music (maybe you can find a radio station, or if necessary loop all the songs you have), do something creative with any vocabulary or grammar you need to work on, like drawing a picture that illustrates some of it.
> Check out a German site on a hobby/interest of yours (look up its name in German to help you find one). 
> If you're far enough along and are learning to write and/or speak German, email or call a German acquaintance if you have one.
> Toward the end of your working day, check out German cooking sites and see if there's anything that you'd like to plan to make in the next week or so, and add its ingredients to your grocery list.
> If you need to eg wash dishes, listen to more of Earworms' Rapid German, or another spoken German you like.
> If you have access to one, watch a German movie tonight with English subtitles.
Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India

In better company

Thoughts as I researched my Lifestyles in Early South Asia:

Wow, and I thought I had been working a long time and having plenty of frustrations. Just read the intro to the critical edition of the monster work on ancient architecture (Manasara Silpasastra) that I'll be reading as my last primary work for my own monster history book(s). The poor guy who did this (in 1933, Prasanna Kumar Acharya) dealt with...
...the fact that this work, which he really wanted to translate, was only available in fragments, and he had to actually go out and find more manuscripts (he found about 10, in 4 different writing systems; 2 he'd heard of, in yet another writing system, were lost; this is not shabby for obscure Sanskrit works)
...He also dealt with literally thousands of Sanskrit technical terms whose definitions were not known -- so he not only studied those manuscripts and many other primary documents but traveled all over South Asia with architects and archaeologists and gathered information before making his conclusions.
...Unfortunately there are still lacunae after all this work. Of course his translation reflects when lacunae are present, when a term is not guaranteed accurate, etc.
...This all took SEVENTEEN years.
...Then someone had promised to get it published. And in those long-ago days before good communication the guy wasn't there when our guy showed up in his city. But finally someone else helped, and also offered him a professorship.
...Then somebody reviewed it. And of course claimed he could do much better and that our guy hadn't looked at archaeology, which is ridiculous. (Apparently the reviewer hadn't actually read the work.) And that somebody, very famous in his day, published his own a year or so later -- which I just got as a PDF and I'm pleased to report that he'd just strung together some pictures and added some captions. Definitely not better than our guy. He comes across as a crazy religious kook.

Current time travel apparatus location: Pondicherry, India

A better library indeed

As chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...



My work for some years has been toward being ready for "a better library." I assumed I'd have a lot of choice, and was just checking for a city I'll be visiting later this year that is reputed to have a university with a fabulous department and library specializing in my subject, for me to get a head start on some of that research. Well, I just checked on the worldcat site for specific sources I had on my long list, and found that even well-respected journals for some of my area are only available in Europe, especially Germany. Mmm, German might be more necessary than I thought! No wonder no one ever wrote what I'm writing; not only does it take years to go through (very disturbing) material, but few copies of such material seem to be extant!
Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India

Excuse me while I pass out (from happiness)

As chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...

OMG! I FINISHED THE DISGUSTING LITERATURE!!!!!!!!!!!! I still have secondary sources, and more importantly lots of archaeology and like nine humongous volumes of what all along I have thought will be my #1 most valuable primary source. But I can organize that tomorrow! Ahhhhh!!!! I have been reading like a maniac! It makes my brain feel very strange! Thank you whoever you were who taught me speed reading stuff in college! I couldn't have done it without you! Well, okay, I also found I had already read a few literally years ago and my notes were neatly filed so all I had to do was get them into my current more easily used format. Anyway, I HAD to get past those horrible disgusting gross guys! Bye-bye! I'll never visit you again except in my notes and own writing!!
........And HELLO CIVILIZATION!!
a closer view of what I could see from my windows at Cambridge:

Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India

Getting all the facts

Again from 2010 language study...

So often when I'm having trouble remembering a vocabulary word for French or German, it really helps to look it up in a better dictionary. Once I get more of the nuances of meaning I often understand the word much better. Like, I kept seeing auch used in German writings apparently to mean really, but my little list I had just said it could mean also, so I "just couldn't learn" that word. Now knowing more about it makes me much more apt to remember it.

Olde Luxury Air Travel

My husband just returned from an overseas trip to Asia to attend a wedding, and I've been thinking about air travel and would love to combine it with time travel! How beautiful it used to look. Here's an amusing article on it; I love their opener "Before inflight movies and Wi-Fi, passengers passed the time by reading books or newspapers. Or by caressing their necklaces and gazing off into the middle distance," to go with their opening picture at https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/vintage-airplane-photos-golden-jet-age/index.html . (I'm putting some about air travel food at my http://favoritefoodthisweek.blogspot.com/ .)

Watch those so-called translations

As chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...

For the first time, I ran across a book that called itself a translation of an ancient Sanskrit work but seemed suspect to me -- modern-sounding religion, modern-sounding culture, etc. Sure enough, when I unearthed an older translation and compared them, this work was a modern paraphrase, and to make it worse was an abridgment! Though even the older translation abridged a little -- but she was very open about that, listing the passages she'd omitted -- I'm quite sure because for an 1800s lady the disgusting parts were not to be publicized! (This omission explains a lot about Mr Disgustings being thought to be wonderful, though.)

A tip for you: Stick to respected publishers for your Sanskrit translations, such as university presses and Motilal Banarsidass used to be at least (now they're awfully into popular religion, maybe to keep in business). This actual abridged paraphrase that called itself a translation but was definitely not that was published by a no-name religious publisher.


Current time travel apparatus location: New Delhi, India

Sanskrit word of the day

uddhrish = to be excited with joy; to do anything with joy or pleasure; to make merry or in high spirits, rejoice, cheer
-- that's me sometimes -- as my brilliant daughter says, I'm the queen of over-excited

GET YOUR FREE VOLUME III HERE!

The third (and last!) volume of my Lifestyles in Early South Asia: A Sourcebook for Time Travelers is finally available to all time travelers!




For more information on what this volume covers, see the ad copy on the right-hand side of this computer site.

Access your own free copy through this link:   Volume III Lifestyles in Early South Asia .

Note: Parents and teachers can make sure material is appropriate for their charges in the "ratings" in the right-hand side of the computer site (so far the mobile site does not display those properly). 

Life in India

A glimpse at life in India, as chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...

Today: Whew. Lot of work on three quite different projects. Some very interesting stuff about ancient Indian music and even theater stages I must run by a musician cum actor friend AKA my brilliant son....This wide variety of work keeps up my interest but makes my mind whirl! I could just work on one a day...but I'm trying this because they're all so important to finish ASAP and I think I'd be unhappy if I felt even one were being neglected. Anyway, it'll calm down when I get through the high stacks of books I put out in an over-enthusiastic moment. And I must remember half of the mind whirling may be the doctor's office's free infection I got at a recent check-up! included free with all consultations! no extra charge!

Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India

German phrase of the day

A glimpse at life in India, as chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...


Ich kann nicht schlafen, weil es so viel Lärm gibt! (I can't sleep because there's so much noise!) (too true lately if we open our windows)

Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India

Thoughts while rewriting

Years ago. From my journal as I created Lifestyles in Early South Asia, while I was still hundreds of pages from finishing...

Patience, patience...
I've got about 500 pages left of my work with my super rough first draft. Patience is a great virtue for me here; if I hurry through, I'll just have to do the rewrite again. I can't help, though, but compare it with how I was able to edit novels in one weekend when I headed a book line -- but, yikes, the writers had done their work, I had done my work by contracting decent writers, plus the novels were like 100 pages, not 700 to begin with, and also I didn't have to keep 650 very complex pages in mind (in my work's case of earlier eras) except in novel series just to know the characters...
Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India 

GET YOUR FREE VOLUME II HERE!

The second volume of my Lifestyles in Early South Asia: A Sourcebook for Time Travelers is at last available to all time travelers!



For more information on what this volume covers, see the ad copy on the right-hand side of this computer site.

Access your own free copy through this link:  Volume II Lifestyles in Early South Asia .

Note: Parents and teachers can make sure material is appropriate for their charges in the "ratings" in the right-hand side of the computer site (so far the mobile site does not display those properly). 

Français du jour

From 2010 language studies thoughts...

From my fabulous French textbook: Sans que nous nous formions aux disciplines de la recherche, nous ne pouvons rien faire d'important....Nous ne pouvons rien faire d'intéressant sans que nous nous formions aux disciplines de la recherche....Sans que nous rédigions les résultats de nos expériences de sorte qo'on puisse les étudier,  notre travail va être inutile. (About the importance of knowing how to research, in order to do anything of importance or even of interest; and the importance of writing it up -- my word du jour -- rédiger.) 

 

A Glimpse at My Writing Life in India

A glimpse at life in India, as chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...

I for like the 2nd time in a year took my supposed-to-be-monthly day off. I finally remembered that when I don't take that day off, because I feel I'm behind or something, I end up accomplishing less because my brain is just tired or something. Though I did historiographical stuff today, as I was in the mood to read nonfiction. Unfortunately the thing that was supposed to be The Super Fun Moment of the Day Off didn't work out because the antique store I wanted to visit seems to be closed. Oh well, it always had ridiculously inflated prices anyway so I never bought anything, and apparently others caught on as well. We find lovely Indian antiques through a retired general down the street, including my cool filing cabinets -- which I always thought had to be ugly and dreadful until I met these. You can see my manuscript cabinet here, the dark rosewood one just behind my desk with the South Asian atlas and dictionaries on top of it. At the moment I'm sitting at the table with the blue lamp you can see near the window in the photo.
Current time travel apparatus location: The Round Library, Bangalore, India


My favorite-so-far Instagram

Just this morning I discovered Jesse Lauzon's witty wonderful work.


 Here's a favorite: https://www.instagram.com/p/BnQ43GYnLrC/?taken-by=jesselauzon . And a favorite bit of it:
If you collect old things (please tell me that you collect old things too) then you'll know that old books aren't that hard to find....With so much choice the difficulty is in narrowing the search. Old cookbooks, old fiction? Maybe nature or garden or style?........Please and thanks to all of the above. I've never met an old book that I didn't want and these days it's the really very old ones that I save. It's the crispy crunchy fragile ones from a time when books were treasures that I treasure now.

A fancy dinner c1889

As I posted at my https://favoritefoodthisweek.blogspot.com/2018/10/how-to-serve-meals-in-1889.html ...



I've been learning that at a nice dinner you would want to...
Keep the dining room "neither too hot nor too warm; the temperature should never exceed 60 degrees"! Brr!

You'd want salt at each place. Why? So your guests don't need to ask your servants for it, of course.

You'd have a floral centerpiece, of course, but also, at each place, a "bouquet" for each lady and a boutonniere for each man. I vaguely remember having a fancy meal in Philadelphia in the 1970s where this was still done.

You'll want a menu card at each place as well.

Also on the table:

  • a plate of radishes and/or olives
  • a plate of celery (without this and the above, it would "look like a boarding house table"!)
  • little dishes of black pepper and of red pepper
  • 2 fruit stands, 1 on each side of the floral centerpiece, with the best seasonal fruit
  • assorted cakes next to the fruit (though the fruit and cakes aren't actually eaten until late in the meal)
  • your wines, liqueurs

The glasses at each place include a green one for the sauterne and a red one for the Rhine wine, of course, plus glasses for sherry, Champagne, Latour wine, Chambertin red wine, and water (the last one is placed closest to each person's plate).

You may wonder if there's room for the rest of the food on the table. Well, probably not; M. Filippini suggests your servants hand it around and serve it, and gives detailed instructions.

Surprises and not-surprises in my language work

From 2010 studies again...

I was surprised to discover while on my nearly-month-long trip that I knew a bit more French than I thought I did. I had some French magazines and a book to read, but no dictionary, so I was forced to try to read without looking up words I didn't at first recognize. This made me pay more attention, and made me dredge my memory for vocabulary and verb endings -- and lo and behold, I could make more sense than I expected. I guess what I learned was how to skim in French, searching for as much meaning as possible. I didn't know all the words, but enough to make sense of some simple writings.

I noticed when I got home that I am actually almost halfway through my great reading-French textbook, so it's not surprising that I can read something by now without a dictionary handy. However, it's also not surprising that when I downloaded a history magazine in French a couple days ago that I found that its style was much more complex than I had been reading on my trip, and with lots of new vocabulary (unfortunately many to do with assassinations, which is not fun). I still have loads to learn! (Though would be perfectly happy to skip the gross bits, thank you.)



But I think the moral of my story today is, try to skim your foreign language at some point. You might know more than you thought you did. 

Merci Français pour votre grammaire allemande

From language study in 2010...with a link that still works!

One of the best grammar sites I've run across for German is in French!
 http://projetbabel.org/mf/

Snippet of Chapter 39

To give you a better idea of my Lifestyles in Early South Asia: A Sourcebook for Time Travelers; this is from the summarizing play in Volume II:

German ideas

As chronicled in your researcher's journal 2010 as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...



If these professors were my German professors I'd feel in very good hands, and I'd be using German immediately:
http://artsci.wustl.edu/~ger101/syllabus.html (unfortunately this no longer works...)
In contrast, texts like I tried made me feel as if a drowning person without a clue was trying to teach me how to swim. Unfortunately for me, their -- and their text's -- emphasis is on spoken Deutsch. However, I got ideas for my own "syllabus," like making sure I know the Akkusatif by a certain point, and words for government stuff soon for my speciality...
Current time travel apparatus location: Vancouver

GET YOUR FREE VOLUME I HERE!

The first volume of my Lifestyles in Early South Asia: A Sourcebook for Time Travelers is at last available to all time travelers!


For more information on what this volume covers, see the ad copy on the right-hand side of this computer site.

Access your own free copy through this link: Volume I Lifestyles in Early South Asia  .

Note: Parents and teachers can make sure material is appropriate for their charges in the "ratings" in the right-hand side of the computer site (so far the mobile site does not display those properly). 

Disgusting ancient sources

As chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...

I so loathe Mr Disgusting! He must have been the worst sort of dirty old man. As he's not even very helpful on ancient culture, I'd never read more of him, except that he's supposed to be India's #1 ancient writer. Do people actually read this stuff before they announce such a title?

Current time travel apparatus location: San Francisco

German learning woes

from 2010...

Oh dear. Complaining again. Please, teachers/textbook writers, these do NOT help me, and probably few others: guessing games (where one gets far too accustomed to wrong answers); gross overgeneralizations (like I just saw a respected textbook say that a verb is "always" in 2nd place -- of course it isn't, and thankfully I saw a good explanation in April Wilson's German grammar); words completely out of context.

What REALLY works for me, and makes me learn very quickly and happily: CAREFULLY CHOSEN words with CONTEXT via lots of reading PRACTICE, building and building on itself. (Surely spoken language would work similarly.) It makes me feel like I'm really learning something and am not in a whirlwind of unknown words. Yeah, I know you know your language, you don't have to show off; you have to allow me to read at least almost every word. I really don't mind if I have a vocabulary list of 150 words per lesson to do that; I want to read something real-ish at least, and read it well. (I need a compromise between the "This is a pencil; this is a green pencil; this is a red pencil" and the "Gobbledy gook Gobbledy gook Gobbledy gook Theonewordyou'vetaughtsofar Gobbledy gook" approaches.) It also really helps if it's laid out/DESIGNED well; I can barely see a couple cheaper German dictionaries I bought ages ago, and not much better my big one; and a book I've tried to use runs all its sentences and columns together in a weird way and it's difficult to see which goes with what -- don't tell me that a language that had such beautiful script decades ago has forgotten design, Germany is known for attractive and practical design. My French textbook does this stuff like PERFECTLY. Wish the same guy's German textbook didn't cost a gazillion dollars/euros because it's out of print and many others agree with me that he's fabulous. I'm beginning to wonder if I need a teacher's edition of some college textbook in order to teach myself.


(A lot of my woes were solved when I finally just went to Germany and found some fabulous learning sources...)

A VERY EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!

How They Lived Press is releasing my Lifestyles in Early South Asia: A Sourcebook for Time Travelers. Watch here for how to access a FREE copy!



Time traveling among my ancestors

WOW. NOW I understand why people get so caught up in researching their genealogies. Just a week or so ago I started looking at mine, because I have a couple relatives who have been telling me for years that it's interesting. I've already found a bunch of knights and a lot of castles! and 2 kings and 2 queens, omg, and most surprising to me a SAINT. That I did not expect, though I had hoped for hard-working honest people.

I am probably totally wrong, but I wonder looking at some obvious errors in judgment! (not by the saint!) in a few ancestors if that's at least a bit of the reason why I was warned against them by my respective parents, that it was some words of wisdom being handed down the generations: my dad and his dad warned against poorly designed or nonexistent wills, and an ancestor who was a shopowner in 1700s Boston had a bad will and it was contested so long that all the original inheritors died! Another ancestor, centuries earlier, helped against a king and oops lost his castles as a result, and I've always been warned to be very careful if/when one feels the moral/ethical necessity to rebel against authority.

I'm back to the 900s following one line and still have many other lines to pursue! Wouldn't it be fun if the documentation actually went back to when my Lifestyles in Ancient South Asia ends, 700?! I doubt it though, and most of my ancestors' documentation petered out long ago, even as early as the late 1800s.

Another wonder: the earliest ancestor whose documentation dies out was the one least loved of all I have heard of! He's said to have been a cruel man, and my great-grandmother left him though that was extremely frowned upon in those days. I was afraid to look at his ancestry but then thought Oh, I'd just worry he had a zillion criminals or something, and then there was NOTHING about him. Which may mean the very thing I was afraid of, but at least I don't know, which can be as in Ignorance is bliss.

But the brave great-grandmother's line is going on and on and is very interesting! Though isn't the royal line -- so far -- aren't all of us related to everybody else at some point? I did find where I share a very-great grandfather with George Washington!


a very-great grandfather's stained glass window; 
he was born in Wales, died in England 


a less-great grandmother who was a queen-consort of Sicily; 
she was not Italian, though, but French

I also got confirmation of ancestors who were Native Americans, and another brave very-ish-great grandmother who climbed a mountain carrying my also-very-ish-great grandmother and very few belongings to escape the slavery of the American South in the Civil War era! So far no ancestors "owned" humans, but of course my line is not perfect -- and of course I'm not responsible for that!

But it's a very interesting feeling -- not only is the history fascinating, but I have a weird awareness of how VERY many people are back there! plus how very connected every single person is...

PS Btw, I'm mostly using others' work so far of course since I'm just starting, though when I run across a primary document it is so very fun....And NOTE by far the best information I have found is TOTALLY FREE online -- I got very short free-trial memberships elsewhere and found extremely unreliable information that wasn't even presented in a decent way and whose websites kept crashing! I just start with a google search now and it's going ever so much more quickly and reliably...I take my own notes in MS Word, with a separate doc for each generation; I gave up on writing it down as a graphic family tree, I'd need paper far larger than my studies' floor area...

hahahahaha

As chronicled in your researcher's journal as I researched my history of early lifestyles in South Asia...


I know it's not meant to be funny, but it just keeps making me laugh: A "letter accompanied by a present" arrives for the king. The king "rises quickly and puts the present respectfully upon his head."
(I realize it's not funny because I've seen people do this touching-to-the-head respectful gesture. Also, this silly translation makes it sound like he balanced it on his head and walked around with it or something, whereas he probably just touched it to his head briefly. This is from a play from the 400s AD, Kalidasa's Malavikagnimitram.)
Current time travel apparatus location: Pondicherry, India

Some pleasant -- and filling -- time travel to TODAY in 1788

Continuing my journey via John Byng Viscount Torrington, this time from his A Trip into Sussex, 1788, of August 16 as I share this:

A long lane of ascent (whence we had fine views of the vale...) brought us into the old road at the village of Lamberhurst; where finding a desire of stop, and a strong wish for dinner, we put up at an excellent public house, the Checquers; and had instantly spread before us, in a clean sanded parlour, a cold fillet and a cold quarter....After the insolence and noise of our inn at Tunbridge, civility and quiet afforded additional pleasure. But judge of my surprise when...I had the bill to pay, our charge for the good dinner -- plus cheese, and my horse's hay and corn -- was only 3 shillings! This inspired us in our evening's way....

...From Flimwell continues a ridge...commanding rich prospects, and adorn'd by neat cottages and genteel houses....In this row...stood our inn the Queens Head, of nice aspect; nor did it deceive us, for everything was neat and comfortable. Our baggage had been brought here from Tunbridge by a footman....After tea, and after purchasing at an elegant shop a pocket comb and shoe strings, we walk'd half a mile to the green [where they watched cricket and toured a church]. It was near dusk when we return'd....In this inn has been lately built a new large room for quarterly assemblies; and, at the back of it, a neat and pleasant bowling-green...about which we walked with our conversable landlord. We supp'd on mutton chops and apple tart; and I drank somwhat more than enough of port wine to dispell a snuffling acquired by the damp [inn] room in the morning [in Tunbridge].