New Histories – Bookshelf

Volume 14.1 – Shelf
Volume 14.2 – Shelf
Volume 15 – Shelf
Volume 16 – Shelf

Far from Home: Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World and the tranquil spirit of the painting

By Rachel Yu Cheng Chan.

It has been almost two years since I left my home country to pursue my history degree here in Sheffield. Like every international student, I developed homesickness during my stay. Currently, as a third year student doing a dissertation for history, it was a surprise to me that I only have two more months left in Sheffield. Time does fly very quickly when one is concentrating on finishing their dissertation and assignments – while feeling the immense stress of completing one. I would like to say that I truly love and appreciate visual art. Of all my love for western art paintings, there is one that stuck out to me the most.  Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World is one of the enduring paintings that I would look at whenever I felt lonely or stressed out.

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Walking in their footsteps: The women who shaped the National Trust

By Hannah McCann.

‘We all want quiet. We all want beauty … we all need space.’

In this past year, the importance of nature and outside spaces has never been greater. Many turn to nature as a form of therapy, a way to unwind and relax. The National Trust has for many provided this green space, in the form of country houses, nature reserves and protected woodland. Their aim is to preserve and protect land and buildings ‘forever’. Two women were essential in helping to form the National Trust; co-founder Octavia Hill and the author and conservationist Beatrix Potter.

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Home after Home: Resting in Peace in Sheffield’s General Cemetery

By Catherine Kennedy.

Sheffield general cemetery can be accessed via Cemetery Avenue, off Ecclesall Road. These days it is adjacent to an urban thoroughfare and the Sheffield Hallam Collegiate Campus, but when it was purchased for development, the site was an ex-quarry and its location was sufficiently rural for potential customers to worry about the danger of body snatchers making off with their loved ones to the Sheffield Medical School. Today, body snatchers are a distant memory, and the avenues of the General Cemetery are a picturesque walking and picnic spot, where the peace of eternal repose can be a welcome break from busy modern life.

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John Keats and the importance of finding happiness in miserable times.

By Lewis O’Brien.

Yet did I never breathe its pure serene/ Till I heard chapman speak out loud and bold:/ Then felt I like some watcher of the skies/ When a new planet swims into his ken” – On first looking into Chapman’s Homer.

Never has John Keats’ optimism been more relevant than over the course of the pandemic. With the combination of restrictions on meeting the people that matter the most to us, unemployment and general stress on all walks of life, it’s fair to say it’s a period of our lives we can’t wait to leave behind. However, I think appreciating the stark contrast between the tragedy of Keats’ life and the beauty of his poetry can teach us not just how to cope with our current situation, but also for future similar stressful times that we may encounter. A type of self-help literature to drag us back up.

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Carl Wark: Legends in the Mist

By Robert Curtis

It’s a cold day in February. The sun that shone for much of the morning has faded, and up in the hills a thick fog descends. A harsh wind lashes your cheeks, and you can barely see a dozen paces ahead on the gravelly path that takes you onward over the Hathersage Moors. You are chasing the past out here, in a place that feels utterly remote and yet is a scant few miles out of the city. No, not chasing; the past surrounds you, but the mist keeps its secrets jealously. It’s taunting you, testing your resolve as you climb over the ridge, a small boat adrift in the endless seas of heather that roll with the tide of the wind.

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