Who is Who?

Waterblogged's Who is Who...

...is occasioned by Mr Anglo-Saxonist finding out that in the US Anglo-Saxonist apparently doesn't merely mean a scholar interested in the Anglo-Saxon period of history but also refers to some sort of a white supremacist. (Do I need to spell out that we categorically refute this latter meaning?)

Blog Characters (aka My Family)

Mr Anglo-Saxonist

 – a scholar who is a specialist in Anglo-Saxon history and culture
(Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

My husband isn’t an actual scholar (he’s got a life); but he’s a bit obsessed by the Anglo-Saxons. Like J. R. R. Tolkien was.

Sophisticated Young Lady

My elder daughter.

Young / Moody / Teenage / Whatever Might Come Next Friend of the Elephants

And my younger daughter. 🙂

Neither of whom will I write more details about here as they're entitled to their privacy!
And of course the ubiquitous… Woman in the Bath

That would be myself.

Obscure Authors

Anonymous [Photo by Alex Proimos via Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0]
I'm not going to make a full list of all the authors I've ever mentioned (you've got to be kidding me!). Most of them are really well known, like, you know, Jane Austen. So this is the Who is Who of the less well-known who are, however, household names on this particular blog.

In other words, if he's not mentioned here but you've never heard of him, look him up on Wikipedia. :)
George Borrow

An enterprising employee of the Bible Society of London who went to  to peddle a forbidden book up and down the land of civil war torn, Catholic Spain in the 19th century. A gifted linguist and a born adventurer, Borrow wrote his highly entertaining story up in… The Bible in Spain. (I don’t have to spell out what the book he was selling was, do I?)

Ernle Bradford

An English sailor and historian who fell in love with the Mediterranean during World War II. He wrote histories and travel books in an entertaining, relaxed style, eminently suited for holiday reading. More about him in Sailing into History.

Bernal Díaz del Castillo

A Spanish conquistador who took part in the conquest of Mexico with Hernán Cortés. He described his experiences in the The Conquest of New Spain.

Alonso de Contreras

A Spanish soldier of fortune in the 17th century. Contreras mostly served in the Mediterranean against the Turks although he also visited the Indias where he fought against Sir Walter Raleigh. A hot head and a womaniser, he often got into trouble for killing when not on the battle field; he was imprisoned several times and even lived as a hermit for a while. He wrote his life’s story up in The Adventures of Captain Alonso de Contreras.

Felix Fabri

A German monk with the gift of the gab who twice went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the Red Sea and Egypt in the 1480s and then wrote a detailed account of his travels. He can be a bit boring on occasion – when he describes every stone and tree stump in Jerusalem and the number of indulgences he received for kissing them – but he had an open and enquiring mind and he did go on pilgrimage in a then enemy country. Well worth persevering with. You find some of his tales in the Fables of Felix Fabri.

Antonio de Nebrija

The man who wrote the first grammar of a ‘vulgar’ tongue in Europe; he dedicated his grammar of the Castilian language to Queen Isabella and his foreword continues to be quoted to this day.

Arthur Ransome

Who is only obscure outside England…!

An English children’s author (and supposed spy) who wrote the Swallows and Amazons series about the outdoor adventures of some enterprising children. Unlike Enid Blyton, Ransome wrote well enough to be an entertaining read even for adults.

Venedikt Yerofeev

A dissident Russian author in the second half of the 20th century. He was kicked out of university for not taking the compulsory military training seriously enough (he cheeked the major in charge). Best known for his highly subversive novel, Moscow Stations. Wickedly funny.

Obscure Historical Figures

Cayetano Valdés

A captain, later admiral in the Spanish navy, in the time of the Napoleonic Wars. He had the misfortune to live in interesting times and as a consequence, led a very interesting life: he was a member of the expedition which first circumnavigated Vancouver Island, saved the Santísima Trinidad (the pride of the Spanish navy) from being captured in the Battle of Cape St Vincent, fought at Trafalgar and in the Spanish War of Independence, assisted at the creation of the liberal Spanish constitution of 1812, was arrested by his king but saved by his erstwhile enemies (the English and the French)… shall I continue?