“For the first time in my life the desire for vengeance erupted inside me. The closest thing to me was a small vase. It had a cactus in it—thorny like a cedar tree. I took the vase. I hit him in the face with it. “
Stephen Basdeo is a historian and writer based in Leeds, UK.
Robin Hood, Joseph Ritson (1752–1803) e a Revolução Francesa | Stephen Basdeo
“Um homem que, em uma era bárbara e sob uma tirania complicada, demonstrou um espírito de liberdade e independência.”
Post-Apocalyptic Medievalism: Richard Jefferies’s “After London” (1885) | Stephen Basdeo
“Society was held together by brute force, intrigue, cord and axe, and woman’s flattery. But a push seemed needed to overthrow it. Yet it was quite secure, nevertheless, as there was none to give that push.”
Álvares de Azevedo’s “Pedro Ivo” | Leandro Machado [Trans.]
The corpse without blessings, unburied,
Thrown to the crows of the uncultivated grassland,
The manly forehead shot through,
To imperial sleep with cold lips
May pass in faded scorn.
The Emperor and the Author: Victor Hugo’s Meeting with Dom Pedro II | Stephen Basdeo [Trans.]
“I have power by virtue of chance; I must be employed in doing good. Progress and Liberty!” Such were the words which came of the mouth of the Emperor of Brazil on meeting the 1800s’ most venerable author, Victor Hugo.
Camilo Castelo Branco’s ‘Mysteries of Lisbon’ (1854): Chapter One | [Trans. Stephen Basdeo]
“It has always seemed impossible to me to write the mysteries of a land that has none, and, invented, nobody believes them. I was wrong. It is because I did not know Lisbon, or not able to calculate the power of a man’s imagination.”
‘Bred up a butcher’: The meat trade and eighteenth-century criminality
“John Hewlet was born in Warwickshire, the son of Richard Hewlet, a butcher, and though not bred up with his father, he was yet bred to the same employment at Leicester, from which, malicious people said he acquired a bloody and barbarous disposition.”
Youthful consumption and conservative visions: Robin Hood and Wat Tyler in late Victorian penny periodicals | Stephen Basdeo
“Talk of Robin Hood and Little John, and their dingy imitators in this metropolis described by Dickens and Ainsworth … The same man passes from one form into another – developing, according to the changes in society, from a forester to a mountaineer, thence to a highwayman, thence to an instructor of pickpockets and the receiver of their day’s work in St. Giles.”
The Life and Significance of Henry Fielding (1707–54) | Stephen Basdeo
“Except for Shakespeare, Fielding was the greatest English playwright between the Middle Ages and the 19th century”–George Bernard Shaw
New Discovery: Photograph of Famous Victorian Novelist Pierce Egan the Younger (1814–80) | Stephen Basdeo
“Many among us fancy that they have a good general idea of what is English literature. They think of Tennyson and Dickens as the most popular of our living authors. It is a fond delusion, from which they should be aroused. The works of Mr. Pierce Egan are sold by the half million.”
Álvares de Azevedo | Stephen Basdeo (Trans.)
“the Romantic poets suffer and worry about funerary ideas, establishing with it an intimacy of thoughts and sentiments that almost always results in an imposing meeting.”
‘Streets in the Sky’: Post-war Housing Estates in Britain and France | Stephen Basdeo
“The city of to-day is a dying thing because it is not geometrical. To build in the open would be to replace our present haphazard arrangements, which are all we have to-day, by a uniform layout. Unless we do this there is no salvation. The result of a true geometrical lay-out is repetition. The result of repetition is a standard, the perfect form.”
A Warrior’s Welcome Home | Stephen Basdeo
By 1940 women’s wartime role had well and truly changed as a fascinating cartoon which appeared in the 13 March 1940 edition of Punch tried to document.
Subjects of Two Empires: Brazilians in Victorian Britain | Stephen Basdeo
When the Emperor arrived ‘a number of Brazilian residents in London crowded forward to meet them’. Who were these Brazilians resident in Victorian London? Can we know a little bit more about their histories?
Chartism and Progressive Nationalism: The Spirit of Wat Tyler
1848. The Chartists were down and despondent. Their third petition had been rejected by the government outright. What they needed was a new sense of purpose and, perhaps, a “Tyler” to speak to them.
Mysteries of the People, Mysteries of the World: Eugene Sue’s Anti- Medievalism and the Revolutions of 1848
When Napoleon the Third came to power, shipments of Mysteres du Peuple were seized and booksellers were prevented from selling them. Many French politicians and writers were forced into exile as a result of the coup; one such exile was Eugene Sue.
The Birth of Police Brutality in England, 1831 | Stephen Basdeo
Who reported police brutality in the 1800s? Was there even a concept of police brutality in the early nineteenth century? I will show how the concept of police brutality was born in England in 1831.
O Nascimento da Brutalidade Policial na Inglaterra, 1831 | Stephen Basdeo e Luiz Guerra
Quem denunciava a brutalidade policial nos anos 1800s? Existia mesmo um conceito de brutalidade policial no início do século XIX? Então este artigo é o resultado de minha reflexão e pesquisa sobre essas questões e vou mostrar como o conceito de brutalidade policial nasceu na Inglaterra em 1831.
Adelina, the Cigar-Seller from “Narrativas Negras” (2020) | Stephen Basdeo
Adelina began to live a double life. She remained a slave. But her unique knowledge of the town and its environs, and especially of all the places where it was easy for a person to ‘disappear’, meant that she became valuable resource for abolitionists who were on the run from the police.
“Checking Out Me History”: Medievalism in British Guiana Schools, c.1950–1960 | Stephen Basdeo
This article examines the teaching and reception of British medieval history in Guyana. It takes an interdisciplinary approach by conducting textual analysis of Guyanese school textbooks to determine precisely what aspects of British medieval history were taught, which included events such as the Norman Conquest (1066), King Stephen’s reign, as well as medieval folk talks such as Dick Whittington, Robin Hood, and Old King Cole.
Álvares de Azevedo’s “Oh, Jesus!” [Ai Jesus!] | Luiz Guerra (Trans.)
Álvares de Azevedo, was Brazil’s most famous Romantic poet. This translation of Ai Jesus! is by Luiz Guerra and the first time it has been translated into English
The Brazilian Revolution of 1848 | Stephen Basdeo
Europe clamours for the organisation of labour and preaches communism. Here the same clamour translates into the cry of ‘War on the Portuguese’.
“I am a public thing”: Victor Hugo as Political Symbol | Stephen Basdeo
Hugo worked tirelessly on his self-imposed mission: poetry was so important, Hugo believed, that it should be a part of every aspect of life and had a central role to play in the story of national regeneration.
Álvares de Azevedo’s ‘Shadow of Don Juan’ [Sombra de Don Juan] | Luiz Guerra (Trans.)
Luiz Guerra’s new, and very fine, translation into English of Azevedo’s Shadow of Don Juan [‘Sombra de Don Juan’] is the first English translation of Azevedo’s poem. With great skill, as is usual of Guerra’s translations, he has largely preserved the original rhyme scheme while retaining Azevedo’s meaning.