Tag Archives | 19th Century

Oil painting showing a train coming in to a multi-track railyard, with ships masts and smokestacks in the distance.

A Safe Port? Railway accidents in the dock

By now – after many years of work in the ‘Port Towns & Urban Cultures’ project – it’s probably old hat to say that port towns are important intersections between land and water, liminal zones and crossing points for people, goods and ideas. These transient places are of great interest to a range of historians, […]

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Cession of Kowloon

Corsairs and Collaborators: The Tankas and Early Colonial Hong Kong

By the Qing (1644-1912 CE) dynasty, the term ‘Tanka’ (pinyin: Danjia) became a common designation for people who lived on boats in the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, and Fujian. Throughout the development of the term ‘Tanka’, its various usages and iterations were always denigrating and alienating. Considered a base people, the Tanka were largely excluded […]

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Gibbet2

Dead Men Telling Tales: Maritime Gibbet Lore in Nineteenth-Century Popular Culture

The practice of gibbeting, also known more specifically as hanging in irons, or hanging in chains, was a particularly macabre punishment for a variety of convicted felons, and yet it is the image of the pirate cadaver swinging eerily in the breeze, which appears to have become most engrained in popular culture since the eighteenth […]

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