a few good links

I’m in a bit of a link-love quandary: I joined Google+ recently, and now my link-sharing practices are strung out in a knotty and repetitive tangle between this blog, Twitter, Google Reader, Google+ and personal emails. Very vexing. Nevertheless, some fun ones for the week:

At China Heritage Quarterly, Lois Conner just reviewed an exhibition of Felix Beato’s beautiful 19th century photography of the Near and Far East, looking closely at three of his photographs. My favourite is this one, strange and wonderful beast of a boat that it is:

but this one is more haunting: the bodies draped with macabre grace among the battlements, softened and stilled to sepia. I look and can’t look and can’t look away. In case you missed it, China Heritage Quarterly also put out this excellent collection of Ernest Boeschmann’s late Qing photography last year, which I loved.

University of Chicago Press recently put out (let me draw a breath) the first two volumes of The History of Cartography (1987) in free PDF, along with (take a second breath) full colour maps of the world (H/t).

Two ways to discover new books to read, in farflung and unthinkably different disciplines to your own: listen to some interesting and/or eminent people tell you what their best five books are, or endlessly refresh this page, with wide bemused eyes. (Fine, you can view the full list too. HT).

The BBC has put their entire sixty-odd year archive of Reith Lectures online, “indefinitely”. I found out about this, as I do many things, through Open Culture, which is a dangerous portal to madness and autodidactic longing. Aung San Suu Kyi gives this year’s Reith Lectures.


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