This year, my Twitter-friend @grenouille781 created a series of eel-themes Christmas carol drawings. What better way to spend your holiday season than by singing songs about eels? As a bones, there’s a Where’s Weeldo? hidden in each drawing. Can you find him?
There are many stories of people dying after eating a plate of eels. Sometimes their deaths were an accident, and sometimes the result of foul play. Probably the most famous eel-related death came in 1135, when King Henry I of England famously died after eating what the chronicler Henry of Huntingdon described as a dinner […]
The eighth-century monk Bede gives us some of the first evidence of eels as a part of English life in post-Roman Britain. Scattered archeological evidence, like a 7th-century cemetery in Cambridge that yielded a copper bowl containing three complete eel skeletons, hint at the fish’s importance in England at this time. But it is in […]
In 1931 Winston Churchill wrote an essay for The Strand in which he defended political cartoons as an essential part of the British democratic system. Rather than criticize the artists’ frequent lampooning of public figures – including himself – Churchill argued that politicians should have thicker hides, saying, “Just as eels are supposed to get […]
Eels show up in a lot of ways in the illegal economies of medieval and Early Modern England. They were poached from creeks, stolen along the road, and pirated from ships. But eels were also an important part of the horse trade, where too-sharp horse dealers used them to help liven up older, broken-down horses. […]
The twelfth-century chronicler Henry of Huntingdon offered an unusual eel metaphor in De Contemptu Mundi (“On Contempt for the World”), a long and moralizing letter that he wrote to his friend the archdeacon Walter. In the letter, Henry relates the story of a young man named Simon, the son of Henry’s bishop. Simon seems to […]