Wednesday, 13 June 2012

1933 - Letter M

BFTF has been fascinated by the contents of a multi-volume 1933 Odhams Press publication entitled "The British Encyclopedia". The volumes provide a glimpse into the the way the world looked at that time and BFTF thought you, gentle reader, might be interested to read a few extracts from some of the somtimes surprising, sometimes shocking, sometimes sad entries. See here for extreacts from other sections of the encyclopaedia

Please note that these are only tiny extracts and are not meant to be a summary of the entire encyclopedia entry.


Mahomet (or more correctly Muhammad)
The founder of Islam, an Arabian by birth, of the tribe of Kuraish...

...Islam [was] promulgated as the gradual revelations of the divine will, through the angel Gabriel, and were collected in the Koran.

...There is no doubt that Mahomet was a man of extraordinary insight and deep reflection. Though without book-learning, he had a deep knowledge of man, was familiar with bible narratives and Eastern legends, and possessed a grasp of the eternal ground of all religions, though tinged and modified by his vivid poetic imagination.

Marriage Laws
...a marriage cannot be contracted by a male under fourteen years of age or a female under twelve, and until majority the consent of the parent or guardian is required. . .

. . Mars shines with a reddish light. . .considerable portions, however, have a bluish-green colour and vary decidedly in tint with the seasons. There seems much reason to suppose that such changes are caused, in part at least, by recurrent growth and decay of vegetation.

. . .The polar regions exhibit white caps, possibly of snow . . .

. . .the constituents of the nucleus of the heavier atoms include hydrogen and helium nuclei together with "cementing" electrons; it is possible that the helium nucleus is itself built of hydrogen nuclei. . .

. . .thousands of pilgrims annually perform the Hajj. . .It was captured in 1924 by Ibn Saud, Sultan of Nejd. . .

. . .the terminus of the Hejaz Railway, and, as the burial place of the Mahomet, the second holiest of Mahommedan cities. . .

Mehem'et Ali
. . .Viceroy of Egypt. . .in 1811 he massacred the Mamelukes to the number of 470 in Cairo and about 1200 over the country. He then commenced, by the orders of the Porte, a war of six years duration against the Wahabites of Arabia, which was brought to a successful conclusion by his son Ibrahim, and secured him the possession of the Hejaz . . .

. . .The minarets of Egypt, Spain, Syria, India and Persia, built between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, are amongst the most graceful works of Eastern architecture. . .

Minimum Wage
. . .the first Act establishing frade-boards, with power to fix minimum rates of wages, eas enacted in 1909 [applied to four trades]. . . by the beginningof 1921 forty-nine additional trade-boards, covering 3,500,000 persons, had been established. . .

. . .[Christian missionaries] made mistakes; they failed to recognise that the great race-religions contained elements of good. . .The tendency was to impose their own ways of thought and life on the natives. In this way Christianity everywhere came to be known as the white man's religion, and was associated with a change to foreign dress and customs.. . .

Moorish Architecture
. . .The most characteristic Moorish palace in existence is the Alhambra in Granada, an immense structure of simple and rather forbidding exterior, but within gorgeous almost beyond description. . .

. . .Between 1492 and 1610 about 3,000,000 Moriscos are estimated to have left Spain. The expelled Moors, settling in the north of Africa, founded cities from wich to harass the Spanish coasts, and finally developed into the piratical states of Barbary, whose depredations were a source of irtritation to the civilised Christian powers even until well into the nineteenth century

. . .often astonish by their extent and the grandeur and height of their cupulas or domes. .

. . .In India, where the Mahommedan population is almost exclusively Sunni[. . .]both classes [Sunni and Shia] join wholeheartedly in the Muharram celebrations. . .[which] often passes off quietly, without any physical exposition of the hatred felt by all good Mohammedans towards all good Hindus and vice versa.

. . .A Mahommedan teacher. . . FAnatical Mullahs ("Mad" Mullahs) have in recent times preached "jehads" in India and Somaliland, and in the latter country British punitive expeditions were undertaken in 1901 and 1905.

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