A bit of holiday trivia for you. I came upon a form of tourism I didn’t quite believe. “Travelling Gentlemen” accompanied their countrymen to the Crimean War, and set up out of cannon range from the battlefields with their wives and hounds and had a jolly good time of it. Their hounds were seen chasing the cannonballs around the battlefield on which the Battle of Alma was fought. I couldn’t run up much on the net about them, but feel free to fill me in with something a little more substantial than this mention. And in the meantime, if you want to hear Alfred Lord Tennyson reciting his poem The Charge of the Light Brigade – yes Tennyson himself on old Edison wax, just link through to the Wikipedia entry on the poem. I love listening so far back in time as it were. Everything seems so different. (He sounds like he’s in scuba diving gear, but I guess that’s 1890s recording techniques for you.)

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Peter T
Peter T
14 years ago

Actually this was quite common in the 18th century. There were onlookers at Waterloo and most other major battles. It was not until 1802 that “enemy” civilians were defined as such – up to then one was free to wander around in countries with whom one’s king was at war.