We have two lovely History Girl titles to give away this month:
To win one of five hardback copies of A.L. Berridge's Into the Valley of Death, please answer this question:
‘We all know about heroic victories – but which do you consider to be the most heroic defeat by anyone at any time? The Alamo? The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising? Or something else?’
To win one of three hardback copies of Jane Borodale's The Knot, answer this one:
'Just tell us your favourite herb and why, in a sentence or two...'
As usual the competitions are open only to readers in the United Kingdom. The closing date for for this one is 7th June. Just leave your answers in the Comments section of this post.
And Good Luck!
Alas, I can't win a book due to living in Australia, but I'd like to comment anyway. My father was in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. It took longer to defeat the Jews in the ghetto than it did to conquer the whole of Poland. Dad was one of a bunch of kids who used to sneak out to get supplies. He had a lot of stories to tell.
1. Most heroic defeat: How can I say anything other than the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War? Abandoned by neighbouring democracies (at Britain's lead),the supporters of Spain's elected government fought against Franco (and Hitler and Mussolini) to the bitter end, always against the odds, with the help of thousands of 'volunteers for liberty' who came from all over the world to rally to the cause, a fifth of them sacrificing their lives.
2. Favourite herb: I love mint, because it comes in so many forms, serves so many uses (hot tea, ice cold mojitos, delicious salads, sweet puddings....) and it's such a survivor. The apple mint at the end of my garden came originally from my granny's garden, sweetens my path to the compost bin, and never fails me.
That's amazing, Sue. And great that he told the stories, and passed them on - that doesn't always happen.
It seems almost disrespectful after that, but I'd like to nominate the Warsaw Rising at the end of the war. The people of Warsaw rose against the Germans, thinking that the Russians would come to their aid; but the Russians just sat and watched across the river while the city was flattened. Thousands were killed. It was doomed from the start, but it was a heroic attempt.
Oh, yes, herbs! I agree mint is great - I drink it boiled with ginger root, just a little raw sugar, yum! The ginger is good for you, too. And chamomile, which as well as being a soothing drink is something you can wash your hair
in(I boil it up,let it cool a bit and rinse my hair in it to make it shiny and soft) and is also good for eye inflammation. I used it for hair and eyes long before I found out you could drink it too. :)
Can't enter because I'm in the USA but I nominate the stand in the fortress of Masada. My favorite herb is rosemary, for its clean sharp scent and uses in cooking and also its beautiful flowers.
The most heroic defeat, in my opinion, was the Battle of Pasir Panjang. A battle full of the courageous, but one that turned so, so tragic. Everyone should know about this battle, it's devastating.
My favourite herb is thyme as it makes every dish I make taste better, and just like time itself, is extremely undervalued but appreciated at the same time. I love it.
Heroic defeat? I've have to say the Battle of Pasir Panjang where 1,400 British, Indian, Australian and Malayan soldiers fought against 13,000 Japanese soldiers in an attempt to save Singapore. The majority fell and those that didn't would later go on to build the Thailand-Burma Railway, including the bridge over the River Kwai.
Hey, Sue B! Lovely to see you here from the Great Raven!
But just to add for everyone - normally HG competitions have to be limited to the UK for obvious reasons, but with such brilliant answers coming from abroad, I've had a word with the lovely people at Penguin and they've agreed (just this once)that winners can be from anywhere in the world.
And competition or not, I do hope the answers keep coming. I'd never even HEARD of Pasir Penjang, but just 5 minutes research shows it's a truly incredible story which ought to be much more widely known. Thank you so much, Chloe and Nikki-Ann, for putting it out there.
I wonder how many others there are I never even knew about...
I've recently taken to growing and cultivating herbs - with a small amount of success! Picking my favourite herb is tricky. Hmm, it would have to be between rosemary and calendulas (marigolds). Both have such beautiful flowers, and such ancient histories of use.
But I think I shall have to go for rosemary for the evocative smell, for remembrance, somewhere for the ladybirds to hide, for attracting a lover and keeping one, and for a home where the woman rules the roost!
It seems small in comparison to the other events mentioned here,
but I'd like to put in a word for King Harold's housecarls at the
Battle of Hastings; though much of the English army had crumbled after the news of Harold's death, the housecarls, honouring their oath of loyalty, reputedly fought to the last man.
My favourite herb would have to be borage. Not only does it have edible leaves and beautiful flowers which are excellent for bees, but if you burn the plant it sparks and pops!
For women of a certain age
I'd have to choose the common SAGE
From colouring Grey hair,to soothing mouth sores
It even helps with the Menopause
The winners of the May Competition are now listed on the Competition page! So do please check, and if you're a winner, contact the relevant email address for your prize!
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