Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Vulpes Random: All Things Liberty!

Signing_of_Declaration by_Armand-Dumaresq
In honor of July 4th, American Independence Day
When I grew up in the 1960’s, it seemed possible to truly change the world and that could be why I’ve always been attracted by revolutions. As an adult, I realized that revolutions can be very bloody and don’t always go the way they are intended. But I retain an affection for the American Revolution, which began in 1775 in order that the American colonies become an independent country and not an outpost of Great Britain. The attempt really should have failed, considering the odds, and I’m always amazed that it didn’t.
So I was delighted to find a website devoted to that particular war on a friend’s Facebook page recently and have been spending a lot of time exploring the multitude of articles there. All Things Liberty has only been around since January 2013, but they’ve already got quite a treasure trove of information. It’s not just about the Revolutionary War, but also the time period and every conceivable aspect of it. There’s the expected battle accounts, biographies of the major personalities, political documents and historical background, but that’s only the starting point. It also includes recipes of the times(such as the current Yankee Doodle Dinner), medical advice(not for the squeamish, which includes myself), thematic book and film reviews and even lighter fare such as “The Role of Dancing”. Everything features archival illustrations, maps or photos of the buildings and such.
There’s enough variety to satisfy the serious scholar on important topics such as a multi-part look at the Federalist Papers or obscure events such as the Pine Tree Riot . But there’s also plenty to help the beginner new to the subject, with suggested reading lists and basic information. Some of the pieces poke fun, like the tongue-in-cheek “To Do List” for those protesting the Stamp Act. Or the startling modern Top 10 videos on YouTube featuring American Revolutionary topics.
One of the articles I found most interesting was about dogs and how they accompanied officers and soldiers to the battlegrounds. Though another piece recording lost dog listings afterwards was troubling and I hoped that at least some of them found their way home again (Yes, that’s me, worrying about dogs from nearly 240 years ago). One aspect of the site that I hope is broadened is on the art of the time period, there’s very little on the arts and handicrafts that was being made then. Considering the number of silversmiths, wood workers and seamstresses that were active at that time, there ought to be more about them. But considering how new the website is, surely that will be rectified in the future. It will be fun to watch the site grow.

Jackie has been known to don a tricorn hat and Revolutionary themed t-shirt for her subtle celebrations of July Fourth.

8 comments on “Vulpes Random: All Things Liberty!

  1. Sue Williams
    July 4, 2013

    And I went the other way with revolutions and had a big poster of Che on my wall. Never been much for July 4th except it is my half birthday. I shall go to this website and see if maybe I can find something interesting that might make me look at July 4th a different way. One of my biggest beefs is the noise. Thank you Jackie, for making me believe that there has to be a reason for me to celebrate and find something to love about this day.

  2. sshaver
    July 4, 2013

    My pound puppy thanks you for your big heart.

  3. Todd Andrlik
    July 4, 2013

    Silversmiths, wood workers and seamstresses. Got it. Thanks for the support and plug! We greatly appreciate it!

  4. Jackie
    July 4, 2013

    Don’t try to make it out that I’m asking for fluffy content on the site.I’m not. I do notice the absence of arts and craft related content and wondered why. As an artist myself, I pay attention to that and thought it would be another aspect of the time period worth exploring.

  5. Todd Andrlik
    July 5, 2013

    I know it wasn’t fluff, Jackie. I was being sincere in my response. Honestly, the only reason we haven’t had as much content on that front is because we haven’t had the submissions. We are a multi-author magazine and open to all contributions, but those haven’t come along yet. As you said, give it time and hopefully it will. Perhaps most artisans prefer silver-, wood- and thread-working over “word-working.”

  6. Moira
    July 5, 2013

    It’s a fascinating site. I spent far too long on it when I should have been attending to my paid employment … 😀

  7. Jackie
    July 5, 2013

    Thank you for reassuring me, Mr. Andrlik and I chuckled at your joke. I’m looking forward to seeing the site grow, it’s already quite impressive!

  8. Pingback: Journal of the American Revolution Vol. 1 by Todd Andrlick, et al. | Vulpes Libris

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  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)
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