“Bizarre Britain” Class studies British culture, history and mysteries

In Humanities Instructor Jan Rowlands’ class, “Bizarre Britain,” she is hoping students will gain an insight into British culture and history, along with learning about the regions many eccentricities.

Student Hannah Allbee said, “I particularly enjoy the short films, ‘Horrible Histories’, which Ms. Rowlands shows during lessons. They are informative and fun to watch.”

The Wednesday enrichment class offers a fascinating tour of Britain’s strangest and most intriguing customs. From the 17th century to the present day, they explore both real and imagined events, people and places. In the class they’ll be introduced to Spring Heeled Jack, John Merrick and the Loch Ness Monster, to name but a few, as they navigate British mysteries, history and myths.

This week, they will meet Henry Mayhew (an advocate for social reform) and explore the ancient art of ‘mudlarking’ on the shores of London’s River Thames.

Mudlarking used to be a way of generating extra income for the 18th Century poor, who would sell on any valuables which they were lucky enough to find. Today it is a regulated pastime where licenses are required and significant discoveries must be reported.

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