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Live-Tweet Event Recreates Parliament Burning

Ready to experience another live-tweet recreation?

We brought you the Titanic’s ill-fated voyage and now, coming at ya from the UK, we bring you the latest historical recreation on Twitter: Parliament Burns.

And if you don’t know why this event is significant, all the more reason to tune in!

On October 16, 1843, a fire changed the face of London when it engulfed the UK Houses of Parliament.

And in two weeks, you can see this event recreated in real time on the Parliament Burns Live (@parliamentburns) Twitter stream.

The tweets (and the corresponding book) will “reconstruct the gripping hour by hour story of the fire as it swept through the 800 year old buildings.” Here’s more about it – and check out this page for additional info.

The events of that October day in 1834 were as shocking and significant to contemporaries as the death of Princess Diana was to us at the end of the 20th century – yet today this national catastrophe is a forgotten disaster, . . .  [H]ead Parliamentary Archivist Caroline Shenton unfolds the gripping story of the fire over the course of that fateful day and night.

In the process, she paints a skilful portrait of the political and social context of the time, including details of the slums of Westminster and the frenzied expansion of the West End; the plight of the London Irish; child labour, sinecures and corruption in high places; fire-fighting techniques and floating engines; the Great Reform Act and the new Poor Law; Captain Swing and arson at York Minster; the parlous state of public buildings and records in the Georgian period; and above all the symbolism which many contemporaries saw in the spectacular fall of a national icon.

If you don’t feel smarter after following this twitter feed, it’s your own fault!

Will you be checking it out?

(Book cover image from Oxford University Press)

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