The Thirty-Nine Steps

BTS: how they propose to you

so this is quite a soft one, besides from Taehyung’s one so, warning for that, but i wanted to do something cute and innocent, even though im not good at it (i hate being cheesy and the majority of fluff fanfictions are, like, throw up kinda cheesy) but either way here’s how BTS would propose to you!

as always make sure you send me requests for reactions/imagines/preferences!

some of this content is for mature minds only (taehyung) ;)

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The “Silent Raid”

A crowd gathers around the captured L49 in France.

October 19 1917, London–The British had gotten much better at shooting down German Zeppelins, and the Germans had to resort to new tactics to avoid the British defenses.  Eleven Zeppelins crossed the North Sea on October 19, arriving after sundown.  They rose to a height of over 21,000 feet to avoid British fighters and anti-aircraft guns.  Unfortunately for them, winds were much higher at that altitude, blowing up to 60 miles an hour, and the fleet was scattered and sent off course. The crews were also not used to operating at such an altitude, and the lack of oxygen hampered the crews’ abilities.

Only one of the eleven Zeppelins, L45, actually bombed London, causing 83 of the 91 casualties from the raid, mostly around Piccadilly Circus.  The British defenses did not fire on the Zeppelin, possibly because they did not see it through the mist, or because they knew they could not possibly hit it at that altitude and did not want to give the Zeppelin any clues as to its location.  As a result, the raid would be known as the “Silent Raid” in Britain.

The Zeppelins were scattered over Britain, and struggled to make their way back home to Germany.  Four of them made it back with little incident, returning over the North Sea, Belgium, or the Netherlands.  The remainder were blown over Northern France, almost paralleling the Western Front in places.  L55 seemed to realize it was heading to far south, as it was approaching Paris, and made a hard turn to the left; they made it back to Germany, but crashed on landing.  L52 and L53 only reentered German airspace permanently over Alsace-Lorraine.  L44 was destroyed by French anti-aircraft fire over Lorraine at an altitude of 19,000 feet, killing all aboard.  L49, attacked by French fighters, was forced to the ground and captured intact by the French north of Besançon.

L45, which had bombed London, was blown far to the south and eventually ran out of fuel, made a rough landing in Provence; the crew burned their craft and surrendered to local authorities.  L50, quite lost, thought they were in luck when they saw L49 landed below.  They soon realized that the French had captured her, and tried to rise as quickly as possible, before attempting to land again in an extremely steep dive of around 30 degrees.  The Zeppelin grazed some woods, shearing off the main gondola; most of the men on board were thrown off or took the opportunity to jump off at this point; they were soon captured by the French.  Without the main gondola, the Zeppelin was propelled upwards again.  Of the four men left on board, two were thought to have been killed in the crash, but the other two were likely left trapped on an uncontrollable airship drifting southward.  They passed over the captured crew of the L45 in southern France, sporadically pestered by French fighters.  At 5:30PM, the Zeppelin drifted out to sea and was never seen again.

Today in 1916: Penultimate Sortie of the High Seas Fleet
Today in 1915: “The Thirty-Nine Steps” Published
Today in 1914:  German Fourth Army Attacks at Ypres

Sources include: Randal Gray, Chronicle of the First World War; Arthur Banks, Atlas of the First World War.

Polly Whitaker’s Book List:

from “Fire and Hemlock” by Diana Wynne Jones.

1. Times Out of Mind*
2. The Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum
3. Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit
4. The Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit
5. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
6. The Box of Delights by John Masefield
7. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
8. The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White
9. Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes Saavedra
10. The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
11. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
12. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
13. Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
14. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
15. Popular Beliefs by ?
16. East of the Sun and West of the Moon by Andrew Lang
17. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
18. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
19. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
20. The Man who was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
21. Perilandra by C.S. Lewis
22. The Napoleon from Notting Hill G.K. Chesterton
23. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
24. Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
25. The Oxford Book of Ballads by James Kinsley
26. The Castle of Adventure by Enid Blyton
27. Tales of Nowhere*
28. The Golden Bough by James George Frazer
- Artemis and Hippolytus
- Sympathetic Magic
- The Magical Control of the Sun
- Magicians as Kings
- Incarnate Human Gods
- The Sacred Marriage
- The Worship of the Oak
- The Perils of the Soul
- Tabooed Things
- Kings Killed at the End of a Fixed Term
- Temporary Kings
- The Hallowe’en Fires
- The Magic Spring
- The Ritual of Death and Resurrection
- Kings Killed When Their Strength Fails
29. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
30. Thomas the Rymer
31. Tam Lin

If I’ve missed any please feel free to let me know.

* Made up for the novel.


This week, we are sad to say goodbye to Judith Luna, the Senior Commissioning Editor of the Oxford World’s Classics series. To make the pain more bearable, we designed two cakes in the shape of Oxford World’s Classics jacket covers.

The messages on both cakes are not very subtle and demonstrate how sad we are that she is leaving after thirty-nine years working at OUP.

Images by Kirsty Doole for Oxford University Press.

Basically my favorite thing, of all possible things, is when a book turns out to be about books. This particular book was about the way that we use narratives to understand, interpret, and create ourselves. (Also, it was phenomenal). So:

Books mentioned in Fire and Hemlock

(including plays, but excluding music, sorry; in approximate order of appearance; nearly but probably not exhaustive)

Times Out of Mind, ed. L. Perry (fictional)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (referred to as The Wizard of Oz), L. Frank Baum
The Treasure Seekers, E. Nesbit
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken
The Box of Delights, John Masefield
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
The Sword in the Stone, T.H. White
The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Dodie Smith
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
Black Beauty, Anne Sewell
Sherlock Holmes (collected stories), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas
Popular Beliefs (Nina reads this one–it’s a non-fiction book but probably fictional)
Author: Michael Moorcock (Seb reads this)
Author: Isaac Asimov
“East of the Sun and West of the Moon,” traditional
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
Kim, Rudyard Kipling
The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells
The Man Who Was Thursday, G.K. Chesterton
Perelandra, C.S. Lewis
The Napoleon of Notting Hill, G.K. Chesterton
The Thirty-nine Steps, John Buchan
Tom’s Midnight Garden,  Philippa Pearce
The Oxford Book of Ballads, ed. Arthur Quiller-Couch
The Castle of Adventure, Enid Blyton
Pierrot, traditional (Polly performs this)
The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde (another forum performs this)
The Golden Bough, James George Frazer
Twelfth Night, Shakespeare (Polly performs this)
Shakespeare, in general (who borrows plots from everywhere!)
Tales from Nowhere (fictional)
“Ode To a Nightingale,” John Keats
and, of course:
“Tam Lin,” traditional
“Thomas the Rhymer,” traditional

Penultimate Sortie of the High Seas Fleet

The München.

October 19 1916, Wilhelmshaven–With his submarines still ordered not to carry out unrestricted warfare against shipping, Scheer felt he had to use them in some fashion.  This had led to the near-disaster at Jutland and another near miss in August, and Scheer tried roughly the same plan again on October 18, sortieing the submarines and the High Seas Fleet in an attempt to catch British capital ships sent out in response to a bombardment of Sunderland.  The British, as usual, knew the Germans were coming thanks to the intelligence work from Room 40.  However, the British did not send out the Grand Fleet (though it did raise steam)–part of a new general policy not to do so unless it was thought the Germans would be attacking the Thames or the Straits of Dover.

The Germans did not make it to Sunderland this time; shortly after the High Seas Fleet left the Jade, the British submarine E38, on a routine patrol of Heligoland Bight, spotted the cruiser München, and hit her with a torpedo.  The cruiser was badly damaged; though she was eventually able to make it back to port, she had to be decommissioned.  Scheer thought that the attack on München was part of a larger British trap, concluding (for the wrong reasons) that the British knew he was sortieing his fleet.  The High Seas Fleet returned back to Wilhelmshaven early in the morning of October 19.  It would only return to sea once more during the war, in April 1918.

Today in 1915: “The Thirty-Nine Steps” Published
Today in 1914:  German Fourth Army Attacks at Ypres

Sources include: Robert K. Massie, Castles of Steel.

On superhero movies, in brief:

People loved Captain America: The Winter Soldier because it broke the mold and chased a different genre and formula from the one that had been successful for previous superhero movies.  It emulated spy thrillers instead of leaning on the formula that had worked for Iron Man and Batman Begins and the other films that ushered in the new era of superhero movies.  

While Ant-Man used some elements of a heist film, which, apart from the really incredible and creative special effects and use of the ants, were the best parts of the movie, it didn’t go for broke as much as it could have– its biggest narrative failing (it has other failings re:representation, that that’s another story) is that at the end of the day, it was another movie about a guy trying to redeem himself who has to fight a villain with similar powers to prevent his powers for being used for warfare, which has been the superhero story of early twenty-first century.  Age of Ultron would have more successfully excited audiences who were already used to Marvel’s formula if it had really allowed itself to be inspired by classic science fiction about robotic uprisings and revolts.  Fantastic Four’s biggest failing was in its need to have a villain and a huge external threat when it could have been a Lost in Space or even Swiss Family Robinson style adventure story.

If you keep giving audiences similar stories with similar tropes and similar character archetypes, they will get bored. People are getting bored of seeing the same movie over and over.   People will continue to get bored. 

Superhero fatigue isn’t inevitable, but it IS inevitable if every superhero story is the same.  The wonderful thing about superheroes is that their stories SHOULDN’T be the same.  You can make romantic comedies about superheroes.  You can make adventure stories about superheroes.  You can make period costume dramas about superheroes.  You can make John Hughes-esque coming-of-age stories about superheroes.  You can make superhero stories about culture clash and gothic horror superhero stories.  You can make crime procedurals and family dramas.  Heist movies, buddy cop movies, YA dystopias, haunted houses– you can literally take any filmic genre and populate it with superheroes.  You can make Hitchcockian suspense– imagine a superhero The Thirty-Nine Steps or North by Northwest (Hell, the original X-Men film has SO MANY nods to Hitchcock already). You can make Westerns– Iron Man certainly takes a few pages from High Noon.  

And we know it works, because that’s why, more than a year out, people are still far more taken with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, both of which leaned heavily on genres not normally associated with superheroes.  

Hollywood is going to need to do more of that– give us more that’s clever, more that’s refreshing, more that doesn’t lazily lean on the same storylines we’ve already seen, if these companies want to get the most out of their investments. 

inconsistentgryffindor  asked:

# 25 zzfor Steve/Peggy

25. Librarian/Avid Reader AU, Steve x Peggy

She was there at the same time every week. Come rain or shine, every Thursday at 2pm she would come through the library doors and whatever the weather she seemed to bring sunlight with her. Steve could have set his watch by her visits. In a metaphorical sense he did; he went out of his way to make sure he was always working that shift, even if it meant begging or bribing the other librarians to swap with him. 

Sure enough, when he heard the creak of the doors opening and glanced at his watch it was 2pm exactly. On time, as she always was. He took a breath, despite knowing he’d lose it as soon as he turned around, straightened his shirt and looked over at her.

Her dark hair was windswept, a few stray strands teased out of place and clinging to the bright red lipstick that was so often in his thoughts. Matching spots of red had been whipped into her cheeks by the breeze, and her dark eyes were bright. 

“Hello, Steve.” She smiled, and Steve was reminded why Thursday was his favourite day of the week.

“Peggy,” he replied, enjoying the intimacy of her nickname on his tongue. Until two weeks ago, when he had finally worked up the courage to speak to her, he had only known her as Carter, Margaret, from her library card. 

He had finally managed to say more than “Good day”, and “Here you go”, when she checked out a John le Carré novel, right after returning The Thirty Nine Steps. Seeing the common theme, the words tumbled out. “You like spy novels?”

He hadn’t meant to ask it out loud, but just to file it away as another piece of information about her; like the way she favoured clothes that were colourful but not too bright, simply cut but elegant, or how she would run her fingers over the book spines as she was trying to decide. Once it was out, though, he couldn’t bring himself to regret it.

Peggy had tilted her head to one side, mouth curling just slightly, like she was enjoying a private secret. “Sometimes. You have any recommendations?”

“I, uh …” Realising he now had to come up with a response had thrown him, but he had managed to gathered his ragged thoughts. “I don’t know a lot of spy novels, but I remember enjoying The Quiet American.

“I’ll have to give it a go, ahhh …” Her eyes had flicked down to his name tag, which read only S. Rogers. “Mr. Rogers.”

“Steve,” he had said, holding out her book.

Their fingers had only just brushed as she took it, but it was like electricity shooting up his arm. “Peggy.”

Now, coming over to the counter, Peggy reached into her bag and pulled out The Quiet American. She had checked it out the previous week as promised, and Steve was surprised now how nervous he was to see if she had enjoyed it. 

“It was very good,” she said, and relief almost made his shoulders sag. “Any other books you want to recommend?”

Steve thought rapidly, not an easy task when she was gazing up at him like that. “Do they have to be spy novels?”

She looked amused and shook her head. “Not at all.”

“Well … my favourite book growing up was Dubliners. James Joyce.” 

“I’ll go and look for a copy.” Peggy was halfway towards the shelves when she stopped and called back over her shoulder, “Maybe you can take me out to dinner next week so I can tell you what I thought.”

Steve stared at her for several seconds before he realised she was waiting for an answer, though luckily for him it only made her smile wider. “I, uh, yeah. Yeah, I could do that.” 

As far as he was concerned, the week couldn’t go quickly enough.