Almanac – November 29

St. Radbod’s Day – he was the great-grandson of another Radbod,  the last pagan king of the Frisians, who said he prefered the prospect of being in Hell with his ancestors than that of being in Heaven without them.

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Vampire Night in Romania, the undead are said to rise from their tombs and seek out their former homes. If they fail to find unprotected victims to leech off, they’ll instead fight among themselves, before returning to their graves.

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1781 –  The Zong Massacre took place,  a mass-killing by throwing overboard,  of approximately 142 slaves on the Zong, a slave ship owned by a Liverpool slave-trading syndicate.

The resulting court cases, brought by the ship-owners seeking compensation from the insurers for the slave-traders’ lost “cargo”, established that the deliberate killing of slaves could in some circumstances be legal. It was a landmark in the battle against the African slave trade of the eighteenth century, and inspired abolitionists such as Granville Sharp and Thomas Clarkson, leading to the foundation of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade in 1787.

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1933 – John Mayall born.  English blues singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, whose musical career spans over fifty years. In the 1960s, he was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, a band which has included at different times  Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, Hughie Flint, Jon Hiseman, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser, and  Walter Trout.

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2009 – Robert Holdstock died. English novelist and author best known for his works of Celtic, Nordic, Gothic and Pictish fantasy literature, predominantly in the fantasy subgenre of mythic fiction. His breakthrough novel Mythago Wood was published in 1984 and began the Ryhope Wood series, which continued until the appearance of Avilion in 2009.

Between 2001 and  2007  Holdstock produced a trilogy of fantasy novels, the Merlin Codex, consisting of Celtika, The Iron Grail and The Broken Kings.
He died in hospital at the age of 61, following his collapse with an E. coli infection.

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