Historical Fiction Review: Dangerous Women

Set on board the Rajah, which set sail from London in April 1841, Dangerous Women is inspired by a true story of a quilt, sewn by some of the women on board the ship and involves a (fictional) stabbing. The ship took 180 women, who were convicted of various crimes, from London to Austria – […]

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History in the News: January 2021

Welcome to History in the News! It’s pretty self explanatory… but please comment if you have any suggestions! News 5 January: A set of bones has been found in the walls of a 1860s monastery. BBC News. 7 January: University College London apologises for it’s links to eugenics, including coiner of the term, Francis Galton. […]

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Primo Levi in Quotes

Wednesday 27th January 2021, was Holocaust memorial day; it has been 76 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. And every person, whether you’re a Holocaust scholar or have never even heard of Primo Levi, should learn about this loquacious man. Here I use his own quotes to (hopefully) explain why Levi is so important to […]

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Calendars: From Roman to Gregorian and Beyond

Isn’t the history of the calendar oh so very simple and… oh… no? Well, I hope I break this down for you then. Roman Calendars (509 – 45 BC) Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as saying ‘there’s a roman calendar and here are the dates when it was used’, there are many versions of Roman […]

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10 Facts About George Blake

On 26 December 2020, two days ago to day of writing, George Blake died. Known for being one of Britain’s most notorious Cold War spies, Blake is a fascinating figure with a mind-boggling story. If you want more on him, after you’ve read these 10 facts, you can listen to a whole podcast on him […]

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Coca-Cola Did Not Invent Santa

Yesterday on Instagram I saw a influencer I follow post a “fact” on her stories that the “image we know of Santa, with his red coat and rosy cheeks was invented by Coca-Cola in 1931”. While not entirely untrue it’s…mostly untrue. So let’s unpack this. St Nicholas of Myra Santa Claus originates from St Nicholas […]

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The Stephen Ward Tape

I have chosen to begin this journey into the world of archives with the subject of my first thesis: the Profumo Affair. Stephen Ward I have mixed feelings about the name ‘The Profumo Affair’ as the events that unfolded in June 1963 were about so much more than a six week affair between John Profumo, […]

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Derek Bentley: A Victim of British Justice

The story of Derek Bentley has become synonymous with the phrase ‘let him have it’, something that Bentley allegedly shouted to Christopher Craig on 2nd November 1952. This one sentence cost Bentley his life and subsequently put massive pressure on Parliament to finally abolish the death penalty in the UK. But what actually happened up […]

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Compensation for Camps

On 9th June 1964 the Federal Republic of Germany agreed to provide the British Government with £1 Million to compensate those who had suffered persecution at the hands of the Nazi regime. Although this seems like a positive idea, it posed many difficult questions: how do people apply? What is the criteria? How much will […]

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Henry’s Six Wives: Infographics

Recently I have been listening to the audio-books of Alison Weir’s Six Wives series. I have reached the most recently published (Jane Seymour: The Haunted Queen) and am dreading the moment when the gap between me finishing Jane Seymour and Anna of Kleve: Queen of Secrets comes out (published on 2 May 2019). The series […]

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