CategoryMiscleaneous

The Music of time No 5: The Din of Battle

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Having recently signed a peace agreement with the Swiss Confederation, he was looking forward to a day of rest Finding it almost impossible to resist the relentless force of this rag-tag army, Francis’ men began to lose faith After riding into Milan in triumph a few weeks later, he had a medal struck with the legend Vici ab uno Caesare victos (‘I have defeated those defeated by Caesar alone’);...

Desolation Row: Victorian Britain’s Sensational Slums

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Several prominent writers wrote about the urban slum during this period, including Jacob Riis, George Sims, Margaret Harkness, Arthur Morrison and Jack London The shift from agricultural to industrial labour saw people move to urban areas where cheap housing, designed to be fairly short-term, was built on land under short leases to accommodate them ‘Slum tourism’ developed, where members of...

A Simpler Time …

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One is making a collection of ‘true knights’ throughout history – men who exemplify her ideal of chivalric perfection, from Alfred the Great to Philip Sidney These girls find their own way to a critical approach, balancing the impulse to hero worship or to condemn with an understanding of historical context and how ideas change over time The simpler instinct, though, never goes out of fashion:...

Catalonia, Spain’s Biggest Problem

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For casual observers of Spain, the recent events in Catalonia might seem to have suddenly appeared as a fully formed major political issue Political centralisation from Madrid continued: the Catalan language was increasingly subject to a range of restrictions beginning in 1677 It meant that Spain would henceforth follow the centralising French state tradition, which aimed to gradually erode...

The Man Who Would Be King or Vicar

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In 1791 Naimbana sent his son, Prince John Frederic, on a reverse journey to receive a western education under Sharp’s guardianship He had sent one of his other sons to France and offered another to Islamic scholars It was Naimbana’s intention that Prince Frederic would return home and lead his people with knowledge from the West After arriving in England, Frederic proved a diligent student...

Filming the Biblical City

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Among these students were three who would become very familiar with biblical Lachish: James Leslie Starkey, Olga Tufnell and Gerald Lankester Harding In autumn 1932, Starkey, Tufnell and Harding left (or, perhaps, their archives suggest, escaped) the Petries’ fold They found their own patrons and established themselves at Tell ed-Duweir, which Starkey had identified as a potentially fruitful site...

Dorothy Lawrence

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Disguised as a British private, she worked for ten days as a sapper before surrendering herself, aware of the risk she posed both to herself and her confidantes High Command was acutely embarrassed that a teenage woman had simply cycled to the front At Calais, six generals and 20 other officers took turns interrogating her Following an attempted escape, some assumed she was a spy Others were sure...

Good Health as the First Line of Defence

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Fighting Fit: The Wartime Battle for Britain’s Health Laura Dawes Weidenfeld & Nicolson304pp £999 This study begins in 1939 with the threat to Atlantic convoys, dealing with issues of diet and rationing (‘The stomach for war’) It ends in 1947 when Regulation 33B, which had been introduced in 1942 to help control the spread of venereal disease, was repealed just as the National Health Service Act...

Pompey the Great

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Triumvir Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, usually known as Pompey the Great, was the son of a Roman arriviste ‘New Man’, Gnaeus Pompeius, known less flatteringly as Pompeius Strabo – Pompey the Cross-Eyed His early career was marked out by good fortune Having inherited his father’s estate and the devotion of his legions at the age of just 20, he found himself on trial for his father’s alleged crimes of...

Nominations for the Longman-History Today Awards 2018

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Everything you need to know about entering this year's prize The Longman- History Today book prize is open to an author’s first or second book, written in English, on any aspect of history, published during the year 1 October 2016 to 31 September 2017 The winning book, which receives an award of £2,000, will display innovative research and interpretation in its field and will have contributed...

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