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Issue 12

The Queen’s Influence… by Sara Cockerill

The role of Eleanor of Castile as queen consort – and her influence over Edward I There is a fiction common in Victorian writing, that Edward I referred to Eleanor of Castile as “chère reine” and that it was thus that the Charing Cross derived its name.  In fact both elements of this fiction are wrong.  As is now moderately …

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Five minutes with… Dr Jonathan Foyle

Dr Jonathan Foyle is an architectural historian, author, broadcaster and Chief Executive of World Monuments Fund Britain. His latest book is about Lincoln Cathedral and will be published by Scala next March. What is an historian? The ultimate quality of a good historian is someone who cheats time itself. They can reveal truths that could have been lost to record; and encounter …

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What’s Happening in Black British History?

What’s Happening in Black British History? A Conversation Senate House Malet Street London WC1E 7HU Thursday 30th October – tickets £7.50-£15 Thirty years after the publication of Peter Fryer’s Staying Power, immigration is still a hotly contested topic, while slavery continues to dominate popular perceptions of Black British History. New research is revealing different stories, but how is this being …

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Eureka! Historians share their experiences

We’ve all had a moment like it. That flash of inspiration. That shock of insight. That moment when the stars align and you suddenly understand. Here, eleven historians share the ‘Eureka moment’ that set them on course to specialising in their chosen field. Dr Miranda Kaufmann I remember well the moment that History laid down her gauntlet and challenged me …

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“Messy” vs. Real Tears by Sigrid MacRae

“The world has always been messy,” President Obama told America recently. Total media immersion has probably magnified our awareness of it all, but buck up! We’ll get through it; we have before. He’s right about the mess. The Middle East is awash in frenzied blood-letting. Ebola, power grabs, planes flung out of the sky, land grabs, bombings, countless refugees, ISIS, …

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Bloody Scotland by Malcolm Archibald

An exclusive extract from Malcolm Archibald’s new book Bloody Scotland: Crime in 19th Century Scotland Chapter One Resurrection Men Some crimes are universal, but others are specific to place or time. Body-snatching was one such. It flourished in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and died out completely with the passing of the Anatomy Act of 1832. Until that time, body-snatching …

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How many times did Rasputin die?

Rasputin is one of those rare historical figures who lives on more as a myth than a man. The photos of him are genuinely eerie and there’s no denying his power as an adviser in Tsar Nicholas II’s court. He was associated with spirtual healing and the occult. However a calmer view of him reveals a man who was like …

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Art imitating life by John Burns

I am always a little wary when the terms “proper” or “scholarly” history are bandied about, usually in tandem with the terms “facts” and “unbiased opinion”.  Late last year there was a little political controversy in the UK regarding the use of the Blackadder TV series as a history aid.  It brought into the spotlight the role of the arts …

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Crowd-funding History?

Earlier this year, something incredible happened. UCL accepted my PhD application. Granted, this news is of little interest to almost anyone outside my immediate family (and even they get bored of my chatter). Nevertheless, next month I am set to begin my research into the ‘spaces and places’ of Restoration London, and I cannot wait. There’s just one thing – …

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