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Issue 13

The Romans Couldn’t Decide on Their Origins

We are often told how “civilised” and how much better the Romans were than the surrounding barbarians (the word barbarian comes from the Roman era, the Romans couldn’t understand these languages and thought they were just saying “bar, bar” all the time so barbarian means some who says bar all the time). However the Romans weren’t always as smart as …

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An Endangered Species: Britain’s Non-Royal Duchesses

What a joy it is in this internet era, when so much information is ‘out there’ and (it seems) just about everything has been discovered, to find subjects which remain unexplored.  With historical topics, newly-opened archives can offer fresh information. When an area of what might be called living history turns out to be unexamined, it is very exciting. Britain’s …

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The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse by Piu Marie Eatwell

Exclusive extract from the first chapter of  ‘The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse’ by Piu Marie Eatwell After a long and dreary drive through wet country lanes, the party that included the ‘young duke ’ – for that was the identity of the pale and heavy-eyed young man of twenty-two – arrived at its destination. Welbeck …

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John W Hawkins Reviews ‘Landscapes of London’ by Elizabeth McKellar

John W Hawkins Reviews ‘Landscapes of London’ by Elizabeth McKellar Elizabeth McKellar Landscapes of London: the city, the country and the suburbs, 1660-1840 Yale University Press, 2013 xvi + 260 pages; 24 colour + 120 b/w illus. £45.00 RRP According to the author, a respected architectural historian, ‘This book is about cities, where they begin and where they end.’ Except …

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Five minutes with… Dr Ian Mortimer

Dr Ian Mortimer is an acclaimed historian, bestselling author and television presenter. His latest book Centuries of Change: Which Century saw the Most Change and Why it Matters to Us is published by Random House and out now. What is an historian? A historian (I don’t use the old-fashioned ‘an’, I pronounce the ‘h’ instead) is simply someone who studies …

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Sophie Cooper reviews ‘Bloody Scotland: Crime in 19th Century Scotland’ by Malcolm Archibald

Malcolm Archibald, Bloody Scotland: Crime in 19th Century Scotland Black & White Publishing: Edinburgh, 2014 RRP: £9.99 Body snatchers, murdering bigamists, and poisoners. Whisky-joints and smuggling rings. A socially-excluded victim of bullying that finally snapped and killed his tormentors. These are all stories that we have come across, either in the news of today or in films and books about …

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The Mystery of Edward II’s Death

Everyone knows how Edward II died. He was murdered at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire on 21 September 1327 by being held down and having a red-hot poker inserted inside his anus, and his screams could be heard miles away. This cruel torture was most probably devised as punishment for his presumed sexual acts with men. Right? Wrong. Edward II’s murder by …

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Tom Bradby Interview: Writing The Great Fire

The Great Fire writer on creating ITV’s new drama “It’s a health and safety nightmare!” It’s the end of April and I’m sitting under a gazebo in the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside with screenwriter, author and ITV News political editor Tom Bradby. We’re sitting next to an impressive recreation of seventeenth-century London – complete with timber buildings, narrow streets and …

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