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Issue 4

Alfred the Great: The Hip Bone’s Connected to the…

Move aside Dermot! Run away Ant and Dec! Dead kings are the new TV must-have. In just under two years, Channel 4 has signed up Richard III, and BBC2 has snapped up Alfred the Great. Boudicca is supposed to be under a McDonalds in Birmingham, so there is still time for ITV to get in on the action (yes, I …

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V&A announces new Europe 1600-1800 galleries

The V&A has unveiled details of the new Europe 1600-1800 galleries, opening to the public December this year. The £12.5m project – that will be free to the public – will see seven galleries transformed for the redisplay of more than 1,100 objects from the Museum’s unrivalled collection of 17th- and 18th-century European art and design.  Europe 1600-1800 will tell …

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The Railway Men

THE RAILWAY MAN is based on Eric Lomax’s best-selling memoir and a series of meetings, over many years, with Lomax and his wife, Patti. The film tells the extraordinary and epic true story of Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who is tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labour camp during World War II. Decades later, Lomax …

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High Diplomacy: Bulstrode Whitelocke and the Anglo-Swedish alliance of 1654

A Conversation Starter Bulstrode Whitelocke and the Anglo-Swedish alliance of 1654 Personal relations are highly important when conducting politics today. The first steps towards political decisions are often made through conversations and discussions at an informal level. The same applied to the early modern period, although its unofficial dialogue is harder to trace in the archives. However, oral history gives …

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Fred Burnaby: The Victorian Adventurer

The incomparable Colonel Frederick Gustavus Burnaby (1842-1885) In 1876 Fred Burnaby returned from an epic winter-ride on horseback and by sledge to the Khanate of Khiva, in the heart of central Asia. His book, A Ride to Khiva, was an instant hit and ran to eleven editions in the space of a year. On Horseback through Asia Minor, written after …

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The “Knockout” Game, Race, and Fears of Urban Crime in American History

The idea that cities are havens of delinquency populated by morally deprived low-lifes is a longstanding notion in American history. But whatever the current level of crime in American cities, the denser, ethnically-mixed populations of urban areas has ensured that the cultural meme of “cities as havens of vice” has remained perennially popular. The latest fear of urban crime comes …

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Five Minutes With… Dr Lindsey Fitzharris

Dr Lindsey Fitzharris is a medical historian with a PhD from Oxford University. She is the author and creator of the popular website, The Chirurgeon’s Apprentice, which is all about the horrors of pre-anaesthetic surgery. Lindsey has written for The Guardian, The Lancet, New Scientist, The Huffington Post & Medium; and has appeared on television for  Channel 4, BBC4 and National Geographic.  What …

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Historic Punch

Late last year I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Dr Lindsey Fitzharris and Adrian Teal at Blacks Club in Soho. Along with chatter about eighteenth century mermaids and the number of times a person can die, we hatched a plan to bring a bit of Georgian panache into the 21st century. A few emails later (and with the kind consent of …

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