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Tag Archives: History

1668 Almanac

No one tells you this, but one of the best things about conducting historical research is the opportunity to play detective. In truth, there is much even specialists do not know about their period of expertise. Part of being a historian is using the skills you have acquired at university (or on the job) to get to the bottom of enigmatic source …

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Animals of War

Ever since man realised that riding a horse into battle was much more effective than running on their own two feet, animals have become an effective and potent game changer in war. For Alexander the Great, the horse proved vital in carving out his empire in the ancient world. Alexander’s ‘Companian’ cavalry would charge forward in a wedge formation, their …

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Rebecca Rideal reviews “A Million Years in a Day” by Greg Jenner

A Million Years in a Day By Greg Jenner Weidenfeld & Nicolson RRP £12.99 Like many of the best ideas, the premise behind Greg Jenner’s debut book is extraordinarily simple – to trace the history of everyday life through the prism of a modern Saturday. Opening with ‘9.30 a.m. Rise and Shine’, each chapter deals with a different part of …

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The Radium Craze – America’s Lethal Love Affair by Matthew Moss

At the beginning of the 20th century America became gripped by a dangerous phenomenon. Radium had been discovered in 1898 and was quickly hailed as a miracle element. The radioactive metal’s unusual and unique properties captured the imaginations of both the scientific community and the public. Within forty years radium had permeated American society to the point where it was …

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Five minutes with… Dr James D. Boys

Dr James D. Boys is a broadcaster, writer and historian of American political history. His latest book Clinton’s Grand Strateg: US Foreign Policy in a Post-Cold War World is published by Bloomsbury and out now. What is an historian? I believe an historian is someone who sheds light on what may happen tomorrow by explaining today through the prism of yesterday. An historian is, …

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Taking Back Tyburn by Jessica Cale

Tyburn. Once enough to send a shiver down the spine of anyone in London or greater Middlesex, these infamous gallows have at last begun to fade from collective memory. Eight times a year, Tyburn served as the place of execution for the condemned from the courts of Westminster, the Guildhall, Middlesex, and the Old Bailey Sessions. Between 1196 and 1783, …

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The Bloody History of Chocolate

Delicious chocolate has a far stranger history than you may at first think biting into its brown creamyness. Chocolate is derived from Theobroma cacao seeds, better known as cocoa beans, which are indigenous to South America. The very earliest discovery of chocolate being processed for human consumption comes from drinking cups that have been dated to around 1,750 BC. These cups were …

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Extradition – A Very Brief History

In October 2012, British Home Secretary Theresa May announced that computer hacker Gary McKinnon would not be extradited to the USA. It marked the end of a ten-year battle. Some commentators argued that the request for extradition should never have been made in the first place and that, once again, it highlighted the unequal Anglo-American extradition treaty. McKinnon, who suffers …

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James I & VI and his male ‘favourites’

Samantha Smith examines James VI & I’s relationships with his ‘favourites’ “And yet I cannot content myself without sending you this billet, praying God that I may have a joyful and comfortable meeting with you, and that we may make at this Christenmass a new marriage, ever to be kept thereafter; for God so love me, as I desire only …

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HOW TO BE IMMORTAL

Henry VIII, Napoleon and Jesus all have it, as do Andrew Marvell, Florence Nightingale and Ernest Shackleton. What are we talking about? IMMORTALITY. But what are your chances of becoming immortal? In this humorous new video, cartoonist Joel Mishon uses history to weigh up the odds, and they might surprise you. Joel Mishon is a cartoonist and co-founder and director …

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