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Immigrants and Propaganda: The 1517 Evil May Day Riots

“After Easter, a certain preacher, at the instigation of a citizen of London, preached as usual in the fields, where the whole city was in the habit of assembling with the magistrates. He abused the strangers in the town, and their manner and customs, alleging that they not only deprived the English of their industry, and of the profits arising …

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Five minutes with… Dan Snow

Dan Snow is an author, historian, TV presenter and the mastermind behind the hugely popular History Hit podcast series. His latest BBC endeavour, 1066: A Year To Conquer England, is available via iPlayer.  What is an historian? Someone who explores what happened before now. Was there anything in particular that made you decide to pursue a career in history? Nope. History was so woven with my …

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John W Hawkins reviews “Oxford: Mapping the City” by Daniel MacCannell

Oxford: Mapping the City Daniel MacCannell Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd., 2016 One of the tests that can be applied by a book reviewer is whether the work in question leaves the reader wanting more, and that is certainly the case with Oxford: mapping the city. This is a handsomely produced work, profusely illustrated, with the text written in an interesting and …

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Five minutes with… Jem Duducu

Jem Duducu is a historian and author of The Presidents in 100 Facts, The Busy Person’s Guide to British History and Deus Vult, among many others history books. He is also the mastermind behind History Gems and runs the regular podcast series Condensed History Gems. What is an historian? Someone who brings the past to life but leaves their personal biases …

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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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History on the Box

Apple Tree Yard has finished, Endeavour is over and Sherlock is no more. What can history-loving TV fans watch next? Here’s a few suggestions: The Last Kingdom (BBC) I genuinely think this was one of the best historical dramas of 2015, and that’s saying a lot (this was the year of Wolf Hall, after all). BBC currently has half the …

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History Masterclass – Review

‘If historians neglect to educate the public, if they fail to interest it intelligently in the past, then all their historical learning is useless except insofar as it educates themselves’. G. M. Trevelyan A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend the first History Masterclass – a new lecture/seminar series launched by Dr Suzannah Lipscomb and Dr …

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Five minutes with… Olivette Otele

Dr Olivette Otele is a historian of transnational colonial history at the College of Liberal Arts, Bath Spa University. Her latest book, a history Afro-Europeans will be released next year.  What is an historian? A person who seeks to not only understand, to write histories that influence our comprehension of the past. He/she is passionate about trajectories and experiences that shaped societies. …

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Spells for sale: the grubby reality of magic in early modern England

By Francis Young Popular perceptions of magic in Tudor and Stuart England have largely been formed by scholarship on three figures, one real and two fictional: John Dee (1527–1608/9), the astrologer and crystal-gazer who famously advised Elizabeth I; Prospero, the magician in Shakespeare’s The Tempest; and Christopher Marlowe’s learned and hubristic Doctor Faustus. Unfortunately, none of these figures is truly …

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