Behind the Scenes at the new Stonehenge Exhibition Centre

Stonehenge Opens its £27 million Exhibition Centre There’s no skirting the issue, Stonehenge is a really big deal for English Heritage. It is a globally known landmark that has lacked a solid tourist friendly exhibition centre for far too long. Their approach to this issue is not only a statement about the site, but a wider statement about how heritage …

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Rebecca Rideal Reviews ‘The Gin Lane Gazette’ by Adrian Teal

The Gin Lane Gazette Adrian Teal Unbound (2013) What an Age! What a time to walk the Earth! At the end of the eighteenth century, London was a gleaming metropolis with a population of well over a million, whose inhabitants had their fill of coffee houses, ale houses, theatres, pleasure gardens and masquerades. Londoners could spend their days reading the latest …

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Unlocking Bag End: Tolkien and the Victorian Arts and Crafts Movement

In a hole in the ground there was a library, a billiard room, not to mention a luxurious smoking room with comfortable seats soft enough to get lost in.  Above there would seem to be rolling hills, and a nice round window looks out onto lush views of an idyllic countryside.  This idyllic retreat is not set in JRR Tolkien’s …

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St Nicholas: Naughty or Nice?

In the Western world, Christmas is a time to celebrate, either to mark the birth of Christ or enjoy more pagan revelries. Although Christmas is celebrated at different times across Europe (in many countries, the main event takes place on 6 December – St Nicholas’ Day), at the heart of the holidays is a figure who rewards good children with …

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The Shock of the Frontline: Psychological Trauma in the Great War

As the centenary of the outbreak of World War I approaches, we will be encouraged to remember the fallen of a conflict that tore the world apart. Official commemorations, exhibitions, books and television series will echo the sequence of events a century ago. The bravery and heroism of soldiers who endured the trenches will be foremost in the public consciousness, …

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Five Minutes With… Dr Joanne Paul

Dr. Joanne Paul is a Lecturer in History at the New College of the Humanities. She has published previously on political theory in the Tudor period (in her edited volume Governing Diversities: Democracy, Diversity and Human Nature, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012) and her work on the Renaissance revival of kairos will be published in Renaissance Quarterly spring 2014. She is …

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James Taylor Reviews ‘The Great War Handbook’ by Geoff Bridger

The Great War Handbook: A Guide for Family Historians & Students of the Conflict By Geoff Bridger Pen & Sword  In 2014 a four-year commemoration will begin to mark the centenary of a conflict which changed the world forever, leaving more than 16 million dead. In many ways, World War I needs little introduction. It is familiar to us not …

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Five Minutes With… Adrian Teal

Adrian Teal is an acclaimed caricaturist whose work has featured throughout the national press. He is also the writer and illustrator of The Gin Lane Gazette – a scandal-laden eighteenth century ‘Heat magazine’, an extract of which can be viewed here. What is an historian? You were hoping for a short answer, I take it? I can only tell you what I try to …

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Tony Boullemier Reviews ‘Dreadnought’ by Robert K. Massie

With the centenary of World War l approaching, historian and journalist TONY BOULLEMIER reviews a book that gets to the bottom of its causes. First published in 1991, DREADNOUGHT – Britain, Germany and the coming of the Great War, by Robert K. Massie is well worth revisiting. Being American, he can view it from a neutral angle. Indeed, he looks …

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Andrew Arnold Reviews ‘The Devil’s Carnival’ by John Mason Sneddon

The Devil’s Carnival: The First Hundred Days of Armageddon, 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers August – December 1914 John Mason Sneddon  Reveille Press, 2013   This account of the opening salvos of the First World War differs from many books based on personal diaries in that it draws on the experiences of three men rather than just one. The three diarists, all …

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Kathryn Johnson Reviews ‘The Quintinshill Conspiracy’ by Jack Anthony Richards and Adrian Searle

The Quintinshill Conspiracy: The Shocking True Story Behind Britain’s Worst Rail Disaster By Jack Anthony Richards and Adrian Searle Pen and Sword Books (Oct 2013) On 22nd May 1915, the greatest railway tragedy this country has ever seen occurred at a remote signal box just outside Gretna Green. Perhaps the greater tragedy, as Jack Richards’ and Adrian Searle’s fascinating “The …

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Lucan Drama – Exclusive Interview With Chris Clough

On 7th November 1974, 29 year old nanny, Sandra Rivett, was bludgeoned to death with a piece of bandaged lead pipe in the basement kitchen of the Lucan family home in Belgravia. Shortly afterwards John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, disappeared. Almost four decades later, ITV is set to shine a light on the crime that shook the 20th century with a …

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Hot Chocolate: Dr Matthew Green Discovers “The Drink of the Gods”…

Historical media company Unreal City Audio have teamed up with purveyor of luxury flavoured chocolate Cocoa Hernando to produce an immersive whirlwind tour of the decadent chocolate houses of Georgian London over the weekend of the London Chocolate Festival at the South Bank Centre. Set amidst the luxury shops, mighty townhouses and royal palaces of Mayfair and St James’s, this …

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