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Historical Period

Polish II Corps
It has taken a long time for the endeavours of forces like the Polish II Corps to make their way back into the global consciousness. There is still a long way to go until both the heroism and betrayal are fully appreciated.
C17 drinking
James I of England (and VI of Scotland) has not always had a good reputation. Known as ‘the wisest fool in Christendome’, he was considered slovenly, his tongue was reportedly too big for his mouth, making him both a messy eater and occasionally…
Women in the Age of Sail
There can be few historical milieus as thrilling and iconic as the lives of men at sea in the glorious Age of Sail. Yet there is always something in these images that is notable for its absence – the presence of women.
Elizabeth I
In the early hours of 24 March 1603 Queen Elizabeth I died quietly in her palace at Richmond. But for those living through those hours of her final decline, it was a time of fear as well as of hope: change was not always to be welcomed and, in not…
Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley is famous as the wife of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and as the author of the classic novel Frankenstein. But these two facts, interesting as they are, belie the depth of character and experience of this clever, unconventional, and…
Earl of Essex
On Sunday 8 February 1601 a group of armed men, perhaps 300 strong and led by the petulant earl of Essex, marched through London. Their attempted coup failed: London would not rise, the plotters had no leverage, and the court was forewarned. The…
The Black Death
The Black Death looms large in the modern imagination, as it did in the minds of late medieval people. It is a spectre, or shadow, reminding everyone of their mortality, and the briefness of life. The reactions it provoked showed the best, and worst…
John Dee
John Dee is famous as a sorcerer and alchemistSomeone who practices alchemy (the attempt to turn base metals into gold and to gain spiritual awareness and immortality). Someone who practices alchemy (the attempt to turn base metals into gold and to…
Edo period map
Maps are usually looked at as functional works that have the narrow aim of describing geographical spaces. This idea is just as narrow. They are not just a description of geography and topography, but a great source of historical information and…
Ortelius world map
The study of history has traditionally focused on the actions of individuals and groups of human beings, identifying them as the key agents in an ongoing drama. But more recently some historians have pushed spatial theory and the role of…
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