Culture

The definitions of what is culture may change but the practice of understanding, and unpicking cultural history is an important dimension to understanding any historical period. In this section articles explore the way that definitions of culture have changed and how those changes have affected values and attitudes.  The impact of the written word on fashions and ideas and the role of historic movements such as the renaissance are all addressed in this section.

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  • Gone with the Wind: a great book?

    Article

    HA President Tony Badger examines the historical context which shapes our understanding of Margaret Mitchell’s enduring novel. I had been a historian of the American South for 50 years and like Ringbaum, I had a secret. I had never read Gone with the Wind. As I came up to retirement...

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  • Linking Law: Viking and medieval Scandinavian law in literature and history

    Article

    Ongoing interdisciplinary developments have cast light on the surprisingly sophisticated world of Viking-age and medieval Scandinavian law and its wide-ranging influence in these societies. In many ways, the Viking Age and its inhabitants are more familiar than ever before. From video games to television and films, new narrative frontiers and bigger...

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  • Show and Tell: three Branch book events

    Article

    When members of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Branch were invited to share their views on ‘Books that Changed History’, not all the contributions were as overtly revolutionary as Thomas Paine’s Common Sense nor as familiar as the King James Bible. Marie Davidson and Richard Binns tell us more....

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  • My Favourite History Place: Petra

    Article

    Ghislaine Headland-Vanni visits the ancient city of Petra, in Jordan. When you hear the word ‘Petra’ what images does the word conjure up for you? Maybe you have visited and know it already; if not, then like me you may not fully comprehend its size. I naively thought I could...

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  • A European dimension to local history

    Article

    Trevor James raises the prospect of broadening our approaches to local history to take a wider European perspective. When Professor W. G. Hoskins published his The Making of the English Landscape in 1955, he taught us how to observe and understand the topography of our landscapes, urban and rural, and...

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  • George Eliot and Warwickshire history

    Article

    David Paterson explains how George Eliot’s vivid memory of her childhood in north Warwickshire is revealed through her novels. George Eliot, born 200 years ago this year, is one of our greatest novelists, born and brought up in Warwickshire, a county in which she spent the first 30 years of...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Erbil Citadel, Iraq

    Article

    Andy Reid reveals that enthusiasm for a particular historic site can develop over a number of years with more familiarity with the setting. Erbil Citadel is claimed to be the oldest continuously occupied human settlement in the world. The site is roughly circular, occupying a plateau about a quarter of...

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  • Petit’s Tours of Old Staffordshire

    Article

    Petit’s Tours of Old Staffordshire, Philip Modiano, RPS Publications, 2019, 180p [with 185 images], £14-00. ISBN 978-1-9164931-0-0 Occasionally a remarkable book appears on a most unexpected topic. Philip Modiano’s research into the life and creative output of the Reverend John Louis Petit is just one such work. Modiano presents this...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Llanelly House and Saint Elli’s Church

    Article

    There are so many delightful places of historical interest in Wales that it is very difficult to select just one or two as favourites but among contenders must be those visited by the Pontllanfraith Branch of the Gwent Historical Association in August 2018...

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  • Yr Ysgwrn: keeping the door open

    Article

    Naomi Jones describes a Welsh poet who has left a different kind of memorial to the First World War.

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  • National distinctions entirely laid aside?

    Article

    Bethan M. Jenkins considers why it was important to Lewis Morris and others to have the distinctive Welsh contribution to British history and culture properly acknowledged.

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  • Dr Joseph Parry: the story of Wales’ greatest composer

    Article

    Colin Wheldon James introduces us to a 19th-century Welsh composer who deserves far greater recognition for his achievements in Wales as well as in England and America.

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  • My Favourite History Place: The North Wessex Downs and Cwichelm’s Barrow

    Article

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  • Anglo-Saxon women and power

    Article

    Elite Anglo-Saxon women played a powerful role in the religious affairs and politics of their day and were important patrons of learning and culture.

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  • The Venerable Bede: recent research

    Article

    The eighth-century monk is renowned as the ‘Father of English History’, but recent scholarship has demonstrated how important he was as a scientist and theologian and how his writings on the Bible can illuminate his famous history.

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  • The Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms and Europe

    Article

    The riches of surviving Anglo-Saxon manuscripts showcased in a fabulous new exhibition at the British Library emphasises the essential interconnections between England and the Continent.

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  • The Borgia: from fact to fiction

    Article

    For their meeting in September 2017 the Bolton Branch requested a talk on Renaissance Italy. What they heard dealt with the Italian portion of the Borgia family, led by Pope Alexander VI, though the topicality of Catalan nationalism meant that the principal figures were introduced with comment on the Italian,...

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  • ‘Our March’: art and culture in the Russian Revolution

    Article

    Peter Waldron explores the role of art in communicating to the masses the ideas of politics and change in Bolshevik Russia.

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  • My Favourite History Place: Lord Street, Southport

    Article

    Trevor James introduces an international dimension to local history, revealing how a future French Emperor interpreted his affection for Southport’s Lord Street into the extensive redesign of Parisian streets.

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  • King James’s Book of Sports, 1617

    Article

    Forty years after his higher degree research into the history of sport, Trevor James explores the much wider context in which that research now stands. Four hundred years ago, in 1617, James I made a decisive intervention into the simmering debate which had existed since the puritanical upsurge in Queen...

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