Britain & Ireland

The Tudors continue to fascinate and some of their story is told here along with the other dynasty of the period the Stuarts. Alongside those resources are the podcasts on the ideas that transformed British society during that period and created a United Kingdom for the first time. The industrial revolution is explored through poetry as well as technology. Religious collapse, change and diversity are all themes explored in this section. Read more

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  • The Pioneering Life of Mary Wortley Montagu: Scientist and Feminist

    Article

    The Pioneering Life of Mary Wortley Montagu: Scientist and Feminist, Jo Willett, Pen and Sword, 2021, 256p, £25-00. ISBN 9781526779380 Mary Wortley Montagu was baptised on 26 May 1689 and died on 21 August 1762 in London. From a wealthy aristocratic family, she had great intellectual curiosity and the opportunities...

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  • Thomas Chippendale

    Article

    Thomas Chippendale, Adam Bowett and James Lomax, Shire Publications, 2021, 64p, £8-99. ISBN 978-1-78442-477-0. Thomas Chippendale has a claim to be Britain’s most famous furniture designer and manufacturer. Although we will have seen examples of his exquisite work in country houses and museums, we will not necessarily know very much...

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  • The British Empire on trial

    Article

    In the light of present-day concerns about the place, in a modern world, of statues commemorating figures whose roles in history are of debatable merit, Dr Gregory Gifford puts the British Empire on trial, presenting a balanced case both for and against. In June 2020 when the statue of slave-trader Edward Colston...

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  • My Favourite History Place: Castle Hill, Huddersfield

    Article

    Alison Hramiak tempts us to visit Castle Hill, south of Huddersfield, to look for traces of our long dead ancestors, to contemplate the passing of the centuries on that site and to enjoy the lovely views. It’s often the way that we ignore what’s geographically close to us when we visit...

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  • ‘Zulu’ and the end of Empire

    Article

    In this article, Nicolas Kinloch examines the 1964 film Zulu. He suggests what it might tell us about the reality of the British Empire and asks if it has anything to say about the era in which the film was made. One of the most successful British films of 1964...

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  • History Abridged: The census

    Article

    History Abridged: This feature seeks to take a person, event or period and abridge, or focus on, an important event or detail that can get lost in the big picture. Think Horrible Histories for grownups (without the songs and music). Most of us are aware that 2021 was a census...

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  • Eyam: the plague village 1665-66

    Article

    Richard Stone explores the self-sacrifice of a Seventeenth Century village during an epidemic. History shows us these ‘unprecedented times’ are not that far from previous historical experiences. Lockdown, quarantine, self-isolation, ‘second wave’, ‘third wave’, airborne disease, churches closed; the Covid-19 experience resonates with the plight of the villagers of Eyam, three-and-a-half centuries...

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  • Disease and healthcare on the Isle of Man

    Article

    Caroline Smith provides a perspective, past and present, of the experiences of epidemics on the Isle of Man.  In recent times health has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Epidemics and pandemics are not new, but the Covid-19 outbreak is probably the first to have such a noticeable effect...

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  • Plague, Pestilence and Pandemic: Voices from History

    Article

    Plague, Pestilence and Pandemic: Voices from History, [ed] Peter Furtado, Thames and Hudson, 2021, 335p, £20-00. ISBN 978-0-500-25258-1. This book is very timely in its arrival. Peter Furtado, the former Editor of History Today, has provided us with two approaches to the issue of Plague, Pestilence and Pandemic. In the...

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  • Come Wind, Come Weather: Storm: Tempest and Other Natural Phenomena within Local Sources

    Article

    Come Wind, Come Weather: Storm: Tempest and Other Natural Phenomena within Local Sources, Trevor James, Lichfield Press, 2021, 116p. £10-00.  ISBN 978-0-905985-62-6  What a pleasure it is to review a book by that arch-reviewer, Dr Trevor James. This book follows closely on his previous one, England’s Saintly Landscapes, and confirms...

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  • Out and About: Tynemouth Priory

    Article

    Approximately 10 miles east of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and just over 10 minutes walk from my home, the imposing ruins of Tynemouth Priory command sea, river, and land from the promontory between King Edward’s Bay and Prior’s Haven. While the Priory dates back to the eleventh century, the headland on which it sits,...

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  • This Sovereign Isle: Britain In and Out of Europe

    Article

    This Sovereign Isle: Britain In and Out of Europe, Robert Tombs, Allen Lane, 2021, 203 pp, £16.99. ISBN 978-0-241-48038-0  Robert Tombs is well-known for his works on French and English history and he has turned his hand to an admirably concise history of Britain’s relationship with its European neighbours from the...

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  • Film: Attic Inscriptions

    Article

    Public Museums, National Trust Properties and private homes across the UK contain thousands of antiquities deriving from the ancient Greek world. Many of these were obtained by those who ventured upon the Grand Tour, a cultural expedition to Europe undertaken by wealthy young men in the eighteenth and ninteteenth centuries. In...

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  • Thames Mudlarking: Searching for London’s Lost Treasures

    Article

    Thames Mudlarking: Searching for London’s Lost Treasures, Jason Sandy and Nick Stevens, Shire, 2021, 96pp, £9-99. ISBN 9781784424329.  For two hours every day low tide exposes what this book calls ‘the ‘longest archaeological site in Britain’. Erosion and riverboat activity regularly reveal new artefacts. Henry Mayhew, in London Labour and...

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  • Tracing Your Prisoner Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians, Stephen Wade

    Article

    Tracing Your Prisoner Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians, Stephen Wade, Pen and Sword, 2020, 176p, £14-99. ISBN 9781526778529 This is part of a very helpful series that has been produced by Pen and Sword. In this volume Stephen Wade guides us into a potentially unfamiliar area of family and...

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  • Before Windrush: West Indians in Britain

    Article

    Before Windrush: West Indians in Britain, Asher and Martin Hoyles, Hansib, 2020, 144p, £9-99. ISBN 978-1-912662-29-6. This is a very significant book, being highly relevant to the politics and attitudes of our own times. Asher and Martin Hoyles explore the presence of West Indian people in Britain before the arrival...

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  • The Invisible Building: St John's in Bridgend

    Article

    Molly Cook, winner of this year's Historical Association Young Historian Local History Award, unravels the mystery of a local icon and tells us about her success in inspiring Bridgend to engage with its fascinating past. Having worked on previous projects relating to the history of Bridgend and its place in...

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  • Exploring the witch craze

    30th October 2020

    This weekend the spectre of Halloween has been in the air; traditionally a celebration of the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. Whilst we're all used to the macabre symbols of ghouls and witches, particularly at this time of year, what is the history of these supernatural figures? We've drawn...

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  • Film: The Origins of Mass Society - Speech, Sex and Drink in Urbanising Britain, 1780-1870

    Article

    Professor Peter Mandler is the current president of the Historical Association. As part of our 'presidents season' for the HA Virtual Branch he gave a fascinating talk on The Origins of Mass Society: Speech, Sex and Drink in Urbanising Britain, 1780-1870. In this talk he explores the impact of the changes in...

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  • The English Civil War: An Atlas and Concise History of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1639-51

    Article

    The English Civil War: An Atlas and Concise History of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1639-51, Nick Lipscombe, Osprey, 2020, 389p, £50-00.                   ISBN 9781472829726. This is an extraordinarily thorough book. Simultaneously it manages both to provide a clear commentary on military experiences within the Three Kingdoms whilst also providing...

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