Britain & Ireland

Women and social history can be overlooked themes in periods where records tended to focus on money, religion and Kings. While those latter themes are covered in this section so are features on individual women, their relationships with power and how they were able to influence politics and the people around them. Social history is also addressed through the stories of Hermits, soldiers, tax records and revolting peasantry with nobles. Read more

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  • Norfolk and Suffolk Churches: The Domesday Record

    Article

    Norfolk and Suffolk Churches: The Domesday Record, David Butcher, Poppyland Publishing, 2019, 369p, £14-95. ISBN 9781909796614. This is a very specialist book with a seemingly rather local potential audience. However, those who, in the distant past, were much influenced by H. C. Darby’s examination of various aspects of Domesday Geography...

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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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  • Out and About in Chester

    Article

    This ‘aide memoire’ to Chester’s local history has been prepared to enable 2019 Annual Conference delegates – and other visitors – to gain a ‘flavour’ of what Chester has to offer.  A visitor to Chester encounters the bustle and excitement of a busy cathedral city but behind this façade lies...

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  • Woodland in the East Staffordshire landscape

    Article

    Richard Stone explains that the natural landscape can be a resource for anyone exploring local topography. The idea for researching this topic came while reading Oliver Rackham’s excellent Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape. Calculations based on woodland recorded in Domesday Book revealed my home county of Staffordshire, with...

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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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  • The Tudor monarchy in Ireland

    Article

    Sean Connolly illustrates how Tudor dreams of a reformed Ireland were not realised – instead tensions between Irish magnates and the English Crown often erupted into violence.

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  • St Theobald of Provins and evidence of charcoal-burning

    Article

    Trevor James has been researching the ‘saintly landscape’ for over 40 years. Here is a glimpse of what he has identified.

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  • Dangerous Women of the Scottish Wars of Independence

    Article

    Kate Ash-Irisarri shows how three redoubtable women had significant roles in the difficult and dangerous period of the Scottish Wars of Independence.

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  • Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians, 918-2018

    Article

    Many fascinating individuals appear in the British Library’s Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition – Bede, Alfred, Canute, Emma, William the Conqueror – but one deserves to be much better known, especially in this her anniversary year: one of the most important women in British history, hers is a classic case of the...

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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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  • Alfred versus the Viking Great Army

    Article

    Stunning archaeological discoveries have shed new light on the reign of Alfred the Great and his struggles with the Vikings, revealing the might of the Viking armies and the international connections of his kingdom.

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  • Out and About in Ryedale

    Article

    Tom Pickles explores Ryedale in Yorkshire, where an extraordinary network of churches bears witness to the social, political, and religious transformations of the Anglo-Saxon period.

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

    Article

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  • New light on Rendlesham

    Article

    New research at a royal palace site close to Sutton Hoo poses fresh questions about the nature of the early Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Christopher Scull and Tom Williamson look at how landscape studies can change our understanding of early English royal rule.

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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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  • Laughing Shall I Die: Lives and Deaths of the Great Vikings

    Article

    Laughing Shall I Die: Lives and Deaths of the Great Vikings, Tom Shippey, Reaktion Books, hardback, 2018, ISBN 9781780239095 Tom Shippey’s major new study of the Vikings comes highly recommended, tipped by Professor Jesse Byock to become ‘a classic’ since ‘it takes the reader deep into the world and thought...

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  • Warfare, Raiding and Defence in Early Medieval Britain

    Article

    Warfare, Raiding and Defence in Early Medieval Britain, by Erik Grigg, Marlborough: Robert Hale, 2018, 224 pp., £25; ISBN 978 0 7198 26788. A sophisticated analysis of defence in early-medieval Britain that focuses on the widespread building of early-modern dykes in order to thwart the raids that were an incessant...

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  • Eleanor of Aquitaine’s journey

    Article

    Danielle E.A. Park takes us on a journey across the Pyrenees and Alps with a redoubtable woman. Eleanor of Aquitaine has acquired a reputation as something of a femme fatale. Her considerable inheritance of Aquitaine, marriages to two kings, the allegations of an affair with her uncle Raymond  of Poitiers,...

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  • Robert Grosseteste (c. 1170-1253)

    Article

    Jack Cunningham considers a medieval philosopher, the significance of whose ideas has grown in importance through the centuries. An appreciation of Grosseteste the thinker has not always been at its appropriate level during the almost 800 years since his death. If historians have paid attention to the great man this ...

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