Happy Historical 2016!

Well, the hangovers have (mostly) subsided, the words to Auld Lang Syne have been hastily reforgotten, and Jools Holland has at last returned to his cave. All that remains, then, is to have a look at some of the big historical anniversaries we hit in 2016. And it’s going to be a bumper year… Everyone will…

The Real History of Multicultural Britain

We are a nation of migrants. It’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot these days, and in the wake of yet more divisive rhetoric from Ukip, and as we move into Black History Month, we’re going to hear it more. But is it true? Or is it just a convenient fiction – something…

Seven Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Scotland and England.

As Jockmaggeddon approaches, we are being bombarded with History. Really, really, terrible history – and not all of it the fault of Mel Gibson or the Daily Mail. Here, then, are seven things you’ve probably not been hearing, to bring some historical sanity before the McBreakup happens and we English suddenly have to rebuild Hadrian’s…

Debating Magna Carta

Here in England we are in the midst of a political row about Magna Carta. Yes, that’s right. As the world crumbles, we are debating the finer points of thirteenth century constitutional law. You would have thought we had better things to argue about. Iraq is falling apart, Vladimir Putin is strutting around Eastern Europe…

Nine Lessons from a Year on Twitter

According to an email I received this morning, today is my ‘Twitterversary’. Clearly the only rational response to such an email is to smash the nearest glass object. Unfortunately I’m on a bus, and I’m pretty sure this is frowned upon. In all fairness, I’ve found using Twitter to spread history through the interwaves quite…

‘All Tudor Life is There’. The Mary Rose Reborn.

The Mary Rose and I go way back. Like many people of my generation, my first experience of the Tudor warship came on a school trip. It’s the first school trip that stuck in my mind – taking the coach from Mudeford Junior School in Dorset, down the M27 to Portsmouth Historic Dockyards. In fact,…

Curriculum Wars

I suppose it’s nice to see History in the news. As purveyors of stuff that happened centuries ago we don’t really expect to spend much time in the media’s glare. But since Michael Gove’s new History curriculum, with its emphasis on chronology and factual ‘content’, was made public at Christmas, historians have been everywhere, and…