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When the Vatican put a Corpse on Trial

Dead Men CAN talk…   There are many odd stories from the Vatican, one of the perennial favourites is that in the Middle Ages there was a Pope Joan. The story goes that a woman managed to become Pope and the deception was only revealed after she gave birth as she mounted a horse. The list of Pope’s is pretty …

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World War One: The Trip

Why go on a World War One tour? The question was at the forefront of my mind as I boarded the ferry from Dover to Calais. My trip had started at Victoria coach station in London, but seeing the English Channel made the reality of what I was about to do really sink in. A century ago, my Great-Grandfathers had …

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793 AD : A year of ‘rapine and slaughter’

793 AD the year that should strike fear in every reader’s heart. Reading the contemporary sources for 793 and you’d be forgiven to think that you were reading Lord of the Rings, or a particularly apocalyptic section of the Bible- “A.D. 793.  This year came dreadful fore-warnings over the land of the Northumbrians, terrifying the people most woefully: thesewere immense sheets of …

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Taiwau Bozu: The bald geisha plague of 1901 by Michael Davies

The strange disease which has produced so much hilarity came, it is said, from Formosa; and a person may conclude that he has been attacked by it when he gets up in the morning and finds a hitherto hairy poll as bare as a billiard ball. No other symptoms make their appearance. It is bad enough for the Japanese gentlemen, …

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JAMES TAYLOR REVIEWS ‘THE BOMBERS AND THE BOMBED’ BY RICHARD OVERY

The Bombers and The Bombed: Allied Air War Over Europe 1940-1945 By Richard Overy Viking On the night of 27th July 1943, 729 RAF Bomber Command aircraft dropped 2,386 tons of bombs on the German city of Hamburg. The city’s shipbuilding industry meant that it was frequently a bombing target, but that night the majority of the bombs fell on …

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Historic St Pancras Launches Second Annual Lecture Series

An outlaw, unconventional women and a cross-dressing French spy will feature in a new series of lectures to raise money to keep the doors of historic St. Pancras Old Church open.   The church, in Pancras Road, Camden, reportedly a site of worship since the 4th century, may have to permanently close doors which have welcomed visitors for at least …

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ICONIC TEXTS: Julia Nicholls on ‘The Communist Manifesto’ by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels

In the second instalment of our brand new series of podcasts, Julia Nicholls discusses one of the most controversial texts of the 19th and 20th centuries. Written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in late 1847 and published in 1848, The Communist Manifesto begins with the immortal line: ‘A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism’. Written in response to European …

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The White Princess and The Lost Prince

Tony Boullemier reviews Philippa Gregory’s novel The White Princess and compares her theory on the Princes in the Tower to that of David Baldwin in his work of research, The Lost Prince.  If you enjoyed The White Queen TV series, based on Philippa Gregory’s book, your next step should be to read her follow-up novel The White Princess – the …

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ITV To Make The Great Fire of London Drama

The story of humble baker Thomas Farriner and his fabled involvement in The Great Fire of London is to be dramatised for ITV. Described as being ‘inspired by the historical events of 1666’, the decadent court of King Charles II will provide the backdrop to one of the most catastrophic events in London’s history. Written by author and political commentator Tom Bradby …

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