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CRISIS HUNTER: THE LAST FLIGHT OF JOE KENNEDY JR

Exactly 70 years on, a new book re-opens the events of August 1944 when US Navy pilot Joe Kennedy Jr, older brother of future US President John F. Kennedy, was killed over the Suffolk countryside in a top secret mission pioneering drone aircraft for the first time. In this new short book, Kennedy-era researcher Paul Elgood, who uncovered the long forgotten story of JFK’s visit to Birch Grove shortly before his 1963 assassination, recounts these wartime events and journeys to the site …

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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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ICONIC TEXTS: Dr Joanne Paul on ‘Utopia’ by Thomas More

  In the third installment of our new series of podcasts, Dr Joanne Paul explores a text written by one of the most prominent players of the Tudor court. Sir Thomas More’s Utopia – conceived while the author was on a diplomatic mission for Henry VIII – was first published in Latin in 1516 and translated into English in 1551 (years after More’s execution). …

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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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Five Minutes With… Melanie Backe-Hansen

Melanie Backe-Hansen is an historian, author and speaker. She specialises in social history of houses and streets and is the author of the acclaimed books ‘House Histories: The Secrets Behind Your Front Door’ and ‘Historic Streets and Squares: The Secrets on Your Doorstep’  What is an historian? This is rather a difficult question to answer, and I’m suddenly transported back into time (of …

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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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THE HANOVER: 300 Years of British-German Royal Ties

2014 marks the 300th anniversary of the Hanoverian accession to the British Throne, a crucial moment in which the new British nation created an original sense of style that is still recognised across the world today. With the death of Queen Anne and the unsuccessful search for a Protestant heir in England, the British monarchy turned to its distant relatives …

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