Dreams in Treasure Island
24 April 2015

At the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1925 the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, aiming to promote their railway to a British audience, showcased their wildly popular ‘Treasure Island’ installation. The island was a magical world created for children and big children alike where they could clamber aboard miniature trains Peter Pan and Alice to explore the Canadian Rockies.

The thunderbolt has fallen: Memorialising Lincoln
15 April 2015

On April 14th 1865, America’s ruinous Civil War seemed finally to be drawing to a close. Five days earlier, General Lee had surrendered his army and to those walking Washington’s corridors of power, the war seemed all but won. However many in the South were still desperate to revive the Confederate cause, including John Wilkes Booth and his three co-conspirators.

Milan 2015 and the Legacy of World's Fairs
13 April 2015

If ever there was a way to twist my arm and persuade me to visit romantic, historic Milan this summer, the prospect of a huge, international celebration of food is a pretty convincing one. Expo Milan 2015 is just such an event, but my primary interest is not in pizza (honest), but in Expo 2015’s place in the legacy of World’s Fairs.

Do your duty as workingmen
10 April 2015

Six days from today shall mark the ninety eighth anniversary of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s return to Russia after more than a decade of exile abroad.

I wonder which is father...
01 April 2015

The guidelines for creating the archetypal ‘advertisement’, be it on television or in written form, seemed to me to be relatively straightforward; ensure clear product placement, create an element of desirability and use clear, bold branding.

Britain's Banished Men
27 March 2015

BBC Two’s newest period drama Banished sheds light on the lives of the first penal colony established in Australia. The likes of Russell Tovey, Julian Rhind-Tutt, and MyAnna Buring portray the lives of convicts and soldiers trying to serve their time and get by in the wilds of New South Wales. Life seems incredibly brutal in this environment and one would imagine the real lives of the first convicts and soldiers would have been terribly difficult.

Warrior Sportsmen: Rugby Football & the Great War
20 March 2015

If, like me, you have been avidly watching the rugby of both the men’s and women’s Six Nations tournaments over the last few weeks, you will no doubt be feeling the tension rise as we approach the grand finales tomorrow. Whether you have been supporting the English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, French or Italians, I think you will agree that it has been a cracking spectacle with the players taking centre stage.

Anyone for a Guinness?
17 March 2015

A global phenomenon, few patron saints are as enthusiastically celebrated as St. Patrick. Credited for bringing Christianity to Ireland’s pagans in the fourth century, he has since become a symbol of Irish patriotism. And it doesn’t seem to matter much where you are in the world on 17 March ¬– chances are you’ll be encouraged to wear green, don your fanciest shamrock brooch and gulp down gallons of Guinness.

Sweet Home Weeksville
13 March 2015

I think the majority of us will agree that our most treasured possession is the home in which we live. It is filled with objects that define us and, in some cases, legacies that outlive us. It is within these walls that we create a sense of belonging, an identity.

The Jews of British Colonial America
06 March 2015

With an academic background in British-Jewish studies, I am naturally drawn to archival material on Jewish life and culture. Whilst examining documents sourced from the Colonial Office for Adam Matthew’s forthcoming resource Colonial America (first instalment publishing in autumn 2015), I found some intriguing material relating to early Jewish settlers in the New World.

Equal Pay for Equal Work
27 February 2015

Through all the glitz and glam of the Oscars one part of the ceremony that has got everyone talking is Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech for her Best Supporting Actress award. She received huge support in the theatre audience (as can be seen in the reactions of the likes of Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez) and created a stir on social media as she demanded equal rights for women.

Close-up, fade-out clinch; the world’s greatest kiss!
23 January 2015

When American innovator, Thomas Alva Edison, and his British predecessor, Eadweard Muybridge, set themselves the grand task of inventing a device that could capture movement on film, they surely could not have predicted the social, ethical and moral repercussions that would surface and surround moving pictures from that point onwards.

China fights in Britain
22 January 2015

In the British popular memory of the Second World War, China is largely absent. Japan had invaded and annexed Chinese Manchuria eight years before Nazi Germany marched into Poland, so in one sense the war began on Chinese soil. But perhaps it is because of this that we forget about them – they only became our allies because their war with Japan happened, after 1941, to coincide with ours.

Elephants on Milsom Street, Bath
09 January 2015

Whilst exploring the visual collections of Victorian Popular Culture, a photograph caught my eye. It showed a group of elephants processing down Milsom Street in Bath – not a sight you see every day! The caption was simply “Barnum’s procession through Bath” and I was intrigued to find out more.

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