We Think It's All Over
04 July 2014

Summer 2014 may have already given us some glorious sunshine, but spirits have definitely been dampened by dismal sporting performances. We've all experienced the uplifting effect that a successful campaign can have on the nation and, more relevantly in recent weeks, the opposite.

The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
27 June 2014

On 28th June 1914 Archduke Franz Ferdinand, an incident that stunned Europe and set in motion a series of events leading to the outbreak of World War I. Adam Matthew’s First World War resource contains documents, images and video footage that help to tell the story of the shooting and its aftermath.

Felines: Friend or Foe?
20 June 2014

Cats: love them or hate them, they’re here to stay. In fact, cats in Britain seem to be more popular than ever, as a survey by one of the mobile phone networks recently revealed; apparently we post 3.8 million photos or videos a day onto the internet. Indeed, over 350,000 cat owners have even set up social network accounts on behalf of their beloved furry friends.

Henry and Lucy Knox; a couple separated by the Revolutionary War
11 June 2014

Over the past couple of weeks I have been working with the Henry Knox collection held at the Gilder Lehrman Institute; a collection that looks at one of the key military figures of the Revolutionary War.

Complaining: A Very British Art
03 June 2014

Did you vote in the elections two weeks ago? Horror, apathy, fatalism and despair are all emotions I’ve come across since the results were published, from many different people from various walks of life. Everybody sees politics slightly differently, but nobody ever seems to be particularly happy about the outcome.

A Stage for the Brave
12 May 2014

I, for one, adore the theatre; the bright lights, the energy, the set, the somewhat mystical quality that envelops you when confronted with the stage, upon which unfurls anything from a deeply moving fictitious work to light-hearted and humorous banter. After all, we all seek a sense of escapism and a yearning for pure entertainment.

A Very Regal Rejection of Tobacco
12 May 2014

It’s not exactly a common occurrence these days that the mere mention of tobacco is met with an audible gasp of wonder. But this was precisely the reaction I encountered recently whilst delivering a webinar showcasing our resource Global Commodities: Trade, Exploration & Cultural Exchange

Annoy the enemy upon all quarters!
15 April 2014

Long experience has shown the human race that the surest way to provoke technological innovation is to fight a war. This being so, I shouldn’t have been surprised to find in the papers of Henry Knox, general in the Continental Army and artillery specialist during the American War of Independence, a design from about 1775 for an improved, and rather intriguing, type of naval vessel.

Channelling my Inner Wood Nymph: The Women’s Land Army in WW1
04 April 2014

After months of rain and grey skies we are finally seeing glimpses of a proper spring. New lambs are in the fields and my garden, which has resembled a muddy swamp for most of the winter, is now beginning to pop with colour. Even the chickens, who have sulked in their coop for months, have begun to lay again

Dance with the Devil: William Ellis, missionary, and Hawaiian hula
28 March 2014

To the mind of the twenty-first-century tourist, Hawaiian hula dancing is symbolic of Pacific island paradise. Against a backdrop of golden sands and blue waters, we envision dancers bedecked in grass skirts, moving effortlessly to lilting ukuleles. However, if we travel back almost two hundred years, to over a century before Hawaii became an American state, we see the hula at the centre of a moral battleground.

The Power of Celebrity
18 March 2014

The Institute for Motivational Research often employed ‘depth interviews’, an approach to consumer surveys that asked quasi-psychiatric questions to expound the sub-conscious motivations behind consumer choice. In the reports for Quality Bakers, Dichter and his team asked their pool of respondents to describe the qualities they associate with famous actors, with the final report ranking the considered endorsers in terms of appropriateness for the wholesome, energy-giving qualities they wanted Sunbeam bread to embody.

Don’t Forget to Check for Nails ...
07 March 2014

On a very wet Sunday evening, four inches deep in Wiltshire mud with a horse in one hand and an obstinate gate in the other, I had a flash of inspiration for my object of the week.

The First Cut is the Deepest
07 March 2014

This page is taken from De Formatu Foetu, or, The Formation of the Foetus, a work by the Flemish anatomist Adrianus Spigelius that examined the female reproductive system.

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