Discovering My Family’s Holocaust History (it’s been a strange week…)

Hello, I’m normally a fairly upbeat chap and, if you follow my career, you’ll know I try quite hard to make history entertaining and enjoyable. I am not above writing a gratuitous fart joke (or seven). But please forgive me for this more serious, and painful, post. I’m in a strange mood while writing it,…

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Which Big Tent Cost More: #GBBO or Henry VIII’s Field of Cloth of Gold?

Hi! I saw BBC sports journalist Dan Walker tweet this lovely joke about the Great British Bake Off this morning, and it instantly got me thinking. In terms of very expensive tents, history is full of them – Genghis Khan had one, and so did King Xerxes of Persia (it was captured by the enemy,…

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Should TV Dramas & Films Be Historically Accurate?

VERSAILLES – VICTORIA – POLDARK – RIPPER STREET – PEAKY BLINDERS – MAD MEN – REIGN – LINCOLN – THE BIG SHORT – SPOTLIGHT – BRAVEHEART – THE IMITATION GAME – THE BUTLER These are all high profile historical dramas/films. But here’s a question for you: “…should TV dramas & movies be historically accurate?” ——————————————————– As you…

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VERSAILLES TV Drama on BBC2: The Real History Behind The Show

Introduction Hello! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed watching BBC Two’s Versailles TV drama. Coming from the quills of noted showrunners David Wolstencroft and Simon Mirren, both known for gripping series with a conspiratorial bent (i.e. Spooks), it was no surprise when this drama arrived with a hearty dollop of sex, violence, tension, and intrigue. Speaking as a neutral TV…

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MY NEW BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT! The History of Celebrity

Greetings! Depending on how you felt about my first book, I come bearing good/terrible news. Yes, the fine people at Weidenfeld & Nicolson have commissioned me to write a second history book, and this one is all about… *drum roll* …The history of celebrity! Yes, given the huge pervasiveness of celebrity culture in the modern…

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How Did Women In The Past Deal With Their Periods? The History of Menstruation

Hi! Before you start reading my blog on the history of periods, I’m excited to say that my funny history book A MILLION YEARS IN A DAY : A CURIOUS HISTORY OF DAILY LIFE, FROM THE STONE AGE TO THE PHONE AGE is available around the world in 10 languages. Check out the reviews on Amazon or GoodReads to…

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