Greg’s Top Writing Tips

I was recently asked in this interview to give my top writing tips for budding bloggers and history writers. I don’t profess to know anything at all, and there are much better people to ask, but, based on the fact I’ve read thousands of books, I thought I’d have a crack at a vaguely amusing…

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The Surprising History of Your Morning Routine

One day in the future, when we are wizened and grey, we may look back on our lives and regale our great-grandkids with the Kodak moments that shone like beacons in our own personal biography – our nervous first kiss, our first passionate love affair, the excitement of passing the driving test, the joy of…

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A MILLION YEARS IN A DAY – BIBLIOGRAPHY

Hello, you look nice today. Have you done something new with your hair? No, seriously, it really suits you. Anyway, the reason you’re here is hopefully because you enjoyed my book and perhaps want to know more about some of the things I mentioned?  I really hope that’s the case, because that’s the raison d’etre for my entire…

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The Richard III Reburial: What Does It Say About Us?

So, the Richard III reburial, eh? Let’s be honest, who among us expected that the first televised funeral of a British monarch, that we would see in our lifetimes, would be that of a man who died five centuries ago? I’m pretty sure we all would have bet the house on our beloved nonagenarian Queen…

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Jeremy Clarkson: The Denim-Quilted Jester We Love To Hate

When I was a boy, in the hazy days of the early 90s, Jeremy Clarkson would appear on my telly, clad almost entirely in denim, leaning against mid-range Nissan saloons and talking about clutches. This was a worthy purpose, I surmised. At that age, like many boys, I found the pantheon of differing cars on…

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Animals On The Wall: Cave Art & Stone Age Pets

Thousands of years ago in the frosty depths of the Last Ice Age, with each cool breath lingering wispily under their noses, people we might call Ug and Nug sat in dimly lit caves, ensconced from the perils of the outside world. At some point they looked at those barren cave walls and decided to scribble…

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Beer or Wine: A Short History of Alcohol

THE HISTORY OF ALCOHOL: BEER OR WINE? We Brits are traditionally beer drinkers, though our middle class aspirations have seen us increasingly switch to wine instead. But how did these two drinks come to dominate our culture? Let’s go back to the beginning. In the Bronze Age, wine and beer were considered the gifts of…

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The Bizarre History of Animals On Trial

We’ve all heard of animal trials; the controversial experiments on animals that give us our vital medicines, but also our inessential shampoos. But what about animals ON trial? Well, weirdly, that was once very much the case. In medieval and Renaissance Europe the application of logic in the legal system was paramount, despite our widely-held…

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The History of Communication: It’s Nothing New

If you’re hoping to understand the history of communication, perhaps it’s best to start with the obvious. Communication technology is nothing new, because technology is not just the shiny iPhone in your pocket. There’s an old joke about a young German boy who has been totally mute since birth. His parents are worried sick, and have…

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How To Trend On Twitter: Do Good Ideas Always Spread?

This is an essay about how to trend on twitter, but it didn’t start that way. It all began rather innocently. In June 2011, while on my lunch break, I was seeking audience feedback on the television programme I made at the time, a children’s comedy sketch-show called ‘Horrible Histories’. Series 3 was a few…

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