Who Was Worse – Henry VIII or Ivan the Terrible?

This recent survey by the Historical Writers Association has declared Henry VIII the “worst monarch in history”. I, like many historians on Twitter, find this a fairly ridiculous thing to state – not least because what is being measured when we say “worst”? Is it a moral question, or one of political success? And is…

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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 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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