Category: Essays

Toppling Tyrants: Early Medieval Approaches to Regime Change

By Harry Mawdsley “[He] had very little sense. He conducted all his affairs without paying the slightest heed, till at length, employing a heavy hand against [his subjects], he was the cause of violent hatred and outrage among them” Such was the damning description… Continue Reading “Toppling Tyrants: Early Medieval Approaches to Regime Change”

A Royal Bedroom: Gender, Class and Material Culture

By Esther Griffin van Orsouw For my PhD research at the University of Warsaw, I investigate the consumption of art by the Sobieski family and their contemporaries in the late 17th and early 18th century in relation to space. I consider what type of… Continue Reading “A Royal Bedroom: Gender, Class and Material Culture”

A Sexual Tour of Venice: Mapping a Sixteenth-Century Catalogue of Courtesans

By Hannah Johnston Sometime around 1565, a price-list of Venice’s cortigiane oneste, or “honest courtesans,” who served the city’s upper echelons, was published in Venice.[1] Titled Il catalogo di tutte le principali et più honorate cortigiane di Venezia (“The Catalogue of All the Principal… Continue Reading “A Sexual Tour of Venice: Mapping a Sixteenth-Century Catalogue of Courtesans”

Ghanaian Racial Citizenship in the Soviet Union and U.S., 1957-1966

By Nana Osei-Opare On May 25, 2020, a white American police officer, Derek Chauvin, and two other police officers murdered George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man. Floyd’s murder sparked global outrage and a reckoning on anti-Black racism. Even right-wing television evangelist Pat Robertson, a… Continue Reading “Ghanaian Racial Citizenship in the Soviet Union and U.S., 1957-1966”

Women collectors, Lady Associates and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland

By Julie Holder When I tell people that I research the nineteenth-century history of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a very specific idea of an ‘antiquary’ comes to mind: white, male, and middle or upper class. And to a great extent this view… Continue Reading “Women collectors, Lady Associates and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland”

The Palace Museum of Tomorrow

By Esther Griffin – van Orsouw Stories of royal and noble courts capture the imagination of millions of people all over the world. If we look at the offer on streaming services, we see historical titles such as ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’, ‘Versailles’, ‘The… Continue Reading “The Palace Museum of Tomorrow”

Celebrating the Accession Day of Elizabeth I of England, 1558 and Beyond

By Aidan Norrie On 17 November 1558, Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, succeeded to the throne of England and Ireland upon the death of her half-sister Mary I. She was England’s fourth monarch in eleven years (or fifth, if Jane Grey… Continue Reading “Celebrating the Accession Day of Elizabeth I of England, 1558 and Beyond”

‘”A celebrated correspondence between the charming Mrs C- formerly well-known in the fashionable World – & her Amiable Daughter”’: The Historical Importance of the letters of Hitty and Bess Canning.[1]

By Rachel Smith Whilst reading through the eighteenth-century Canning Family archive at the West Yorkshire Archive Service in Leeds, I came across a rather interesting letter from John Murray, a publisher, to a Mrs Butler. Dated 25th July 1912, he wrote that I gather… Continue Reading “‘”A celebrated correspondence between the charming Mrs C- formerly well-known in the fashionable World – & her Amiable Daughter”’: The Historical Importance of the letters of Hitty and Bess Canning.[1]

Face to Face Encounters: Letter-Writers and Portrait Photographs in the Russian State Archive

Hannah Parker On the final research trip for my PhD, I found some small portrait photographs of letter-writers in a file of between some hundred and a thousand 1925 letters to the editor of Krest’ianka – a series of biographies with enclosed photographs from… Continue Reading “Face to Face Encounters: Letter-Writers and Portrait Photographs in the Russian State Archive”

A History of Argument: Teaching Students Critical Analysis

By Andrew Struan Writing in 1808 when in office as President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson told his grandson: ‘I never yet saw an instance of one of two disputants convincing the other by argument’. Continuing this line of thought in his letter,… Continue Reading “A History of Argument: Teaching Students Critical Analysis”