By Adam Clulow On February 23, 1623, a Japanese mercenary called Shichizō in the employ of the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC) was arrested for asking questions about the defenses of one of the company’s forts on the remote island of Amboina in modern day Indonesia. When he failed to provide […]
By Edward Watson On February 7, Seattle’s non-profit broadcaster KEXP headed to London for their seventh annual International Clash Day. In celebration of The Clash’s London Calling turning 40 in December 2019, KEXP organized a 4-day live broadcast in Seattle and London, featuring performances from contemporary bands and covers of The Clash’s songs. Their intention […]
Embed from Getty Images by Edward Watson Fewer British politicians in the 20th century have been as inflammatory as Enoch Powell. On April 20, 1968, the Conservative MP and Shadow Defence Secretary criticized mass immigration from the Commonwealth into the UK during an address to the Conservative Political Centre in Birmingham. Dubbed the “Rivers […]
by Diana Heredia López A biography of an English scientist during the early Enlightenment may not seem like cutting edge scholarship.. In Collecting the World, James Delbourgo tells the multifaceted story of Hans Sloane, an Englishman who amassed a collection of nearly eighty thousand natural objects and curiosities through his work in natural history, commerce, […]
by Gajendra Singh University of Exeter Posted in partnership with the History Department at the University of Exeter and The Imperial and Global Forum. One of the earliest films to be shot and then screened throughout India were scenes from the Delhi Durbar between December 29, 1902 and January 10, 1903 The Imperial Durbar, created to celebrate […]
Something of a contrived crisis – or, at least, an avoidable one – Fashoda was also a Franco-British battle of words in which competing claims of imperial destiny, legal rights, ethical superiority, and gentility preserved in the face of provocation belied the local reality of yet more African territory seized by force.
By David Rahimi Writing in the middle of World War II, Freya Stark, a well-known British explorer and Arabist working for the Ministry of Information in the Middle East, penned an unpublished – and ultimately unfinished – twenty-five page essay, which she entitled Apology for Propaganda. When we think of government propaganda, we typically think […]
By Cynthia Talbot The world’s attention was captured in 2012 by the disaster that befell the Costa Concordia, a cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy leading to 32 deaths. This shipwreck is the most recent one covered in A History of the World in Sixteen Shipwrecks, whose expansive gaze covers much of […]
Magna Carta has often been hailed as a statement of fundamental law, the basis of the English constitution, a defense of individual liberty, the establishment of the rule of law, and even the foundation of English democracy. Actually, it was none of these.
Political and religious discord, disease, famine, fire, and death afflicted the lives of the English population between 1500 and 1700. While alcohol and tobacco provided an escape, Keith Thomas argues that astrology, magic, and religion offered all levels of society a way to make sense of human misfortune.