From Reviews

Review of ‘On Five Dollars a Day’ by James W. MacNutt

Written by Toby Gay Rather like the 1957 guidebook with which the work shares its name, James W. MacNutt’s On Five Dollars A Day can be appreciated for being an exceptionally precise and intimate tool with which to explore over 20 European cities, albeit instead of the work of fiction it presents itself to be.…

Review: ‘Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents’ Series 1, Episode 1

Written by Martha Stutchbury  Image: Isaac Oliver, The Rainbow Portrait, (c.1600),  http://www.everypainterpaintshimself.com/article/isaac_olivers_rainbow_portrait_of_queen_elizabeth_i_c.1600, Accessed 04/11/2018 BBC’S Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents aired this month for the first time since its 2017 debut and provides fascinating insight into the meaning behind Isaac Oliver’s famous portrait of the Virgin Queen, which shows her majesty’s garments adorned with eyes and ears, in a…

An invisible historical landscape: Barcelona’s Civil War tours

Written by Josh Newmark Image: Albggt, Placa de Catalunya, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/574068283732608796/, 04/11/2018 In a country which is often described as suffering from ‘historical amnesia’ towards its Civil War and subsequent dictatorship, Civil War tours of Barcelona bring history to life where it is otherwise inapparent. For those intrigued by the Spanish Civil War, the lack of much museum space…

Ancient Invisible Cities by Dr. Michael Scott: Istanbul

Written by Toby Gay Image: Photograph of Dr. Michael Scott as promo for BBC series, Ancient Invisible Cities Dr. Michael Scott concludes his three-part series Ancient Invisible Cities with its strongest episode: Istanbul. Combining his typically smooth enthusiasm with the latest 3D scanning technology, Scott allows the visuals to do most of the work in revealing…

TV Review: ‘Julius Caesar Revealed’

Written by Daniel Sharp     The BBC’s recent documentary about Julius Caesar was a lively and entertaining re-evaluation of one of the classical world’s most famous figures. With Professor (and now Dame) Mary Beard as our guide, we are invited to consider the many ways in which Caesar, his achievements, and his actions have…

Historical attraction review: ‘The Real Mary King’s Close’

Written by Daniel Sharp     In the 1990s, a Japanese medium visited Mary King’s Close in Edinburgh’s Old Town. She sensed nothing at all until she entered a perfectly preserved seventeenth-century house and felt a despairing presence in the room. Turning to leave, the medium felt a tug on her trouser leg and turned…

Film review: The Death of Stalin

Written by Scarlett Butler     The film The Death of Stalin, adapted from a French comic of the same name, considers the power struggle which follows Stalin’s (Adrian McLoughlin) death and which rages whilst the Soviet high-ups are arranging the dictator’s funeral. The main rivals are the Minister for Internal Affairs, Lavrenti Beria, convincingly…

Russia Strikes Back: A Postscript to ‘Is Stalin Really Dead?’

EDITORIAL NOTE: In our printed ‘Individuals and Communities’ edition of last year (no. 21) Deana Davis wrote a review of the film The Death of Stalin. Deana wrote a postscript to her review not long after for publication on our website concerning then-recent developments to the film’s status in Russia, which slipped through the cracks earlier this…

Seminar review: ‘Franciscan Women as Architects of the ‘Heavenly Courts’ in Bohemia and the Polish Duchies, c.1234–1320’ by Dr. Kirsty Day

Written by Candice Maharaj   On 31 October 2017, Dr. Kirsty Day, a teaching Fellow in Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh, conducted a seminar on her current work – Franciscan Women as Architects of the ‘Heavenly Courts’ in Bohemia and the Polish Duchies, c.1234–1320. Dr. Day’s research on this topic explores the close…