Research Seminar Review of ‘The Cartel: A model for socio-political organization in Archaic Greece’

Written by Lisa Doyle This lecture by Professor Gunnar Seelentag took place on 17 October 2018. In what was quite an information-heavy presentation, Professor Seelentag informed us of his objective to understand the emergence and development of political institutions in seventh and sixth centuries BC, and the role the dynamics of competitive behaviour played in the process. His approach to this topic was to employ … Continue reading Research Seminar Review of ‘The Cartel: A model for socio-political organization in Archaic Greece’

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. Macnutt’s descriptions of towns like Istanbul bring to life the … Continue reading Review of ‘On Five Dollars a Day’ by James W. MacNutt

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

Written by Martha Stutchbury  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 veiled reference to what the documentary refers to as a ‘the world’s first secret service’ – headed by … Continue reading Review: ‘Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents’ Series 1, Episode 1

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 dedicated to the subject is sometimes frustrating. I plan to … Continue reading An invisible historical landscape: Barcelona’s Civil War tours

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 the stunning archaeological and architectural treasures of this multifaceted and … Continue reading Ancient Invisible Cities by Dr. Michael Scott: Istanbul

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 helped to shape the world since his death by assassination … Continue reading TV Review: ‘Julius Caesar Revealed’

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 to see the ghostly apparition of a small girl named … Continue reading Historical attraction review: ‘The Real Mary King’s Close’

Book review: Peter Clarke’s ‘Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000’

Written by Daniel Sharp     Peter Clarke’s history of twentieth-century Britain was first published in 1996 before being updated and republished under a new subtitle in 2004. It is this latter version which is under review here and which – as I read it recently in my spare time – astonished me with its depth and breadth of narrative and analysis. Hope and Glory … Continue reading Book review: Peter Clarke’s ‘Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000’

A Review of ‘Napoleon the great? A debate with Andrew Roberts, Adam Zamoyski and Jeremy Paxman’ from Intelligence Squared

Written by Daniel Sharp   In 2014, the historian Andrew Roberts published Napoleon the Great, a biography of the Emperor of the French which argued forcefully that he deserves the appellation Roberts gives him in the book’s title. This is, of course, a controversial position – Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the most divisive figures in history. Some see him as a bloodthirsty tyrant and … Continue reading A Review of ‘Napoleon the great? A debate with Andrew Roberts, Adam Zamoyski and Jeremy Paxman’ from Intelligence Squared

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 played as a sadist and a conniving toad by Simon … Continue reading Film review: The Death of Stalin

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 year but which we are now happy to publish. Reproduced … Continue reading Russia Strikes Back: A Postscript to ‘Is Stalin Really Dead?’

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