From Oral to Written Folklore: The Evolution and Reception of the Icelandic Saga

The Icelandic Sagas are more than stories about a heroic age of kings, of trolls and witches, and magical phenomenon unseen by our modern eyes. They offer a complex resource of what early settlers of the island deemed important to their heritage. Since the thirteenth century, scholars have attempted to understand the departure from the oral tradition of storytelling to the more advanced written tradition, … Continue reading From Oral to Written Folklore: The Evolution and Reception of the Icelandic Saga

Saudi Arabia and the Destruction of Islamic Cultural Heritage

Whilst the West despairs over the destruction of the Arch of Palmyra, the walls of Nineveh, and the lamassus of Nimrud by Islamic State, a second wave of cultural heritage destruction is sweeping across the Middle East almost unnoticed. The international media has devoted extensive coverage to the obliteration of museums and archaeological sites in Iraq and Syria by Islamic State fighters, but for the … Continue reading Saudi Arabia and the Destruction of Islamic Cultural Heritage

A History of British Immigration Policy: Constructing the ‘Enemy Within’

‘I tried to get into a lifeboat, but, when it was launched, it was nearly empty, and soon the stream and waves pushed it far. The other lifeboats were already far away.  Many people had jumped into the sea and a good deal of them had already died. When I realised… that there was not much time left, I got down calmly into the sea, … Continue reading A History of British Immigration Policy: Constructing the ‘Enemy Within’

Holland: The Glorious Days of ‘Tulip Mania’

Earlier this year, on a warm April morning, I boarded a bus heading out of Amsterdam to the small town of Lisse, south east of the city. Like thousands of tourists and locals alike, I had been drawn in by the promise of a true spectaclem – the annual flowering of the Tulip bulbs in the Keukenhof. This ornamental garden boasts 32 hectares of tulip … Continue reading Holland: The Glorious Days of ‘Tulip Mania’