English history

When sedition was rife in 18th-century London

28 November 2020 9:00 am

Researching the seditious literature of earlier periods is seldom suspenseful, pulse-quickening work. For every thrill of archival discovery, there are…

The hazards of attending a queen

20 June 2020 9:00 am

When Queen Alexandra chose her ladies in waiting she prudently surrounded herself with elderly and plainish ones, who did not…

The first Puritans weren’t so much killjoys as ardent believers in honest living

7 December 2019 9:00 am

‘Puritan’ is a term of abuse, and we tend to use it to refer to such figures as the nightmarishly…

Oliver Cromwell opening the coffin of Charles I, by Paul Delaroche

Rebellion without a cause: Peter Ackroyd's curious Civil War

20 September 2014 9:00 am

How our perceptions of 17th-century England are dominated by the convulsions of the two decades at its centre! Peter Ackroyd’s…

Anne Boleyn’s last secret

17 August 2013 9:00 am

Why was the queen executed with a sword, rather than an axe?