English history

The making of Good Queen Bess

24 February 2024 9:00 am

Ordinary women make just as thrilling history as great men

28 October 2023 9:00 am

Philippa Gregory investigates the lives of English women over 900 years – in sickness, health, business, war, prayer and prostitution

Rocked by rebellion: the short, unhappy reign of Edward VI

20 August 2022 9:00 am

As Tory writers reflected on the safe passage of the Stuart dynasty through the Exclusion Crisis of 1679-81, an anonymous…

The machinations of the Dudleys make Game of Thrones look tame

26 February 2022 9:00 am

This is the gripping story of the ever-fluctuating fortunes of three generations of the Dudley dynasty, servants to — and…

Henry VIII’s windfall from the monasteries was shockingly short-term

6 November 2021 9:00 am

In 1536 there were 850 monastic houses in England and Wales; just four years later they were all gone. The…

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?