Societal Intercourse

I joined another society last week. Come to that, I stepped down from positions of responsibility at another, too, and the conjunction of the two events got me thinking about historical societies generally, and their roles in the modern world. I think I’m reasonably well qualified to comment on this, and to explore the challenges […]

Bang

I’ve come late to the whole thing about the BBC series Gunpowder. First and foremost, it’s good to see any primetime TV at all about the seventeenth century; and second and, umm, foremost, it’s even better to see primetime TV about the seventeenth century getting big audience figures and plenty of reaction from the critics and […]

Dead Admirals Society Goes Danish

In last week’s two posts, I talked about the lovely Swedish city of Karlskrona, and the international conference on dockyards that I attended there. I bookended the trip with stays in Copenhagen, which I’d never visited before – a shocking admission, especially as my grandfather was there as long ago as 1965, arranging the deal […]

Don’t Mention the Cold War, Part 2

In this week’s first post, I gave my impressions of the dockyard town of Karlskrona and its terrific naval museum. Now on to the reason why I was there, an international conference on International Approaches to Naval Cities and Dockyards, held in the museum. From the moment it started, it was clear there was a […]

Don’t Mention the Cold War, Part 1

Last week, I was in Karlskrona, Sweden, attending and speaking at a conference on dockyards and port cities organised by the Swedish Naval Museum. It was my first ever visit to the town, and shamefully, that’s also true of Copenhagen, where I stopped over en route in both directions. So this week, there’s two for […]

Scandinavia or Bust

A quick post this week, as I’m busy tidying up loose ends and packing before heading off to Scandinavia! I’m speaking at a conference in the Swedish Naval Museum, Karlskrona, and am ‘bookending’ the trip with overnight stays in Copenhagen, which I’ve never actually visited before. (There’s a possibility that I might never visit it […]

The Top Ten

I’m not tweeting very much at the moment, as I’m largely keeping my head down and working on my new Tudor project, but the other day, I had a bit of a brainwave, and tweeted a ‘top ten’ of the most popular posts ever (in terms of visitor numbers) on this blog. This seemed to […]

Dumb and Dumbnation

Last week, we went to see the new play Queen Anne at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. This proved to be a surprise on several levels, although, as previously flagged in this blog, the casting as John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough (a man of Dorset) of Chu Omambala (not a man of Dorset) proved not to be one […]

Come in Number Thirteen, Your Time Has Come

Last week saw the official publication of my new non-fiction book, Kings of the Sea: Charles II, James II and the Royal Navy, from the wonderful people at Seaforth Publishing. By my reckoning, this is my thirteenth complete book, and my fifth non-fiction title, to add to eight novels to date. But even I’m losing track […]

Gentlemen and Players: Further Thoughts from the State of Maritime Historical Research Conference 2017

One of the issues floating around at the fringes of the Greenwich conference on 9 September, the thrust of which can be found in my previous blogpost, was that of the perceived division in maritime history between ‘professional’ and ‘amateur’ practitioners. This came up in one form or another in some of the papers, but […]