A Very Palpable Hit: the State of Maritime Historical Research Conference 2017

Greenwich, 0900, Saturday 9 September: will anybody actually come? will the speakers be any good? will the technology work? is this, the first conference that the Society for Nautical Research has ever staged under its own auspices, going to be a success? Greenwich, 1745, Saturday 9 September: yes, they did; yes, they were; yes, it […]

UPDATE – The Battle of Northampton; or, Are You Carmarthenshire in Disguise?

This afternoon, Friday 4 August, Northamptonshire County Council has announced that, in the short term at least, it’s backing down over the woefully misconceived and crassly announced scheme described in my post below. You can find a link to the full statement, and some clarifying remarks, here. While this is clearly welcome, the long term […]

Carmarthenshire Archives: the End of the Beginning?

Last Thursday, I attended a two-hour consultation meeting in Carmarthen on the proposed new record office for the county, following the closure of the previous one after the discovery of mould in the storerooms. Now, regular readers of this blog will know that I have just a little bit of history with this particular issue; […]

Sea, the Conference

This blog has often touched on the subject of ‘sea blindness’ in modern Britain, notably here, and I also took that as the theme of the keynote lecture I delivered to last year’s conference for new researchers in maritime history. One important element of this discussion is the state of maritime history research in the […]

The Barbary Corsair Raid on Iceland, 1627

This week, I’m delighted to welcome Professor Adam Nichols as my guest blogger. Adam is the co-author of a new book which provides a first-hand account of one of a remarkable but very little known event, the Barbary Corsair raid on Iceland in 1627. Having done quite a lot of work over the years on aspects […]

You Can Fool Some of the People Some of the Time (Redux)

The current media storm about ‘alternative facts’ put me in mind of a post I first published on 1 November 2011, when this blog was read by two men, a dog, and a vole called Kevin. So I thought I’d re-post it now for a rather wider audience, especially as it chimes neatly with some […]

The Kings of Post-Truth

OK, right, all this ‘post-truth’ malarkey, then. Now, you know you’re never going to get out-and-out politics in this blog, for reasons I might fully elucidate one day. But for various reasons, I’ve been getting a little peeved with all this media hype about ‘post-truth’, ‘fake news’, and so on and so forth. To me, […]

Noah’s Archive

So there are conferences which you go to and think ‘meh’, conferences which take place on a Saturday and you’ve completely forgotten what they were all about by Monday, and the conferences that fire you up and leave the building thinking you’re Thor or Wonder Woman (delete as applicable) and that the bad guys had […]

Game of Hats

Back after a terrific weekend at the Historical Novel Society conference in Oxford. Yes, there were big guns – Melvyn Bragg, Fay Weldon et al – but as always at such events, the information and ideas coming out of the panel sessions were more important, and the networking was more important still. In the latter […]

A Darker Angel

Last week, I posted the first few pages of the fictional plot of Death’s Bright Angel as a ‘teaser trailer’ for the book’s forthcoming publication. But as I’ve mentioned before, this title is actually ‘two books in one’, with the second part being a detailed historical analysis of the evidence surrounding the outbreak of the Great Fire. […]