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. […]

Highways and Byways of the Seventeenth Century: The McEnroe Moment

Busy, busy, busy! So a slightly modified reblog of an older post this week, this one from pretty much exactly four years ago, in April 2012.  Every now and again, a historian comes across a snippet of information so bizarre that he or she reacts by silently quoting a certain illustrious tennis player – ‘you […]

Highways and Byways of the Seventeenth Century: the Prince of Transylvania

Time for another in my (very) occasional series of oddities and little-known tales that I’ve stumbled across during the course of my research. Actually, though, this was one that I came across during my teaching career, my ‘day job’ for thirty or so years. Back in 1987, I took up a new post at Bedford […]

Samuel Pepys versus The Incredible Hulk

Don’t make me angry; you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Or, alternatively, it is a truth universally acknowledged that those who get outraged by things on Twitter are in need of a life. Having said that, occasionally one sees something on Twitter which is so staggeringly crass that the metaphorical shirt-ripping (but, of course, […]

The End of the Beginning?

OK, I admit it, I never saw that coming: Carmarthenshire County Council’s equivalent of Darth Vader’s ‘I am your father’ moment in The Empire Strikes Back.  (Actually, I did see ‘I am your father’ coming – I was studying basic Dutch when ESB came out, so knew that ‘vader’ meant ‘father’.) I’m referring to yesterday’s decision by the […]

Carmarthenshire Archives – Further Urgent Update

The report on the archives that will be discussed by Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board on Monday 30 November can be read at this link – scroll down to item 12. If you feel moved to action, please follow the advice in the previous post on this site.

Carmarthenshire Archives: Urgent Message

There’s a new and very important post by Sara Fox of the Friends of Carmarthenshire Archives in the ‘Visitor Posts’ section on the campaign Facebook page. For those of you who might not be on FB, I’ve copied and pasted the text below. Thanks in advance to all those who feel moved to take the […]

The Joy of Myth

It’s a refreshing change to come up for air after the intensity of all the Carmarthenshire Archives posts, and to actually blog about something else: something more like the normal fare of this particular website, in fact! (No doubt many of you will be breathing a similar sigh of relief…) I’m currently heavily engaged in […]

Carmarthenshire Archives: J’accuse, Part 3

Despite being delayed by a holiday, Part 3 of this series of posts has still arrived rather sooner than I anticipated, essentially because Carmarthenshire Council finally responded to my Freedom of Information request to release the correspondence between it on the one hand, and the National Archives and Welsh government on the other – and […]