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, […]

Pepys Show and Tell

These days, I approach major exhibitions dealing with subjects I know something about with a considerable degree of trepidation. Maybe there’ll be massive omissions, or catastrophic errors of emphasis, that wreck the whole thing. Perhaps right-on organisers will have applied a gut-wrenchingly awful, unhistorical, and anachronistic interpretative slant. Maybe the layout of the exhibition space […]

Of Babies and Bathwater

Two blogs for the price of one this week – my latest, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, observations on the Carmarthenshire Archives affair/scandal/fiasco (please select favourite apocalyptic noun), and this one, some thoughts on last week’s conference at the National Maritime Museum about ‘the emergence of a maritime nation’ in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In all essential […]

Annus Mirabilis: Or, a Very Good Time for 17th Century Naval History

This is turning into something of an annus mirabilis for we few, we happy few, we band of brothers (and sisters), who nail our tattered colours to the rickety mast of seventeenth century naval history. Next month, on 4 July, there’s what promises to be a fascinating day at Hastings under the auspices of the splendid Shipwreck […]

Repository Bingo, Part 1

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the start of my research into the seventeenth century navy – or at least, the formal, funded, full-time student start, as I’d been tentatively examining the subject during the previous couple of years, when I was still teaching in Cornwall. Apart from the fact that realising it’s been […]

The Old Order Changeth

I spent last Saturday afternoon at the new Caird Library in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, having been invited to a special ‘bloggers’ preview’ at the end of the library’s first week with a properly restored full service following a very long hiatus. As I’ve been using the ‘old Caird’ for about thirty years, I […]