Early Modern Discovery

Looking back at this day in 1493 the Portuguese-born discoverer Christopher Columbus mistook manatees for mermaids when he sailed near the Dominican Republic. He reports seeing three “mermaids” and describes them as “not half as beautiful as they are painted.” In the history of the discovery of new lands, there can be seen a pattern … More Early Modern Discovery

“Henry VIII is actually one of my heroes”

I overheard these words from a senior gentleman. Now, this topic is a very controversial one as the ‘Henry’ and ‘hero’ haven’t exactly met eye-to-eye in Tudor historiography. This Tudor has traditionally been remembered for being the perpetrator of an obstructive reign. But I like to view things from a more revisionist standpoint. The characteristics … More “Henry VIII is actually one of my heroes”

The Invisible Contributors and Maintainers of Society

Until recently, history consisted only of men. The writers of history were mainly men, portraying history as being created and maintained by their fellow gender. Men always carried out the most important roles: they formed the armies, were preferred as the monarchs and took up the roles in government. It’s this disallowing of women to … More The Invisible Contributors and Maintainers of Society

The Black Death

1348, famously known as the start of a devastation of Europe and a wipe out of almost half of England’s population. The instigator was a bubonic disease named the Black Death that originated in central Asia in around 1338 to 1339. Its spread was caused by the consequences of the siege of Kaffa in 1346, a … More The Black Death

An analytical perspective on the ‘Armada Portrait’

Painted in 1588, the Armada Portrait sums up the devastating or triumphant events of the same year, depending on the view you take. Elizabeth I successfully fought off the Spanish Catholic threat that was openly supported by Pope Sixtus V and led by King Philip II. The Queen herself is portrayed as a heroic warrior, … More An analytical perspective on the ‘Armada Portrait’