I recently moved to Orpington, part of the London Borough of Bromley, on the border of London and Kent. Despite only becoming part of London in 1965, Orpington has a long and interesting history which has meant my original idea for this blog post has changed several times. Therefore this post only covers the history … More Spring of Water Rises: A history of Orpington before 1900
Much is known of England’s powerful queen consorts, from Eleanor Aquitaine to Elizabeth Woodville to Anne Boleyn but little is known about the woman who arguably was one of the first of England’s powerful queen consorts, along with her mother in law Ælfthryth. Emma of Normandy was queen consort of England twice, first to Æthelred … More Twice a Queen: Emma of Normandy
The Irish potato famine of 1845-1849 is often seen as a turning point in Irish history with many Irish historians referring to Irish history as pre-famine and post-famine. The famine killed almost 1 million and a further 2 million emigrated to escape the lack of food and lack of work. Not only did it led … More The Irish Potato Famine: Genocide?
It is somewhat staggering that it has taken just over a hundred years since the end of the Women’s Social and Political Union’s (WSPU) campaign for a film based on the British fight for women’s suffrage to be made. This is made even more staggering that on television the only production on women’s suffrage was … More Suffragette: Some Thoughts
Gisella Perl was one of the several million Jews to be sent to a concentration camp during the Second World War. She was one of the lucky few to survive unlike the majority of her family. Despite the death and horrors of the camps, Perl managed to save many of the lives of her female … More The Angel of Auschwitz: Gisella Perl
The nineteenth century saw the rise of the three famous cocoa refining companies: Cadbury; J. S. Fry & Sons and Rowntree. What were unique about these companies were their Quaker roots. All three were run during this period by Quaker families although by the twentieth century these companies moved out of Quaker control. So why … More Chocolate and the Quakers: Cadbury, Rowntree and Fry
Jokes about inbreeding and incest are common in discussions about royalty, for non-historians such jokes can actually be some of the basis of their knowledge about royalty. However why royalty decided to choose incestuous unions and what the effects of such unions are less considered. This is despite incest and inbreeding being apparent across the … More Incest and Royalty: The Reasons and the Effects
The Indian diaspora in Africa has seen a number of fluctuating migrations in the last two centuries. The majority of Indians came to Africa as indentured servants to the British. The use of indentured servants became particularly popular in the 19th century after the abolition of slavery, as the next cheapest form of labour. 32,000 … More A Brief Overview of Indian Migration and Diaspora in Africa
This month in the UK is LGBT history month and in its honour I have decided to look at a figure from each group in the acronym. Lesbian – Gladys Bentley Born in 1907, Bentley left home at 16 for New York where she soon ended up in Harlem. Harlem had become known as the … More The Bulldagger of the Harlem Renaissance, The Gay Emperor, The Bisexual Pirate and the Blonde Bombshell
The Paris, Look Down and the Robbery Scene from the musical version of Les Miserables. Published in 1862, Les Miserables is perhaps one of the most famous and iconic French novels and today is perhaps best known by the general public in its musical form. Victor Hugo’s epic spans from 1815 to 1832, across the … More Les Miserables: A Historical Source?