Category Archives: HISTORY

Jacob Tonson and the Kit-Cat Club

Jacob Tonson and the Kit-Cat Club


In the snowy spring of 1733, Samuel Croxall, a classical translator, travelled to Herefordshire to visit his retired publisher, Jacob Tonson. Tonson was now an emaciated, deaf old man, who spent his days drinking sack and reading by the fireside. According to Alexander Pope, however, Tonson’s mind remained “full of matter, secret history, and wit and spirit“. Croxall was hoping to extract some of this „secret history“ – an account of the most important London gentlemen’s club of the early 1700s, founded by Tonson: the Kit-Cat Club.

The First Crusade: The shock of the new?

The First Crusade: The shock of the new?

When in March of 1095 Pope Urban II made a speech to an assembly of French nobility and clergy at Clermont, in which he explained that the Christians in the east, both Catholic and Orthodox, were facing daily attacks and depredations from the Muslim population and lords, and offered those who would unite against this common foe remission of their sins, few could have expected the huge impact that his words would have on both East and West.

Ukranian ‘Great famine’ of 1933

Ukranian ‘Great famine’ of 1933

Key countries around the world are officially reclassifying one of the 20th century’s greatest tragedies – the Ukranian Great Famine of 1933 – as an act of genocide. Their historical re-assessment means that Stalin’s communist regime may increasingly and controversially be portrayed as a communist equivalent of Hitler’s Third Reich in terms of genocide and mass murder.

Napoleon in caricature

Napoleon in caricature

The turn of the 19th century was a golden age of caricature across much of the northern Europe – from Russia in the east through Prussia and the Rhineland to France and Britain to the west. London, boasting artists like James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson, soon became the unofficial capital of European caricature.

How to cope with Viking attacks?

How to cope with Viking attacks?

Historians and archeologists increasingly recognize the fact that many fortifications and fortified towns – known in Old English as burhs – existed in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia during the Viking age. They may have successfully checked Viking mobility at times but it was in Wessex where such defences were employed to their fullest effect.