Category Archives: HISTORY

Victorian Scotland

Victorian Scotland


By the time Victoria became queen of Great Britain in 1837 the powers of the monarch were much more restricted than those of her 18th century predecessors, and far less than the autocratic power, always greater in Scotland than in England, that kings had had before 1688. Parliament was sovereign, although the unelected House of Lords retained powers of veto over the Commons. The House of Commons itself was elected only by a minority of the adult population.

The Black History month

The Black History month

February is Black History month. Some say that this special month is no longer necessary because African American history should be taught throughout the year. That argument minimizes the historic significance of the month itself and the opportunity it brings to set time aside to dig deeper into Black history.

Anne Boleyn’s marriage preparation

Anne Boleyn’s marriage preparation

There had been persistent rumours throughout the summer of 1532 that Anne and Henry would marry during the interview at Calais. At first, Anne had gone out of her way to encourage the gossip. ‘Not later than a week ago’, Chapuys reported in late August, ‘she wrote a letter to her principal friend and favourite here, whom she holds as sister and companion, bidding her to get ready against this journey and interview, where, she says, that which she has been so long wishing for will be accomplished’.

The Story of Parzival

The Story of Parzival

The Bavarian knight and poet Wolfram von Eschenbach (c.1170 – 1220), author of Parzival, was not the first great artist to be attracted by the story. Chrétien de Troyes, author of the unfinished Perceval, le Conte du Graal (Perceval, the Story of the Grail), was also inspired by the tale. He dedicated the romance to his patron Philip, count of Flanders, and his account of the Arthurian hero has a stylistic and thematic connection with Peredur, one of the medieval Welsh prose tales collectively known as the Mabinogi.

Kievan Russia: The introduction of Christianity

Kievan Russia: The introduction of Christianity

So little is known about Kievan Russia that it has been easy to surround it with the glamour of mystery and opulence. It is true that Russian life, to the extent that any generalizations about it have meaning, centered in Kiev for centuries; it was in fact more than three and a half centuries between the advent of the Scandinavian Varangians and the far more important, enduring and fateful inundation of all Russia by the great Mongol conquests of the 12th century.