The Obelisks of Ancient Egypt

One of the oldest and most iconic structures of ancient Egypt is the obelisk. A rising tower of stone, it was designed to astound mortals with its height and impress the immortals More »

The baby who provoked a revolution

The birth of a male heir to James II of England made possible a permanent Catholic dynasty. Several Protestants echoed Mary and Anne’s doubts that the baby had been smuggled into the More »

Red Indians and how to tame them

The Elizabethans’ colonial voyages brought them into contact with a people very different level of civilisation from their own—the ‘Indians’ of the New World, as is illustrated by the account written in More »

Mormons in search of Promised Land, 1846-69

The Mormons have been described as the most systematic, organised, disciplined and successful pioneers in American history. For over 20 years they were one of the main forces driving the settlement of More »

‘Alien’ citizens in the Medieval England

Thousands of foreigners poured into England in the Middle Ages. Similar like today, they have been attracted to England by job opportunities or possibility to study. Finding these everyday immigrants is no easy task. More »

 

The Inquisitors’ work

The Inquisitors’ work

Hideously unjust and psychotic in their devotion to duty, the Inquisitors went to any lengths to wring confessions from their victims. Anyone who denied being a heretic was tortured. Among the devices monks had at hand were the rack which would pull the limbs in different directions until tendons tore or bones cracked. There was the strappado in which the accused was suspended by his wrists and heavy attached to his ankles.

Royal upbringing in Edwardian era

Royal upbringing in Edwardian era

The [British] royal family had not been that concerned by the wars of the 1860s and 1870s when children found they were on different sides. All those wars, however, had been relatively minor. This would change after 1910. The events of that decade prompt an unanswerable question: if Kaiser Wilhelm had not felt embittered about his English mother, would he have tried to stop Germany declaring war on Britain?

New France (1534 – 1763)

New France (1534 – 1763)

France was England’s principal rival in the race to found colonies in North America in the 17th and 18th centuries. French adventurers were at the forefront of exploration of the New World and soon established control over extensive territories. Yet despite having a larger population than England, France was far less successful in encouraging emigration to its colonies.

The Modoc War, 1872-73

The Modoc War, 1872-73

From the late 1860s there was an uneasy peace until the outbreak in 1872 of the Modoc War, one of the smallest, and certainly one of the oddest, campaigns the US Army ever had to fight. As usual, problems arose from political pressure exerted by land-hungry settlers: in this instance, they wanted the fertile lands of the Modoc tribe of northern California. As a result, the Modocs were ordered from their ancestral lands to a reservation in southern Oregon, which they were to share with the more numerous Klamath tribe.

In the Medieval peasant house

In the Medieval peasant house

There are as many different sorts of peasant houses as there are peasant families, and there are huge variations across the regions. But perhaps you are wondering about staying in the house of a moderately prosperous Midlands yeoman, with thirty acres to his name. His house likely to be a wooden structure of three bays (about forty-five feet by fifteen or so) built on a stone foundation plinth.