Gladys Bentley

Gladys Bentley (known as Bobbie Minton on stage) was a prominent figure during the Harlem Renaissance, being one the most successful Black performers in the 1920s and 30s. Bentley was known for dressing in her iconic black-and-white tuxedo, with a top hat and singing blues standards, whilst adding her own raunchy lyrics and adlibs. Bentley … Continue reading “Gladys Bentley”

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The Story Behind the Peaky Blinders

The name Tommy Shelby and the gang Peaky Blinders have become synonymous with the city of Birmingham, due to the incredible popularity of the TV show, but who were the real Peaky Blinders?   Gang culture during the late 19th and early 20th centuries was rife particularly in cities such as Birmingham and London. In Birmingham they were called ‘sloggers’ … Continue reading “The Story Behind the Peaky Blinders”

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Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole, maybe a name that you have not heard before, with her story being buried for a hundred years. Mary battled against prejudice on part of her race and sex, but despite this she continued to pursue her goal of practicing medicine and became one of the unsung heroes of the Crimean War.   Mary was born in 1805, in Kingston, Jamacia. … Continue reading “Mary Seacole”

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Jakob Fugger. The Man Behind the Early-Modern Revolution – William Rogers

The turn of the sixteenth century was a period of great change in Europe and across the world with many figures such as Henry VIII, Leonardo da Vinci and Christopher Columbus reshaping the political, social and economic landscape of the time. Yet, as with many periods in history, the economics is often forgotten and the … Continue reading “Jakob Fugger. The Man Behind the Early-Modern Revolution – William Rogers”

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Women’s History Month – Hidden Figures at NASA: Katherine G. Johnson, Mary W. Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan

Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, three women who until recently were relatively unknown, but their work drew a path for future generations of women at NASA. Originally known as ‘human computers’, they were responsible for calculating complex maths equations for various airplanes and space flights, but all three went on to play a significant role in the Space Race. Their story has recently been brought … Continue reading “Women’s History Month – Hidden Figures at NASA: Katherine G. Johnson, Mary W. Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan”

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Pilgrim’s Progress #3 – Jack Gunn

Third-year history student Jack Gunn shares with us the final installment of his pilgrimage journey from Winchester to Canterbury. On the 27th, I passed through Otford. Mentioned in the Domesday Book, it was the most British village I’ve ever encountered. A duck pond served as the roundabout around which cottages from every era back to … Continue reading “Pilgrim’s Progress #3 – Jack Gunn”

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Women in History – Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852) is a perfect example of a woman overcoming the restrictions of her time. Despite being born in nineteenth century England, Ada Lovelace progressed to be a brilliant, young and well-known mathematician – later even known as ‘the first programmer’ although this is an ongoing debate. Upon her mother’s instructions, Ada … Continue reading “Women in History – Ada Lovelace”

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Chevalier d’Eon. A Forgotten pioneer – William Rogers

Histories of sexuality emerged dramatically towards the end of the twentieth century with historical figures’ sexuality emerging into greater public attention. Stories of Alexander the Great, Wilfred Owen and Alan Turing showed that many major figures struggled with societal pressures and laws, yet the story of Chevalier d’Eon is often forgotten, despite presenting one of … Continue reading “Chevalier d’Eon. A Forgotten pioneer – William Rogers”

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Pilgrim’s Progress #2- Jack Gunn

Jack Gunn continues his series recounting his pilgrimage from Winchester to Canterbury, and the history he found along the way.  Rain in persistency is the weather the pilgrim, and indeed the camper, dreads. For us, it was a pattern which hit on the walk from Shere to Westhumble. This took us at one point along … Continue reading “Pilgrim’s Progress #2- Jack Gunn”

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Women in History – Phoolan Devi

Shedding light on marginalised people of history is important and many incredible women are unfortunately a part of that. While some of these women with their actions are by no means role models, they show us the rise of women in a society where patriarchy was rife, and oppression was the norm. Phoolan Devi’s story … Continue reading “Women in History – Phoolan Devi”

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