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The Million Dollar Blog

When asked as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, I usually answered that I wanted to be a writer. This response was usually met with some surprise, because answers like ‘teacher’ or ‘police officer’ obviously were far more common. Nowadays, lots of young people want […]

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Victoria: A Life

Over the years, A.N. Wilson has become renowned for his studied portraits of Victorian history. Now he has finally come around to attempt the impressive endeavour of chronicling the long and full life of Queen Victoria. The resultant biography succeeds in making an excellent first impression. To the book’s strength, […]

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Mad or Bad: Crime and Insanity in Victorian Britain

In the 19th century there was a growing awareness and scientific interest in the human mind. These first steps into what later would be called ‘psychology’ also changed the way people – judges, politicians and the general public – viewed criminal cases involving madness. This is what David J. Vaughan’s book Mad […]

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The Wander Society

Do you ever get the feeling that there should be more to life? That what’s expected of you is in no way connected with who you are? That our connectivity – as we increasingly relate to each other’s lives through television, social media and video chat – tends to leave […]

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Why The Dutch Are Different

Any tourist who has spent any time at all in Amsterdam, perusing one of the mandatory souvenir shops, will undoubtedly have stumbled upon many a T-shirt with the tagline “And as finishing touch, God created the Dutch.” I’ve always been undecided on whether this statement should be taken as delightfully […]

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The Book of Legendary Lands

Magical journeys through strange and bewildering lands beyond the sight of the modern world of reason and reality have always held a strong fascination for me; one that science has never been able to fully replace. So when I noticed this hefty tome by the great Italian author Umberto Eco, […]

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Moranifesto

I think we can all safely agree that 2016 has been a tumultuous year and that it will be a long time before we recover from all of the heartache, shock, stress and confusion. Reading Caitlin Moran’s Moranifesto when the year has, painfully slowly, drawn to a close proves a […]

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The Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan

William Dalrymple, whose previous works include White Mughals, is one of the foremost historians of early British involvement in South-East Asia. The Return of a King focuses on the first British battle for Afghanistan in 1839-42, where the British military under the command of the East India Company, reinstated Shah Shuja to replace […]

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The Third Reich in History And Memory

It is uncommon to meet someone with no knowledge of who Hitler was and his Nazi Germany; over the past seventy years the Third Reich has both shocked and fascinated people as the public memory and historiographical research has changed and expanded. The many facets of the Nazi regime are […]

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Edinburgh: Mapping the City

Over the years, I’ve seen some very beautiful cities while travelling through Europe and all have their own allure. Rome’s ancient and eternal splendour, the medieval fairytale that is Prague, the wealthy buildings of Amsterdam’s mercantile elite along its canals, the proud imperial architecture of London. Edinburgh is also one […]