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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 […]

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Simple Pleasures: The Free Range Cook

Half of my family can frequently be found in trees and bushes. Not because we have missed an evolutionary step, but because we simply like fresh food. What a joy it is to find that forgotten apple tree or to spot the first brambles of the season. This back-to-nature attitude […]

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On Melancholy

“I write of melancholy, by being busy to avoid melancholy. There is no greater cause of melancholy than idleness, no better cure than business.” And with that Robert Burton states his reasons for writing The Anatomy of Melancholy. While it may have cured his own melancholy I doubt that his […]

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The Next Stop

How long does it take to get from Inverness to Edinburgh by train? At time of writing, East Coast estimate your potential travelling time from anything between 3 hours and 14 minutes to 4 hours 56 (excluding any delays). To write his latest book, Simon Varwell completed the 156 mile […]

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More Quick and Easy Homemade Meals

With the general rise in living costs and the increasingly bad publicity for ready meals over the last few years (not to mention the backdrop of Jamie Oliver’s ceaseless campaign for proper food in schools), a new wave of cookery books has swept onto the shelves to show people that […]

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A Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography

Almost everyone owns a digital camera these days, or at least has a camera on their mobile phone. After a holiday, we return home with hundreds of pictures though most of them will never get printed. Photographs are everywhere, which makes it difficult to imagine what an impact the invention of […]

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Scent and Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume

We live in an era where the labyrinth of online information threatens our concentration levels at every turn. So it is refreshing to find something abidingly educative arise from one person simply pottering around the Internet. Barbara Herman’s richly informative Scent and Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume is […]

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On the Map: Why the World Looks the Way It Does

I always thought there was something profoundly magical about maps. As a child, they afforded me a tantalizing glimpse of the world out there, and how huge it actually is. Spelling out strange names for the very first time, tracing mighty rivers with my fingers as they wound through far-off […]

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The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

Imagine yourself as a respectable gentleman lying in some East End gutter in the nineteenth century, after a night of too many knock-me-downs. To your surprise, you find yourself next to a wagtail in vampers you are unacquainted with. You discover you are all Saint Audrey except for want of […]