‘My Kingdom for a Horse’ published today

The last in the five-part series on medieval English history is published today, covering the War of the Roses and the backstory involving the overthrow of Richard II and Henry V’s hilarious adventures in France. Thanks to everyone who has reviewed the other titles in the series, including the books on Magna Carta and the Norman Conquest. For review copy requests email here.

Iron, Fire and Ice: the Real History that inspired Game of Thrones – the soundtrack

Iron, Fire and Ice: the Real History that inspired Game of Thrones – the soundtrack

My book on the real history that inspired Game of Thrones is out in November,  which I’m sure will make up for the news that The Winds of Winter won’t be. But even more exciting is that I’ve made a Spotify playlist, and I’d appreciate any suggestions. It’s a mixture of Ramin Djawadi’s soundtrack along with music relevant to the history within the book, or that is at least atmospheric. The book covers English history from the… Read on

Thanks to the Amazon reviewers of 1215 and All That

Thanks to the Amazon reviewers of 1215 and All That

Thank you to all the Amazon users who have given such nice reviews of 1215 and All That, in the US and Britain. It’s much appreciated. If you’re a member of the commentocracy and would like a free copy so that you may further my ambitions, please email me and I’ll ask the publishers.

Yes, there is something special about the bond between mother and son

Me at the iPaper  Every morning our four-year-old climbs into our bed just before dawn, after which I’m sure I can feel him subtly trying to push me out and onto the floor so that he can lie in bed with mummy unchallenged. Various activities such as getting him dressed have to be done by his mum, something my daughters never cared about either way. Boys also show more jealousy and possessiveness, and last month he announced that “I… Read on

The Case for Conservative Urbanism

After four and a half years writing for Coffee House I am off. Thanks to all those who have read and commented, both positively and critically (I do take some of it in). The old blogposts can all be found here and my last piece is here. It’s about traffic flow in suburban London so will no doubt go viral.   Our road was closed last July so that pipes could be installed underground, a mundane bureaucratic procedure… Read on

Open societies need to rediscover heroic ideals

At CapX Liberal, free-market systems work, yet their major weakness is an inability to give people the innate human need for stability, order, tradition and group membership – while the systems that offer these things tend to be terrible. So is it possible for enlightened democracies to provide a form of ersatz traditionalism, a free society with a reactionary veneer, and so stem the tide of anomie? A good example of where ersatz tradition does work is constitutional monarchy,… Read on

We are now no longer fellow citizens, we are fellow believers

At the Spectator  Once in a while some Socialist Worker people set up a stall outside my local Tesco to shout slogans at the progressive middle class SWPLs who make up much of the local demographic. One of the phrases I’ve heard them use is ‘Refugees welcome! Tories out!’ which is great and everything, except – what if the refugees are Tories? But then there are Sacred Groups and Out Groups, and each has their role to play… Read on

A Tale of Two Brexits

At the Spectator At one point during Boris Johnson’s speech today he asked the audience ‘We all want to make Britain less insular, don’t we?’ [Silence] Media-training experts use an initialism to try to get journalists and other talking-heads to come across well on television – BLT. Does the audience believe you? Do they like you? Do they trust you? The Foreign Secretary has never had a problem with the middle one, perhaps the most important of the three,… Read on

Children’s films are the only thing worth seeing these days

At the Spectator The Oscars promise to be truly unbearable this year, with vomit-inducing levels of sanctimony followed by the usual gibberish from the commentariat. The results and speeches and even clothes will be subject to endless politicised scrutiny, and whatever the film industry does to stay Woke, the Buzzfeed headline will inevitably be ‘and people aren’t happy about it’. I’m not sure actors really appreciate how their moralising, once simply tedious, is now grotesque; how there’s something almost… Read on

How capitalism tamed medieval Europe

At CapX European capitalism had begun in northern Italy, chiefly Venice, one of nine Italian cities that had surpassed 50,000 people by this point. Like Flanders, Venice was at the mercy of the sea but its isolated and vulnerable geography led to what John Julius Norwich called: “a unique spirit of cohesion and cooperation… not only at times of national crisis but also, and still more impressively, in the day-to-day handling of their affairs.” Venice was high in trust,… Read on