1066 and Before All That

This is a sample of 1066 and Before All That; you can buy the whole thing here. (And if you like it – don’t forget to review on Amazon.) In April 1066 an elderly, eccentric monk called Elmer noticed a shooting star in the sky from his Abbey of Malmesbury in Wiltshire. Seeing it as a bad omen, Elmer is supposed to have muttered: ‘You’ve come, you source of tears to many mothers. It is long since… Read on

1215 and All That

This is a sample from 1215 and All That. The whole thing can be bought here One day in June 1944, King George VI was driving back to Windsor from London in a furious mood. The powerful wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill had just overruled him once again, frustrating the stammering king’s attempt to have a say in government. The monarch, a gentle and nervous figure who was well on his way to smoking himself to… Read on

‘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.

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

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

The first Britons were black. What does that say about Who We Are?

The ancient Britons were dark skinned, a new analysis of the island’s oldest complete skeleton has discovered. Cheddar Man, who was in his early twenties, was killed around 7150BC and his body remained in Gough Cave’s for over nine millennia before being discovered by workmen in 1903. (The Red Lady of Paviland is older but incomplete. He was actually a man but the man who first analysed the skeleton was a creationist who therefore concluded, due to the… Read on

Can you get ten out of ten on this language quiz?

First person to email, tweet or comment below with the correct answer I’ll send a copy of my new book, published this week, England in the Age of Chivalry (and Awful Diseases).   How many of the 100 most common words in English derive from French?* Which two European nationalities are named after the same tribe in two different, totally unrelated languages? Which English football club (top four divisions) has a name derived from Arabic? Which English football club… Read on

Headlines about cancer are chilling – but we should marvel at medicine’s ability to defeat it

On the marvels of modern medicine, at the i And yet even this statistic can be read in different ways, as can all mortality stats. The fact that “suicide is the leading cause of death among young men” is often cited as a condemnation of society, yet which cause of death wouldn’t be awful? A century ago it would have been pneumonia, tuberculosis or war that killed young men, and before that cholera, plague, hunger and homicide. “The Big… Read on