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Thomas Cromwell on stage

By Joan Redmond

Next month sees the London opening of the theatrical productions of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, the two hugely successful novels by Hilary Mantel that focus on the life of Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell rose to become Henry VIII’s chief minister during the tumultuous 1530s, which witnessed the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn as well as the beginnings of the English Reformation. Mantel’s books have been justly praised, winning almost all the major literary prizes and reinvigorating Cromwell for a new audience.

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What papers won’t tell you: “The battle of Algiers”

By Marta Musso

I would like to inaugurate film reviewing on DHP with “The battles of Algiers” by Gillo Pontecorvo, perhaps the most important film on terrorism and counter insurgency ever made. It tells the story of the Algerian war by focussing on the years 1956-1957, the period of guerrilla warfare in the capital.

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Sir James Clarke Holt (26 April 1922 – 9 April 2014)

By Emily Ward

Sir James Clarke Holt, perhaps best known by his publishing moniker of J. C. Holt, died on 9 April 2014 aged 91. Holt’s contribution to the field of medieval British history has been vast. His publications span a period of over fifty years, from the early 1950s to his last article published in 2007. His research helped to elucidate a range of substantial and diverse topics, from setting the background and history of Magna Carta in its context to exploring the mythical figure of Robin Hood.

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“There’s no such thing as the Middle Ages…”

By Emily Ward

What does the early Middle Ages have in common with the Illuminati, the moon landing and JFK? The answer – that, like the other three, it has also been the subject of a conspiracy theory – may come as a surprise. This conspiracy, often called Phantom Time Hypothesis, suggests that the early Middle Ages never really existed. When conspiracy theories like this come into direct conflict with accepted historical fact, how should we, as historians, approach them?

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Daniel Smail’s On Deep History and the Brain

By Julia Bourke

Every history has a beginning. But if you were attempting to write a complete history of human beings, where would you choose to start? Daniel Smail attempts to answer this question in his book On Deep History and the Brain, which looks at history from a completely different perspective than a historian normally would.

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Top 10 Nazi Cultural History Books

by Tiia Sahrakorpi

While there are a plethora of works on Nazis from every aspect ever, and no list can include everything, I’ve picked out my favourite books and the most useful books that I’ve used for my research at both a BA level and MPhil/MA level. These works are just starting-off points on Nazi German cultural and social history that have always jumped out of bibliographies.

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Launching #cycleofsongs, March 31 2014

by Janine Noack

On Monday, March 31, and Pilot Theatre invited #twitterstorians and various other local people from Cambridge who are involved in the Cycle of Songs project to its launch party. The Cycle of Songs is an attempt to bring together historians, poets, choirs, musicians, and other interested parties to create a festive, fun day when the Tour de France goes through Cambridge on July 7, 2014.

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Jacques Le Goff (1 January 1924 – 1 April 2014)

by Emily Ward

On 1 April 2014, the French historian Jacques Le Goff died aged ninety. His life spanned the majority of the twentieth century and his contribution to the field of medieval history can only be revered and respected. Le Goff was born in Toulon on 1 January 1924. During his life he experienced the Nazi occupation of France and witnessed the “coup de Prague” in person in 1947-8. Le Goff held early career positions in several universities, including Lincoln College, Oxford, where he gained a research studentship for the years 1951-2. His principle publications came during the 1970s and 1980s and it was at the start of this period, in 1972, that Le Goff was made head of l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) located in Paris.

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