If he had been just a kindly chap, nobody outside his family would have noticed
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Thursday 21 January 2010
Wednesday 16 December 2009
Some 350 years after one Nicholas Van Acker changed banking history by wielding his quill and writing on an oblong-shaped piece of paper an order to pay a Mr Delboe £400, the death knell was today sounded on the great monetary institution that is the cheque.
Saturday 07 November 2009
Remember the email from the late Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe complaining about a lack of helicopters in Afghanistan? Well, I'm going to tell you a secret. The existence of the email was first disclosed in the Daily Mail.
Friday 16 October 2009
Sunday 13 September 2009
Popular history cleaves to the one-man principle – that world events are controlled by the caprice of a single character – and it's an approach the history-book-buying public tends to favour. So biographies of Napoleon or Henry VIII triumph over interpretations of events that privilege context instead of individuals. Christopher Kelly's approach appears at first to be the former, in that he credits Attila the Hun with single-handedly ending the once-mighty Roman Empire. But given the lack of contemporaneous information about Attila, and that what there is was provided by Roman scholars who weren't best placed to judge him, Kelly must broaden his net and examine the context of his anti-hero.
Friday 04 September 2009
Though his title was the catch-phrase of George Formby, Barfe's account of British light entertainment makes only fleeting reference to the horse-faced ukelele-basher.
Friday 09 January 2009
This was the year that a belief in the Holy Trinity was made obligatory for all subjects of the eastern Roman empire. Freeman's exploration of the "swansong of free speech" makes distant events intensely relevant.
Friday 12 December 2008
A lifeline to those who consigned treehouses to the same Elysian fields as sand pits and paddling pools, Treehouses, by Paula Henderson and Adam Mornement (Frances Lincoln, £19.99) provides a fascinating account of "the earliest form of natural architecture".
Sunday 15 June 2008
Sunday 04 May 2008
Britain was a part of the Roman Empire for nearly 400 years. The withdrawal, when it came, was cataclysmic; Roman civilisation vanished virtually overnight. In Simon Young's memorable phrase, "History descended on the island like a blade."
Thursday 03 April 2008
It still bears its thrilling ancient name, and the antique ruins on the Palatine Hill, the heart of ancient Rome and home of the Caesars, still gaze down upon it. But now it takes a feat of the imagination to see Circus Maximus as it must have been in its pomp.
Saturday 29 March 2008
Julius Caesar once summed up a battle with the words: "I came, I saw, I conquered." Another Italian-born aristocrat could make the same claim with regards to Britain this week. But whereas the Roman emperor's victory was achieved through force of arms, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's conquest of these isles was accomplished through beauty, grace, couture, not to mention a revealing photograph, which went on sale just as the French President and his wife arrived in Britain for the state visit.
Tuesday 10 October 2006
Monday 22 May 2006
Wednesday 02 November 2005
Long after his career in English football has ended, Emile Heskey's impotency in front of goal remains an object of ridicule.
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
- 4 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster