Active Learning on www.thinkinghistory.co.uk

Reading & Writing History

This page gathers together a range of commentaries prompted by individual history books and even one or two things I’ve written myself. While my interests mean there’s bound to be a bias towards the later middle ages I am expanding my historical horizons (honest) and hope to keep adding to this page as time allows. I seem incapable of reading history without at the same time relating it to teaching, hence these commentaries usually contain reflections on the books themselves and also explore possible links to teaching. It’s just enthusiasm really.

Teaching the Industrial Revolution

Liberty's Dawn by Emma Griffin – about the book’s conclusions and my reflections on teaching the Industrial Revolution at KS3.

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Edward II – mystery, puzzles, uncertainties!

An outburst of enthusiasm for a really good book, whether it relates to teaching or not!

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Medieval Public Health

A commentary on the conclusions being reached by research on medieval public health, notably from Carole Rawcliffe’s superb book Urban Bodies (2013)

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Living through the era of the Napoleonic Wars c.1793-c.1815

An enthusiastic review and a set of teaching ideas prompted by reading Jenny Uglow’s book.

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Anne Herbert

I admit I did get mildly obsessed about Anne for a while!

This article, published in The Historian in 2014, explored how much we can really know about one woman in the 15th century.

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Is the past a foreign country?

Musings on a 15th century poem with some history curriculum links too!

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Revisiting the plague of 1665-1666
in Cambridge

A short commentary on Evelyn Lord, The Great Plague: a people’s history (2014) for anyone who wants to read about plague outside London!

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Henry VII: Out of the Shadows?

Another article I obviously had fun writing in the 1990s for The Historical Review, aimed at A level students. Not many articles on Henry VII include mentions of cheese and tomato sandwiches and a wig.

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Standards of Living in the Middle Ages

This review article was published in Teaching History in 1995. Despite that being so long ago it may still be of interest and value on changing living standards after 1300.

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Is the past a foreign country?