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Octavia Hill

Octavia Hill

Octavia Hill, social reformer and one of the founders of the National Trust. Octavia Hill was born in 1838 into a family of social reformers, her grandfather was Thomas Southwood Smith a public health reformer and her father was a friend of Jeremy Bentham so from an early age she was exposed to the need…

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Anne Boleyn’s Execution Speech

When in 1532 Anne Boleyn finally gave in and slept with King Henry VIII and then in 1533 secretly married him, she as good as sealed her own death warrant. She was the first English Queen to be executed and her execution speech is a paradox of the journey which brought her to the block.…

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Joseph Priestley

Joseph Priestly
This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Age of Reason and Enlightenment

Joseph Priestley radical dissenter and champion for the open and inquiring mind. Joseph Priestly was quite possibly one of the most important thinkers of the Enlightenment. His direct and open inquiry into both religious beliefs and ideas was also directed at science, politics and society. Who was Joseph Priestley? He was born on the 13th…

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Matthew Boulton

Matthew Boulton

Matthew Boulton could be described as the father of the Industrial Revolution but his name is less well known than that of his partner James Watt. Matthew Boulton was born in Birmingham in 1728, the same year as Captain James Cook and into an age of enlightenment, reason and industrial revolution. His early years were…

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Alexandra Feodorovna

Alexandra Feodorovna the last Russian Tsarina was she ultimately responsible for the downfall and murder of the Romanov family? She was ostracized by the Russian court, its people and many in Europe, what part did this play in forcing her towards Rasputin?

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King Henry V

King Henry V of England is portrayed as a a great military ruler, Shakespeare did his best to represent Henry as a ‘golden King’ but was he really a cruel and aloof man whose autocratic leadership, piety and belief he was God’s chosen put him at odds with those he ruled?

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British Union of Fascists Riots

British Union of Fascists

The British Union of Fascists rose to power under Oswald Mosley in the 1930’s, the riots that ensued in the streets of the East End have something to teach us about the rise of far right politics in today’s political climate.

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Tariff Reform League

Tariff reform league

The Tariff Reform League was the 1903 dream of Joseph Chamberlain, he rejected free trade, what can we learn from this in the build up to Brexit? Was he misguided in his political view or did he have a point of view worth re-examining in light of the upcoming trade negotiations?

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The Edwardian Era

The Edwardian era lasted only nine years and yet it was an age of social change and political and intellectual brilliance, what happened in this ear to promote such change?

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