William Cobbett is best known as a political satirist, a champion of the working man especially agricultural labourers who he called his “chopsticks”. Born in 1763, across his life he was … a soldier, a pamphleteer, a convict, a journalist, a farmer and a member of Parliament before he died in 1835. He wrote many … Continue reading Book Review: William Cobbett … the greatest Englishman, ever?
My ancestors may not have known William Caxton but they sure as heck were influenced by him, as were all of YOUR ancestors if you live in the English speaking world. His machine did more than just print “things”...... it prepared the way for a new language, literary English, in which multiple dialects were unified … Continue reading Imaginative Ancestry: 3. Caxton’s England, 1422-1491
The 14th century in England brought about social change that was possibly unrivalled until the era of the Industrial Revolution. And this is the point of going so far back in time when researching your family tree, because the changes begun here would affect the lives of my earliest ancestors, traced so far, only a … Continue reading Imaginative Ancestry: 2. Chaucer’s England 1340-1400
One Misty Moisty Morning, Susanna M Newstead "One misty moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather, I met with an old man a-clothèd all in leather. He was clothèd all in leather, with a cap beneath his chin, Singing 'How d'ye do and how d'ye do and how d'ye do again'." This is the title … Continue reading Book Review: The Savernake Novels #7
“Our imagination craves to behold our ancestors as they really were, going about their daily business and daily pleasure. In fact the whole appeal of history (and ancestry) (my addition) is imaginative, and without social history especially, economic history is barren and political history is unintelligible” These words are taken from the opening chapter of … Continue reading Imaginative Ancestry: 1. The shifting fabric