Researching my Kentish ancestors, who mostly seem to have been agricultural workers, opened my eyes considerably to the agricultural revolution that seemed to run alongside the industrial revolution with changes in technology, organisation and labour relationships. I read loads of articles and quite a few books related to the period 1730 to 1850, many of … Continue reading Book Review: The greatest living English philosopher.
Do you have a literary hero, someone who is a little bit more than merely a favourite author, for whatever reason? Maybe its Dickens or Tolkien, or perhaps a Rowling or an Austen? On the other hand it could be Aristotle or Marcus Aurelius, or Churchill or Marx? Fiction or non-fiction, ancient or modern? Within … Continue reading Choosing Your Literary Hero
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