Translation Matters

I work at the Foreign Services Desk of a news agency and I moonlight as an intellectual historian of early modern Britain. Both jobs have been fostering my obsession with translation. Part of my day job consists in translating news stories into German – mainly from English, less frequently from Spanish, and occasionally bits and pieces… Continue reading Translation Matters

Early Modern Political Thought and Twenty-First-Century Politics

I love Newcastle and the Lit&Phil, and this workshop on Early Modern Political Thought and Twenty-First-Century Politics in mid-May was probably one of the most fun public history events I have yet participated in. Rachel Hammersley managed to get together a panel of early modern historians who all had something to say about how the… Continue reading Early Modern Political Thought and Twenty-First-Century Politics

Translating Cultures – Workshop at the Duke August Library, 26/27 June

If you are an early modernist interested in translation, print and the book trade in Europe and you can make it to Wolfenbüttel this summer, drop in on our workshop on 26 and 27 June. We are gathering at the excellent Duke August Library (HAB) once in the charge of the Enlightenment philosopher Gotthold Ephraim… Continue reading Translating Cultures – Workshop at the Duke August Library, 26/27 June

The eloquent ideologists of Germany’s New Right

Thugs in combat boots they’re certainly not. The people Volker Weiss writes about are more of the nerdy variety, he told me over the phone a while back. They know their Greek and Latin, but that doesn’t necessarily make them harmless. It’s their words and their ideas we should be wary of. Weiss is a… Continue reading The eloquent ideologists of Germany’s New Right

An exile’s home: Algernon Sidney in Nérac

So, that’s the castle in France where the English republican Algernon Sidney (1623-1683) spent roughly five years of his exile during the Restoration period: le château de Nérac in the capital of the Pays d’Albret in the south west of the country. The area was traditionally protestant and associated with rebellion and resistance to monarchical… Continue reading An exile’s home: Algernon Sidney in Nérac

Uncertainty and the post-truth society

The word ‘Brexit’ entered the Oxford English Dictionary for the first time this month, only weeks after Donald Trump was elected as the next president of the United States and ‘post-truth’ was chosen as the word of the year. All three events are to a greater or lesser extent manifestations of anger with the establishment,… Continue reading Uncertainty and the post-truth society

Political Thought in Times of Crisis, 1640-1660 – Symposium, 1-3 Dec

Sponsored by the Folger Institute Center for the History of British Political Thought, Washington, US. Was the mid-seventeenth-century crisis in Britain and Ireland essentially one aspect of a broader “global” crisis? How might scholars theorize the relationships between political thought and other verbal and non-verbal expressions of change and instability (political, economic, social, cultural, and… Continue reading Political Thought in Times of Crisis, 1640-1660 – Symposium, 1-3 Dec

Being a refugee

It’s weird to be writing a book about English republican exiles in the seventeenth century while thousands of refugees from the Middle East and Africa make their way to Europe every day. I’ve been wondering a lot what it might feel like to be a refugee and if there are experiences that might link these… Continue reading Being a refugee

Chasing Algernon Sidney in Kent

‘That sounds like a film’, a friend of mine responded when I told her I was off to the archive again, ‘chasing Sidney in Kent’. That’s true. In fact, I am surprised nobody ever did make a film about Algernon Sidney – or at least I am not aware of one. He clearly is the… Continue reading Chasing Algernon Sidney in Kent

An English republican exile in Florence

Why would a protestant English republican take refuge at the Tuscan court? The answer does not seem obvious. Ferdinando II, Grand Duke of Tuscany when Henry Neville made his way to Italy in 1664, was a staunch Catholic as well as a prince. The Civil War republican Neville (1619-94) was known for his unorthodox views… Continue reading An English republican exile in Florence