Murder in Lausanne: The Death of an English Regicide in Exile

On Thursday, 11 August 1664 the Englishman John Lisle was shot dead in bright daylight on his way to church in Lausanne. His killers had been observing his moves. They knew his daily habits. When Lisle went on that fateful day to hear the morning sermon at the Church of St François, several men were… Continue reading Murder in Lausanne: The Death of an English Regicide in Exile

A coaching inn in Augsburg

Choosing a cover image for a book is tricky, especially on an early modern subject. Ideally, the image should relate both to the title and contents of the book and be available on one of the standard image sites. Since my book is entitled The English Republican Exiles in Europe During the Restoration, I should have… Continue reading A coaching inn in Augsburg

How I got to The English Republican Exiles in Europe

The cover image has been selected, the proofs are done, and my new book on The English Republican Exiles in Europe During the Restoration is finally going to press – due out, the content manager tells me, in about five to six weeks’ time. This book has been a long time in the making, and… Continue reading How I got to The English Republican Exiles in Europe

How not to write women out of history

Admittedly, my headline sounds a bit dramatic. But I am serious about this. Several years ago, I reviewed two books in short succession: one, a collection of essays on Oliver Cromwell, another, a history of gender in the English Revolution. The former barely mentioned any women at all, the latter focused on gender relations during… Continue reading How not to write women out of history

Royalist Republicans in the United Provinces

I have just finished reading Helmer Helmers’ The Royalist Republic (CUP, 2015), which offers a profound challenge to received views of Anglo-Dutch relations during the seventeenth century, in particular the idea ‘still influential among non-specialists – that Dutch republicanism somehow separated Dutch political culture from the kingdoms surrounding it.’ (262) In his book, Helmers explores the… Continue reading Royalist Republicans in the United Provinces

Continental Breakfast

Nothing illustrates the British disdain for Europe like the concept of Continental Breakfast. I have been staying at a mid-ranking London hotel for the past week – just about expensive enough to avoid the bed bugs, but not expensive enough to get your shoes polished – where guests are divided into two classes, depending on… Continue reading Continental Breakfast

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

The Turkeys have Voted for Christmas

After a large majority of British MPs voted in favour of triggering Article 50 last night, the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that “history has been made”. And it’s tragic history indeed. The turkeys voted for Christmas once again – allegedly to uphold the will of the people who voted in a referendum on 23 June… Continue reading The Turkeys have Voted for Christmas

The British view of a nation that never was

Dürer’s rhino, Luther’s Bible, Bismarck dressed as a blacksmith, a VW Beetle and a replica of the gate to Buchenwald concentration camp – the exhibits of the ‘Germany – Memories of a Nation’ show seem both somewhat random and predictable. What I was missing most of all was a grand narrative guiding me through the… Continue reading The British view of a nation that never was

Historians and the Fifth Estate

Historians should get more actively involved in shaping policy, in particular foreign and defence policy. That is the gist of a recent call by Graham Allison and Niall Ferguson in The Atlantic for a Council of Historians to be established in the US. Taking advice from historians, they suggest, could have helped President George W.… Continue reading Historians and the Fifth Estate