Tam O'Shanter is an entertaining long poem by Robert Burns that has been one of his most loved ever since it was published in 1791.
England/Great Britain has had eight kings named Edward since the Norman Conquest. Here are brief accounts of all of them.
Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) is a Victorian masterpiece that has stood the test of time and is as readable and enjoyable today as it was when it first appeared in 1889.
A summary of the causes of emigration from England across the Atlantic in the 17th century
Forced marriages of under-age girls are a scandal that affects not just the Third World but the West as well. The problem is particularly bad in the USA.
The Staplehurst rail crash of 9th June 1865 was notable for two main reasons. One is that it happened because somebody failed to read a railway timetable properly, and the other is that a very well-kn
Some people have claimed to be able to communicate —in writing— the words of dead people. How much credence can be given to such claims?
Vatican City has to be the most unusual independent state in the world, apart from being the smallest. The much overused word “unique” is surely applicable here!
Stonehenge is one of the World's most famous ancient sites. But why was it built?
Most people would agree that humans rights need to be protected, but are we always clear about what counts as a violation of them?
Here is a short explanation of the term 'movement' in classical music.
William the Silent was the first head of state to be assassinated by means of a handheld firearm, but was by no means the last.
A piece of fake news nearly led to a French general deposing Napoleon Bonaparte.
Pasta is associated by most people with Italy. There is a theory that this was thanks to Marco Polo, introducing it on his return from China. Could this be true or is it a myth?
Jacques Benveniste gained the unusual honor of being awarded two Ig Nobel prizes for work that appeared to support the claims of homeopathy.
Here is a short account of the life and work of Pietro da Cortona, who was a highly influential artist during the Baroque period of the 17th century.
Despite being one of Britain`s greatest ever generals, Monty was a very difficult person to deal with.
There are few people today who would deny that the use of tobacco has been an unmitigated disaster in terms of public health and unnecessary early deaths. This was not always the general view.
John Harrison's invention solved a thorny problem in navigation and saved countless lives, but he was poorly rewarded for his effort.
During the early 20th century the “discovery” of an ancient stone appeared to prove that Scandinavians had colonised part of what is now the United States in the 14th century.
A document dating from 1937 has been used to show that Adolf Hitler planned to wage war several years before he did so. But is this a fair analysis?
The history of Europe during the 19th and early 20th centuries had much to do with the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the attitude of powerful countries such as Great Britain.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg went to the electric chair on 19th June 1953, having been found guilty of spying for the Soviet Union. But was this sentence a just one?
After King Charles I failed to arrest five of his opponents in the House of Commons, there was no alternative to Civil War.
Here is an introduction to, and discussion of, one of Thomas Hardy’s less-well-known poems.
The success of Annibale Carracci as a fresco painter in Rome encouraged a number of his pupils from Bologna to follow his example and seek commissions from rich and powerful patrons in the papal city.
The Summer Triangle is the name given to an area of the night sky that contains several features of interest for the amateur astronomer.
This is possibly Tom Stoppard's best known play. It offers an amusing and thought-provoking twist on Shakespeare's "Hamlet".
Here is a short introduction to some of the world's best known examples of hot spring activity cause by volcanism.
Early personal firearms, as opposed to cannons, worked by igniting gunpowder just as cannons did. The problem was how to ignite the gunpowder reliably and safely.
The late 19th century saw a revival of British musical composition, prompted by three composers who all earned knighthoods.
Francesco Borromini was one of the three main architects of the Roman Baroque who changed the face of 17th century Rome by introducing a bold new style.
Gladstone and Disraeli are generally thought of as the two greatest British Prime Ministers of the 19th century. They absolutely loathed each other.
High up on open downland in Northamptonshire stands a remarkable building that was the brainchild of an extraordinary man. When he died in 1605 his dream died with him, but it has remained just as he
This interrupted walk takes you along the course of the Roman Empire’s northernmost limit.
Bethnal Green’s blind beggar was a legendary character who gave his name to a pub that was to acquire a much more sinister reputation in more recent times.
Nobody knows how Rome was founded, but that does not mean that later Romans were unable to come up with a good story. The myth of Romulus and Remus was the result.
In some ways, Australia offered conditions for the perfect British colony, but in other ways it was far from ideal.