Exactly 800 years ago on Sunday, in a field next to what is now the airport of Lille, a battle was fought which determined the history of England. Today few people in the UK have heard of Bouvines. It has none of the ring of an Agincourt or a Crecy. Probably that is because England […]


As you all know, this year marks the centenary of the beginning of World War I. In the spirit of remembering a profound and transformational time in human history, it is important to examine the role of communication, propaganda and mass media which began to play an ever more important role as the world entered WWI. […]


Medieval graffiti of straw kings, pentagrams, crosses, ships and “demon traps” have been offering a tantalizing glimpse into England’s past. What do the pictures reveal about life in the Middle Ages? A project to record the graffiti, which began in Norfolk, has now been rolled out to other areas and is gradually spreading across England. […]


Last week marked an ominous legacy of an assassination attempt on Adolf Hilter gone wrong. On 20 July 1944, a 36-year-old German army officer, Col Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, arrived at a heavily guarded complex hidden in a forest in East Prussia. His mission was to kill Adolf Hitler. The Wolfsschanze, or Wolf’s Lair, was […]


Sarah Peverley has put together this set of 43 images of medieval castles and walled towns besieged, under attack, being constructed, and in the landscape. You can visit Sarah’s website – SarahPeverley.com – or follow her on Twitter @Sarah_Peverley You can also learn more about medieval castles: Castles as Past Culture: Adaptation and Identity in the Post-Life of […]


Today marks the French national holiday of Bastille Day. For those who may not know, Bastille Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the fall of the fortress of Bastille on July 14, 1789. During the unrest and revolution of 1789, a citizen mob approached the Bastille to demand the weapons stored there and the release […]


The very structure of a country, even a healthy one, can be challenged by overwhelming events during the course of a year — and the consequences inform not only the legitimacy of the state, but also the experiences of its citizens, often for decades to come. For 10 years now, the Fragile States Index, created […]