Exhibition of Power

Posted on by David Gelber

Charles I is not quite the most recognisable of English sovereigns. Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, even Queen Victoria are more immediately familiar. But Charles is the connoisseur’s king, the man who brought to the benighted British Isles the light of the Italian Renaissance, the monarch whose court nurtured a mode of portraiture that, refined in […]

Because He Could

Posted on by Tom Fleming

When the Crown Prince of Nepal shot dead nearly his entire family last June, one journalist described it to me as the first genuine news event she could remember. September 11 was yet to come. Since I had written about India, and with India being close to Nepal, it was suggested that I might go […]

We Mean It, Ma’am

Posted on by Tom Fleming

It is only to be expected that the Queen, in her Golden Jubilee year, should enjoy the publication of a biography or two to commemorate her feat, especially since the music industry has decided more or less to ignore the whole event. There will be a couple of anti-Jubilee songs – one by Billy Bragg […]

A Steel Marshmallow

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

To most people alive today, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was a diminutive figure in floating sweet-pea chiffon crowned by a face-framing hat, gloved hand waving from a Royal Ascot coach or accepting a birthday bouquet from some adoring member of the public. What lay behind that sweet, impenetrable smile? Was it, as her biographer […]

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First Among Feminists

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

There are many books about Boudica, and more continue to appear. Most are bad. This account, by two archaeologists, is a good one, and gives us all that we know for sure about this interesting figure, and all the myths and fantasies which have been built up around her. She was a contemporary of the […]

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God’s Lieutenant on the Road to Reform

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

The most decisive developments of Henry VIII’s turbulent reign came in the 1530s, when the king denied the authority of the Pope, asserted his own supposedly God-given right to control the Church, and set about redesigning English religion, a process which he was to continue until the end of his reign. These actions were to […]

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