Blog

Book Reviews

Review: ‘In Order To Live’ by Yeonmi Park

Before I start, I need to say: this book contains references to sexual, verbal and physical assault, and covers distressing events and potentially dark topics. It's a book about life in, and escape from, North Korea - and Yeonmi set out determined to tell every part of her story. It won't be for everyone. I… Continue reading Review: ‘In Order To Live’ by Yeonmi Park

Personal and Other

Identity, Community, and Barriers Between Us

Someone recently asked me if there is such thing as the 'Writing Community.' The #WritingCommunity is how many of us got where we are now. We jumped on follow trains, tag games and hashtags to build large follower counts, hoping to build an audience for ourselves. Along the way, we learned that most of those follows are completely useless, because you'll never interact with them.

History

The Italian Winemakers Who Once Controlled England’s Money

This was a bit of a rabbithole I fell into while researching for my latest 'What Happened 700 Years Ago' column. It's a fascinating story, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. It's the 1270s. London is starting to grow: it will soon become the financial hub of northern Europe, but… Continue reading The Italian Winemakers Who Once Controlled England’s Money

History

King Harald of Norway and the Globalised Medieval World

I'm part-way through reading The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan. The primary argument is that the Middle East and Central Asia played a much bigger and more important role in antiquity and medieval times than we generally realise in the west, and I've enjoyed it so far - especially his coverage of the period between… Continue reading King Harald of Norway and the Globalised Medieval World

History

Pennsylvania and the President

Over the last week, all eyes have been on Pennsylvania. The most likely swing state in the US general election, it's now the place the Trump campaign are targeting most heavily with their litigation blunderbuss. One place has particularly drawn their ire: Philadelphia. As Trump said, "a lot of bad things happen in Philadelphia. Bad… Continue reading Pennsylvania and the President