Writing History: Some Hints and Tips

Family history – own it Are you writing about your family history? If so, then YOU own the story. In my experience, I’ve found this to be a stressless way of writing history. It’s always enjoyable to reminisce. When I write my family history posts the words nearly always flow very easily once I’ve settled on a topic and this is because it is my … Continue reading Writing History: Some Hints and Tips

Using Archives for Academic Research

In Digital Versus Physical Archives: a Personal Account I discussed my use of archives while researching my family history, describing how digital archives were the catalyst for my research in various archives in Britain and Ireland spanning several years.  With ten years’ archival research behind me, I decided to study for a history degree.  Those years were invaluable to me, as I headed into the archives … Continue reading Using Archives for Academic Research

Why was the Perception of the Actress and the Prostitute Interchangeable in the Eighteenth Century? 

Introduction During the eighteenth century, the social standing of the actress and the prostitute was targeted by moral reformers and satirical authors.  The moral reformer targeted actresses for criticism ‘as their actions and speech on stage were considered immodest.’  The satirical author was interested in publishing any related scandal that surrounded the actress.  Historians have argued that ‘either sort of author could criticise an actress … Continue reading Why was the Perception of the Actress and the Prostitute Interchangeable in the Eighteenth Century? 

To Find the ‘Write’ Word!

I like words.  I’ve been an avid reader since primary school and will often pick up a word not in my general vocabulary from reading or TV and then use it in a sentence.  It’s a personal challenge that I still employ today in the workplace.  I would come across words not part of my general lexicon during my undergraduate degree; for example, paradigm, abortifacient, … Continue reading To Find the ‘Write’ Word!

Infanticide in the Early Modern Period: Account for the Relatively Low Conviction Rate in Cases of New-born Child Murder in England

In the early modern period, there was a huge stigma attached to having a child born outside of marriage. The distress and shame of the unmarried mothers-to-be would sometimes manifest itself in a mania, which led the new mother to murder her baby during birth. Not all women showed signs of mental illness; some babies were murdered with deliberate violence. However, not all women were … Continue reading Infanticide in the Early Modern Period: Account for the Relatively Low Conviction Rate in Cases of New-born Child Murder in England

Eliza Fenning – a Nineteenth Century Poisoner?

     The case of Eliza (or Elizabeth) Fenning caused much debate in 1815.  Eliza was a domestic servant, aged twenty, who was accused of poisoning her employer, Robert Turner, and two other members of his family, with arsenic laced dumplings.  She vehemently denied this and claimed that she had eaten the meal and was subsequently sick.  She was arrested and sent for trial at … Continue reading Eliza Fenning – a Nineteenth Century Poisoner?

The ‘Black Boy’of the Philanthropic Society

This article was first published on history@kingston, February 2015 So much of London’s fascinating black history is hidden from the historical record, so when I noticed the phrase ‘Black Boy’ written in the minutes of the Philanthropic Society during research for my recent MA dissertation on juvenile delinquency and philanthropy in the late eighteenth century, I was intrigued.  It was the first time that I … Continue reading The ‘Black Boy’of the Philanthropic Society