326 King of Scots

    By the time James VI came to England in 1603, he had 26 years experience of kingship, and had established his authority in Scotland, and was a self confident ruler,Read More

    325 James and the Historians

    History has treated James roughly – helped by a 17th century hatchet job. But over the last 50 years, there has been much more appreciation of the challenges he faced,Read More

    HIT Marie Antoinette

    Marie Antoinette is the 2006 film directed by Sophia Coppola. It took a highly stylised and sumptuous approach, with modern music – though nailing the cake thing. Reception was quiteRead More

    HiT The Duellists

      The Duellists is Ridley Scott’s first feature film, in 1977. It describes a vicious feud of honour between two officers over the course of the Napoleonic wars  

    HiT Zulu

    The 1964 Epic Zulu, first major role for Michael Caine was super popular – I saw it in my youth for sure. So how well has it worn?  Is itRead More

    Margaret 20 A Pious Legacy - Members Only

      Margaret’s personal life and charitable activities were dominated by three priorities – piety, social and moral responsibility, and family, in common with many powerful women of the time. OneRead More

    Margaret 19 Magnate - Members Only

      From 1499, Margaret moved her main place of residence to Collyweston in Northamptonshire. Once there, she operated as the king’s agent as a regional magnate, with powers that onRead More

    321 Fin de Siecle

        The final years of Elizabeth’s reign inevitably have the sense of the end of an era; she retreated to her chambers, court was no longer the attraction it hadRead More

    HiT Kingdom of Heaven

    Ridley Scott’s 2005 historical epic came soon after the massive success of Gladiator, and consciously aimed to repeat it’s success. It didn’t manage it, but the Director’s Cut was better received,Read More

    320 Justice and the State

    Crime in England saw a sharp growth between the 1580s and 1640s; and the hand of justice lay heavy. But at the same time was forged a system of localRead More

    319 Dearth and Discord

      The last 15-20 years of Elizabeth’s reign have been described as the Golden Age. It’s a description that might have seemed incomprehensible to many of the people that lived throughRead More

    HiT Monty Python

      Monty Python produced two deeply researched dramas analysing the reign of the great British Hero King Arthur, and the religious leader, Brian. How accurate are they, and are we still aRead More

    318 The Nine Years’ War

    In Ulster near the end of the 16th century, it appeared that Elizabeth could reply at least on one of her favoured Irish subjects – Hugh O’Neill, Baron of DungannonRead More

    HiT Land and Freedom

      The 1995 film about the Spanish Civil war, directed by Ken Loach and heavily influenced by Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. The film sees the war through the eyes of anRead More

    317 Well Worth a Mass

    Henry IV of France, regarded as one of France’s greatest leaders, looks for way to bring peace and unity to his divided country, while England and Spain trade blows. AndRead More

    316 The Valois Extinguished

    The defeat of the Armada feels in retrospect like a watershed in Elizabeth’s reign; many of her closest advisers and companions died, and for the remainder of her reign EnglandRead More

    HiT 49th Parallel

      A 1941 Powell and Pressburger film designed to persuade the American people of the need to join the war against the Nazis. “Goebbels considered himself an expert on propaganda, butRead More

    HiT Peterloo

      The massacre at St Peters Field in 1819 was a key date in the story of the development of democracy in Britain. Mike Leigh’s film sets out to restore that sense ofRead More

    HiT The Wind Rises

    The stunning 2013 Japanese animated historical drama by the master, Hayao Miyazaki. The Wind Rises is a biographical film of Jiro Horikoshi (1903–1982), designer of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter aircraft andRead More

    315 God Breathed

      As the Armada sailed serenely up the Channel, the English tried desperately to make some impression before it reached Flanders. But Medina Sidonia had worries of his own… Transcript Ok, soRead More

    Sh 36b King in Parliament - Members Only

    The 14th to 16th centuries saw the increasingly professionalism of Common law, and the embedding of parliament at the centre of government. Jurists claimed that the people were sovereign, thoughRead More

    314 Drake goes Bowling

      The Great Armada was do to sail in 1587; but Elizabeth had other ideas. By in May 1588 the Duke of Medina Sidonia led his fleet of 130 shipsRead More

    HiT Belle

        The 2013 film directed by Amma Asante tells the story of the daughter of an enslaved African woman and Captain Lindsey, against the background of the Zhong slave shipRead More

    313 England is Ours

      From a desk in a small suite of rooms in El Escorial Philip II ran a vast colonial empire. With France torn by civil war, war against the DutchRead More

    312 My Heart is my Own

      By the mid 1580’s Mary was at her wits’ end – feeling betrayed by her son, 18 years of incarceration, beset by a unsympathetic jailer. She would listen toRead More

    HiT The Private Life of Henry VIII

    The 1933 classic from Alexander Korda which certainly convinced my mother that Henry VIII threw chicken bones around. It was a major international success, in particular for Charles Laughton,  

    Margaret 14 Rebel - Members Only

      In 1483, someone turned Buckingham’s pretty head, and got him thinking about an even brighter future. Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth Woodville saw that brighter future too.