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Depicting Finland’s 100 years, or the coin controversy

In early April, the Finnish Ministry of Finance announced its anniversary coinage, celebrating 100 years of Finland’s independence. The coinage was to depict scenes from the country’s history. Controversy struck quickly: the first coin, representing the Finnish civil war, features a soldier about to be shot at close range. However,...

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Early Modern England: A Literate Culture?

In the late 15th century, the printing press came to England. Whilst initially its trade remained small and concentrated in the hands of a few, its rapid expansion throughout the Early Modern period transformed English society, rendering ‘literature culture’ important to everyday life. However, the true extent to which literature...

THE DEVONSHIRE, or Most Approved Method of Securing Votes', by Thomas Rowlandson 0

The 1784 Election: Masculinity in Crisis?

The 1784 election contest for the constituency of Westminster was one of the most hotly contested in history, ‘forty days of riot, forty days of confusion’ in the words of Pitt the Younger . Aged only 24, Prime Minister Pitt tried to snatch Westminster from the hands of self-proclaimed ‘man...

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Dream of the Red Chamber: Translating Chinese Literature

From the 1950s to the 1970s, many translation projects of Chinese works were supported by the authority of mainland China. Translators and western experts were invited to join these projects. Among them was a very well-known translator: Yang Xianyi (杨宪益). Over the course of his career, Yang contributed more than...

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Holocaust Memory and Online Shaming

In November, I shared my thoughts on what social media can do for contemporary research on Holocaust consciousness. These “slippery” historical sources – always in flux – help everyday people to express themselves and their engagement with the history of the Holocaust; yet they often present ethical complications. I am...

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Revisiting the History of Oral Contraceptives

Women’s health is a crucial part of women’s history, and the birth control pill represents a technology that has changed the lives of women internationally since its creation. After initially coming on the market in the 1960s, oral contraceptives quickly became a bestseller throughout the United States. In America, the...

Adina De Zavala leading a tour at the historic Spanish Governor's Palace in San Antonio, Texas, prior to its restoration. Source: San Antonio Light Photographs Collection, UTSA, via the National Trust 0

Women and the Historic Preservation Movement in the United States

In certain circles in the United States, historic preservationists have a curious reputation as ‘little old ladies in blue hair and tennis shoes’.  This reputation has derogatory undertones that speak to a specific stereotype of preservationists that developed mainly in the second half of the twentieth century: people often believe...

(Portrait of Queen Anne, Studio of John Cloisterman, circa 1702, National Portrait Gallery, NPG 215) 0

Rethinking Queen Anne: A Conundrum of Queenship

In a BBC poll from 2015, just 1% of voters decided that Queen Anne (1665-1714) was the best queen in English history; Queen Elizabeth I scooped 45% of the vote, while Victoria and Elizabeth II received 10% each. Although up against stiff competition, the vote is typical of Queen Anne’s...