Safe spaces and comfort zones

This piece first appeared in the July 2015 issue of History Today. While I still think this makes some good points, on the whole it feels a good deal more ancien regime than I intended it to be, and fails to address some important aspects of the debate. Rachel Moss wrote a blog post in … Continue reading Safe spaces and comfort zones

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Thoughts among the noise: talking poetry with Rachel Stirling

Earlier this year I talked with writer and reviewer Rachel Stirling about the writing and reading of poetry. The conversation appeared on Rachel's blog in June, so I'm reposting here now on mine. RACHEL:  When did you know that you wanted to write? MATHEW:  Quite early on I think. I can’t really remember a time … Continue reading Thoughts among the noise: talking poetry with Rachel Stirling

Canada AM: the Prince Charles letters

Those who follow me on Twitter may already know that I was TV twice last week. The first appearance, to discuss Prince Harry's career, was on Sky News. Unfortunately - or perhaps fortunately, depending on your point of view - I can't link to that. But I subsequently appeared on CTV's breakfast show Canada AM … Continue reading Canada AM: the Prince Charles letters

Review: Merchant Adventurers by James Evans

This review appears in the current December/January issue of  Management Today. The recent media coverage of the discovery of Sir John Franklin’s flagship, the HMS Erebus, on the sea floor in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, is a reminder of the public’s abiding fascination with the Age of Exploration and of its huge cost, in terms … Continue reading Review: Merchant Adventurers by James Evans

The borders of historical fiction and non-fiction: a conversation with Nancy Bilyeau

Last year I reviewed Nancy Bilyeau's excellent début Tudor thriller, The Crown which is set during the dissolution of the monasteries. Its sequel, The Chalice, is being published in the UK by Orion on February 28; and in North America by Simon & Schuster on March 5. Nancy has kindly agreed to take part in … Continue reading The borders of historical fiction and non-fiction: a conversation with Nancy Bilyeau

Londonist Out Loud podcast

My Londonist Out Loud podcast with N Quentin Woolf, recorded in the lovely gardens at Hampton Court on Wednesday, is now available for download – either from the Londonist website or from iTunes. We chatted about various London-related matters, including the commercialisation of the Houses of Parliament and the ongoing privatisation of public spaces, among … Continue reading Londonist Out Loud podcast

Tracy Borman reviews The Favourite in BBC History magazine

The September issue of BBC History magazine carries a really nice review of the paperback edition of The Favourite. I'm particularly pleased with this, since it's by Tracy Borman, whose Elizabeth's Women: The Hidden Story of the Virgin Queen is wonderful. Tracy writes: The Favourite explores the complex, "narcotic" relationship between Elizabeth and Ralegh, and … Continue reading Tracy Borman reviews The Favourite in BBC History magazine