Children, Covid-19 and Parental Responsibility

Dr Deniz Arzuk, University College London @denizarzuk https://changingchildhoods.com/ On June 1st, after 10 weeks of lockdown, primary schools in England have reopened for children in Years 1, 6, and Reception. Yet, the initial reports suggest that turn-out is low, and parents are still unconvinced and hesitant to send their children back to school. This is … Continued

Death in the archives

Kate Brooks, Bath Spa University We may never know the exact number of deaths caused by this pandemic, not just because of Government obfuscation. Establishing a definitive cause of death is not as straight forward as it may seem, and the current debates about numbers can be read as yet another iteration of an almost … Continued

On the historical value of ‘bumfodder’ – Loyalty, Memory and Public Opinion in England, 1658-1727

Ted Vallance, University of Roehampton Edward.Vallance@roehampton.ac.uk In a rather pungent outburst, the earl of Lauderdale once told Charles II that loyal addresses were ‘fit for nothing but to wipe his Royal A…’ Until recently, historical opinion on the value of these texts has been no less severe: J. T. Rutt, the editor of Thomas Burton’s … Continued

DIY facemasks and the domestication of personal protection in the First World War

Dr Michael Reeve, Bishop Grosseteste University/Leeds Beckett University @DrMichaelReeve As a historian of wartime resilience, I have found it difficult not to draw parallels between aspects of the current public health crisis and elements of my own research into public safety and early forms of civil defence during the First World War. Though such parallels … Continued

A good send-off in the strange new world of Covid-19

Dr Helen Frisby, independent historian Helen.Frisby@uwe.ac.uk Just over twelve months ago, fuelled by coffee, toasted bagels and an impending deadline, I noted in the concluding chapter of my book Traditions of Death and Burial how, over the past millennium: The ideal (if not always the practice) of a ‘good’ death nonetheless has remained remarkably consistent … Continued

The Pandemic Victorian Post Office

Professor David Green and Dr Laura Newman, King’s College London @PostalHealth Much has been written in the news lately about how best to protect the health of postal workers during a pandemic. At a time when we’re all beginning to reconsider what or who constitutes a ‘vital’ worker, it’s becoming increasingly apparent just how critical … Continued

On Epidemics and Loneliness

Professor David Vincent, Open University David.Vincent@open.ac.uk Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus there was widespread discussion by campaigners and social commentators of an ‘epidemic’ of loneliness.  On the basis of an extensive literature review, Keith Snell concluded that ‘Loneliness is now widely diagnosed as a modern “epidemic” or “plague”.’ Even before the current crisis, this … Continued

We need to talk about batteries not ‘Blitz spirit’

Dr Henry Irving, Leeds Beckett University @drhenryirving Is the toilet roll shortage a chapter or a footnote? The last few days have involved a lot of discussion of what ‘future historians’ will make of the UK government’s response to Covid-19, but there has been far less of the practical decisions that those working in the … Continued

The Enduring Romance of Waterscapes

Dr Andrew McTominey, Leeds Beckett University @123McTom Water has been in the news a fair amount recently. The torrid rains of February 2020 have once again highlighted the inadequate nature of flood defences across the country. Similarly, the partial collapse of Whaley Bridge Dam, Derbyshire in December 2019 reminded us of the fallibility of Victorian … Continued

Whispers Across Continents: In Search of the Robinsons

Dr Gareth Winrow, University of Oxford gareth@garethwinrow.org I knew that my Turkish friend, Ahmet Ceylan, came from an interesting family. His great uncle, known in Turkey as Ahmet Robenson, had introduced basketball and Scouting to the Ottoman Empire and was one of the first goalkeepers to play for the Galatasaray football team. What I did … Continued