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  • Wilkie Collins and the secret marriage
    Wilkie Collins and the secret marriage
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    Jen Pedler writes about the complicated private life of Victorian Novelist Wilkie Collins. You can find out more on Jen’s walk “Walk Wilkie’s Way” on Thursday 6th October at 11am which is part of our Literary Footprints Festival Illegitimacy, bigamy, matrimonial irregularity, complex wills, murder, legalistic deception, financial skulduggery… all this and more features in the…

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  • Orwell In The Clink
    Orwell In The Clink
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    Next in our series of Literary Footprints 2016 posts, David Charnick recounts the young Eric Blair’s early brushes with the law in the East End and how he put those experiences to use when creating one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. On the evening of Saturday 19 December 1931, a man was…

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  • ‘Bertie learns how to write’: The apprenticeship of HG Wells
    ‘Bertie learns how to write’: The apprenticeship of HG Wells
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    With our annual Literary Footprints Festival just around the corner, Robin Rowles recounts some of the early endeavours of one of our greatest authors of science fiction. HG Wells is best known as the author of The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds and many other scientific romances. However, before penning these timeless works,…

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  • Everything You Know About London is Wrong
    Everything You Know About London is Wrong
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    Or at least that is the case according to a new book written by Matt Brown, Editor at Large of the Londonist website.  And as a contributor of over 5000 articles to that august site, he’s not the sort of chap you’d argue with in making such a bold contention. Or is he…?  We thought…

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  • The kids are alright!
    The kids are alright!
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    With the summer holiday upon us and the start of our History in the Hols season just over a week away, Mark Rowland reflects on his baptism of fire and the fun he has had since in running family walks. I qualified for my guiding badges in 2012 (City of London) and 2013 (City of…

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  • A Not Very Special Relationship: John Adams In London
    A Not Very Special Relationship: John Adams In London
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    With the “special relationship” under a new post-Brexit scrutiny and our cousins across the pond in election fever, Michael Duncan explores the London connection of maybe the most forgotten of the Founding Fathers. John Adams, the Second President of the United States, is overshadowed by his fellow founding fathers. George Washington towered over him physically…

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  • August is History in the Hols month!
    August is History in the Hols month!
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    Been a tough year for parents hasn’t it? As if the stress of SATs for 10 and 11 year olds wasn’t enough, the Pound’s recent nosedive has, for many, put the annual two-week escape to the beaches of Europe in jeopardy. So with summer upon us and a “staycation” boom apparently in full flow, the…

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  • There ain’t no cure for the Ealing blues
    There ain’t no cure for the Ealing blues
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    As if Ealing’s claim to fame as the hotbed of a peculiarly British type of film comedy wasn’t enough, Alan Fortune relates the story of how an unprepossessing back street in deepest Ealing also reveals the location of the birth of one of the most important movements in British music. Across the road from Ealing…

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  • London and The Battle of Jutland
    London and The Battle of Jutland
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    31st May sees the hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Jutland. Although the Battle was fought far out in the North Sea, it left its mark on London. The Battle of Jutland was the largest naval battle of World War One, the long anticipated clash between the battleships that Germany and Britain had been building…

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  • Kings and Queens in London – Edward I
    Kings and Queens in London – Edward I
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    Our series looking at the legacy of Kings and Queens in London continues with Edward I. Edward I was in Sicily returning from fighting the crusades when his father Henry III died in 1272. Edward and his wife Eleanor, who he had married at the age of 15, made a very leisurely return to London, where Edward…

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