Dreams and goals

The death of democracy as we know it?

Rarely do I post about other things than history, but for once I’m going to go a bit political on you. Bear with me – and if you don’t, welcome back in 2017 when one of my first posts will be about a medieval Spanish king and his passionate love for a woman who probably …

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I believe I can fly

Life was not a walk in the park in previous centuries. Unless you were born into the landed & wealthy classes, chances are you’d spend most of your life hand-to-mouth, earning today what you needed to survive today – and maybe half of tomorrow. Those of us enamoured of history tend to forget this, seeing …

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Legislating for toleration – an innovative approach

In the 17th century, people were very much defined by their faith. Europe had splintered into a Catholic part and a Protestant part, and being a Catholic in Protestant England was as uncomfortable as it was being a Protestant in Catholic Spain. In both cases, unfortunates could be submitted to gruelling interrogations and torture, as …

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Like mother, like daughter – sinful ladies in the 17th century

So here I was, believing our historical Swedish princesses had, for the most part, acted with utmost propriety. In fact, other than the (in)famous Cecilia Vasa (and I must admit to being very fond of this hell-raising, opinionated 16th century woman, as demonstrated by this post) I lived with the impression that the rest were …

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The Neanderthal within

The other day, I was out walking with second son. To do so, is not only physically exerting (we went on a long walk), but also intellectually challenging, as this boy of mine has been gifted with a vivid and mobile intellect that has him leap-frogging from discussions as to what exactly happened when Rome …

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“Goodbye, farewell” – hang on, not yet!

I’ve done it. I suppose this means I should sit back with a celebratory cup of tea, pat myself on the back and say “well done”. Instead, I’ve been walking about in a fugue, feeling strangely hollow inside. Eight books published, a series completed, and I am so NOT ready to say goodbye. “Oh come …

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Behind every successful man…

We’ve all heard of Martin Luther, right? And no, I am not talking about that inspiring leader and awesome demagogue who spoke that immortal line “I have a dream” – I am rather referring to the man for whom he was named, a German priest born in 1483. That Martin Luther was one of the …

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When the creative juices flow

Every now and then, I sit down to have a serious one-to-one chat with yours truly. Okay, so the conversation is generally one-sided, as I haven’t progressed to doing different voices for different sides of my personality, but the purpose of these little tete-a-tetes is to remind myself why I write. Primarily for me. You …

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Torn asunder – of Finland and its history

So I was taking the opportunity of a lull in the meeting to bore my colleagues with yet another historical tidbit. Okay, maybe not bore, as I do try to present my favourite moments in history in an entertaining manner, involving a lot of posturing, multiple voices and general enthusiasm, but in a group of …

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