18th century

How expansive ambitions led to revolution

Today, I have the honour of being visited by Paul Bennett, who not only maintains an excellent review site, Hoover Book Reviews, but also writes books about set in the Americas during the decades leading up to the War of Independence. An interesting and not so often depicted period, IMO, which is why I felt …

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The good, the bad and the ugly – a smorgasbord of pirates

Today, I’ve invited Helen Hollick to join me here on Stolen Moments. Helen is the author of many, many books, among which her books about Emma of Normandy and Harold II of England deserve a special mention. As do her wonderful books about the dashing pirate Jesamiah Acorne and his adventures in the early 18th …

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Running for the finishing line

Time to present yet another of the finalists in this year’s Historical Novel Society‘s Indie Award. And as this book feaures a Bow Street runner, obviously the author is hurtling towards the finishing line, head to head with her three competitors.This is yet another excellent read – but then, as I’ve said before, the one …

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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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When the king's physician became the queen's…umm…

Today, I thought we could spend some time with Caroline Matilda, princess of England and queen of Denmark. She was born in 1751, daughter to Frederick, Prince of Wales and his wife Princess Augusta of Saxe-Coburg. By the time of her birth, her father was already dead, and as per her mother’s wishes she was brought …

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So fell the mighty warrior…

On the last day of November 1718, the Swedish Empire hit the dust, crumbling into non-existence with the death of Karl XII. This our last warrior king was out inspecting his positions in Norway when an unidentified object hit him in the temple and killed him. Since then, debate has raged as to whether it …

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The royal impediment – of a king and his heir

Most people know very little about Swedish history – and that comment is valid for most Swedish people as well. If people know anything at all, they may have heard of Queen Kristina (because she abdicated and converted to Catholicism) or her bellicose father (Gustav II Adolf, for modernising warfare and pillaging the European continent). …

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It’s a man’s world

…or so, at least, Ulrika Eleonora Stålhammar must have reasoned when she decided to leave her feminine self behind and instead become a man. And not any old man, either, no Ulrika Eleonora decided to go all in and become a soldier. Okay, so none of the above is truly remarkable in this day and …

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Sleeping your way to the top…

… is not a recommended approach to career building. But it has proven itself quite effective through history, and in societies where talented and intelligent women were restricted by their gender from pursuing a career under their own steam, what was a young girl to do? After all, if you can’t be the power on …

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Eating yourself to death

Back in the good old times, the possibility of eating so much you would actually die was restricted to the upper classes. The common folk never got the chance of overindulging in anything much, and as a consequence obesity was often a sign of wealth. In some cultures, to this day obesity is used as …

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