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Mathew Lyons

Elizabeth I, by Nicholas Hilliard, c.1580 Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2019/Bridgeman Images

Nicholas Hilliard was a portraitist at the pinnacle of his profession.

Wall painting of a bird in a garden, Pompeii, first century AD.

The role birds played in the lives – intellectual, practical, emotional and otherwise – of men and women in the ancient world.

'Voluminous chaos': Portrait of John Aubrey by William Faithorne, 1666

We live in an era sceptical of singularity and authority, yet attracted to narrow certainties. Might a more self-consciously subjective approach to history offer solutions, asks Mathew Lyons?

The pseudo-science of managerialism is having a pernicious effect on higher education. Radical ideas are needed if disciplines such as history are to continue to prosper, argues Mathew Lyons. 

Frozen out: bikes parked in Cambridge.

Poorly paid and treated with contempt, the plight of early career researchers in the humanities is the result of a systemic betrayal of a generation of academics, argues Mathew Lyons.

'The Rape of Proserpina by Pluto', Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1621

Confronting the brutal facts of history can be difficult. But how far should we protect ourselves from them before it becomes censorship? 

A world to survey: The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich, 1818.

Mathew Lyons argues that historians need to make a greater impact on the political debate about the kind of world we wish to live in.

Frontispiece to John Milton's  Areopagitica, 1644.

How much are actions – especially extreme ones – the result of impersonal historical forces and how much are they dependent upon the impulses of individual actors

In need of rescue: William Camden (1551-1623) in an engraving of c.1636.

While we return again and again to the proto-historians of the classical world, we neglect those pioneering figures closer to us in space and time. Why is this, wonders Mathew Lyons?

Though we share a common humanity with people of the past, their world can seem alien to us, says Mathew Lyons. Was it just as disconcerting for them, too?