Miscellanies

The Afterlife of the Berlin Wall

The fall of the Berlin Wall posed various questions. Was a united Germany dangerous? How to protect the East’s heritage? And how should the Wall be remembered?

Switzerland’s Nation of Hoteliers

At the turn of the 20th century, Switzerland embraced the Grand Hotel. The First World War brought one golden age of hotels to an end, ushering in a new, more uncertain one.   

Was Thomas Turner Lonely?

Loneliness as an emotion was absent in English writing before 1800. What does the diary of a Georgian widower reveal about its connection with the loss of faith?

St James and the Two Faces of Spain

Spain’s patron saint has been depicted as apostle, pilgrim and slayer. His various guises reflect the deep divisions that have dominated Spanish history.

The Puzzles of Thermopylae

The story of 300 Greeks withstanding the might of Persia at the Thermopylae pass is well known. But how accurate is it? And, with few sources, how can we know?

The World of Medieval Dogdom

The people of medieval Europe were devoted to their dogs; one great French dog-lover declared that the greatest defect of the species was that they ‘lived not long enough’.

What is a Concentration Camp?

‘Concentration camps’ are difficult to define. Even the survivors of the most notorious and universally recognised camps in history discovered this problem in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Gabriele D’Annunzio’s Fiume Escapade

The poet’s conquest of the Adriatic city of Fiume in 1919 was flamboyant, comedic and never likely to last – but it ushered in a new era of showman politics across Europe.

Ottoman Empire 2.0?

Across the Balkans, relics of Ottoman glory and decline, such as mosques, bridges and hamams, exist in various states of disrepair. Can they be brought back to life?