politics

The Violent Life and Times of Roger Bigod – A Medieval Player of the Game of Thrones?

For almost 250 years, from the time of the Norman Conquest of England in AD 1066, one of the most important families in the Eastern Counties were the Bigods. In later years they would become the Earls of Norfolk and so powerful they could defy the Kings of England, running their territory like the bosses of old-style Mafia crime family.

Despite the fact these were members of a family who lived and died nearly a thousand years ago, in many respects they were a thoroughly modern bunch of ruthless back-stabbers, liars, and rogues who always had an eye on the main prize and didn’t care...Read more

The Four Great Beauties, and the Arts of the Courtesans in Ancient China

The Four Great Beauties are four ancient Chinese women renowned for their beauty which they skillfully exercised to influence Chinese history. Although each of the Four Great Beauties frequently appear as the subjects or objects of arts, one seldom learns much of them beyond their names, descriptions of their looks and brief mentions of their skills. This is common in ancient Chinese works related to female performers, or courtesans...Read more