History

Saint Patrick in Context: Dates, Legends, and The Confessio

Saint Patrick in Context: Dates, Legends, and The Confessio

He is Ireland’s outstanding patron saint, conventionally held to have brought Christianity to the country in 432, and his feast day every 17 March is the cause for commemoration and revelry throughout the world – but remarkably little can be stated with any degree of certainty about the life of Saint Patrick. Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated on the traditional date of…

Clotted Hinderparts and Privy Drains: Game of Thrones and a History of Death on the Toilet

Clotted Hinderparts and Privy Drains: Game of Thrones and a History of Death on the Toilet

The twentieth century saw an abundance of famous toilet-related deaths. Elvis died in 1977 at just forty-two years old, found on the bathroom floor of his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, apparently having fallen from the toilet seat. Obese, and struggling with glaucoma, high blood pressure, liver damage, and an enlarged colon, the cause of his death was given as cardiac…

A Brief History of Ukraine

A Brief History of Ukraine

With the situation in Crimea apparently determined, at least for the time being, attention is turning to other sites in Ukraine and beyond. The withdrawal of Ukrainian forces at the beginning of this week – after Russian troops seized the Belbek airbase and Feodosia naval base – marked the interim Ukrainian government’s tacit acceptance that Crimea has been lost. Russian military…

The Crimean Referendum: What Comes Next?

The Crimean Referendum: What Comes Next?

The referendum in Crimea which took place yesterday resulted – according to Mikhail Malyshev, the head of the Crimean referendum commission – in 96.77% of voters opting for Crimea’s integration with Russia. The referendum was dismissed and decried by the interim government in Kiev as a ‘circus performance’; by British Foreign Secretary William Hague as a ‘mockery of proper democratic…

Crimea: A Literary Perspective

Crimea: A Literary Perspective

The situation in Crimea continues to develop agallop. Following events in Kiev, unidentified Russian troops have taken control of Crimea’s airports, public buildings, military installations, and ports. Amid claim and counterclaim – the apparent defection of the chief of the Ukrainian Navy, the claimed defection of thousands of Ukrainian armed forces, and allegations that the human rights of UN envoys…