Meet Maria Branwell, mother of the extraordinary Brontës – London Life With Liz

The Mother of the Brontës by Sharon Wright

The Mother of the Brontës by Sharon Wright

“The book that can never be written”. So Sharon Wright was told every time she proposed the idea of a biography of the Brontë sisters’ mother, Maria. The accepted view in Brontë scholarly circles has always been that Maria’s life was eclipsed by the genius of her children.

Source: Meet Maria Branwell, mother of the extraordinary Brontës – London Life With Liz

Philippe Pétain – The Lion of Verdun – W.U Hstry

Philippe Pétain was 58 years old and a colonel when World War One broke out, and he had never seen active service. Yet within months he was a national hero and a commanding General and would soon c…

Source: Philippe Pétain – The Lion of Verdun – W.U Hstry

Red tails, black wings: The Tuskegee Airmen | Eagle-Eyed Editor


Originally posted on Eagle-Eyed Editor.

It’s wonderful what you can do when somebody else believes in you. Sometimes you have to struggle to win over hearts and minds; other times you don’t.

John B. Holway wrote a great book about exactly this type of situation. It’s called Red Tails, Black Wings: The Men of America’s Black Air Force.

The book concerns the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American men who began training as pilots in Tuskegee, Alabama in the early 1940s. Jim Crow laws were still in effect and although African-American men were admitted to military service, they were placed in menial labor positions.

But that would change, and Tuskegee was the beginning. The men of Tuskegee not only performed well as pilots in spite of others’ low expectations, they excelled. The Red Tails (parts of their planes were…

via Red tails, black wings: The Tuskegee Airmen | Eagle-Eyed Editor.

Book Review – Henry VIII’s Last Love: The Extraordinary Life of Katherine Willoughby, Lady-in-Waiting to the Tudors by David Baldwin

By Nathen Amin

David Baldwin’s latest release is a fascinating portrayal of a woman who almost became the seventh wife of Henry VIII; as it was the king died before any plans came to fruition and the name of Katherine Willoughby was somewhat lost to history. Baldwin attempts, and will succeed, bringing the erstwhile Duchess of Suffolk back into the spotlight with this in-depth account of her life at the most famous royal court in English history.

Somewhat fittingly for a future Duchess of Suffolk, Katherine was born in March 1519 in Parham Old Hall in Suffolk as the daughter of Baron Willoughby de Eresby and Spaniard Maria de Salinas. Her father was one of the greatest landowners in the region whilst her mother was a close friend and lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine of Aragon. The wedding of Baron Willoughby and Maria de Salinas incurred the support of King Henry…

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Book Review – Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang

Lit World Interviews

I am fascinated with strong female characters, real-life or fictitious. So it is no wonder this book caught my attention when it was first published in 2013. Unfortunately with time constraints, it wasn’t until the paperback was released that it found its way into my home.


Title:               Empress Dowager Cixi: the Concubine who Launched Modern China
Author:          Jung Chang
Publisher:     Vintage Books, London (3 July 2014)
ISBN-10:        0099532395
ISBN-13:        9780099532392
Pages:              Paperback, 528 pages
Genre:             Literary Non-Fiction – History

 What’s it about?

Empress Dowager Cixi was never ‘crowned’ empress. But she was the de facto ruler of China from 1861 to 1908. At the age of 16, Cixi was ‘honoured’ for being selected to be a concubine to the Emperor Xianfeng. At the death of the Emperor, she (then 25 years old) with the official Empress Zhen, “sat behind the throne”…

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Eleanor Marx: A Life

London Historians' Blog

Review: Eleanor Marx: A Life by Rachel Holmes

A guest post by London Historians Member, Jane Young.

Eleanor Marx A Life Rachel HolmesThe first biography of Eleanor Marx (1855 – 1898) to be written in almost four decades, the 1972 -1976 two volume biography from Yvonne Knapp is a tough act to follow and Rachel Holmes has managed it with a flourish.

Significantly more intricate than a singular rendition of the life of one person, this substantial volume is an adeptly researched piece of social history. Covering poverty in the mid nineteenth century, the plight of European immigrants, infant mortality, working class politics, bohemian society

Charting the progress of Eleanor Marx from right back to before her parents Jenny and Karl had even met; you are invited into the various and numerous homes of the Marx household. There you meet a ramshackle extended family in all its minutiae detail becoming familiar with everything from the…

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