Friday, 5 July 2013

Ideas Roadshow Interview with J. H. Elliott

I've been contacted recently by the people at the multimedia magazine Ideas Roadshow as their June issue features an interview with early modern historian Sir John Huxtable Elliott. Normally publishing under J.H. Elliott, he has produced several major pieces of  research in Spanish history, winning him a clutch of awards and prizes. In this informative interview many aspects of researching history are covered by Elliott who gives insights into what it means to be a historian, the practicalities of research and why he chose early modern Spanish history. The video can be viewed on the Ideas Roadshow website and the transcript is also available as an ebook (please note registration is required).

 'The whole point of a historian is to reconstruct, as imaginatively as you can, with all the insights you can get on the basis of the available evidence, and see if you can give a picture that’s as true as is possible, given all those preconditions. And it’s a difficult job and it’s a constant challenge to all of us, all the time, whatever we’re writing about.'

-John H. Elliott, The Passionate Historian: A Conversation with John Elliott, Ideas Roadshow, 28 June 2013.

Image from 

Copyright © 2013 E.JH

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Charles II dishes at Birmingham Museum

I just wanted to share these beautiful commemorative dishes I discovered on a recent visit to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, England. These tin-glazed earthenware (or delftware) pieces were created in celebration of Charles II's coronation in 1661, and would have been made at one of the main manufacturing sites in London or Bristol.  Typical of the time their decoration is fairly unrefined, the bottom dish in particular shows a very crude representation of Charles, however I think they have their own unique charm. The development of English pottery techniques and style is very apparent in the museum's pottery gallery, as you walk round the room you can see the items in each cabinet morphing into more refined and elaborate styles throughout the centuries. There is something very special about getting up close and personal with objects from the period you're researching, I highly recommend it. Birmingham is a lovely museum, definitely worth a look if you are ever in the area, it also holds items from the Staffordshire Hoard and a fantastic Pre-Raphaelite collection.

(Photographs taken by me,  28 January 2013)

Copyright © 2013 E.JH

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Free Conference: Impact in Early Modern Studies at John Rylands Library, Manchester, 26th Jan 2013

I have been asked to pass on information about a conference taking place next week in Manchester. They are looking for audience members, it is a free event and travel bursaries are available.

This one-day methodological symposium brings young academics (postgraduate, postdocs and early-career researchers) together with a number of cultural partners from Manchester to think about designing and developing ‘impact’ projects relating to their work. The day promises to be both an opportunity to think about and discuss the value of early modern studies beyond the academy, as well as providing networking opportunities for potential future partnerships. 

We are delighted to have as our keynote speaker Professor Simon Bainbridge (Lancaster), who will be discussing his project ‘Wordsworth Walks’, as well as the academic side of ‘impact’ , for example as part of the REF. 

A key part of the day will be sharing best practice amongst the researchers present. We will have representatives from the John Rylands Library, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and Manchester Libraries; they will discuss their own work on the impact agenda, as well as what they hope to achieve from partnerships with higher education and research. We will also have speakers from both university-led and independent outreach activities. 

To register for the conference, please email This event has been generously supported by artsmethods@manchester, and so we are able to offer the event free of charge. Thanks to the support of the Society for Renaissance Studies, a number of postgraduate and postdoctoral travel bursaries are also available; if you would like to be considered for a bursary, please let us know when you register. 

Copyright © 2013 E.JH