History@Portsmouth

University of Portsmouth's History Blog

Archive | Learning in Focus

Learning in Focus

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The ‘Whitechapel Horrors’ – Victorian newspapers report Jack the Ripper as gothic fiction

The ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders in East London in the late Victorian period have become infamous. In this piece, first year UoP history student Seamus McLoughlin looks at how an article in a Victorian newspaper was of its time in choosing to ignore known facts about the case, or any compassion towards the victims, in […]

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The Fitzroy Report, 1904: How the poor physical condition of Boer War army recruits prompted social change

Following the end of the second Boer War in 1902, the government appointed an Inter-Departmental Committee to investigate why so many would-be recruits had been in poor physical condition. The Committee, chaired by civil servant Almeric FitzRoy, has become known as the Fitzroy Report.  Second-year UoP history student Ben Hessey discusses the report, what it […]

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The Forty Elephants – a forgotten female gang of South London

Last year Emily Burgess produced an outstanding dissertation on the all-female working-class gang from South London known as the Forty elephants.  Here she writes about how she came up with the idea and carried out the research, with Rob James as supervisor.  Emily concludes with some useful advice for all our students currently writing proposals […]

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Not so merry England: a Swiss visitor comments on Elizabethan criminal justice

English people tend to think highly of our long-established legal system.  But as second-year student Liam Fisher explains, visitors from Europe didn’t always see things the same way.  Liam’s blog is based on work he did for the second-year module: Underworlds: Crime Deviance and Punishment: 1500-1900, taught by Fiona McCall and Brad Beaven. The English […]

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Martin Guerre: a student podcast on Natalie Davis’s famous microhistory

Seminar tutor Dr Katy Gibbons explains: Mandy and Beth’s podcast came out of the level 5 core module, Dealing with Debates. One strand of this module explores Natalie Davis’ book, The Return of Martin Guerre, and the questions and possibilities it raises for historical scholarship. We had some fantastic discussions online, including: how historians analyse […]

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“There are no revolutions in well-governed countries” – British film and the Russian Revolution

In this blog, Rob James explores how the events of the 1917 Russian Revolution impacted British film production in the mid-twentieth century. Rob tells us that the chance of a film being made depicting those tumultuous events depended on how they were presented. If the film demonstrated any sympathy towards the revolutionaries, then a ban […]

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