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  1. Despite living in a small countryside village between the ages of 3 and 25, I never actually joined the local Women’s Institute. Like many I tend to view the WI as the whole “Jam and Jerusalem” thing, a bunch of middle-aged ladies singing hymns and churning out award-winning cakes. But when I saw “Jambusters” sitting on the shelf of my local library something made me pick it up. Maybe it was the fact that it was about the Second World War, a part of history for which I only know basic dates and bits about the “Home Front” that I remember from Middle School history classes. Perhaps it was because it was quite clearly about woman’s role in the war; something which I think tends to be neglected and therefore is worth reading about.

    Either way I took the book home with me and got thoroughly absorbed in it. So much so that when it had to go back to the library I promptly bought it off Amazon, and still reread it every so often.

  2. I recently read “England's Witchcraft Trials” by Willow Winsham, published in 2018 by Pen and Sword Books.

    Witchcarft-trialsThis book arrived just after I saw the Doctor Who episode “The Witchfinders”, which as the title suggests featured a storyline involving witches (which included references to Pendle). Having seen the episode I felt like I could use a bit of an introduction in to the world of English witchcraft trials. I felt like I knew more about the Salem witch trials than anything that had happened in the UK, and that was just through Wikipedia reading. 

  3. In 1543 King Henry VIII signed the Treaty of Greenwich, which included the betrothal of the future King Edward VI of England to his cousin, Mary the future Queen of Scots. Such a marriage could potentially have united the two crowns through the birth of one son and heir. Ultimately it failed as Edward died and Mary married the French Dauphin. But it wasn’t the first time such a marriage had been mooted, and it had also ended with an early death.