The Trickster Prince

Matt Houlbrook: mobile historian; beard growing, head shaving; occasional cycling.

The kindness of academic strangers

I’ve spent much of the past fortnight being reminded that I’m getting old. First up: I started a lecture on our second year History in Theory and Practice course by … Continue reading

April 7, 2015 · 2 Comments

It’s all in a name

On 11 June 1925, two sisters marry two friends at St Matthew’s Church, a short walk from Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. But who was who, and why … Continue reading

March 13, 2015 · 6 Comments


I’m on a train from Colchester to Liverpool Street, rolling above the east London neighbourhoods I used to know so well from other train journeys. Ilford, Manor Park, Bethnal Green; … Continue reading

March 9, 2015 · 2 Comments

Poster Campaigning: Sex and sexualities in the modern British world, 1880-1980

Originally posted on Modern British Studies Birmingham:
Students from Matt Houlbrook’s, Sex and Sexualities in the Modern British World, 1880-1980 class have had a go at creating posters on women’s…

February 19, 2015 · Leave a comment

Baffles: The New Detective Story Game (1929)

A detective challenge for a snowy Thursday afternoon: can you solve The Dunbury Wayside Mystery? Courtesy of The Thriller magazine from 1929.

January 29, 2015 · Leave a comment

Can you judge a book by its cover?

Working on the assumption that we all judge a book by its cover, what do you think of this as inspiration for the front of The Prince of Tricksters? Because … Continue reading

January 20, 2015 · 7 Comments

Charles Chaplin (the cinema king) in his all-wool Barry overcoat

Here he is: Charles Chaplin (the cinema king) wearing his BARRY OVERCOAT and posing for pressman at London’s Ritz Hotel: ‘Note the fit of the collar, the fall of the … Continue reading

January 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

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