The Trickster Prince

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

Some thoughts on history, prompted by a scrap of wallpaper

Standing on the top rung of a ladder, peering behind a boxed away fuse box, I felt that kind of giddy nervous thrill I usually associate with being in an … Continue reading

May 19, 2015 · 10 Comments

Occasional cycling

  The annual mid-life crisis road cycling trip to Mallorca — slightly later this year, and Adam and I going alone without Dave for company.     Headwinds and the … Continue reading

May 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

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

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