The Trickster Prince

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

To witness the end of a life

‘Ilford Murder Trial’, News of the World, 10 December 1922, 10 I witnessed the end of a life this week: a coroner’s report of July 1940 tracked the months leading up to the death of the man who I have worked on for the past seven years. I knew he …

June 26, 2012 · 8 Comments

Britain from the air: re-seeing the interwar?

June 25, 2012 · Leave a comment

This is where I write

Note the Hemingway: managing expectations downwards…

June 15, 2012 · Leave a comment

The little things that make it all worth while

The coolest knitted thank you gift ever from two of my wonderful students.

June 15, 2012 · Leave a comment

Life cycles

This isn’t about bikes. Last night we had dinner with our third year students. They finished their final exams a couple of weeks ago; in a fortnight they’ll find out their results; as term draws to an end right now they’re beginning to pack up the…

June 14, 2012 · Leave a comment

Environment, work and the self in industrial Britain

Until the past few decades, the American environmental historian Richard White has recently reminded us, most people have encountered and known nature through the raw physicality of their labour. That insight and the postcard below are the startin…

June 7, 2012 · 1 Comment

Welsh Ride Thing

Just back from three days bikepacking in mid-Wales as part of this year’s Welsh Ride Thing. This is what we got up to… Facts and figures: Day 1: 40.35 miles and 3497 feet of climbing. Nice easy spin; great weather; good company. Day 2: 39.77 mil…

June 5, 2012 · Leave a comment