The Future of History

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Pagan Pride

Just a quick plug for an upcoming event.

If you should happen to be in the Nottingham area of Britain this coming weekend (Sunday 4 August) you might want to pop along to Pagan Pride 2013, the largest free pagan festival in the UK.

After a parade, which sounds like it should be fabulous, everyone gathers at Nottingham Arboretum.  There will be stalls, workshops, bands ...

... and me!  I'm on at Speaker's Forum Two, talking about Arthur and the Grail from 2pm:

If the weather is fine, it should be a wonderfully colourful and enjoyable event.  Do please come along.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Historical Honey

Thrilled to see what the Historical Honey website has made of my short piece about the fire at the Globe theatre in 1613.

They've got a great site going, those Honeys (I'm now Honey 035, by the way), and it's definitely worth a look.  History never looked so good!

So now I have to figure out what I might want to offer them next.  Something about Arthur, perhaps?

Friday, 26 July 2013

Book Launch


The official launch of "Who Killed William Shakespeare?" will take place at 6pm on Saturday, 24 AUGUST 2013 (not October, as previously stated) ...

... at Waterstones, 8-9 High Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6AU.

Very close to the scene of the crime!

If you can make it, please come along.  But do get the right month.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Who Killed William Shakespeare? ...

... The Murderer, The Motive, The Means.

The latest news is that the above title will be published in the United Kingdom on or about Thursday, 8 August 2013.

Will post cover image very soon.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Tempest (a quick plug)

If you happen to be in Leipzig in the middle of August (a week or two before Who Killed William Shakespeare? is published here in the UK), you might want to check out this production.

It's directed by Gareth Knapman, an old friend of mine, and performed in English using Shakespeare's original script, carefully trimmed down to just over an hour in a bespoke edit by ... me!

Click the link for more info:

Love the poster!

Challenging the Orthodoxy

Now this I found interesting:

Basically, it suggests that a number of new studies have revealed that those who question the official version of certain events (and are often branded "conspiracy theorists" by their detractors) might in fact be more sane, more conscious of history, and less inclined to rant and rave, than those who unthinkingly accept the official accounts.

It's not a perfect argument.  There are many conspiracy theories out there which are - let's face it - plain bonkers.  But here's an interesting fact: according to the article, the term "conspiracy theory" was invented by the CIA in an attempt to smear and belittle anyone who queried the official explanation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  In other words, the very term "conspiracy theory" is a form of government propaganda.

Why have I brought this to your attention?  Well, I found with my first book for The History Press, The King Arthur Conspiracy: How a Scottish Prince Became a Mythical Hero, that certain (how shall we put it?) traditionalists went out of their way to rubbish my theories.  I'm not going to get paranoid here (a trap many "conspiracy theorists" fall into), but will just point out that those "experts" who think they know all that there is to know about Arthur - and who are determined to keep him firmly lodged in southern Britain (i.e., they want him to be "English" and "Christian") - were not prepared to examine the evidence I presented in my book.  It didn't fit in with the "official" accounts of Arthur (which were, in fact, all invented many years after Arthur's death), and so they had to attack it with all the meagre weapons at their disposal - including spite and ridicule.

I consider that a taster for what is surely to come when my new book, Who Killed William Shakespeare? The Murderer, The Motive, The Means, is published very shortly by The History Press.  We will most likely get the same sort of angry, blustering responses, based not on any consideration of the evidence but on a kneejerk contempt for anyone who questions the established story.

And so I take heart from the studies referred to in the article above - in that, arguably, my research into William Shakespeare's life, works and, in particular, his death, takes more account of history than those who will inevitably seek to undermine my research.  (A good example: one of the main pieces of evidence for the murder of William Shakespeare is routinely dismissed by the country's leading expert on all things Shakespearean, and invariably on the shallowest of grounds; frankly, I don't think he's ever looked into the provenance and relevance of the death mask, because it doesn't fit his own theories).

This is one of the reasons why, when Shakespeare's skull is revealed to the world (in my book), I will argue against it's being returned to Stratford.  I don't think Stratford deserves it.

Why?  Because the Shakespeare institutions in Stratford are so wedded to their own version of Shakespeare's story that no amount of evidence will sway them.  Even though the story they tell doesn't make much sense, and takes very little heed of history.  They'd rather promote a portrait of somebody else (see previous posts) than look Shakespeare in the face.  So they shouldn't be allowed to claim his skull as and when they finally admit that it does exist.

They weren't prepared to question their own (inherited) account of Shakespeare's life, which means that they've been misleading the international community for years.  And I'm pretty sure that they'll react with tremendous anger to any book which challenges their sanitised story of his life.

I'll probably be branded a "conspiracy theorist" - just like the CIA smeared anyone who doubted the official account of JFK's death with the belittling term.  But the evidence will remain, and that's what really matters.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Onwards with the Grail

The latest chapter of The Grail; Relic of an Ancient Religion is now up on the Moon Books blog -

Heading into rather controversial territory with the Grail book, now, but sadly that's the way it is with history.  There is such a huge amount of work to do, repairing the damage that prejudiced and biased minds have done over the centuries.  Suffice it to say that, without a little creative destruction, the true history of such things as Arthur, the Grail and even William Shakespeare cannot be told.

And, of course, there's another fabulous image to accompany the sixth Grail chapter (Lloyd Canning now has a Facebook page for all his artwork - look up "Lloyd Canning's Art", like and enjoy!).

In other news, yours truly will be giving a talk on ARTHUR AND THE GRAIL at this year's Pagan Pride free festival in Nottingham (Sunday, 4 August, Nottingham Arboretum, 2pm start). 

The details are available here: and the whole event looks like it should be a great day out for all the family.

Maybe see you there ...