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The Pendle Witches (Part Two)

This week, let me begin with a personal digression. For a little over a decade I rented a place my friends and I referred to as the ‘Beach House’. In a few ways it was what one imagines – a ramshackle old house in a neighbourhood with the word ‘Bay’ in the title. Sure enough […]

The Pendle Witches (Part One)

One March day in 1612 Justice Roger Nowell of Pendle Hill, Lancashire was called upon by a complainant with a weird tale to tell. As a justice of the peace – an office created by Simon de Montfort in 1285 – his role was to decide what behaviours constituted illegal, or merely obnoxious behaviour in […]

Back January 19th.

Hi everyone, just a quick update – happy new year to you all! The blog and podcast will be back on January 19th. For the first sprint of the year I’m planning to look at Witch huntsA man besieged by his local ’water improvement association’SamuraiPhantom airships Real airships used in terrible waysAn African warrior queen […]

Update: Premium Blog Content.

Hey all, Happy Holidays. I hope you’re all keeping well. Seeing there was just a flurry of visits to the site from folk I figured I should really drop an update note. I was planning on setting a page up, then making that page private again – but got called away for a minute (am […]

The Miser of Marcham Park

Hi all, welcome to the official 2020 Christmas Tale of History and Imagination. Merry Christmas all, I hope this post finds you all well. Today’s post begins in Canongate churchyard, Edinburgh, Scotland. The date is 1841. A young writer meanders through the graveyard, perusing the tales to be seen on the  markers. No doubt he […]

Xenophon in Mesopotamia: Part One

Today’s tale is set in Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq, much of Syria and parts of Turkey. The date? 405 BC. Mesopotamia is an empire which predates the written word – in fact laying claim to the first known work of literature – the Epic of Gilgamesh. An empire credited, among a few others of simultaneously […]

A ’Time Machine’

Hi everyone, apologies for the drop off in new content… I’ve hit the wall, and needed a little time to get my mojo back. It’s all 9 to 5 stuff. My day job continues to keep me gainfully employed regardless of New Zealand’s recent four month lockdown – but the job is one that gets […]

The Campden Wonder – The strange ‘murder’ of William Harrison

Today’s Tale begins on the night of 16th August 1660 in the town of Campden, Gloustershire. William Harrison – the 70 year old steward of Viscountess Campden – has left on a two mile walk to the town of Charringworth, but never returned. Sent to collect the rents for his ladyship, a job Harrison had […]

The Strange Life, and Death of William Desmond Taylor

This third instalment in our pre-code, silent era Hollywood drama begins February 1st 1922. The setting? A posh bungalow at 404 B South Alvarado Street, Los Angeles – now a parking lot for a men’s clothing store,  but back then an enclave of Hollywood wealth and privilege. Around 7pm, the occupant – the acclaimed film […]

Update: Sisyphus pushes them rocks…

Hey all just a quick update. Sorry I’ve been a little sketchy on the release dates of late. I think owing to feeling more than a little like Sisyphus pushing that rock up the same hill, day in day out for weeks now – I’ve been feeling more worn out than usual of late. This’ll […]

What goes up…. The Ballad of Franz Reichelt

Warning! This week’s tale deals with death by misadventure, which some readers may find disturbing. Today’s tale is set on a freezing cold morning, 57 metres above the ground, in Paris, France. The date February 4th 1912. Our subject, one unfortunate soul we’ll come to in a few minutes. Before I even begin this tale, […]

Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?

Hey all let’s finish off the Hollywood Trilogy next week. For this week I was planning something more in keeping with Halloween.  When I try to imagine the lives of Robert Hart, Thomas Willets, Bob Farmer and Fred Payne on, or around April 18th 1943, I get a picture in my mind’s eye of a […]

Spring Heeled Jack: The Terror of London

One: Backward and Forward He Switched His Long Tail…. Over the hills and over the dale, And he went over the plain, And backward and forward he switched his long tail, As a gentleman switches his cane. Samuel Taylor Coleridge “The Devil’s Thoughts” “Murderers are not monsters, they’re men. And that’s the most frightening thing […]

’Fatty’ Arbuckle

Hey all this is our 2nd instalment on the scandals of Hollywood’s silent era. It stands alone, but if you want to, the prelude and part one (on Olive Thomas) can be found via the respective links.  And yeah, this one gets pretty adult. I don’t say this often, but probably NSFW…  The weeks leading […]

Update: Under Construction…

Hey all just a quick update. This week’s blog post (on the Roscoe ’Fatty’ Arbuckle, Virginia Rappe case) is running a little behind schedule. The architect (me) drew up the blueprint, only for massive amounts of scope creep to sneak into the build… The minutiae around the case was more than the project manager (also […]

Spencer Perceval

Hey all, as I’m dropping The Max Headroom Incident as the podcast episode – I’m yet again at a loose end for a blog post for the week. I broke ground on this post 28th September (New Zealand time) – the day it was announced John Hinckley, the man who attempted to kill Ronald Reagan, […]

The Max Headroom Incident

This week’s tale is set in the Windy City – Chicago, Illinois. The time, a very specific 9.14pm on 22nd November 1987. The city’s sports fans are tuned into WGN TV’s Nine O’clock News as Dan Roen discuses the latest round in the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions rivalry – (I’m told the two American Football […]

Olive Thomas – the poisoned chalice

This week’s Tale is part one of a four-part series on scandals of Hollywood’s Silent film era. It’s due to run on the non-podcast weeks. When I think of Olive Thomas and her sojourn in Paris, a tiny part of me wonders how she found the ‘City of Light’? Did she and hubby Jack Pickford, […]

The Enfundu

Hey all, as I’ve got a podcast episode for the perennial ’Willie The Wimp (and his Cadillac Coffin) dropping this week, I’d intended to write a new post to go out alongside it. Truth is I’m a little burnt out. I’m also a little behind on schedule for the Patreon episode (recorded, both music and […]

Willie the Wimp (and his Cadillac coffin)

Inspiration can come at you from so many ways. For me it sometimes comes in the form of a digression in a book that sticks in my head – I wonder why no-one has told THAT story, till I go chase down the rest of the tale. Sometimes something comes from a conversation you’ve had […]

Update: Moving Pictures…

Hey all, just a quick update.  Tales of History and Imagination have a YouTube channel – we have for a while, but I’ve held off on advertising it as it previously was a mess.  The podcast episodes Podbean loads to YouTube have always sounded tinny to my ears, possibly due to a low bit-rate? I […]

Prelude: Scandals of Hollywood’s Silent Era

Hey everyone, on in-between weeks (i.e. weeks I don’t publish a podcast episode) I’m resuming blog only posts. The plan will be to run several series on those weeks.  The on-weeks will be completely unlinked to the series. The weeks I drop a podcast episode, the subject could be anything; maybe the time Kazakhstan imprisoned […]

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