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DPhil Diaries Eleven: Lockdown Edition

Well, this was hardly the DPhil Diaries update I was expecting to write. It was also not particularly my intention to take a month (or more) off of blog writing, but with my trip to Israel cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemi…

'Work on Which the Sun Never Sets': Mapping the YMCA Across the World

Welcome to my project mapping the YMCA! My aim is to show where the YMCA operated during the First World War by creating one map showing as many of their huts, hostels and theatres across the world as possible. The YMCA ran ov…

'Till We Have Built Jerusalem': The Holy City in the Imperial Imagination

One of my favourite paintings in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is Edward Lear's Jerusalem . For me, it perfectly encapsulates the nineteenth century British imagination of the ancient city, mythologised and idealised in the…

DPhil Diaries Ten: Exciting Times

January turned out to be a surprisingly big and important month for me. After a refreshing Christmas break, I managed to shake off the negativity I had with work and make some really good progress with both writing and researc…

Captain JT Blount-Dinwiddie, Man of Empire

When James Travers Blount-Dinwiddie was born in Dumfries on 25th April 1891, he appeared the typical middle class boy. His father, also James, was a writer to Her Majesty's Signet, as a Scottish solicitor. Despite his deat…

Victims of Optimism: The Wipers Times

Following on from last week's post about 1917 and lots of general discussion I've seen recently about war films and their value to both history and cinema, I this week decided to re-watch my all time favourite First Wo…