Welcome to my site. It’s designed to promote history as a subject and, in particular, provide me with a forum to put forward some of my own ideas on the subject.  On Windows Live from July 2007, the blog migrated to WordPress at the beginning of October 2010.  It had already had over 140,000 hits by that time.  The link below gives a brief introduction to the blog

I taught for thirty-four years and was, until I retired in 2006, Head of History and Citizenship at Manshead School.   During my career, I played an active role in developing the learning and teaching of the subject and was review-editor of Teaching History during the 1980s and joint-editor during the 1990s. I was one of the first Honorary Fellows of The Historical Association in 2006 and in July 2013 was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

My first book was published in 1980, three years after a first article on computing and history. In the intervening years, I have published sixty-five books, over 50 articles on history and teaching history, have written radio and television programmes and acted as an editor for two Cambridge University Press series–Perspectives in History and Topics in History–and was part of the research team of the Teaching of History Project 1985-1987.   My Three Rebellions: Canada 1837-1838, South Wales 1839 and Victoria, Australia 1854 was published early in 2010. Famine, Fenians and Freedom 1840-1882 was published in November 2011 and a broader study called Resistance and Rebellion in the British Empire, 1600-1980 completed my trilogy on colonial resistance to the British Empire and was published in December 2012. The Rebellion Trilogy is considered in greater detail on my website and on a podcast

In addition to the Rebellion Trilogy,  I have published two volumes on Rebellion in Canada, 1837-1885, two similar volumes on Settler Australia, 1780-1880 and ‘A Peaceable Kingdom’, a volume of essays on nineteenth century Canada.

My Kindle series on Nineteenth Century British Society consists of: Economy, Population and Transport, Work, Health and Poverty, Education, Crime and Leisure, Class and Religion and Government.  The five volumes have been brought together in Society under Pressure: Britain 1830-1914, a cheaper alternative to purchasing all five.  These books were extended into Coping with Change: British Society, 1780-1914 published in 2013.  A supplementary volume, Sex, Work and Politics: Women in Britain 1830-1918 was published in 2012, as a second and extended edition–Sex, Work and Politics: Women in Britain 1780-1945–in 2014 and a third edition, The Woman Question: Sex, Work and Politics 1780-1945, in 2020.  I completed a six volume study on Chartism (and in 2019 a revision of the first two volumes as Radicalism and Chartism 1790-1860) and new editions of the three original volumes of the Rebellion Quartet in 2016 and 2017.

I trained as a medievalist and have maintained my interest in medieval history with new translations of the twelfth-century Life of Louis the Fat and of eleventh-century lives of Robert Guiscard and Roger I of Sicily.

In 2017 and 2018, I published People and Places: Britain 1780-1950, a collection of essays on economic change, Edward Thompson, the Romantics and George Orwell and extensive studies of nineteenth century Dunstable and two volumes of British social history 1780-1945, Society under Pressure and Reforming Society.

People and Places

To view and purchase any of my books click on the following link.

17 Responses to Home

  1. Hi Richard, your blog entries and website are required reading for me, especially when you delve into social history and social policy in the nineteenth-century. I’m editor of a magazine called Environmental Health News and, with colleagues, we are putting together a book called Public Health in Edwardian Britain. My magazine has been going since 1895 – http://www.ehn-online.com The book explores the role of inspectors of nuisance/sanitary inspectors in the public health tradition (from Chadwick and Simon on). I’ve found your insights and your way of writing about history incredibly useful, so thanks. The book will have chapters on water, food, housing, the workhouse the asylum, the science of disease and epidemiology – the Stuff of Life. If you would like to have a look at short extract my email address is w.hatchett@virgin.net But in any event thanks again for your prodigious output! Will Hatchett


  2. Nice post about HISTORY ZONE. I am very impressed with the time and effort you have put into writing this story. I will give you a link on my social media blog. All the best!


  3. I normally don’t comment on things like this; however I felt compelled to because your content was so well written and researched – Keep it coming!


  4. Claire Gildersleve says:

    Hello Mr Brown,

    I have this evening been surfing the internet whilst reflecting on matters of education, thinking about my schooling and inspirational teachers. A couple of clicks led me here, and memories of your A Level History lessons at Manshead, which were never that far away, came flooding back…

    So I thought I’d say ‘hello’. I’m not sure how many students you can remember – 34 years-worth is an awful lot, but I was in your class at the end of the 90s, along with Emma Marchione, Hannah Timson, Holly Harrison, and Lynn Philpott amongst others. I seem to remember some good-spirited ribbing from you about my decision to study art over a more academic subject, and when I had been accepted onto a foundation course, your quip “Of course they’ve accepted you, you only need to be able to hold a pencil to get onto one of those courses!”. Despite the fact that my memory holding onto it would suggest otherwise, I did take it in the jest that I am sure it was intended… I also remember getting our results and you suggesting to the local newspaper journalist that they have a chat with me as I was going off to study art, which was exciting (and nice confirmation that you were previously joking). I didn’t manage to in the end because I got pushed out of the way by Mr Greenley who wanted them to speak to a student who was Cambridge-bound! (With his very obvious views on the creative subjects, I often wonder if our dear headmaster now works as an advisor for Mr Gove…).

    But study art I did, and enjoyed every minute of it – after my foundation I went to Wimbledon School of Art for a degree in Theatre Design, after which followed a few years of freelancing. But now I have a ‘proper’ job – I, too, am a teacher! I started training four years ago, and am now Assistant Director of Visual Arts & Design at The BRIT School in Croydon. I absolutely love my job, though it has made me appreciate how hard all of our teachers worked for us – which is how I ended up here. I am not sure if you will remember me, but I (and those fellow students I mentioned earlier, all of whom I am still friends with, and two of whom are also teachers) certainly remember your teaching. The skills you taught us in researching, analysing, listening and communicating have held us all in good stead, and I know I benefit every day from the five years I spent at Manshead.

    So thank you, Mr Brown!

    I hope you are well, and enjoying time to focus on your writing now you have retired (seriously, how did you ever find the time to do both – what is your secret?!)

    Best wishes,

    Claire Gildersleve


  5. Hello Claire

    Yes Claire I certainly remember you and your decision to go into Art and now teaching….good god did I teach you nothing!!!!! Jesting apart, I’m really pleased you enjoyed your time studying art and that you absolutely love teaching. Although testing and league tables were important during the 1990s I think you and the others (all of whom by the way I remember with affection) were lucky to get through your schooling before they became the be all and end all of government policy. In fact you could have been almost the last cohort to do so. In those days schooling was rather more than just getting the grades so the school looks good. I remember not long before I retired having the annual discussion with Mr Greenley and Mr Jones about the results. We’d increased GCSE C and above by ten per cent and AS and A level had shown significant improvement as well and all were well above the national average. I was expecting the department to be congratulated but no…after about three minutes of what I thought was gratuitous criticism I asked whether any other department had done as well; in fact none had and the meeting was quickly ended.

    It’s been seven years since I retired, two years earlier than I expected as my wife had a debilitating stroke and needs 24/7 care…not how I expected to spend my retirement but we were able to travel fairly extensively in Europe and North Africa before she had a second stroke in late 2008. I retired at the right time and, unlike most teachers, was able to leave without any real loose ends by teaching only Years 9, 11 and 13 in my final year. Mark you this did not prevent some of the Year 9 and11 students who went onto study history from contacting me about work and sending me drafts of their work for comment.

    What they say about retirement is absolutely true—I’m as busy now as I was when working properly. I’m still researching and writing, aided I must say by the proliferation of material on the Internet that saves all those boring drives to archives. I’ve published thirty books now in total but a significant number since I retired: my three volume Rebellion Trilogy, two volumes on Canadian rebellion, two volumes on Australia, a volume of essays on Canada, six volumes on nineteenth century social history and a book on women 1830-1918. Some are in print media, some Kindle and some both. I’m now working on a five volume study of Chartism that includes one on the global history of the movement. You can find out about them on my Amazon page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Brown/e/B0034OZFFO/ref=lp_B0034OZFFO_st?qid=1373796021&rh=n%3A266239%2Cp_82%3AB0034OZFFO&sort=-pubdate or at http://richardjohnbr1066.wordpress.com/

    Best wishes



    • Alexander Thomson says:

      I did some spells as a supply teacher at Manshead! Some good memories for me, but I’m not surprised at the truculent indifference to your department’s success. “O tempora, o mores!”


  6. Dear Dr. Brown,

    Happy new year to you. Wonderful blog. I’ve searched in vain for your email address so please forgive my posting this message to you here. I am the General Editor for American Theological Inquiry, a biannual journal of theology, culture, and history (www.atijournal.org). I wonder if I could email you with an inquiry. Please contact me at your convenience.

    Warm wishes,

    Gannon Murphy


  7. Jill Waterhouse says:

    Dear Richard,
    You have been amazingly prolific!What a wonderful range of research and writing..
    Unfortunately I have lost your email (disappeared from the computer at the Australian National University) but I want to tell you that I have just seen a remarkable production of Richard III in which a woman played Richard. I was not sure about this at first but her portrayal of manipulative behaviour was totally captivating. The play was up there with Roy Dotrice, Aubrey’s Brief Lives in Bury St Edmunds.
    All good wishes, Jill


    • Dear Jill

      Sorry not to get back more quickly but I’ve been walking on the west coast of France for the past week and, of course, consuming copious amounts of wine!! The past decade since I took early retirement and especially since Margaret’s death two years ago, the words have come gushing forth on a range of issues. If you include the Kindle variants of books I’m up to over fifty to date with a new one–and collection of essays on nineteenth century themes–coming amount in the next month or so. My email address is richardjohnbr@btinternet.com

      I trust that your own work continues to flow and that you are in good health.

      Best wishes



  8. Lilly Mason says:

    This may not be the right place to post this comment .. Regarding your piece on “Newport to Newport..John Frost’s journeys” I would add that I believe it was the urgency of petitions and meetings from all over the country that helped bring about Frosts reprieve.


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