King Arthur Conqueror of the Arctic? Historical Fantasy and Early British Imperialism

John Dee was Queen Elizabeth I's court astrologer, mathematician, and geographer--and he might have become the first lord of the North American territory we now call Canada. Dee is known as a "Renaissance man" for the breadth of his knowledge and for his tendency towards the occult. On a trip to the Continent, he supposedly …

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Behind Guy Fawkes: the History of Catholic Conspiracies

“But as a nation—continued he in his reveries—these Spaniards are all an odd set; the very word Spaniard has a curious, conspirator, Guy-Fawkish twang to it.” -Herman Melville, "Benito Cereno." “The imaginary is part of history.” -Michel de Certeau, The Possession at Loudun. “[A] good case could be made that the last unchallenged and most …

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Behind Guy Fawkes II: The Gunpowder Plot

"But 'The Gunpowder Plot'--there was a get-penny! I have presented that to an eighteen- or twenty-pence audience nine times in an afternoon. Your home-born projects prover ever the best; they are so easy and familiar. They put too much learning i'their things nowadays, and that, I fear, will be the spoil o' this." -Leatherhead, Bartholomew …

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