the Thirty Years War

‘Spanish troops loot a village in Flanders during the Thirty Years War’, by Sebastian Vrancx

Simplicius Simplicissimus and the horrors of the Thirty Years’ War

31 March 2018 9:00 am

On 23 May 1618, Bohemian Protestants pushed two Catholic governors and their secretary through the windows of Prague Castle, in…

Sneer of cold command: Velázquez’s portrait of the Count-Duke of Olivares, Philip IV’s ‘Ozymandias-like vizier’ (detail)

Spain’s golden age — with a silver lining

18 July 2015 9:00 am

As every schoolboy knows, ‘the empire on which the sun never set’ was British, and ‘blue-blooded’ was a phrase applied…

Sweden’s warrior king Gustavus Adolphus inspired the English far more than their own effete, self-righteous Stuart monarchs

Can anyone make a good case for the Stuart kings?

15 March 2014 9:00 am

Historians have generally not been kind in their assessment of Britain’s first two Stuart kings. Their political skills are regarded…