‘History’s fingers never relax their grip, never leave us unmolested, can touch us even when we would never imagine their presence’
Robert Fisk’s words are very true and highlight exactly what fascinates me about history. History first grabbed my imagination as a child in the shape of a ruined castle looming large right beside where I grew up here in Ireland. Playing cowboys and Indians was quite an experience – though I don’t think the 7th Cavalry ever made use of granite curtain walls in their forts?! Maybe not surprisingly the grip of history has never relaxed.
I finished a PhD in History in 2006 – my thesis From Irish Whig rebel to Bourbon diplomat: the life and career of Nathaniel Hooke (1664-1738), examined how and why an Irishman changed religion, politics, country, identity and loyalties in strange and surprising ways in Early Modern Europe. I’ve been teaching, researching and writing history since then and here on History Herald I hope to look at some equally unexpected and fascinating connections across time and space!