There are many stories we can tell about the past, and we are not, perhaps, as free as we might imagine in our choice of which stories to tell, or where those stories end. John Arnold's addition to Oxford's popular Very Short Introductions series is a stimulating essay about how people study and understand history. The book begins by inviting us to think about various questions provoked by our investigation of history, and then explores the ways in which these questions have been answered in the past.
"The past itself is not a narrative"
Willy and the Magic Penny is the story of a young lonely boy who ventures to the beach for a day of sand castle building, only to embark on a magical adventure involving kings, dragons, snakes, and princesses.
The Essay is a BBC Radio series exploring cultural topics. In these five episodes, I Confess: The Power of the Confession looks at the history of confessions, which links the legal world of Cicero to our own. In Episode one, Dr Kathryn Tempest of Roehampton University excavates the roots of one of the most powerful legal concepts of all time.