Candidate Profile

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Author / Writer
History - Maritime
History - Social
Mike spent 30 years as a partner in a Bristol Law firm before retiring to pursue his interest in history - more particularly 18th Century British history. He and his wife Philippa now live a nomadic existence which takes them from the edge of Dartmoor in England to the Jalon Valley in Spain.

He has spent five years researching the wealth of family papers which have come down to him from his ancestors – and in particular from his great, great, great, great grandfather who was a hosier at One London Bridge in the second half of the Eighteenth Century. Mike still has his ancestor’s diaries, accounts - even shopping lists, as well as many of the family collections of shells, fossils and coins.

Mike has published a number of books: 'The Journal of a Georgian Gentleman', "An Illustrated History of the Georgians','Bristol Blue Glass' and a book about Philip Astley - the man credited as being the founder of the modern circus. In 2016 Pen and Sword published his book, 'In bed with the Georgians; Sex, Scandal and Satire'. It looks at royal shenanigans as well as 18th Century attitudes towards mistresses, courtesans, madams and good-time girls. His most recent work is a book entitled 'Trailblazing Women of the 18th Century' published by Pen & Sword in March 2018. Further books on Piracy, on Castaways, and on Georgian inventors will follow in 2018/19.

He speaks regularly on 18th century-related topics, both in Spain and in England, to History Societies, Genealogical Groups, Colleges, Women’s Institutes and Probus Groups. He has given public lectures at the Guildhall and the Museum of London and on board a number of cruise ships.

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A. Social History (Talks based on life in Britain in the eighteenth century):

1. Everyday life under the Georgians.
2. Eat, Drink and be Merry.
3. 18th Century Sport and Entertainment.
4. Tourism and sight-seeing in the 18th Century.
5. The development of the English Garden from 1603 to 1837.
6. Philip Astley and the story of the birth of the modern circus in 1768.
7. The story of life in the 18th Century told through Paper-cuts and silhouettes
8. The Golden Age of Satire.
9. From randy Regent to the King of Bling.
10. 18th Century Courtesans: Tarts with Hearts and Fashion icons.
11. Royal Shenanigans of the Georgian era.
12. Bristol Blue Glass - the story of a beautiful cobalt blue glassware
13. Twenty things you never knew about the Georgians
14. Jane Austen, Facts and fiction.
15. Pride & Prejudice, from printed book to silver screen.
16. The Royal Academy 1780 to 1837
17. The City of Bath in the 1780s, from Quacks to Quadrilles.
18. Petticoat Pioneers – 18th Century women who made a difference and dared to succeed in a man’s world
19. The American War of Independence – a British viewpoint.

B. Maritime History Talks:

Castaways (1)– including Robinson Crusoe, and the story behind the story.
Castaways (2) the heroic story of men such as Charles Barnard, abandoned in the Falklands
Castaways (3) – Ile de Sable and the slaves abandoned on an island for 16 years
4. The voyages of James Cook
5. The Golden Age of Piracy
6. Captain Morgan – the man behind the bottle of rum
7. Olivier Levasseur, possibly the richest pirate of all time, and the search for his buried treasure
8. Captain Woodes Rogers – the man who circled the globe and then cleaned up the pirates.
9. Admiral Anson – treasure ships and a voyage around the world
10. Matthew Fleming – the man who put Australia on the map
11. Solving the Longitude Problem – Harrison and the marine chronometer
12. Charles Darwin and the voyages of the Beagle.

C. Destination Related Talks:

40 facts in 40 minutes: about places being visited on the cruise – for instance about Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland on Baltic Cruises; Mexico, Panama, Ecuador and Peru on South America cruises. These are not port talks but general background information about the countries to be visited – their currency, their stamps, their cuisine, their inventions, their sports. A quick-fire introduction to the countries being visited, linked to a few of the quirkier facts about their history.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Boudicca D1622 Islands of the Canaries & Cape Verde 21 Liverpool Sunday, November 20, 2016