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About Helen Carr
Helen Carr is an historian, writer and TV producer, specialising in medieval history.
Helen is the author of the best-selling, The Red Prince: John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, published in spring 2021 and listed in the Times and Sunday Times best books of 2021. She is also the co-author and editor of What is History, Now? (W&N September 2021): A follow up to What is History? (1961) by her great-grandfather, the historian E.H Carr. Helen’s next book, This England, will be published by Hutchinson Heinemann, Penguin Random-House in 2023. Helen has a monthly column for BBC History Magazine and is working on a doctorate in medieval history at Queen Mary University London. Her background is in documentary history, having hosted the chart topping podcast, Hidden Histories, and having produced history documentaries for BBC4, BBC2, SkyArts, Discovery, CNN and HistoryHit TV. She has also worked on BBC Radio4’s In Our Time. ‘Helen Carr is one of the most exciting and talented young historians out there. She has a passion for medieval history which is infectious and is always energetic and engaging, whether on the printed page or the screen.’ — Dan Snow
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE ELIZABETH LONGFORD PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL BIOGRAPHY
‘The Red Prince announces Helen Carr as one of the most exciting new voices in narrative history.’ Dan Jones
Son of Edward III, brother to the Black Prince, father to Henry IV and the sire of all the Tudors. Always close to the English throne, John of Gaunt left a complex legacy. Too rich, too powerful, too haughty… did he have his eye on his nephew’s throne? Why was he such a focus of hate in the Peasants’ Revolt? In examining the life of a pivotal medieval figure, Helen Carr paints a revealing portrait of a man who held the levers of power on the English and European stage, passionately upheld chivalric values, pressed for the Bible to be translated into English, patronised the arts, ran huge risks to pursue the woman he loved… and, according to Shakespeare, gave the most beautiful of all speeches on England.
'THE history book for now. This is why and how historians do what they do. And why they need to' Dan Snow
'What is History, Now? demonstrates how our constructs of the past are woven into our modern world and culture, and offers us an illuminating handbook to understanding this dynamic and shape-shifting subject. A thought-provoking, insightful and necessary re-examination of the subject' Hallie Rubenhold, author of The Five
'The importance of history is becoming more evident every day, and this humane book is an essential navigation tool. Urgent and utterly compelling' Sathnam Sanghera, author of Empireland
'Important and exciting' Kate Williams, author of Rival Queens
Inspired by the influential text WHAT IS HISTORY? authored by Helen Carr's great-grandfather, E.H. Carr, and published on the 60th anniversary of that book, this is a groundbreaking new collection addressing the burning issue of how we interpret history today. What stories are told, and by whom, who should be celebrated, and what rewritten, are questions that have been asked recently not just within the history world, but by all of us. Featuring a diverse mix of writers, both bestselling names and emerging voices, this is the history book we need NOW.
WHAT IS HISTORY, NOW? covers topics such as the history of racism and anti-racism, queer history, the history of faith, the history of disability, environmental history, escaping imperial nostalgia, hearing women's voices and 'rewriting' the past. The list of contributors includes:
Justin Bengry, Leila K Blackbird, Emily Brand, Gus Casely-Hayford, Sarah Churchwell, Caroline Dodds Pennock, Peter Frankopan, Bettany Hughes, Dan Hicks, Onyeka Nubia, Islam Issa, Maya Jasanoff, Rana Mitter, Charlotte Riley, Miri Rubin, Simon Schama, Alex von Tunzelmann and Jaipreet Virdi.