Most people have probably long since done their Christmas shopping. If you are like me and haven’t, though, here is a nice idea: Christmas at the History Bookshop.
"On our home page you’ll find sixteen diverse titles including Marking the Hours, Eamon Duffy’s beautifully illustrated book on the English at prayer, The English Year, a lavish celebration of festivals and customs, John Julius Norwich’s history of the Mediterranean, The Middle Sea, and the intriguing Dancing into Battle, A Social History of the Battle of Waterloo. There are more titles on page two of our Christmas selection, and throughout all our department pages. All titles are discounted by as much as 30%."
The website features some excellent resources: timelines, articles, themes and something called "year view". You type in a year, choose AD or BC, and learn something about that year. I tried some random dates:
1244: Henry III is again refused a new tax at a council of the clergy and barons (December).
1867: Dominion of Canada established by the British North America Act. Four provinces are united within a federal system (1 July).
900 BC: Sparta is founded at "about this time".
500 AD: In Britain, Battle of Mons Badonicus: a victory for King Arthur? In Europe, Clovis defeats the Burgundians. Rest of world, blank.
Each of these entries is a link which takes you to a more detailed account. The notable event of the year in which I was born was the publication of Lord of the Flies by William Golding. No, I am not writing down which year it was.