Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope your festive season’s going well and there’s much fun and merriment for all. Here, for your enjoyment, is the world’s first Christmas card, from 1843. It was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole and drawn by John Callcot Horsley, part of the general commercialisation of Christmas that decade. It’s rich with … More A Christmas card from history…
Last week I retrieved the last of my publishing licenses from Penguin Random House. Yeah, I know. Most authors crawl over broken glass to get a contract with PRH or one of the other big houses. Me? I’ve been asking for my contracts back. I had over thirty of them, all for out-of-print books which, … More Hot titles from my writing past – and they’re baaaaack!
It’s 75 years since Japanese aircraft attacked the US Navy at Pearl Harbor – triggering the Pacific war that finally ended in August 1945 after the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Where does the time go? For all the infamy of the moment, it wasn’t quite a total surprise. Relations between Japan and the … More Incredibly, it’s 75 years since Pearl Harbor and war in the Pacific
There’s a vigorous naval enthusiast community out there. And it’s always intrigued me how often their discussions devolve to bitterly personalised argument, often infused with a kind of nationalist machismo in which paper statistics become weapons for invalidating the personal worth of the other party. Setting aside the point that this is basically dick-waving, using … More Why ships are more than just steel and lists of statistics
I posted a year or two back about some of the oddest British battleships ever built – engineering weirdness that always had a rational explanation but ended up creating some very strange and quirky vessels indeed. I was careful to specify ‘British’ because their oddities were actually quite sane by comparison with designs concocted by … More Stranger battleships than British ones, and other odd stuff
It is 77 years since the Second World War broke out – a succession of anniversaries starting on 1 September with the German invasion of Poland, and continuing two days later, 3 September, when the French, the British – and their Empire – declared war on Germany in response. It was a case of political … More The Second World War began 77 years ago this week
My main website matthewwright.net has had a major makeover. Out went the old fixed-size site with steam age HTML coding – some of which dated back to 2001 when the site was first set up. It used to look like this: In came a modern CMS with a fully responsive layout – which means it’ll … More My website’s had a mondo makeover