Forward with hope, not back in anger

On Monday the 22nd of May a terrorist detonated a homemade nail bomb at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. 22 people, including an 8 year old girl, were killed. Unfortunately, this attack was just a drop in an ocean of terrorist attacks that happen around the world each and every day. But what are we supposed to do about it? Well world, we hold a benefit concert that celebrates the lives of those lost, not only in the Manchester attacks but all over the planet. We bring together a city, a country and the world in the belief that love will always win. Namely the One Love Manchester...

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Review: Harlots – Bravery in the Brothels

Recently, I started watching a new British drama called Harlots. Harlots explores the rivalry between two different brothels in 18th century London. Margaret Wells runs one of the brothels, with Lydia Quigley running the other. If the brightly colored promotional photos weren’t enough to catch my attention, the stunningly relatable women it highlights are. Although sex is an inherent element of the storyline, no episode yet has exhibited the omnipresent male gaze. Rather, the shenanigans that these ladies get into and the hardships they face drive the storyline onwards. It’s not...

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Review: Girls–American Bitch

The third episode in the last season of Girls had a pretty strong effect on me. A bottle episode, it focuses on one day, one apartment and one conversation between Hannah and a writer she admires, Chuck Palmer. The premise seems simple enough:  he has asked her there to discuss an article she wrote recently about his alleged sexual assault of four women. However as the conversation unfolds, we’re carried with Hannah through the still-contested grey area of consent, the ‘he-said-she-said’ push and pull. She’s swayed by the charm and apparent innocence of Palmer, then thrown by his...

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Review: The Foundling Museum – a hidden gem

The small but grand building for the Foundling Museum is tucked away in a corner of London rarely visited by your traditional tourist. Upon finding it, however, I found a fantastic little museum with great potential. We entered the museum not really knowing what to expect and were greeted by friendly staff who pointed us in the right direction. The first stop was the permanent exhibition, and for the next hour, we whiled away the minutes lost in the history of the Foundling Hospital and the personal stories of those children who had lived there. The Foundling Hospital was founded in 1739 by...

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Review: Caroline Lawrence’s The Roman Mysteries

Last year I became a graduate with a degree in Ancient History and History. I loved it, and the main reason I decided to study the degree was because it included the ancient world. However, I was not exposed to the world of Classics or Ancient History whilst I was at school. So why would I become so interested in the subject? The answer to this question is the work of Caroline Lawrence and her Roman Mysteries. I’m not a bookworm, but Lawrence’s books appealed to my love of solving mysteries and history. The series consist of seventeen books that follow the life and adventures of Flavia...

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Film Review: The Brand New Testament

When I go to YouTube, I watch any film trailer that shows a girl in the screengrab, especially if I’ve never heard of the film. This can lead to a few enjoyable hours researching films, stars and directors I have never heard of. Yet even for a lifelong film buff, it can be hard to commit to watching an entire film, rather than just reading about it. But when I saw the trailer for Jaco Van Dormael’s religious fantasy/comedy film The Brand New Testament, I knew I had to watch it right away. The Brand New Testament begins with God living in Brussels with his silent wife and ten-year-old...

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Book Review: The Nightingale

For me, 2016 has been a year of historical fiction, diving into the depths of true events told through the lives of made-up characters and their imaginary relationships. To me, historical fiction brings to life the events in a way that is more relatable than reading about it in terms of dates and numbers. This all remains true for the novel The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah, which tells the story of two sisters coming of age in France during WWII as it is remembered by one of the girls decades after the war. Both girls take a different approach in how they react to the onset and fallout of...

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Girls Undercover: Rosemary and Thyme

Name: Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme Occupation: Gardeners, amateur sleuths Location: England, and occasionally continental Europe As seen in: British television series Rosemary and Thyme Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme are accidental sleuths. Rosemary is an experienced botanist and plant pathologist, who meets Laura Thyme at a bed and breakfast near the home of a friend with diseased trees in their garden. Laura is staying at the B&B because her husband left her for a younger woman, and the two become fast friends when a murder occurs on the property where Rosemary is working and...

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Review: Ofelia, from Pan’s Labyrinth

Warning: This post contains spoilers! My favourite film of all time is Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t ruin it for you – but needless to say, watch it! I wanted to write something about the main character of the film, a girl named Ofelia, a character equally tragic as her namesake, Shakespeare’s Ophelia, because for me she is a brilliant young female hero. In short, Ofelia is a child who comes to believe she is the reincarnation of Princess Moanna of the Underworld through meeting a mysterious faun in a labyrinth, all set against the backdrop of brutal...

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Review: Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear exhibition

I recently visited the Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London where corsets of different sizes, colours, and materials were on display. All were beautifully crafted with incredible details sewn onto the bodices. The corset that caught my attention, however, was the one you see to the left. It is made from a densely woven fabric called ‘coutille’ that was able to stand up to the tension caused when the corset was being tightened. The corset itself is light brown with the whalebone strips running from top to bottom of the bodice being...

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