Articles by Kath Bates

Dr Kathryn Bates is a graduate of archaeology and history. She has excavated across the world as an archaeologist, and tutored medieval history at Leicester University. She joined the administrative team at Oxford Open Learning twelve years ago. Alongside her distance learning work, Dr Bates is a bestselling novelist, and an itinerant creative writing tutor for primary school children.

Unreliable Narrator

What do we mean by an Unreliable Narrator?

In fiction, an unreliable narrator is someone the author wants to be untrustworthy because that fact is going to propel their plot forward.


Bees, Climate and Us

The British Beekeepers Association recently announced a significant drop in the average hive’s yearly yield of bees. Numbers have been dropping within British hives for decades.

Enid Blyton

The Enduring Appeal of Enid Blyton

In 2017, Blyton’s titles were still selling at the rate of one per minute in the UK alone. It is a figure that remains unchanged today.

Lawrence of Arabia

Lawrence of Arabia: Soldier, Scholar, Diplomat

His respect and understanding of the Arabic population led to a life as diplomat, soldier and writer, campaigning against the Turkish Ottoman Empire. His life and work earned him the nickname Lawrence of Arabia.

Climate Change

Climate Change: Is it too late?

The time to act is not in ten years or even in two. It’s now.

Astronomer Royal

The First Astronomer Royal

John Flamsteed began his working life as the Astronomer Royal in the Tower of London, where it’s said that the ravens made his life very difficult by nesting on his telescopes…

Percy Bysshe Shelley

The Death of Shelley

His time at Oxford was cut short, as he was expelled for supporting atheism.


Parliament In need of Protection

Last year, the MPs of Britain voted in favour of a multibillion-pound programme of repairs to the iconic Houses of Parliament; to start in the mid-2020’s. The Houses of Parliament, or the Palace of Westminster to give it the official title, has stood in varies guises on its site in London since the early Middle […]

Notre Dame

The History and Tragedy of Notre Dame

This is not the first time that Notre-Dame Cathedral suffered damage. Poorly treated throughout the French Revolution, it was only saved from destruction when the Emperor Napoleon decided he wished to be crowned there in 1804.

The English Dictionary

The Future of the Dictionary

On the 15th April 1755, Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language was published for the first time. His book, which he complied with the help of six assistants, took eight years to compile. Listing 40,000 words, each of which was defined in detail, it was the most comprehensive to date. Johnson was accused of […]

Connect with Oxford Home Schooling