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.


In 2008, the Church of England issued an unexpected apology to Darwin himself. Reverend Dr. Malcolm Brown wrote, “Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still… But the struggle for your reputation is not over yet…”

The Enduring Popularity of Alice in Wonderland

Perhaps Alice in Wonderland’s initial popularity can be put down to it being the first children’s book published which wasn’t written to teach a lesson. There is no moral tale here. It was just written with the enjoyment of the story itself in mind.

Why do we enjoy reading so many books set in Cornwall?

A proud Celtic land defined by incredible geology and geography, surrounded by the sea, devoid of motorways, and set off against the bleak majesty of Bodmin Moor, Cornwall is a terrain that simply provokes imagination.

The Longest Day

Occasionally the summer solstice falls on June 22nd in Europe; although it is very rare. The last time this happened was 1975 and the next time will be in 2203.

Is the Magna Carta still relevant?

The Pope agreed to destroy the charter. He annulled the document, calling it, “Illegal, unjust, harmful to royal rights and shameful to the English people… null and void of all validity forever.”

Why do we read the books we do?

The genre you read  is most likely the one you feel you can relate to most.

Another Royal Event: The Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee

In all, 750 commentators across the world broadcast the ceremony, with it being translated into 39 languages.

Castro, Cuba and Change (?)

After declaring himself a Marxist-Leninist in late 1961, Castro began to make Cuba dependent on the communist Soviet Union for both its military and economic support. Cuba’s association with the USSR soon led to a dramatic escalation of tensions between the USA and Cuba.

RAF Strike Eagle

RAF 100

The RAF was hugely outnumbered, yet through a combination of new radar technology, new and more manoeuvrable aircraft and exceptional bravery, it successfully resisted the intense German air invasion.

What went wrong with Apollo 13?

Swigert and Lovell radioed Mission Control with the well known words, “Houston, we’ve got a problem.” 

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