BiographyMike Horswell completed his PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2017 under Professor Jonathan Phillips. He is the author of several articles and chapters on the memory of the crusades in the modern era and has presented research at international conferences. These have included examining how nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century British juvenile literature employed crusading tales to impart imperial, Christian and chivalric values; how the articles on the crusades in the Encyclopaedia Britannica reflected changing cultural trends over two centuries; and how a British pseudo-secret society – the Most Noble Order of Crusaders – took on a crusading identity in the interwar years.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Keeping true to the breadth of his interests, he has taught on the British Empire and imperialism and the receptions of the classical past at King’s College, London, as well as on masters courses on the philosophy of history and historical methodologies at Royal Holloway where he is a Visiting Lecturer. He has an enduring interest in the ways in which the past is used, reinvented and redeployed, and this is reflected in ongoing research projects into crusader medievalism. Notably, this includes the series for which he is an editor, Engaging the Crusades, which seeks to provide a home for – and to catalyse new work on – the memory of the crusades and crusading.
- The Rise and Fall of British Crusader Medievalism, c. 1825-1945 (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018). ISBN: 9781138296756.
- ‘Creating Chivalrous Imperial Crusaders: The Crusades in Juvenile Literature from Scott to Newbolt, 1825-1917’, in M.J. Horswell and J.P. Phillips (eds.), Perceptions of the Crusades in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Engaging the Crusades, Vol. I (Abingdon: Routledge, 2018). ISBN: 9781138066014.
- ‘“We come with passports instead of swords”: The 1926 Pilgrimage of The Order of St John to Jerusalem, Cyprus, Rhodes and Malta’, Bearers of the Cross, 15 September 2017,
- ‘Crusader Medievalism and Modernity in Britain: The Most Noble Order of Crusaders and the Rupture of the First World War, 1921-49’, Studies in Medievalism XXV (June 2016), pp. 19-27.
Crusader Medievalism and Modernity in Britain: The Most Noble Order of Crusaders and the Rupture of the First World War, 1921-49
Published: Mar 15, 2018 by Studies in Medievalism XXV (2016)
Authors: Mike Horswell
This article examines the post-war formation and subsequent decline of the medievalesque, pseudo-secret society, the Most Noble Order of Crusaders (1921-49), in the light of broader arguments about whether and how the First World War provided a 'moment of modernity'. It demonstrates that such metanarratives obscure productive uses of the medieval past in the interwar years which were distinctly Victorian in nature.