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On The Blog

Napoleon on Elba, 1814

Two hundred years ago this month, the Treaty of Fontainebleau saw Napoleon exiled to Elba. Why was he treated so lightly?

Johnson and Boswell at the Pleasure Dome of Kublai Khan

The time-travelling pair continue their adventure with a visit to Shangdu.

In the May issue of History Today

The last days of India's first prime minister, travels with the King of Siam and how the Scots invented Britishness.

The History Today Quiz: April 2014

This month's quiz features questions on the Crimean War, the first European in New Zealand and the Suez Canal.

Twilight of the History Gods: Jacques Le Goff, 1924-2014

Does the death of French medievalist Jacques Le Goff mark the end of an era in historical scholarship, asks Alexander Lee.

Alternative Histories: Cnut the Great

The ancient king tries a more modern approach to stopping the waves.

Thousands of Historic Maps Released by New York Public Library

The New York Public Library has released over 20,000 maps and cartographic works into the public domain under a Creative Commons licence.

In Pictures: Victims of the Black Death in London

Images of the 14th-century skeletons discovered beneath the streets of the capital.

In The Magazine

Game of Thrones: Does Fantasy Fiction Beat Period Drama?

The strangeness of the past can be evoked more effectively in pick and mix fantasies than in those novels, films and TV dramas that aspire to realism, argues Suzannah Lipscomb.

Henry III, a Shakespearean King

Robert Knecht revisits an article marking 400 years since the assassination of Henry III of France and asks why the last Valois king has attracted so little attention from English-speaking historians.

Compensating the Railway Men

The suffering of prisoners of war at the hands of the Japanese during the Second World War has coloured the British view of the conflict in the Far East. Clare Makepeace highlights a little known aspect of the captives’ story: their quest for compensation.

Gout Gets Even

The notorious malady of the 18th century is on the increase in the UK.

Ukraine: Church and State

The turmoil in Ukraine has a strong religious dimension. Catherine Wanner asks if a common Christian heritage may yet help maintain relations with its Russian neighbour.

Book Reviews

Art and the Second World War

How far did artists in the Second World War support the war effort of their respective nations and perhaps become a propaganda arm of those fighting it – and did the quality of their art necessarily suffer as a result?

Tocqueville: The Aristocratic Sources of Liberty

Hugh Brogan is unimpressed by a poorly written book whose tedious prose  'insults the memory of Tocqueville'.

Arthur Phillip: Sailor, Mercenary, Governor, Spy

A biography of 'the English Enlightenment hero that England has never been enlightened enough to honour'.

Healthy Living in Late Renaissance Italy

Medical advice from our Renaissance forebears.

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