History Today

The news pioneer was born on July 21st, 1816.

The teeming metropolis that is host to this year’s Olympic Games was once an undeveloped natural bay which became the site of a European battle for the New World. David Gelber on how Portugal and France fought for control of Rio de Janeiro. 

Kate Wiles surveys one of the world's oldest surviving maps, prepared for a quarrying expedition led by Ramesses IV.

Jonathan Conlin considers the life and thought of Adam Smith, father of modern economics, and the competing claims for his legacy. 

Stephanie Barczewski ponders the paradox that, in history, it seems that the worse a failure is, the more the British like it.

Major-...

The satirical magazine appeared on July 17th, 1841.

Behind the serious face of the Lord Protector lay a man with a taste for terrible puns and unseemly practical jokes. Patrick Little explores the inside jokes and pillow fights of Oliver Cromwell and his inner circle.

The leading light of the French Annales school revolutionised the writing of history by imbuing it with wider, holistic, narratives and literary flair, says Alexander Lee.

Frank Dikötter explains how the gradual opening of Chinese archives has revealed the appalling truth about Chairman Mao’s genocidal rule.

Men took up arms for many reasons during the Hundred Years War. In the wake of new research into soldiers’ lives, Nicholas Gribit reveals how the promise of fortune was as big a draw as any.