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2012

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Rowena Hammal examines the evidence to assess civilian reactions to war in Britain from 1940 to 1945.

Roger Hudson expands on an image of Russian ships destroyed by the Japanese at Port Arthur, 1904.

This year marks the centenary of a forgotten effort to carve out a Jewish homeland in the vast Portuguese colony of Angola. Adam Rovner describes the little-known...

Jeremy Black considers Hanoverian precedents for the wayward behaviour of royal younger brothers.

Binge drinking is seen as a British disease, but its causes are complex and politicians intrude at their peril, says Tim Stanley.

Given the state of academic life today, we should not be surprised that scholars seek stardom, argues Tim Stanley.

James Barker describes the impact of an SOE mission in wartime Greece 70 years ago this month to demolish the Gorgopotamos railway bridge.

The recent killing of British soldiers by their Afghan allies echoes events of the 19th century, writes Rob Johnson.

Christopher Allmand examines Alain Chartier’s Le Livre des Quatre Dames, a poem written in response to the English victory at Agincourt, and asks what it...

Sarah Mortimer looks at the historiography of what followed the British Civil Wars: the Republic led by Oliver Cromwell.

David Waller on the 150th anniversary of a ship that symbolised Liverpool’s ties to the Confederate states during the American Civil War.

Oliver Stone’s 2004 film Alexander portrayed the great Macedonian king as bisexual. Was he also a transvestite? Tony Spawforth looks to uncover the truth...

The Jews of Algeria had lived side by side with Muslims for centuries, but the struggle for Algerian independence presented them with stark choices, as Martin...

Graham Goodlad examines the part played by military coalitions in an era of great change.

The 19th-century view from Albion of the shortcomings of the US Constitution was remarkably astute, says Frank Prochaska.

The medieval holy man was killed by the Danes on April 19th, 1012.

Modern secularists often paint a naive view of the medieval church. The reality was far more complex, argues Tim Stanley.

The enmity between England and France is an ancient one. But the museum dedicated to a famous English victory offers hope for future relations between the two...

Richard C. Hall looks at the bloody conflicts in south-eastern Europe which became the blueprint for a century of conflict in the region.

Christopher Hale reports on a long campaign to discover the truth about the killing of Malayan villagers by British troops in 1948.

Roger Hudson sheds light on a haunting photograph from the Greek Civil War.

Antony Beevor, author of a new account of the Second World War, talks to Roger Moorhouse about the importance of narrative and why he thinks new technology is not...

Roger Hudson examines a photograph from 1920 taken on the eve of a profound split on the French Left.

King Leopold II’s personal rule of the vast Congo Free State anticipated the horrors of the 20th century, argues Tim Stanley.

Gyanesh Kudaisya considers how the Sino-Indian war of 1962 has shaped relations between Asia’s two largest nations.

Mike Thomas looks back to a period of economic buoyancy in the Basque region, when a special relationship flourished between the people of Biscay and Britain....

The pioneer of English travel writing was born on June 7th, 1662.

The pioneering female traveller was born on October 13th, 1862.

The future emperor was born on August 31st, AD 12.

Today, choosing a new Archbishop of Canterbury is a relatively straightforward process. It was not always so, as Katherine Harvey explains.

During the Second World War many cities were bombed from the air. However Rome, the centre of Christendom but also the capital of Fascism, was left untouched by...

Robert Colls asks what British identity is - and what it is not.

The British Battalion of the International Brigades, formed to defend the Spanish Republic against the forces of General Franco, first went into battle at Jarama...

Marilyn V. Longmuir asks if Aung San Suu Kyi’s recent election victory completes the political journey begun by her father?

Jonathan Downs reports on the fire last December that caused extensive damage to one of Egypt’s most important collections of historical manuscripts.

The recent attempt at House of Lords’ reform and the capacity of the issue to do serious damage to the cohesion of the governing coalition invites comparisons with...

Jonathan Fenby on the long history behind the rapid demise of one of the brightest lights in China’s political firmament.

The cityscapes of the world’s most populous nation are expanding at a bewildering rate. But China’s current embrace of urban life has deep roots in its past, as...

Churchill’s four-year quest to sink Hitler’s capital ship Tirpitz saw Allied airmen and sailors run risks that would be hard to justify today, says...

As the democratic franchise expanded in the 19th century, British historians were eager to offer an informed view of the past to the new electorate. We need...

Growing nationalism in the UK’s constituent countries threatens the study of Celtic languages and history, argues Elizabeth Boyle.

Robin Whitlock asks if studies of the decline of societies such as that of Easter Island can shed light on contemporary concerns.

The battle of the Milvian Bridge in October 312 has attained legendary status as the moment when the Emperor Constantine secured the future of Christianity in...

Ed Smith considers contingency, a factor central to both sport and history.

Cromwell’s military campaign in Ireland is one event that the British can never remember and the Irish can never forget. Tom Reilly questions one of the most...

Humiliating, painful and reminiscent of crucifixion, the British army’s Field Punishment No 1 fuelled public outrage during the First World War, as Clive Emsley...

The popular image of crusading is derived almost entirely from western accounts of the victorious First Crusade. Yet when historians examine Byzantine sources...

The ‘British Empire’ was the name given by imperialists in the late 19th century to Britain’s territorial possessions. It was meant to create an image of unity and...

Over the next four issues we will be looking at the history of the British Isles by examining its former and present constituent parts – Wales, Scotland, Ireland...

The Antipodean reformer died on May 16th, 1862.

The designer of the Colt revolver, the most celebrated killing machine in the history of the Wild West, died on January 10th 1862, aged 47.

The erudite courtier, and inventer of the flush water closet, died on November 20th, 1612.

Gillian Tindall reflects on a recent discovery by a Dickens scholar, which offers new insights into the great writer’s early years.

A great hoax was born on December 18th, 1912.

Jos Damen tells the stories of two unusual men who lived a century apart in the Dutch colony at Elmina in West Africa; a poet who became a tax inspector and a...

Tom Holland argues that the return of religion and the West’s current obsession with decline make Roy Porter’s profile of Edward Gibbon, first published in ...

The great English king was born on November 13th, 1312.

Edward III’s 700th anniversary is a suitable moment to celebrate one of England’s greatest monarchs, says Ian Mortimer.

The last person burned to death at the stake for heresy was executed on April 11th, 1612.

Suggestions that the European Union should have control over Greece’s budget in order to curb its debt crisis have caused a fierce reaction from Athens. James...

Judith Richards strips away the veils of illusion covering the last Tudor monarch.

England has been conflated with Britain for so long that unravelling English history from that of its Celtic neighbours is a difficult task. Paul Lay considers...

As the Eurozone countries wrestle with the fate of the single currency, Mark Ronan discovers parallels in Wagner’s Ring cycle.

Hitler's future companion was born in Munich on February 6th 1912.

John Matusiak explains the nature of the power game that raged from 1540 to 1553.

Nicola Phillips reports from a recent London conference that looked at the ways in which new technology is changing local and family history.

As the debate continues on the causes of last summer’s English Riots, Michael Roberts examines previous attempts by reformers to address moral malaise and social...

In recent years the reputation of Mary Seacole as a pioneering nurse of the Crimean War has been elevated far beyond the bounds of her own ambition. Meanwhile that...

Would a new Act in Restraint of Appeals such as Henry VIII enacted against Rome in 1533 achieve a similar objective for Eurosceptics today of ‘repatriating powers...

Panikos Panayi explores attitudes to German prisoners interned during the First World War.

Frederick the Great, the man who made Prussia a leading European power, was born on January 24th, 1712.

Chris Millington says we shouldn’t be surprised by the Front national’s show of strength in the recent French elections.

In April 1782 the first of a series of revolutions that were to change the shape of Europe broke out in the republic of Geneva. It was fuelled by a long rift...

Albert Speer’s plan to transform Berlin into the capital of a 1,000-year Reich would have created a vast monument to misanthropy, as Roger Moorhouse explains....

The historical debate over the United Kingdom has been led by those who wish to bring the Union to an end. David Torrance believes the public deserves a more...

The ancient Greek Olympics were just as enmeshed in international politics, national rivalries and commercial pressures as their modern counterpart, says David...

For centuries King John has been regarded as the embodiment of an evil ruler. But, says Graham E. Seel, this image is largely the creation of monastic chroniclers...

Guibert of Nogent was a French abbot who found it difficult to adapt to the 12th-century Renaissance. Yet his writings are among the first works to examine man’s...

An 18th-century ménage à trois involving the King of Denmark inspired the recent film, A Royal Affair.  Stella Tillyard considers what makes it a story for...

Jez Ross argues that Henry VII was more secure than he realised

Jerome de Groot wades through the swathes of warriors landing on his desk to give us a round-up of the best battle-laden historical fiction for this year.

As the debate rages about how history should be taught in state schools David Cannadine discusses his recent research project.

While it is right to seek justice for those tortured and mistreated during the Kenyan Emergency of the 1950s, attempts to portray the conflict as a Manichean one...

Blair Worden revisits Hugh Trevor-Roper’s essay on the radicalism of the Puritan gentry, a typically stylish and ambitious contribution to a fierce controversy....

Italian Fascist scouts meet a member of the Hitler Youth in Padua, October 1940: a picture explained by Roger Hudson.

The poets Gerard Manley Hopkins and Coventry Patmore both subscribed to a Tory world view, fiercely opposing the reforms of Prime Minister Gladstone. But their...

The great historical shifts in energy use, from wood to coal, to oil, nuclear power and beyond, have transformed civilisation and will do so again, as Richard...

The former editor of History Review Robert Pearce gives his personal view.

As a boy growing up in Munich Edgar Feuchtwanger witnessed the rise of Germany’s dictator at extraordinarily close range.

Christian apocalyptic literature and ecological predictions both anticipate the end of the world. Are they born of the same tradition, asks Jean-François Mouhot?...

For three generations one Calcutta family pioneered cultural, political and social advance, making a profound mark on Indian modernity, says Chandak Sengoopta....

Contemporary culture places a high premium on novelty. Armand D’Angour argues that we should consider the more balanced views about old and new found in...

Jane Everson highlights the social networks of the Italian academies, the first of their kind in Renaissance Europe.

The full text of Jonathan Steinberg's interview with History Today editor Paul Lay.

Since the 19th century, attitudes to drugs have been in constant flux, argues Victoria Harris, owing as much to fashion as to science.

The chain of events that led to the rule of Saddam Hussein began with the murder on July 14th, 1958 of the 23-year-old King Faisal. Antony Hornyold was a junior...

In our final round up of histories of the nations that make up the British Isles – or, if you prefer, the Atlantic Archipelago – Maria Luddy examines an event...

Britain’s recent disputes with the European Union are part of a
long historical narrative, argues James Ellison – but it is not the whole story.

The same spotlight of historical enquiry that scholars have long been shedding on the biblical past is now starting to illumine the origins of Islam, as Tom...

Ivan became Grand Prince on March 27th 1462, following the death of his father.

The release this month of the 23rd Bond film, Skyfall, coincides with the 50th anniversary of James Bond’s first appearance on the silver screen. Klaus...

Today Jane Austen is regarded as one of the greats of English literature. But it was not always so. Amanda Vickery describes the changing nature of Austen’s...

The Maid of Orléans was born on January 6th 1412: she has been an incarnation of French national identity and pride for six centuries.

The boxer's great victory over James J. Braddock took place on June 22nd, 1937.

Kate Retford explains how the artist Johan Zoffany found ways to promote a fresh image of royalty that endeared him to George III and Queen Charlotte – a...

John Herschel Glenn Jr was the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20th 1962.

Alex Keller tells the story of how an unlikely friendship between a Dutch doctor and a young Italian nobleman led to the establishment of the first scientific...

Often portrayed as a paragon of Christian virtue, the real King Arthur was an embarrassment to the Church, writes Simon Andrew Stirling.

The eldest son of King John was born on October 1st, 1207.

Hugh Purcell tells how Kitty Bowler, a young American, captured the heart of Tom Wintringham, the 'English Captain' at Jarama.

A selection of readers' correspondence with the editor, Paul Lay.

A selection of readers' correspondence with the editor, Paul Lay.

A selection of readers' correspondence with the editor, Paul Lay.

A selection of readers' correspondence with the editor, Paul Lay.

A selection of readers' correspondence with the editor, Paul Lay.

A selection of readers' correspondence with the editor, Paul Lay.

A selection of readers' correspondence with the editor, Paul Lay.

A selection of readers' correspondence with the editor, Paul Lay.

A selection of readers' correspondence with the editor, Paul Lay.

A selection of readers' correspondence with the editor, Paul Lay.

A selection of readers' correspondence with the editor, Paul Lay.

The Zoological Society of London was launched in 1826 to promote scientific research into new species. Roger Rideout describes how it amassed its specimens for its...

The election for London Mayor took place on May 3rd, marked by the bitter rivalry between the present incumbent Boris Johnson and his predecessor Ken Livingstone....

As London gears up for the start of the Olympics next month, David Runciman compares the 2012 games with the London Olympics of 1908 and 1948 to see what they...

Russ Foster introduces one of Britain's least understood premiers.

US presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a Mormon, which is a problem for some voters. But, says Andrew Preston, so was the Catholicism of John F. Kennedy and it...

When the world’s population reached seven billion it prompted a great deal of nonsense to be written about Thomas Malthus. Robert J. Mayhew sets the record...

Erica Fudge and Richard Thomas explore relationships between people and domestic animals in early modern England and how new types of archaeological evidence are...

Robert Pearce considers why Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979.

Mary Rose was the younger sister of Henry VIII. David Loades describes how this forgotten Tudor was something of a wild card.

The great composer died on December 28th, 1937.

As the erotic novel appears to be experiencing a renaissance Julie Peakman reflects on 18th-century appetites for pornography.

Gemma Betros asks what kind of person Napoleon really was.

Roger Hudson reflects on a photograph of Blondin, the tightrope walker whose crossings of Niagara Falls became ever more bizarre.

Richard Hughes uncovers the patriotic efforts of the actor and playwright Noël Coward during the Second World War and argues that he should be remembered for more...

Mihir Bose asks why sport has become so central to modern culture.

A public spat between a historian and a writer shows why some subject matter deserves special reverence, says Tim Stanley.

Updating an 18th-century Satire on the National Debt

Paul Lay pays tribute to the Renaissance and Early Modern historian who was a pioneer of interdisciplinary scholarship.

Colin Greenstreet describes a new collaboration to transcribe and enhance 17th-century records of the High Court of Admiralty.

Colin Smith recounts the Allied invasion of French North Africa, which commenced on November 8th, 1942.

Otto I was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope John XII on February 2nd 962.

Penelope J. Corfield proposes a new and inclusive long-span history course – the Peopling of Britain – to stimulate a renewed interest in the subject among the...

The abdication crisis of 1937 forced a royalist magazine to present a different face to the world, as Luci Gosling reports.

Disabled people were prominent at the court of the Spanish Habsburgs. Janet Ravenscroft examines the roles they played and draws comparisons with modern attitudes...

Simon Heffer argues that until relatively recently most historians have been biased in their efforts to harness the past to contemporary concerns.

Artemis Cooper reflects on Patrick Leigh Fermor’s flexible approach to historical fact.

The story of penicillin is well known, as are those Nobel Prize winners who were honoured for their part in its discovery. But one man’s contribution has been...

Richard Cavendish remembers the royal favourite who died on June 19th, 1312.

In 1573 Catherine de’ Medici successfully campaigned for her third son, Henri, Duke of Anjou, to be elected to the throne of Poland. Robert J. Knecht tells the...

Keith Lowe on the dilemmas faced by a victorious but financially ruined Britain in its dealings with postwar Germany.

Judith Flanders applauds Jerry White’s analysis of poverty in North London, first published in History Today in 1981.

Modern dance was born with the premiere of L'apres-midi d'un faune on May 29th, 1912.

Ian Bradley looks at the life of Vincent Priessnitz, pioneer of hydrotherapy, whose water cures gained advocates throughout 19th-century Europe and beyond and are...

Sarah Wise admires an assessment of lunacy in 19th-century London.

‘Black’ propaganda in south-east Europe took many forms during the Second World War. Ioannis Stefanidis looks at top secret British attempts to undermine Nazi...

Derek Wilson looks at the life of a French princess, who married and helped depose an English king during a tumultuous period of Anglo-French relations that was to...

Nigel Jones traces the chequered history of European referendums and asks why they appeal as much to dictators as to democrats.

The battle of Cuito Cuanavale was a key moment in the smokescreen conflict of the Cold War played out in southern Africa. Gary Baines looks at the ways in which...

Clare Mulley takes issue with an article on Second World War resistance movements, first published in 1984.

When Richard II succeeded his grandfather, Edward III, he turned to alchemy to create a more pious ideal of kingship. Though his reign ended in failure, it left us...

The year 1812 was a turning point in the career of the industrialist Robert Owen. Ian Donnachie examines his Essays on a New View of Society, in which...

The great military institution took flight on April 13th, 1912.

The debate on Scottish independence has been dominated by economic arguments, to its detriment, argues Tim Stanley.

The romantic ‘braveheart’ image of Scotland’s past lives on. But, as Christopher A. Whatley shows, a more nuanced ‘portrait of the nation’ is emerging, one that...

Roger Hudson on a moment in the story of Scottish emigration captured in 1923.

During the Napoleonic Wars Britain occupied the strategically important island of Sicily. Most of its inhabitants, tired of long-distance Bourbon rule, welcomed...

What can historical fiction tell us about the past that factual history can’t? Does it distort the record and confuse the reader? What exactly is historical...

With Italy on the brink of financial collapse and in deep political crisis, the country’s 150th anniversary has been a dramatic one. It is especially timely, then...

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a masterpiece of Middle English literature, which narrowly escaped destruction in the 18th century. Nicholas Mee examines the...

Mathew Lyons finds stimulation in an allusive article on Sir Walter Ralegh, first published in History Today in 1998.

Jacob Middleton finds that, far from being a relic of a cruel Victorian past, corporal punishment became more frequent and institutionalised in 20th-century...

Geoffrey Best reflects on a lifetime collecting books and the difficulties – emotional and financial – of parting with them.

The only British Prime Minister to be assassinated whilst in office was murdered on May 11th, 1812.

Recent episodes in Russia paint a disturbing picture in which the Little Father’s actions and legacy are undergoing rehabilitation, says Emily Whitaker.

As Elizabeth II celebrates 60 years on the throne, Ian Bradley looks at the fundamentally religious nature of monarchy and the persistence of its spiritual aspects...

In the summer of 1941 a collection of paintings by serving members of the London Fire Brigade  was exhibited in the United States. Anthony Kelly describes the...

Richard Lowe-Lauri looks at the decline of bull running in the English town of Stamford.

Constructing the Victoria Embankment on the north bank of the River Thames in London: an image analysed by Roger Hudson.

From Captain Cook to playboy Prince Bertie, Tessa Dunlop examines the appeal of the tattoo among high society.

Roger Hudson sails past a half-built Battersea Power Station and on to its slow decline.

A classic children's book was born on July 4th, 1862.

Roger Hudson on the circumstances behind an eviction in County Clare, Ireland, photographed in July 1888.

The Emperor Constantine won a great victory on October 28th, 312.

J.L. Laynesmith unravels one of the mysteries of the Bayeux Tapestry.

The Flemish cartographer was born on March 5th, 1512.

The Tudor historian John Guy returns to his medieval roots to examine the true nature of the relationship between Henry II and his ‘turbulent priest’ Thomas Becket...

Since the 1980s the American family has evolved towards greater diversity and complexity. Yet, paradoxically, it is the essentially conservative nuclear family...

In recent decades few fields of historical inquiry have produced as rich a body of work as the British Civil Wars. Sarah Mortimer offers a guide to the latest...

Fundamentalism has become the face of Islam in the West. It was not always so and need not be in the future, says Tim Stanley.

Barack Obama’s admiration for the progressive Republicanism of Theodore Roosevelt ignores the true nature of both early 20th-century America and the president who...

The triumph of liberal democracy was supposed to herald an end to history. But it has returned with a vengeance, says Tim Stanley.

Chris Darnell examines the political and military background to the IRA’s last major action against the British army.

The 'lost' city re-emerged on August 22nd, 1812

Thirty years after the Falklands War the bitter debate over the South Atlantic islands remains clouded in historical ignorance, argues Klaus Dodds

Patrick Bishop’s first assignment as a foreign correspondent was to accompany the British task force sent to the South Atlantic to reclaim the Falkland Islands in...

David Torrance examines a pioneering article, first published in History Today in 1990, which argued that the Scottish Enlightenment was not restricted to...

Britain and the United States may have been on the same side during the Second World War, but cinematic representations of the conflict could stir controversy...

Mayer Amschel Rothschild died on September 19th 1812.

God's general was buried on August 29th, 1912.

The first commercially successful machine gun emerged November 4th 1862.

Roger Hudson reveals a big splash: Chairman Mao photographed attempting to swim the River Yangtze in July 1966.

Bilbo Baggins first strode onto the world stage on September 21st, 1937.

Ian Garrett asks why British Governments found Ireland so difficult a problem in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Sarah Fraser examines Bruce Lenman’s 1980 article on Jacobite exiles, part of a vigorous, influential rebuttal of a worn-out image.

Peter Hennessy looks back to his 1994 Longman-History Today lecture, delivered just as a revolution in British contemporary history was beginning to bear fruit....

One of Britain’s finest Renaissance scholars and a ground-breaking study of the night in Early Modern Europe were among the winners­ at our annual celebration of...

Two hundred years ago Britain was gripped by a wave of violent machine breaking, as skilled textile workers, invoking the mythical Ned Ludd, attacked factories and...

Patricia Cleveland-Peck tells the story of Fanny Calderón de la Barca and her life as an author, ambassador’s wife and governess to the Spanish royal family.

...

Japan flexed its muscles and launched a full-scale invasion of China following an incident on July 7th, 1937.

The black activist Malcolm X was not a civil rights leader. Nor was he a victim of the mass media. He was its beneficiary, in life and death, argues Peter Ling....

Commentators repeat with regularity the claim that the Queen’s greatest achievement, besides simple longevity, is her modernisation of the monarchy. But, says Dan...

The two 16th-century battles of Panipat, which took place 30 years apart, are little known in the West. But they were pivotal events in the making of the Mughal...

Just before Christmas 2011 the Heritage Lottery Fund announced a grant of £1.8m for the restoration of Forty Hall Park, Enfield, the site of a Tudor palace and...

Global history has become a vigorous field in recent years, examining all parts of the empires of Europe and Asia and moving beyond the confines of ‘top-down’...

London 2012 will be the biggest television spectacle ever. Taylor Downing reflects on the extraordinary links between the Olympics and the moving picture...

Julia Lovell reappraises Leslie Marchant’s article on the Opium Wars, first published in History Today in 2002.

Roger Hudson on the vitriolic reaction to Paul Robeson's open-air concert in Peekskill, New York, 1949.

Enter this month's crossword and win the audiobook Titanic: Voices From the BBC Archives.

Enter our crossword and win the audiobook Whitehall: The Street that Shaped a Nation.

Enter our prize crossword and win the audiobook The Making of Modern Medicine.

Enter our crossword competition and win an audiobook of A Brief History of Mathematics, written and presented by Marcus du Sautoy.

Enter our crossword and win an audiobook of 1215: The Year of Magna Carta.

Enter this month's crossword and win the audiobook The Popes: A History

Enter this month's crossword and win the audiobook Queen Elizabeth II: Her Life in Our Times.

Enter our crossword competition and win an audiobook of the King James Bible.

Enter this month's crossword and win an audiobook of The People's Post by Dominic Sandbrook.

Enter our crossword and win an audiobook version of The Map That Changed the World.

Enter our monthly crossword and win the audiobook Cleopatra: A Life

Enter our crossword and win the audiobook The Ration Book Olympics: When London Hosted the Austerity Games.

A landmark in folklore was published on December 20th, 1812.

Taylor Downing appreciates the continuing relevance of an article questioning the accuracy of popular views of the wartime RAF.

Graham Noble explains why the issue of equal gender rights has been so controversial in the history of the United States.

The illustrious champion of science was created on July 15th, 1662.

Helen Szamuely explores the unprecedented success of a household manual and cookery book produced by a Russian housewife, Yelena Molokhovets, following the...

Graeme Garrard recalls Isaac Brock, the Guernsey-born army officer still celebrated in Canada for his part in defending British North America from the United...

In the Middle Ages, with the re-emergence of Salic Law, it became impossible for women to succeed to the throne in most European kingdoms. Yet between 1274 and...

The modern Olympic Games are an international phenomenon, often criticised for their controlling commercialism. However, as Mihir Bose explains, they owe their...

Two hundred years ago Britain and the United States went to war. The conflict was a relatively minor affair, but its consequences were great, says Jeremy Black....

Richard Almond has trawled medieval and Renaissance sources for insights about ladies’ riding habits in the Middle Ages and what they reveal about a woman’s place...

Derek Wilson welcomes the emergence from the shadows of Thomas Cromwell, thanks to Hilary Mantel’s prize-winning historical novels.

For a century the sinking of the Titanic has attracted intense interest. Yet, as Andrew Wells explains, there have been many vested interests keen to...

Nigel Richardson describes the impact of the Titanic disaster on Southampton, the city from which she sailed and home to more than a third of those who...

The Treaty of Versailles, negotiated by the fractious Allies in the wake of the First World War, did not crush Germany, nor did it bring her back into the family...

Onyeka explores the changing meanings of words for Africans in Tudor England.

Changing sides during the British Civil Wars was more common than once thought, claims Andrew Hopper, and played an important part in determining the outcome of...

Ann Natanson visits an exhibition in Rome that highlights the papacy’s interaction with major figures of European history.

In 1729 a young entrepreneur, Jonathan Tyers, took over the failing management of the pleasure gardens at Vauxhall. During his long tenure he was able to make it a...

Nicholas Mee recalls Jeremiah Horrocks, the first astronomer to observe Venus cross in front of the Sun, whose discoveries paved the way for the achievements of...

Ramona Wadi reports on the continuing struggle to shed light on the death in 1973 of the Chilean singer and political activist Victor Jara.

With the New Year release of Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse Gervase Phillips explores the true story of the horses...

After bringing slavery in the West Indies to an end in 1834, Britons differed over how to treat other forms of oppression around the world, says Richard Huzzey....

Roger Hudson explains the story behind a 19th-century photograph of George Washington's mausoleum.

The legacy of the Great Helmsman is the source of bitter conflict over China’s future direction, argues Tim Stanley.

James Romm examines some intriguing new theories about a long-standing historical mystery.

Stephen Gundle reviews two books which explore Italian culture in the postwar decades.

The story of how simple farming communities developed into a territorially large, politically unified and highly centralised state.

A comprehensive look at the changing scientific and medical beliefs about depression and mental illness.

An examination of the practices and cultural meanings attached to the night and darkness.

A critical history of cartography traverses a panorama from ancient Greece to Google Earth.

A well-written narrative that explores how fallout from Anglo-French rivalry in the Middle East continues to shape the region today.

In the aftermath of American independence, Britain was forced to find another place for criminals who had previously been banished to the New World: the slave...

A new book focuses on the deeper complexities and contradictions of British/Irish identity, with rewarding results.

This masterly book is required reading for anyone interested in the place of religion south of the Rio Grande.

A 'charming book' which provides an insight into life in Early Modern England at a time of enormous stress.

A readable and reliable quick guide to the broad sweep of English history.

A new book attempts to answer the question: how did we reach our present state of collective knowledge?

A compelling addition to the history of women resisters and their moving acts of solidarity.

What was it like to attend the Olympics 2,400 years ago?

The need to manage the water supply has always been a driver of human history, argues Steven Mithen. 

A thorough and dispassionate history of a conflict which has a grim topicality for our times.

A spot of bother for the outlaw at a local hostelry...

The life and times of James Henry Breasted, one of the foremost communicators of Egyptology to general audiences.

A pair of new books offer differing takes on the stoicism of British explorers in search of geographical extremes.

A book of dazzling erudition and lucid logic that explores the epic struggle between the art connoisseur and the forger.

A biography of the 'playboy prince' who became King.

A new book acknowledges in rich detail the experiences of Britain’s black seafarers.

A paean of praise for the 'backroom boys' of the Second World War. 

The rich story of comics in the UK, condensed into a very readable narrative.

Jan Golinski's new book reveals that attitudes to weather in the 18th century were one of the great test cases for the Enlightenment project in Britain

Two excellent books demonstrate that the availability of a plentiful food supply has always been accompanied by its corollary: concern about its detrimental...

Two new books show that 16th-century history is about more than Henry VIII.

Roger Crowley's history of the rise of the empire acquired by Venice between 1000 and 1500 is a 'gripping tale of diplomatic cunning and military engagements...

An absorbing account of the rise and fall of supersonic passenger aircraft.

A definitive English-language account of the Frenchman who translated  hieroglyphs.

A vision of the culture, politics and media of 1950s Rome through the lens of the greatest crime scandal of the day.

Roger Moorhouse on a book that provides a powerful antidote to fashionable nostalgia for life in the GDR.

Congratulations to the winner of our caption competition in December, who gave a saucy subtext to this picture from the RAF's wartime photo interpretation unit....

If people are what they eat, Winston Churchill was plain cooking, whisky, champagne and the best Havana cigar smoke; and all that these might be taken to imply....

Jeremy Paxman's book on Britain's imperial story is an idiosyncratic, droll but ultimately useful introduction to the subject.

A convincing and entertaining new book by Tim Jeal brings the story of Nile exploration up to date.

The Oscar-winning film is re-released ahead of the Olympic Games.

Stripping away the myths surrounding the medieval monk.

A new book that offers a laid-back approach to cultural tourism that provokes both interest and irritation.

A new book tackles some of the myths around the Gallipoli campaign, while a set of memoirs offers a contemporary account.

A new group biography on the challenges of exploring 'gay lives' in the past.

German footballers and German admirals such Franz von Hipper have much in common, says Richard Freeman.

Tony Benn's introduction to the leader of the 17th-century English radical Digger movement.

Tracing the history of the London borough and host of the Olympic Games.

A definitve biography of the "whey-faced master of terror" that is unlikely to be bettered.

A great deal of what passes for history might be said to be forged. This is particularly true of national histories, a subject explored in this new book.

A rare examination into the life of one of the Third Reich's most imporant, yet less well known, figures.

Paul Lay speaks to David Waller, author of The Magnificent Mrs Tennant: The Adventurous Life of Gertrude Tennant, Victorian Grande Dame.

The author of...

The winner of our Caption Competition for January.

Our Book Choice recommendation for July is Tower: An Epic History of the Tower of London (Windmill Books) by Nigel Jones. Here the author discusses his...

The first major biography of Joseph Rotblat, the scientist who helped build the atomic bomb then campaigned for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Philip White responds to Tim Stanley’s article in History Today this month, on academics seeking stardom.

Keith Lowe argues that in history, there is no weapon quite so powerful as a good statistic.

An impressively original portrait of life in Soho.

A valuable and unusual addition to the many volumes on London.

‘This is London! How d'ye like it?’

Juliet Gardiner rounds up recently published books on London, in what is a very big year for the city.

An absorbing study of printed news in Jacobean and Caroline England.

An account of a 17th-century conflict between China and the Dutch sheds fresh light on why the West rose to global dominance

A dense and error-riddled biogaphy makes for an unsatisfying portrait of the queen.

Tracy Borman's latest work is a biography of Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror and the first queen of England's Norman dynasty.

Two new books illuminate the hidden role of intelligence in war and peace.

For most of his political life William Churchill's main source of income was his work as a writer and journalist. Was he any good?

Alan Forrest's new book tackles the ever-vexing question: How did Napoleon do it?

How did a quintessential German scholar become an anglicised architectural pundit, broadcaster and national treasure?

With London 2012 beginning this week, we delve into the History Today archive for an Olympic history special.

A portrait of Gregorio Casali, Italian ambassador to Henry VIII during his attempts to annul his marriage with Katherine of Aragon.

This large landscape shaped book draws on Philip Davies' bestselling Lost London, whilst also featuring previously unseen photographs.

The Order of Apostles and Social Change in Medieval Italy, 1260-1307

Was the 'weakest link' in the Atlantic Alliance of the 1980s the relationship between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher?

Roger Moorhouse is impressed by a valuable contribution to an under-known chapter of Europe's modern history.

Disentangling the distinctive contribution made by Scotland to the British Empire.

The Stratford-upon-Avon became a shrine to the Bard.

A biography of the man considered by some to be the "greatest soldier of the twentieth century".

The story of a part of London that typifies the myths and realities of the classic East End.

An engaging biography of John Dee, the Elizabethan mathematician, book-collector, alchemist and occult philosopher.

The latest volume of Dominic Sandbrooks' panoramic social history of Britain covers the late Seventies and the dawn of Thatcher.

Two books that underline the extent to which the Victorians clung on to the roots and language of religious faith after they had abandoned it

Intelligence is the hidden hand of history, as three new books demonstrate.

Steven Gunn is impressed by a revisionst book that makes bold statements about the history of early modern warfare.

A well-paced narrative of the conflagration that burned Parliament to the ground in 1834.

To mark the Diamond Jubilee, here are some articles from the History Today archive examining past coronations, Elizabeth II’s reign and the Royal Family today....

Nigel Jones considers a new book on the mère et père of all Gallic scandals, the Dreyfus affair.

Two Tudor treats from the prolific writers A.N. Wilson and Alison Weir.

A new biography of Emperor Frederick II does a disservice to its subject matter and to a discerning public.

A new book by Ian Kershaw attempts to explain why, in 1945, Germany fought on to the bitter end.

A history of the Bow Street Runners, often considered London's first professional police force.

The story of Simon de Montfort, Henry III and the Barons' War.

Two new books that achieve the unexpected: saying something new about the period between the late 1920s and 1945.

In this month's quiz we have questions on the first colour feature film, a left-wing terrorist organisation and the suppression of the Knights Templar.

This month we have questions on the Hundred Years War, the Lockheed Scandal and Martin Luther.

This month we have questions on Chilean history, the Divine Comedy and the Magna Carta.

Wrap your brain around questions on the first English newspaper, the last king of Burma, the real Macbeth and more.

This month we have questions on the Soviet succession, the Sack of Baghdad and the statues on Easter Island.

In this month's quiz: questions on the liberation of Ecuador, China's first modern army and the Defender of the Holy Sepulchre.

In this month's quiz: Lincoln's assassin, the 'Little Entente' and the Integralismo.

This month we have questions on the Black Death, a South American war and the US presidential retreat.

James Burge discusses Dumfries house, an eighteenth-century Ayrshire mansion saved for the nation through the auspices of Prince Charles.

A highly original volume that provides a comprehensive analysis of the legacy of the Italian anti-fascist resistance.

Juliet Gardiner reviews John Forster's biography of Charles Dickens.

How the Mongol Empire brought much of the world closer together.

A brooding reflection on the 'dark side of the aquarium'.

We tend to look at the 1960s as an era of free love. Yet a more profound sexual revolution happened in Britain in the 18th century.

Two new books further extend the currently fashionable genre of 'neo-Victorian novel'.

A forensic examination of a mid-Victorian cause célébre involving adultery and divorce.

A livey and accessible biography of Queen Elizabeth's secretary of state.

Antony Beevor's immensely readable account effectively conveys the subjective realities of the war.

An account of the Great War restores the primacy of the Balkans to the conflict's origins.

Susannah Lipscomb enjoys a "historical Lonely Planet" that vividly brings the Elizabethan era to life.

Boris Johnson and Lord Charles Beresford - who would be most offended if likened to the other?

An important book that demonstrates how crucial the political context is to any charge of heresy.

Rohan McWilliam reviews Matthew Sweet's 'different history of the Home Front': the Ritzkrieg and the opulent lifestyles that the rich enjoyed in London...

A timely reprint of one of the great books on the heritage debate.

A fascinating new picture of Victorian family life explores sibling relationships and what it meant to be part of a ‘long family.’

A portrait of late antiquity in the West that must surely rank as the most vivid and compassionate ever painted.

A professional Egyptologist debunks some of the more popular myths and theories surrounding the Egyptian king.

An enjoyable romp through the early years of the beautiful game.

A study of British imperial history, without the usual hang-ups.

David Waller reviews a fascinating chronicle which 'traces the social history of a sport almost devoid of rules'.

Michael Bloch reviews Norman Davies' Vanished Kingdoms: an 'enjoyable and idiosyncratic historical excursion'.

Archive footage of the revolution that toppled Iraq's 22-year-old King Faisal II on July 14th, 1958.

The Romans' reputation as scientists needs rehabilitation, according to this revealing if intellectually demanding new book.

Martin Plaut examines the alliance between the African National Congress (ANC), the Communist Party and the major trade union movement, COSATU.

A new biography looks beyond William Wilberforce's public profile to consider his private life.

William Hogarth’s life was a microcosm of the three main themes of Georgian life, argues Michael Dean.

British attitudes to witchcraft during the Tudor era tended to be less extreme than those of contemporary Europeans, argues Victoria Lamb.

Taylor Downing on the unsung heroes of the intelligence efforts in the Second World War.


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