Jump to Navigation

History Today

Paul Lay reflects on the differences between his generation and that of his grandfather, who fought in the First World War.

On April 20th, 1770, writes W. Charnley, Captain James Cook, commissioned to observe the transit of Venus, first watched the shores of Australia rising slowly above the westward horizon.

Besides administering the sub-continent, British public servants devoted endless time and energy to making a record of Indian archaeological remains. Mildred Archer describes the role of the East India Company from 1785-1858.

Having lost hope of invading the British Isles, in 1797 the French Directory made a bold attempt to cut off their enemy's East-Indian trade routes. The agent they chose was Napoleon Bonaparte, a brilliant young general, D.G. Chandler writes, already fascinated by the Eastern scene.

Reputed to be a place of enormous wealth and during the seventeenth century known as “the golden isle”, Madagascar, before it achieved its independence, was long the subject of contention between French and British empire-builders. By Reginald Colby.

T.H. Corfe analyses a double assassination in Dublin that long left its scar on Anglo-Irish relations.

Julian Symons describes how, in the year of South African crisis, 1899, Buller, once regarded as the ablest of British commanders, was stricken by a strange failure of nerve.

One of the Prince’s last and most notable services to his adopted country, writes Sir John Wheeler Bennett, was the redrafting of a provocative British despatch at a moment of high tension in Anglo-American relations.

After being expelled from Portugal, writes J.S. Cummins, France and Spain, the Jesuit order was suppressed by a reluctant Pope.

A.L. Rowse reviews a local history of Cornwall.

The early British engineers were masters of precise machinery; L.T.C. Rolt describes how sophisticated mass-production overtook them from America.

Teaching at Christ’s Hospital dates from 1552, writes N.M. Plumley, and its Royal Mathematical School from the reign of Charles II.

When the iron industry depended on wood, not coal, Sussex and Kent were the centres of English gunfounders, writes Christopher Lloyd.

During the reign of Charles II and his brother, writes Tresham Lever, Mackenzie as judge and Lord Advocate at Edinburgh was involved in some highly contentious trials.

Denis Gifford describes the first appearances of folk heroes of the modern comic strip.

Britain and Russia came close to blows over Crimea in the 18th century.

The Foreign Office was long a bastion of male chauvinism. Only during the Second World War did women diplomats begin to make their mark.

Dan Jones argues that Nigel Saul’s article on Henry V and the union of the crowns of England and France does not take into account the long-term consequences of the king’s achievements.

British historiography has been offered a once-in-a-generation opportunity to integrate Ireland’s contribution into analyses of the Great War, argues Catriona Pennell.

Matthew Parker, on the centenary of the completion of the Panama Canal, describes the gruelling challenges faced by those competing to succeed in the project to join the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, from the 16th century to the present day.

Three hundred years ago, in August 1714, the Protestant Elector of Hanover ascended to the thrones of Great Britain and Ireland, becoming George I. Graham Darby describes the latter phase of the personal union, which lasted until 1837.

Roger Hudson expands on a photograph of a locomotive taken during the American Civil War by one of Mathew Brady’s team.

Understanding the emotional lives of people in the past is one of the most difficult challenges facing the historian, argues Suzannah Lipscomb.

Graeme Garrard describes the events that led to the torching of the new US capital by British troops in August 1814 and considers the impact of the ‘greatest disgrace ever dealt to American arms’ on the US, Britain and Canada.

With the independence referendum just around the corner, Naomi Lloyd-Jones asks why the Scottish Home Rule Association, an important precursor of the SNP, has been largely forgotten.

When Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914 there was no outbreak of jingoism and no immediate rush to enlist. What Anthony Fletcher finds instead, in letters, diaries and newspapers, is a people who had little comprehension of the profound changes to come.

The Concert of Europe, the diplomatic model championed by Britain in the run-up to the First World War, was doomed by the actions of competing nationalisms. Britain’s entry into the conflict became inevitable, despite its lack of military preparation, as Vernon Bogdanor explains.


About Us | Contact Us | Advertising | Subscriptions | Newsletter | RSS Feeds | Ebooks | Podcast | Submitting an Article
Copyright 2012 History Today Ltd. All rights reserved.