Volume 38 Issue 12 December 1988

A dream world, or a culture of style that carried within it the seeds of self-destruction? Roy Foster marks the high tide of the 18th-century’s Anglo-Irish elite.

The background to the recent mini-series on Jack the Ripper.

Running after foreign gods - Richard Stoneman explains how Rome's Syrian rival, the city of Palmyra, and her formidable queen Zenobia influenced the religion and mores of the later Empire - and brought us in the process Christmas Day.

The restoration of Sheffield’s famous cutlery industry and the historic Globe works

Richard Cavendish visits an organisation dedicated to preserving the memory of Oliver Cromwell.

The search for the tomb of Samuel de Champlain, the founder of New France

Tom Nairn looks at the role of the monarchy and its impact on British national identity.

Steven Ellis considers how the new history of early modern Britain is becoming less Anglocentric.

Alfred the Great was not the only one to be beset by Norseman – Simon Coupland and Janet Nelson re-interpret their impact on the mainland of 9th-century Europe.

David Lowenthal explores Australian history

Simon Esmonde Cleary considers a little-known anniversary - the death in 388 of an imperial usurper who became a link-man between the factual eclipse of Roman Britain and the legendary world of King Arthur.

Rex Cathcart tells the tale of the strange Christmas and holiday custom that left teachers two or three hundred years ago risking life and limb.