Volume 56 Issue 4 April 2006

Editor Peter Furtado explains current trials setting historical precedents.

Andrew Robinson marvels at the brain power and breadth of knowledge of the 18th-century polymath Thomas Young. He examines his relationship with his contemporaries, particularly with the French Egyptologist Champollion, and how he has been viewed subsequently by historians.

Historical travel, alone or in organized tours, is burgeoning and fun. Our new series suggests some places for the past-minded traveller to think about. Graham Gendall Norton introduces an accessible but exotic land which has long been a cultural crossroads.

Richard Cavendish describes the earthquake that shook San Francisco on April 18th, 1906.

Monarchs claim to be surrounded by an aura of majesty. Cartoon historian Mark Bryant examines some famous incidents when a caricaturist’s pen punctured this aura and revealed the lack of a sense of humour in high places.

Peter Neville says that Bush and Blair failed to draw the proper lessons from Munich 1938 when they raised the spectre of Chamberlain and appeasement to justify their war against Saddam.

Charles Townshend has read hundreds of 'witness statements' from the men and women who took part in the Easter Rising, made available to the public in 2003 after decades in a government vault.

Richard Cavendish marks the anniversary of King James I's creation and proclamation of a union flag, on April 12th, 1606.

Geoffrey Hosking looks at the place of Russia within the Soviet Union, a position fraught with paradoxes that still resonate today.

Frederic Raphael explains how the isles of Greece, and the rest of the classical world, caught his imagination.

Linda Kaye describes a project to make accessible to the public the history of a series of ‘cinemagazines’ made by the Government in the 1950s and 60s to promote Britain overseas.

Chris Smallbone explains the effect of United States expansion on the native Americans of the Great Plains in the mid-19th century.

Michael Hunter, an authority on the natural philosopher Robert Hooke, describes his excitement at the recent discovery of an unknown manuscript in Hooke’s hand. He explains its significance and why every effort should be made to keep it in Britain.

Krista Kesselring describes how coroners in the Early Modern period tried to establish the cause of death in disputed cases.

Anthony Fletcher uses the papers of his artistic great-aunt, who, as a young nationalist, wrote an eyewitness account of the Easter Rising, to explore her youthful patriotism and vigorous activism.

Juliet Gardiner reviews the current exhibition at Tate Liverpool that celebrates the British flair for documentary film-making.

The great Victorian engineer was born on 9th April, 1806.

Richard Vinen ponders the political significance of two of France’s most potent female icons and finds there is more to them than meets the eye.