Volume 60 Issue 1 January 2010
Richard Cavendish remembers January 13th 1935.
Ian Friel argues that popular ideas of the nature of Elizabethan seapower are distorted by concentration on big names and major events. Elizabethan England’s emergence on to the world stage owed much more to merchant ships and common seamen than we might think.
Mark Bryant admires a Russian artist whose lampoons of Napoleon inspired some notable British caricaturists.
Jonathan Clark, editor of a major new history of the British Isles, considers what effect the intellectual currents of our own time have had on the way historians write.
The astrononer made a remarkable discovery on January 7th, 1610.
Paul Cartledge visits the archive of History Today to retrieve a critical appraisal of the Greek proto-historian Herodotus by the inimitable Oxford don Russell Meiggs, first published in 1957.
Roger Moorhouse on a controversial historical DVD being reissued.
Bernard Porter reviews the field of studies of British covert operations and espionage.
John Tosh argues that historians should find ways to teach undergraduates the practical applications of their uniquely insightful discipline.
Medieval scholars were the first to make the connection between maths and science and anticipated the discovery of inertia long before Newton. So why have their discoveries been forgotten, asks James Hannam.
Sedition could cost you your life in Tudor England, but by the 18th century the monarch was fair game, writes David Cressy.
Opera has flourished in the United States. But how did this supposedly ‘elite’ art form become so deep-rooted in a nation devoted to popular culture and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal? Daniel Snowman explains.
In the years leading up to the Second World War, France was riven by political division as extremes of left and right vied for power. Annette Finley-Croswhite and Gayle K. Brunelle tell the tragic and mysterious story of Laetitia Toureaux, a young woman swept up in the violent passions of the time.
A distant monarch, political factionalism, vainglorious commanders and the distraction of European enemies helped George Washington seal victory in the American War of Independence, writes Kenneth Baker, who explores the conflict through caricature and print.
The recent scandal over MPs’ expenses would not have raised an eyebrow in the 18th century when bribery was rife and rigged elections common. Trevor Fisher looks into that system and the slow path to reform.
Britain has had a long and sometimes problematic relationship with alcohol. James Nicholls looks back over five centuries to examine the many, often unsuccessful, attempts to reform the nation’s drinking habits.
Occasions of Sin: Sex and Society in Modern Ireland - By Diarmaid Ferriter
Profile Books 694pp £30 ISBN 978 1861979 186
A pamphlet on What Not To Do on A Date, written by a Jesuit priest and published in Dublin in 1960, advised that passionate kissing for the unmarried was ‘mortally sinful’; a girl could keep lustful thoughts at bay by saying quickly:
Everyone has a view on historical fiction, especially the readers of historical fact. As a result, any serious study of the subject is most welcome, particularly when it employs such a refreshingly open definition of what constitutes historical fiction. Indeed, whereas most academic studies by their very nature have to label, limit and define, de Groot does not see historical fiction as simply ‘a genre’ but as a conceptual force that runs throughout literature.
The Code Breaker's Secret Diaries: Rediscovering Ancient Egypt
Translated by Martin Rynja Gibson Square Books
ISBN 978 1903933831