Volume 64 Issue 12 December 2014

Roger Hudson gives context to a photograph highlighting the plight of Galician Jews after the Russian army's invasion in the Great War.

Olivia Williams takes issue with some of the wilder assertions and anachronisms contained in Thomas Maples’ otherwise engaging 1991 article on the 18th-century gin craze.

From Piketty’s trumpet-blast to the great deeds of medieval saints, ten leading historians tell us about their best reads from 2014.

As the Ebola outbreak in West Africa continues its dreadful march, Duncan McLean looks at the 600-year-old practice of isolating individuals and communities in order to bring an end to epidemics and assesses the effectiveness of such measures.

Thomas Penn and his colleagues have embarked on a project to publish a series of short biographies of England’s and, subsequently, Britain’s monarchs. Why is the study of kings and queens still relevant in our less than deferential age?

The much-loved film first appeared in theatres on December 15th, 1939.

Brunel's crossing opened on December 8th, 1864.

Vladimir Putin is by no means the first Russian leader to threaten his neighbours with force and annexations. Two centuries ago European statesmen faced a similar predicament. Only then it was Poland at stake, not Ukraine, as Mark Jarrett explains.

The crisis in Ukraine has revealed to the world the divisions that exist throughout Europe about how the Second World War is remembered. Gareth Pritchard and Desislava Gancheva look at the controversial debate around wartime collaboration.

Do war toys encourage violent behaviour and make conflict more acceptable? Or do they offer genuine insight into military history? Philip Kirby, Sean Carter and Tara Woodyer examine the evidence.

The young men who surrounded Henry III of France have been dismissed by some historians as effeminate, inconsequential sycophants. Robert Knecht offers a very different account of their activities and influence.

Richard Dale investigates the mysterious death of Richard Hunne in Lollards Tower at Old St Paul’s, one of the most notorious episodes of the English Reformation.

The painter’s reaction to the Jacobite Rebellion is more than mere satire.

A 90-year-old photograph of the future dictator soon after leaving prison still manages to fool the world’s media outlets.

The centenary of the outbreak of the First World War has reawakened controversy about its origins. Those of the Second World War are less...

India presents its historian with unique challenges. It is a land of great disparity in economic conditions. It is composed of many linguistic...

Western historians have tended to focus on one Arab Revolt in the early 20th century, while ignoring another, which was bigger and, in the opinion...

A quarter of a century ago, when the Berlin Wall fell, there was an expectation that the Evil Empire’s colonies, no longer subjugated by the yoke...

In this scholarly but immensely readable book Matt Cook explores the domestic interiors of homosexual men at various times from the end of the...

A key debate in recent Soviet historiography has concerned the impact of Stalinist propaganda on citizens’ attitudes and identities. It has tended...

For those on the British Left, François Mitterrand’s victory in May 1981 was a ray of hope. Here was a president resolutely of the Left, whose...

The Indian army that arrived in Marseilles six weeks after the start of the war was probably the most curious of the First World War. In a battle...

Baghdad is at once familiar and yet quintessentially unknown. Regularly and for so long has it made the news that we are inured to the apparently...

For students of Russian history and observers of Putin’s Russia, the rehabilitation of the Stalinist past and Josef Stalin’s resurgent personal...

The enticing title of this book unfortunately turns out to be something of a misnomer. Instead of hearing how key urban centres shaped the British...

For most people the Byzantine Empire is probably an unfamiliar entity, despite its historical importance. The empire (in reality the Roman Empire...

Ask a Londoner today which beasts they are nearest to and they may well reply that you are never more than six feet away from a rat. Similarly,...

Life, the philosopher Kierkegaard believed, is lived forward but can only be understood backwards. Our understanding of history is also refracted...

Arguably, most officers in the British army would agree that Field Marshal the Viscount Slim – ‘Uncle Bill’ – was the Second World War general...

By any standards the 15-year reign of the French king Henry III (1574-89) was troubled and inauspicious. 

Plagued by ill-health, the...