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This Month's Magazine


In the cover story of our May edition, Gyanesh Kudaisya looks at the last years of India first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, a time maked by domestic political strife and conflict with China.

Also in this issue:

  • Caroline Chapman enjoys the extraordinary correspondence between the connoisseur Horace Walpole and the much travelled diplomat Horace Mann;
  • Roland Quinault argues that Herbert Asquith, premier at the time of Britain’s entry into the First World War, was a better wartime leader than he has been given credit for;
  • Simon Elliott admires the advances in technology and manufacturing in Roman Britain;

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Main Features

Jawaharlal Nehru died 50 years ago this month. Gyanesh Kudaisya describes the final years of India’s founding prime minister, a period marked by major challenges at home as well as abroad in the aftermath of the 1962 war with China.  

A foothold in Siam offered new trading opportunities for France in the late 17th century, as well as a chance to spread the Catholic faith. Peter Murrell describes French efforts via a series of embassies between the two countries.

Caroline Chapman delves into a wide-ranging and prolific correspondence, spanning half of the 18th century, between the British court diplomat to Florence, Horace Mann, and the historian and patron of the arts, Horace Walpole.

Since two earthquakes destroyed the cathedral and much of central Christchurch in September 2010 and February 2011, the city is slowly recovering. Jenifer Roberts recalls the city’s first settlers.

While the advances in technology and manufacturing that took place in Britain during  the 18th and 19th centuries have entered the mainstream of history, few know about the industrialisation carried out during the Roman occupation, says Simon Elliott.

As a peacetime premier Herbert Asquith was held in high regard, but the First World War undid his reputation. That is an unfair judgment, argues Roland Quinault.

A brilliant intelligence officer at MI5, Guy Liddell’s reputation was damaged forever by one great failure: his deception by the Cambridge spies. Ben Macintyre describes the slow dawning of treachery described in the final volume of Liddell’s remarkable diaries.

History Matters

Since the completion of the Marxist historian’s trilogy in 1987, history has changed, but in what ways?

One of the bloodiest and most decisive battles in Irish history took place a thousand years ago this month.

Churchill and Hitler painted scenes of the Western Front while in remarkably close proximity to one another.

It was Scots who were the most vocal advocates of a vibrant, imperial, Protestant Great Britain,

Other articles

The caped crusader first appeared on May 1st, 1939.

Andrew Higgott surveys the contested legacy of modern architecture in Britain from the first machine age to the dawn of the digital.

Beethoven's only opera was performed for the first time on May 23rd, 1814.

The French theologian died on May 27th, 1564.

A selection of readers' correspondence with the editor, Paul Lay.

Nick Lloyd revisits John Terraine’s article on the decisive Allied victory at Amiens in 1918 and asks why this remarkable military achievement is not as well known as the first day of the Somme.

Without dexterity and imagination historians are in danger of overlooking the telling details that complete the bigger picture, argues Mathew Lyons.


'Arguably among the most misconceived and incoherent studies ever published in the field of gay history'.

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