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Citizen Clem: Attlee during his time as prime minister, 1945-51. © Hulton/Getty Images.

By Daniel W.B. Lomas

Fiercely anti-Communist, Clement Attlee found Britain’s intelligence agencies to be invaluable tools.

Finland (an elk) being attacked by Russia (a pack of wolves), Wilhelm Schulz, Simplicissimus magazine, 1911. © Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris/Bridgeman Images.

By Rhys Griffiths

Finland celebrates its centenary in December 2017, but the concept of Suur Suomi – ‘Greater Finland’ – has existed since at least the 18th century.

By Jerome de Groot

A nation built on symbols and a clear sense of history, the US increasingly recognises that it cannot defend the continuing presence of these statues in public spaces.

By Amy Jeffs

The cult of saints affected everyone in medieval Europe. A voracious souvenir market was one of its consequences.  

By Avan Judd Stallard

The idea that the ancients believed in Antipodean lands to balance  the globe is a modern invention – and wrong. 

By Gary Sheffield

How did an evocatively named Flanders village become shorthand for a whole series of battles around the Belgian city of Ypres?

A new Alexander: The Death of Germanicus, by Nicolas Poussin, 1626/38. ©  akg-images

By Emma Southon

Accounts of the life of Germanicus are complex, fascinating and open to interpretation.

By Audrey Truschke

Laws against religious offence in India have altered the writing and understanding of the nation’s past.

Unstuck from the mud: volunteers rescue artworks in the Piazza della Signoria, Florence, 1966. © Getty Images.

By Richard Ivan Jobs

Backpackers, travelling through Europe, forged a new wave of international collaboration.

By Emily Jones

The Conservatives are enduring a crisis of identity and purpose. Not for the first time, the work of the great 18th-century philosopher, Edmund Burke, is seen as offering a path to the party’s reinvention.