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This Month's Magazine

February issue

Far from being a barren wasteland, the Arctic has continued to fascinate. Philip Hatfield demonstrates its long history of exploration and the reasons for its allure in this month's cover story.

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Also in this issue

  • The TrowelBlazing Women of Archaeology
  • The press response to Turkey's 1926 coup
  • The medieval selfie
  • Vietnam as coloniser and colonised
  • Mussolini's German-backed experiment in 'real Fascism' and fine living
  • The roots of vegetanarianism concerning the diner's soul and not animal welfare
  • Plus: rationing in Britain, Toni Morrison, warfare at sea during Civil Wars and more

You can buy this issue from our website or at newsagents across the United Kingdom (find your nearest stockist) from January 19th. You can also subscribe or get it as a digital edition via the History Today App.

We've also created a Spotify playlist to go with this month's edition, featuring songs inspired by the issue's contents. You can listen to it below.

Selected articles from this issue

Illustration of Frobisher's encounter with Inuit, possible at 'Bloody Point', by John White. c.1577.  © British Library Board

By Philip Hatfield

Motivated by power and prestige, Europeans have long sought a route through the Arctic Ocean connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific. Despite many failures, the lure of the frozen north has enjoyed remarkable longevity. Philip Hatfield considers why. 

Mussolini in the company of his legitimate family, 1929. Copyright Alamy

By Richard Bosworth

The Italian Social Republic, or Salò, was Mussolini’s German-backed experiment in ‘real Fascism’ and fine living. As Richard Bosworth explains, Italians find it hard to come to terms with its legacy.

A painting called The Vegetable Seller, by Joachim Beuckelaer, Flemish, 16th century. Copyright Bridgeman Images

By Erica Fudge

While modern vegetarianism is concerned largely with issues of animal welfare, its roots are to be found in the desire to promote spirituality by curbing humanity’s excessive appetites, argues Erica Fudge.

Front page of French newspaper Le Petit Journal Illustré, covering the execution of the 15 deputies, August 1st, 1926. Copyright Getty Images.

By Stefan Ihrig

Turkey has a long history of coups, but a failed attempt on the life of President Kemal Atatürk in 1926 had a lasting impact on the country. Stefan Ihrig reveals how one foreign journalist recorded the reprisals that followed with admiration – which soon turned to fear.

Image of Hilda Petrie climbs into a tomb, possibly Dendera, Egypt, 1897-8.  Courtesy of Egypt Exploration Society

By Brenna Hassett

Behind the traditional story of archaeology, with its pith-helmeted Victorian gentlemen, are the equally important yet neglected stories of its female pioneers. Brenna Hassett shows how their lives are vital to the future of the discipline.

Dress found off the coast of Texel in April, 2015. Copyright Museum Kaap Skil

By Richard Blakemore

A recently discovered 17th-century shipwreck has caused speculation among experts. Richard Blakemore considers the often overlooked importance of maritime affairs on the course of the Civil Wars. 

Photo of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, early 20th century. Copyright aka-images

By Christopher Goscha

Vietnamese national identity has been forged in opposition to foreign invaders. But while a united Vietnam is a recent development, writes Christopher Goscha, the country has long been coloniser as well as colonised.