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Miscellanies

Miscellanies is History Today's free weekly long read. Every Wednesday, we publish a specially commissioned essay or long read from our archive. The subject? History. As the name suggests, we can’t be more specific…


Modern vegetarianism is concerned largely with issues of animal welfare but its roots are to be found in the early-modern desire to promote spirituality by curbing humanity’s excessive appetites. 

While the great and good of the medieval Church secured lucrative and influential posts, the average parish priest was often forced to juggle a variety of casual jobs to make ends meet. The ‘gig economy’ – of which...

In June 1976, Gay News magazine published a poem that – as the subject of a high profile blasphemy trial a year later – was described as ‘the ultimate in profanity’. Whitehouse v Lemon, the trial in...

Faced with a vast, decaying empire, the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II ruled with an iron fist, curtailing press freedom, promoting Islam and severing ties with the West. His similarities with Turkey’s current...

The legend of La Llorona has supposedly haunted Mexico since before the Conquest. Her story is one of violence, much like the country whose suffering she is often taken to represent. Beware the woman in white ...

On 24 October 1917, the Central Powers launched a massive offensive at Italy’s north-eastern border. The resulting battle – popularly known as Caporetto – has been described as the greatest defeat in Italian military...

In the late 19th century, middle-class Britain became fascinated by the existence of a foreign presence in its very own cities and towns. Slums, and the sordid stories of sexual violence and vice within them, held...

In the post-Civil War era, Spain’s problem with regional nationalism seemed dominated by Basque separatists. Yet, as recent events show, Barcelona is now the epicentre of the biggest issue facing the Madrid...

In the 1930s, the discovery of the ancient city of Lachish in the British Mandate of Palestine coincided with modern technological advancements which allowed archaeologists to share their breakthroughs with the world...

In the early 19th century ‘filthy rags’ – or bank notes – became a common form of currency. A surge in forgery followed, accompanied by a surge in harsh prosecutions. How did we get from gold to paper?