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Britain has never seriously considered returning the Elgin Marbles.

Ioannis Stefanidis

A portrait depicting the Elgin Marbles in a temporary Elgin Room at the British Museum surrounded by museum staff, a trustee and visitors, 1819
Four historians consider one of the most contentious questions facing the West’s museums and galleries.

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An eel, probably a serpent eel, from Aquatilium animalium historiea, liber primus, by Ippolito Salviani, 1554 © British Library Board/Bridgeman Images.

The slippery subject of eel reproduction evaded human understanding for millennia.

The Saracens besiege a Christian city, detail from The Song of Saint Mary, 1221-84 Photo © Luisa Ricciarini/Bridgeman Images.

Acre was the most cosmopolitan city in the medieval world. Its inhabitants thought it too valuable to destroy. They were wrong.

Mahomed’s Baths on Brighton seafront, c.1820 © Hulton Getty Images.

Shampooing was brought to Britain by a Bengali immigrant who knew his craft – and how to sell it.

View of Hampton Court, by Leonard Knyff, c.1702. Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2020/Bridgeman Images.

Stately homes surrounded by extravagant gardens are a staple of the English countryside, but how were they funded?

 ‘Is This a Time for Sleep?’, 1883, in which Cholera looms over New York Harbor while Science sleeps 23 © Granger/Bridgeman Images.

Quarantine is intended to protect, but it can also punish.

Sir Walter Ralegh as a young man, 16th century. Bridgeman Images.

A courtier of refined sensibility and an adventurer of bold and boundless ambition.

New Podcast

Join us as we explore a fantastic range of historical subjects and eras with those who know it best.

OGS Crawford photographed at Stonehenge in 1926. Photographer unknown. Image courtesy of the OGS Crawford Photographic Archive, Institute of Archaeology, Oxford.  

‘Our work on the Calais ‘Jungle’ forced me to change my mind about freedom of movement.’

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Current Issue

March Issue

Volume 70 Issue 3 March 2020

In the March issue:

  • Shampoo Empire 
  • Britain’s Gardening Revolution
  • A Cure Worse than Disease
  • The Great Rabbit Hoax
  • The State of the Nation
  • Why is the Public so Obsessed with the Nazis?
  • Escape to Mexico
  • Sexual Eeling
  • Liverpool’s Slave Trade
  • English Saints in Ireland

You can buy this issue from our website or at newsagents across the United Kingdom from 19 February. You can also subscribe or read it as a digital edition via the History Today App.