Funny at first: the cover of the opening issue of Punch
The satirical magazine appeared on July 17th, 1841.

Richard Cavendish

Cleopatra Selene became an important ruler in her own right.

Jane Draycott

Chairman Mao photographed attempting to swim the River Yangtze in July 1966.

Roger Hudson

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Republican women recite the Rosary outside Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison following the execution of IRA member Thomaas Traynor during the Anglo-Irish War.

Women played a minor role in the Easter Rising of 1916. But they became crucial intelligene agents in the Anglo-Irish War.

A woman swimming in the sea in Margate, Kent, Thomas Rowlandson, c.1800.

For 1,500 years, Western Europe ‘forgot’ how to swim, retreating from the water in terror. The return to swimming is a lesser-known triumph of the Enlightenment.

Monument commemorating the Battle of Naseby.

The dramatic events that shook Britain in the 17th century resonate more strongly than ever, despite attempts to marginalise them.

Schmidt, the new Chancellor of West Germany, 1974.

The West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt was an admirer of Britain from an early age. But his vision of European integration was not that of his British counterparts. 

Combining grand narrative with vignettes of private lives and long-forgotten events, the last 500 years of Jewish life are told by a consummate master of his craft.

Still from The Sky Above, The Mud Below, 1961.

A geographical concept based on outdated European ideas of race – does 'Melanesia' exist?

Like a herald of lost Atlantis, Gregor MacGregor arrived in 19th-century London with news of a Central American utopia. Unfortunately, Poyais didn’t exist and its would-be emigrants found only a ‘sinister coast of disillusion’.

Liberty Leading the People, 30 July 1830, by Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), painted 1830-31.

A lucid, entertaining history of France and its cultural contribution by an accomplished master of the grand narrative.


Current Issue

Volume 68 Issue 7 July 2018

  • When tuberculosis was fashionable
  • Days of dissent in the DDR
  • Taming Pocahontas
  • The invisible countess
  • A history of Melanesia
  • Anglo-Saxon monsters

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