The distant past is not often illustrated with plentiful descriptions of everyday life. Instead, the picture has to be put together from different sources, piece by piece, like a jigsaw. But there are often still gaps, which can be filled with historically informed creativity.
In Georgian Britain, England’s ‘heaviest man’ became a celebrity, his likeness reproduced across an array of media.
The actions of lynch mobs during the late 19th century damaged the United States’ relationship with Britain and threatened its self-appointed role as the world’s moral guardian.
‘Hitler’s architect’ Albert Speer denied all responsibility for the ruthless exploitation of millions of slave labourers. Yet he was head of a bureaucratic machine that did just that.
Scotland’s short-lived, catastrophic Central American colony exposed its precarious relationship with England. Was closer union an inevitable result?
A polarising poltergeist sowed division in 18th-century England.
One of Buddhism’s most reviled villains was crucified in the Buddhist underworld. When French Christians arrived in Siam in the 17th century, venerating images of Christ on the cross, dialogue between the two religions reached an impasse.
As the age of revolutions swept across Europe, the Pacific also witnessed dramatic changes when monarchies were rebuilt and societies transformed.
Throughout the centuries countless libraries and carefully curated book collections have been dispersed, destroyed or lost.
Tall tales of Pompeii’s lost lives form part of a long history of sensationalism.