Feature

The Crowd-Funded War

In the wake of the failure of the Spanish Armada, England sought retaliation by launching an invasion of its own. But how to finance such a venture?

In the Shadow of Angkor

The ruined temples of Cambodia’s medieval empire became symbols of a people who had forgotten their history. In reality, they demonstrate an inherent continuity. 

To Frame a Painter

A society portraitist who emigrated to Britain from Hungary found himself embroiled in a drama of divided loyalties during the First World War. 

The Invention of Chinese

Believing language would unify their struggling nation, Chinese officials began a project to create a national language and define what it meant to speak Chinese. 

A Stand on the Streetcar

How an individual act of resistance in 1850s’ New York led to the desegregation of the city’s transit system.

Contested Legacy of the Conquistadors

If we are to better understand the actions of men such as Hernán Cortés, we must place them in the context of a medieval world view that predated the nation state.

The Culinary Enlightenment

The belief that you are what you eat emerged in 19th-century France, where the pleasures of the table were sautéed with philosophy and medicine. 

Pilgrims Processed

Muslims from Asia who wished to travel to Mecca on the Hajj were exploited by a trade in human cargo that grew with the opening of the Suez Canal.