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Portrait of Toussaint Louverture, chromolithograph by George DeBaptiste, c.1870 © Getty Images.

The hero of the Haitian Revolution’s lonely death in a French prison cell was not an unfortunate tragedy but a cruel story of deliberate destruction.

Chinese medical staff prepare facilities during an outbreak of pneumonic plague, Shenyang, 1910 © Corbis/Getty Images.

The Chinese government’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic reveals much about its memory of the humiliations of the 19th century.

Silhouette of Beethoven, by Schlipmann, 1903 © Getty Images.

As music became an art for all the people of Europe, Ludwig van Beethoven, born 250 years ago this year, became the hero and the symbol of an aspiring German nation.

Eric Hobsbawm, 1976 © Wesley/Hulton/Getty Images.

The historian Eric Hobsbawm kept faith with the Marxist orthodoxies of his youth even after the Soviet invasions of Hungary in 1956, of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Why?

The Arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers, by Antonio Gisbert Pérez, c.1864 © Bridgeman Images.

With every major anniversary, our perspective on the voyage of the Mayflower changes. This year’s 400th will address the legacy of colonialism.

Zhou at Huairou Reservoir, Beijing, 1960 © Bridgeman Images.

How important was China’s senior diplomat to his nation’s rise to global power, or is it too early to say?

Greengrocer during the food shortage, March 1917 © Topfoto.

As Britain faced the prospect of food shortages in 1917, panic mounted. One solution was to redeploy policemen to plough the land.

Great Britain and Ireland, from the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, by Willem Blaeu, 1635 © Bridgeman Images.

The path to Britain’s Civil Wars of the 17th century was paved in the three very different realms of England, Scotland and Ireland. But it was in the richest and most populous of these that crisis escalated into conflict.

Antisemitic riots in Algiers, 1898-99 © Bridgeman Images.

Since the late 19th century, French politics has provided a testing ground for right-wing populism.

Promotional photo of Lyudmila Pavlichenko ‘defending Sevastopol’, 6 June 1942 © Ozersky/AFP/Getty Images

The ‘Guerrilla Queen’ of Soviet Russia became a role model for women in combat.