Fifth in line to the throne, Karl I was not expected to become the Habsburg emperor. By the time he did, in 1916, it was already too late for the crumbling empire.
When the abolitionist author visited Britain and Ireland in 1845 he was celebrated in poems and songs wherever he went. Arriving as an enslaved man, he left with his freedom.
The CIA has veered far from the purpose for which it was founded. Intended to gather and collate intelligence, it became instead a secretive organisation accountable to no one, which had disastrous consequences for Latin America.
In 1659 the restoration of the exiled Charles II seemed impossible. It might not have occurred at all but for the forgotten intervention of a blacksmith’s daughter.
The spread of Rastafari carried pan-African ideals from rural Jamaica to the world. From its origins in 1930s Kingston, it has espoused a striking message: Africa yes, England no.
Often cast as subversive and seditious, despite the interventions of monarchs and governments the guilds of the Middle Ages have endured.
The ‘emigration’ of thousands of poor London children in the 19th century was seen by its organisers as an act of Christian deliverance, but the experience of the young people sent to Canada tells a different story.
When Roman forces burned the Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70, the Flavian dynasty thought it had defeated the Jewish god in the name of Jupiter. It was mistaken.
For most Egyptians the country’s independence came with the revolution of July 1952, not with the end of the British protectorate in February 1922. Yet, as the experiences of three patriotic writers show, independence did not mean freedom.
In March 1722 rebellious Afghan forces laid siege to the Safavid capital. Was the great Iranian empire on the brink of collapse?