History Today

Reception for Commodore Perry by Japanese Noblemen, c. 1885

This episode takes us back to 1853 and the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry’s fleet of ships into Edo Bay.

A detail from a ‘balneological’ page from the Voynich Manuscript © akg-images

Despite recent claims, the Voynich Manuscript remains one of history’s biggest mysteries. 

R Fresson

The wife of the Mughal Emperor died in 1631.

German soldiers look out over Riga’s old town from the tower of St Peter’s Church, 1917 © Bridgeman Images

Events in the Baltic States at the end of the First World War had serious long-term consequences.

A starboard bow view of ships of tanker convoy No. 12 underway in the Persian Gulf, 21 October 1987

If tensions between the US and Iran in the Persian Gulf lead to war, it will not be the first time.

Unloading camels at Port Augusta, c.1893. State Library of South Australia, B 68916

Continental Australia has a surprising history of South Asian immigration.

‘Hitler wants Hogg’: children with placards supporting A.D. Lindsay, Oxford, 27 October 1938.

The by-elections of 1938 are part of the long history of Independent Progressives in British politics.

The Origin of the Milky Way,  by Jacopo Tintoretto, 1577-79 © akg-images

A deceived god has a creative outburst.

Niall Ferguson.

‘What will future generations judge us most harshly for? Losing the Second Cold War to China.’

Detail from the cover of Gilbert White’s Selborne, early 20th century

Despite his influence on the likes of Charles Darwin, the 18th-century ‘parson-naturalist’ is sorely underrated.