Volume 47 Issue 12 December 1997

Penelope Corfield shows that ridiculing the learned professions is not a new thing.

Richard Cavendish visits Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire.

Marika Sherwood trawls contemporary reports of the anti-Catholic protests that rocked London in June 1780 to reveal the black men and women who took part, exploring their motives and punishments for doing so.

Adrian Mourby reflects on the legacy of Nova Scotia's French Acadians.

What led middle-class students to join the urban guerrilla movement against the military regime in Brazil in the 1960s and 1970s? Alzira Alves de Abreu reports on the evidence from interviews with those who survived.

The man who conquered Mexico died on December 2nd, 1547.

Dirk Bennett sheds new light on the origin and history of chariot racing as a sport, and explores its popular and political role from pre-classical Greece to the fall of the Roman Empire.

David Bates examines a Tudor Christmas Fare at Hampton Court Palace.

Richard Wilkinson weighs up history's verdict on Chamberlain's Secretary of State for War, and asks whether it was Establishment anti-Semitism or professional failings in the light of Dunkirk that led to the minister's downfall in 1940.

St Paul's Cathedral was opened on December 2nd, 1697.

December 26th, 1797

Clive Foss tells how the airship phenomenon caught the imagination of the Soviet Union – becoming a key propaganda tool to Stalin, both at home and abroad.

Ron White draws on the diaries of Samuel Pepys to paint a picture of the festive season in the 1660s.