Volume 55 Issue 12 December 2005

The bride was fifteen and the groom twenty-two, when they married on December 1st, 1655.

The bride was fifteen and the groom twenty-two, when they married on December 1st, 1655.

The founder of Mormonism was born on December 23rd, 1805.

Richard Cavendish remembers the events of December 12th, 1905.

John Foxe’s graphic and angry work depicting the persecutions inflicted by the Roman Catholic church, was partly a response to the rising tide of intolerance across Europe in the mid-sixteenth century, but more specifically to the recent persecution of Protestants in England. David Loades describes the impact of one of the most significant books of its time.

The greatest battle of Napoleon’s career took place on December 2nd, 1805. Although it is often called the Battle of the Three Emperors, Michael Adams sees it as a very personal clash between two men struggling for the mastery of Europe.

Historians have often stressed the modernity of America’s Civil War. Yet Gervase Phillips argues that the dependence on often weary, sickly horses on both sides in the war had a significant impact on the development, and final outcome of, the struggle.

Two hundred years after William Pitt took on Napoleon, Europe is in crisis again. Keith Robbins warns Tony Blair that there are no easy fixes to the issues of democracy that have thrown the ‘European project’ off course.

At court, the twelve days of Christmas were a time for politics, intrigue and manoeuvre as well as for merry-making. Leanda de Lisle explores the mixed feelings induced in a courtier embroiled in the great affairs of the day, by two very different Christmases, just twelve months apart.

Judy Greenway recalls a colourful trial involving an Italian anarchist and a policeman in the year of the Aliens Act.

Andy Lynes experiences a colourful and tasty vocation lesson in the history of the Regency period.

David Gimson describes a school trip with a difference: from Oxford to Japan to see how another country deals with its own contested and painful past, and to develop contacts for the future.

Peter Furtado introduces the man closer to Winston Churchill than any other.

Historical novelist Katie Grant delves into her family history for inspiration.

Mark Bryant contines his exploration of significant cartoons and caricature with a look at a German magazine that published some of the bravest satirical critiques of Hitler, bitterly attacking Nazism until 1933, and still published to the last years of the war.

What did it mean to be an earl, and where did the title come from? Marc Morris looks at the relationship between the Norman and Plantagenet kings and their earls.

Merchant Ivory’s latest film White Countess tells the story of a high-born Russian woman reduced to poverty and prostitution to support her family – refugees of the Bolshevik Revolution – in a Shanghai slum. Fraser Newham investigates the experience of the real White Russians of Shanghai and discovers this scenario to be close to the truth for many exiled Russian women.