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Volume 60 Issue 10 October 2010

The traumatic but ultimately victorious march of Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communists ended on 22 October 1935.

The philosophical writings of the author of War and Peace inspired followers from Moscow to Croydon and led to the creation of a Christian anarchist reform movement. Charlotte Alston examines the activities and influence of Tolstoy’s disciples.

The author Graham Greene journeyed to West Africa in 1935, ostensibly to write a travel book. But, claims Tim Butcher, it was a cover for a spy mission on behalf of the British anti-slavery movement which was investigating allegations that Liberia, a state born as a refuge for freed US slaves, was guilty of enslaving its own people.

Court fashion, a love of birdsong and the pressures of being a king are some of the subjects discussed in letters between Philip II of Spain and his teenage daughters. Janet Ravenscroft explores the human side of one of Europe’s most powerful Renaissance monarchs.

The philosophical writings of the author of War and Peace inspired followers from Moscow to Croydon and led to the creation of a Christian anarchist reform movement. Charlotte Alston examines the activities and influence of Tolstoy’s disciples.

The idea of a female monarch was met with hostility in medieval England; in the 12th century Matilda’s claim to the throne had led to a long and bitter civil war. But the death of Edward VI in 1553 offered new opportunities for queenship, as Helen Castor explains.

The author Graham Greene journeyed to West Africa in 1935, ostensibly to write a travel book. But, claims Tim Butcher, it was a cover for a spy mission on behalf of the British anti-slavery movement which was investigating allegations that Liberia, a state born as a refuge for freed US slaves, was guilty of enslaving its own people.

Magnus Stenbock, the Swedish aristocrat and war hero, lived his life in pursuit of honour. Yet, as Andreas Marklund reveals, he died in disgrace, broken by the schemes of a cunning spy. 

In October 1935 Mussolini’s Fascist Italian forces invaded Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) at a crucial moment in the run-up to the Second World War. Daniel Whittall looks at the complex issues the invasion raised in Britain and the responses to it, especially from black Britons.

Emma Christopher analyses the recent treatment of the sensitive issue of slavery and abolition, both by historians and popular culture at large.

Janet Voke meets Joachim Rønneberg, survivor of one of the most daring actions of the Second World War: the sabotage of a German heavy water plant deep in occupied Norway.

Stephen Gundle examines the political demise and commercial rebirth of the Italian dictator.

Richard Cavendish traces the evolution of today's 'mega-bucks' sports industry back to 17 October 1860 and a small competition in Scotland.

One of Europe's most fantastic pieces of medieval architecture was consecrated on 24 October 1260.

 

A cremation ghat built in Brighton for Indian soldiers who fought in the First World War has recently been inscribed with their names, writes Rosie Llewellyn-Jones.

With the chance of renewed political will to fund the Navy, possibly to the detriment of the Army, Nick Hewitt wonders if British defence policy is reverting to type.

The Neanderthals failed to adapt to climate change and may have died out in as little as a thousand years. Are we making the same mistakes, asks Mike Williams.

Nick Poyntz looks at the ways in which mobile phone 'apps' can bring historical insight to our everyday environment.

The teaching of history should give students a broad knowledge of their subject rather than focus on the skills needed to analyse narrow periods, says Seán Lang.

Richard Cavendish remembers the events of October 9th, 1934.