Volume 60 Issue 5 May 2010

Of all the world’s great collectors, I can’t help thinking that Horace Walpole (1717-1797) must have been among the nicest. The son of Sir Robert Walpole, the man with a good claim to have been Britain’s first ‘prime minister’, Horace was essentially a member of the establishment. But he positioned himself as an outsider and commentator, looking in and laughing.

Richard Cavendish describes how Adolf Eichmann was captured in Argentina on May 11th, 1960.

In May 1940, Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister. But the great war leader’s rise to power was far from inevitable. Taylor Downing explains what a difference a day made.

Anthony Pollard visits the History Today archive to examine Alan Rogers’ claim that a lack of principle among rival lords resulted in the great conflagration of 15th-century England.

Patricia Fara explores the scientific education of Mary Shelley and how a work of early science fiction inspired her best-known novel Frankenstein.

The first King George was born on May 28th, 1660. Richard Cavendish provides an overview of his life.

This month Nick Poyntz examines the rapid rise of blogging among both professional historians and amateur enthusiasts.

Tom Holland assesses the state of the studies of ancient civilisations.

The award-winning film-maker Laurence Rees describes how the creation of his new website devoted to the Second World War transformed his views on the future of history education.

When Napoleon surrendered himself to a British naval captain after his defeat at Waterloo, the victors were faced with a judicial headache. Norman MacKenzie asks: was St Helena Britain’s Guantanamo Bay?

Corinne Julius is impressed by the breadth of material on display at London’s newly reopened Jewish Museum.

The ministry of education in the Czech Republic recently issued guidelines on how to teach children about the country’s totalitarian past. Not everyone is pleased, reports Lubomír Sedlák.

The late Labour leader, who died in March aged 96, was the last great radical voice of Parliament and stands comparison with the celebrated 18th-century polemicist, writes Brian Brivati.

The current economic plight of Greece is part of a long feud between Athens and Europe’s great powers, writes James Miller.

The Chartists’ campaign for political inclusion and social justice ended in failure. But, David Nash argues, their ideas still have much to offer Britain’s discredited Parliamentary system.

Early 17th century England saw the emergence of pirates, much romanticised creatures whose lives were often nasty, brutish and short. Adrian Tinniswood examines one such career.

In May 1610 Henry IV of France was assassinated by a religious fanatic apparently acting alone. Though popular, Henry had nevertheless aroused animosity on his way to kingship, not least because of his Protestant beliefs, writes Robert J. Knecht.

During his brief life, the Polish master of the musical miniature became a living symbol of his troubled nation. Adam Zamoyski looks at the reception given to Chopin by a divided public when he visited Britain in 1848, a year of revolution through Europe.