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Volume 61 Issue 4 April 2011

Much western commentary on the turmoil in the Arab world demonstrates historical ignorance, argues Tim Stanley.

Richard Cavendish remembers King Farouk's succession to the Egyptian throne on April 28th, 1936.

Richard Cavendish marks the anniversary of St Catherine of Siena's canonisation by Pope Pius II.

As the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton approaches, Jenifer Roberts looks at the series of 18th-century weddings which led the Portuguese royal family into dynastic crisis.

James Boswell, Samuel Johnson’s future biographer, found Glasgow a dull place. Yet it was at the city’s university that he came into contact with the political economist Adam Smith, whose insights forced the student to grapple with competing claims on his conscience, as Robert Zaretsky explains.

Jacqueline Riding examines how a 19th-century painting, created almost 150 years after the Jacobite defeat at Culloden, has come to dominate the iconography of that event.

Glittering monument to Britain’s colonial achievement or fragile symbol of a fragmenting imperial dream? Jan Piggott charts the efforts to make Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace flourish as an ‘Acropolis of Empire’.

Michael Bloch tells the story of one of the more unusual dynasties related to the Windsors.

The quest for spiritual virtue through personal austerity drove many Eastern Christians to lead solitary lives as hermits surviving in the wilderness. Andrew Jotischky describes how indifference to food became an integral part of the monastic ideal in the Byzantine era, one revived in the West in the 11th and 12th centuries.

Richard Almond describes how some rare wall paintings help shed light on medieval hunting.

As a major new exhibition on the Aesthetic Movement opens at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Richard Cavendish explores Bedford Park, the garden suburb inspired by the movement’s ideals.

Stephen Alford admires a perceptive article on Lord Burghley, Elizabeth I’s ally and consummate political fixer, by the distinguished Tudor historian Joel Hurstfield, first published in the 1956 volume of History Today.

Richard Cavendish recreates the circumstances of Horatio Nelson's victory at Copenhagen on April 2nd, 1801.

In the light of current events in North Africa and the Middle East, David Motadel examines the increasing frequency of popular rebellions around the world.

Modern day obituaries often speak of illnesses ‘bravely fought’, but the history of pain, a defining and constant experience in lives throughout history, lacks a substantial literature, argues Joanna Bourke.

Since its discovery in Yemen in 1972 a collection of brittle documents, believed to be among the earliest Koranic texts, has been the subject of fierce and divisive debate among scholars of Islamic history, as Scott MacMillan reports.