Volume 62 Issue 1 January 2012

The triumph of liberal democracy was supposed to herald an end to history. But it has returned with a vengeance, says Tim Stanley.

The author of Courtiers: The Secret History of Kensington Palace (Faber & Faber), and presenter of the BBC TV series, If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home discusses her work with Paul Lay.

Ian Bradley looks at the life of Vincent Priessnitz, pioneer of hydrotherapy, whose water cures gained advocates throughout 19th-century Europe and beyond and are still popular today.

Would a new Act in Restraint of Appeals such as Henry VIII enacted against Rome in 1533 achieve a similar objective for Eurosceptics today of ‘repatriating powers’ from the EU? asks Stephen Cooper.

The designer of the Colt revolver, the most celebrated killing machine in the history of the Wild West, died on January 10th 1862, aged 47.

Frederick the Great, the man who made Prussia a leading European power, was born on January 24th, 1712.

The designer of the Colt revolver, the most celebrated killing machine in the history of the Wild West, died on January 10th 1862, aged 47.

Frederick the Great, the man who made Prussia a leading European power, was born on January 24th, 1712.

The Maid of Orléans was born on January 6th 1412: she has been an incarnation of French national identity and pride for six centuries.

The black activist Malcolm X was not a civil rights leader. Nor was he a victim of the mass media. He was its beneficiary, in life and death, argues Peter Ling.

The poets Gerard Manley Hopkins and Coventry Patmore both subscribed to a Tory world view, fiercely opposing the reforms of Prime Minister Gladstone. But their correspondence reveals two very different personalities, says Gerald Roberts.

The Zoological Society of London was launched in 1826 to promote scientific research into new species. Roger Rideout describes how it amassed its specimens for its private museum and menagerie, which soon became a public attraction.

The Treaty of Versailles, negotiated by the fractious Allies in the wake of the First World War, did not crush Germany, nor did it bring her back into the family of nations. Antony Lentin examines a tortuous process that sowed the seeds of further conflict.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a masterpiece of Middle English literature, which narrowly escaped destruction in the 18th century. Nicholas Mee examines the poem to discover both its secret benefactor and the location in which its drama unfolds.

Simon Heffer argues that until relatively recently most historians have been biased in their efforts to harness the past to contemporary concerns.

With the New Year release of Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse Gervase Phillips explores the true story of the horses and mules that served the British army during the First World War.

David Torrance examines a pioneering article, first published in History Today in 1990, which argued that the Scottish Enlightenment was not restricted to Edinburgh but was a genuinely national phenomenon.

Italian Fascist scouts meet a member of the Hitler Youth in Padua, October 1940: a picture explained by Roger Hudson.

Paul Lay pays tribute to the Renaissance and Early Modern historian who was a pioneer of interdisciplinary scholarship.

Today Jane Austen is regarded as one of the greats of English literature. But it was not always so. Amanda Vickery describes the changing nature of Austen’s reception in the two centuries since her birth.