Volume 62 Issue 8 August 2012

The legacy of the Great Helmsman is the source of bitter conflict over China’s future direction, argues Tim Stanley.

The 'lost' city re-emerged on 22 August 1812.

The future emperor was born on August 31st, AD 12.

God's general was buried on August 29th, 1912.

The future emperor was born on August 31st, AD 12.

God's general was buried on August 29th, 1912.

England has been conflated with Britain for so long that unravelling English history from that of its Celtic neighbours is a difficult task. Paul Lay considers recent histories of England and its people.

The modern Olympic Games are an international phenomenon, often criticised for their controlling commercialism. However, as Mihir Bose explains, they owe their origins to a  celebrated novel set in an English public school.

The cityscapes of the world’s most populous nation are expanding at a bewildering rate. But China’s current embrace of urban life has deep roots in its past, as Toby Lincoln explains.

Jos Damen tells the stories of two unusual men who lived a century apart in the Dutch colony at Elmina in West Africa; a poet who became a tax inspector and a former slave who argued that slavery did not contradict ideas of Christian freedom.

Mike Thomas looks back to a period of economic buoyancy in the Basque region, when a special relationship flourished between the people of Biscay and Britain.

The great historical shifts in energy use, from wood to coal, to oil, nuclear power and beyond, have transformed civilisation and will do so again, as Richard Rhodes explains.

London 2012 will be the biggest television spectacle ever. Taylor Downing reflects on the extraordinary links between the Olympics and the moving picture throughout their histories.

Often portrayed as a paragon of Christian virtue, the real King Arthur was an embarrassment to the Church, writes Simon Andrew Stirling.

Growing nationalism in the UK’s constituent countries threatens the study of Celtic languages and history, argues Elizabeth Boyle.

Robert Colls asks what British identity is - and what it is not.

Jerome de Groot wades through the swathes of warriors landing on his desk to give us a round-up of the best battle-laden historical fiction for this year.

Christian apocalyptic literature and ecological predictions both anticipate the end of the world. Are they born of the same tradition, asks Jean-François Mouhot?

Clare Mulley takes issue with an article on Second World War resistance movements, first published in 1984.

Jos Damen tells the stories of two unusual men who lived a century apart in the Dutch colony at Elmina in West Africa; a poet who became a tax inspector and a former slave who argued that slavery did not contradict ideas of Christian freedom.

An 18th-century ménage à trois involving the King of Denmark inspired the recent film, A Royal Affair.  Stella Tillyard considers what makes it a story for our times.

Growing nationalism in the UK’s constituent countries threatens the study of Celtic languages and history, argues Elizabeth Boyle.

Robert Colls asks what British identity is - and what it is not.

Jerome de Groot wades through the swathes of warriors landing on his desk to give us a round-up of the best battle-laden historical fiction for this year.

Christian apocalyptic literature and ecological predictions both anticipate the end of the world. Are they born of the same tradition, asks Jean-François Mouhot?

The ancient Greek Olympics were just as enmeshed in international politics, national rivalries and commercial pressures as their modern counterpart, says David Gribble.

Roger Hudson on the circumstances behind an eviction in County Clare, Ireland, photographed in July 1888.

David Waller on the 150th anniversary of a ship that symbolised Liverpool’s ties to the Confederate states during the American Civil War.

British attitudes to witchcraft during the Tudor era tended to be less extreme than those of contemporary Europeans, argues Victoria Lamb.

Martin Plaut examines the alliance between the African National Congress (ANC), the Communist Party and the major trade union movement, COSATU.

It must have seemed a somewhat quixotic enterprise to produce in 1981 a major feature film about an athletic rivalry in a long forgotten Olympic Games. But Chariots of Fire was destined to become, in the words of Sir Roger Bannister, ‘one of the greatest films about sport’ ever made, the recipient of four Oscars (including Best Picture) and a world-wide box office hit.