Volume 63 Issue 5 May 2013

The Whig interpretation of the past is a moral fable more akin to theology than history, argues Tim Stanley.

The French chanteur was born on May 18th, 1913.

The great Confederate commander was fatally wounded at Chancellorsville on May 2nd, 1863.

The ruthless archbishop died on May 15th, AD 913.

Britain’s loss of Singapore in February 1942 was a terrible blow. But Japan failed to make the most of its prize, says Malcolm Murfett.

We should resist using ‘medieval’ as another word for backward. The 15th century, in particular, was a time of remarkable progress and enlightenment.

Of humble origins, Rodrigo Calderón became a key figure at the court of Philip III of Spain. Notorious in life, he gained dignity and immortality in death, as Santiago Martínez Hernández explains.

Bayreuth has much for which to thank Richard Wagner, but the determination of a Prussian princess to create something out of her dull and provincial 18th-century marriage helped make the city the place it is today, says Adrian Mourby.

Mihir Bose recalls a classic case highlighting the problems with Britain’s antiquated libel laws.

In the 1800s Rome became a microcosm for great power rivalries. E.L. Devlin describes a case of ambassadorial privilege that caused controversy between the papacy and the king of France.

Richard Weight reassesses Quentin Bell’s 1951 article on the morality of fashion, which anticipated the enormous social and stylistic changes of the 1960s.

Richard Weight reassesses Quentin Bell’s 1951 article on the morality of fashion, which anticipated the enormous social and stylistic changes of the 1960s.

Bayreuth has much for which to thank Richard Wagner, but the determination of a Prussian princess to create something out of her dull and provincial 18th-century marriage helped make the city the place it is today, says Adrian Mourby.

Mihir Bose recalls a classic case highlighting the problems with Britain’s antiquated libel laws.

In the 1800s Rome became a microcosm for great power rivalries. E.L. Devlin describes a case of ambassadorial privilege that caused controversy between the papacy and the king of France.

Roger Hudson looks at an episode that inspired one of the greatest films ever made.

In the latest of his occasional surveys of historical fiction, Jerome de Groot casts a critical eye on the often disparaged genre of romance.

Trade was the impetus for early contacts between Russia and England, though each country had its own view of how the relationship should function. Helen Szamuely examines the first two centuries of Russian embassies to London.

Few foresaw the horror of the First World War. The financier Jan Bloch did and in 1901 he outlined his vision to Britain’s military establishment.

The earliest explorers to uncover the ancient Maya civilisation in Central America could not believe that it owed its creation to the indigenous population, whom they saw as incapable savages. Nigel Richardson explains how this view changed.

Britain’s involvement in the Middle East between the wars proved a rich seam for authors of adventure stories. Michael Paris shows how these, in turn, helped to reinforce the imperial mission.

The indiscriminate use of ‘Nazi’ to describe anything to do with German institutions and policies during Hitler’s dictatorship creates a false historical understanding, says Richard Overy.

The Battle of Hastings is the most famous military encounter in English history. This is partly because of the seismic social change that followed William the Conqueror’s decisive victory over his English rival, Harold Godwineson, on October 14th, 1066. It is also because of the quality of the original source material, notably the Bayeux Tapestry. What other medieval battle can we teach to schoolchildren using contemporary pictures?