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Volume 65 Issue 2 February 2015

This is an extract from Anna Field’s ‘Masculinity and Myth’, which won the 2014 History Today undergraduate dissertation prize, awarded in conjunction with the Royal Historical Society.

Westerners often consider Russia through the prism of the Soviet Union and the Second World War. But we must look further back if we wish to understand the modern nation’s fears, aims and motivations.

Emma Griffin charts the postwar emergence of working-class history as a scholarly discipline and argues that, thanks to the torch-bearers, the rationale for it has ebbed away.

Daniel Beer reassesses W. Bruce Lincoln’s 1976 study of Tsar Alexander III’s brief reign, which combined reaction with rapid industrialisation and left a troubling legacy for his successors.

Once among the least monitored nations in the world, Britain is now probably the most watched. Why do Britons make so little fuss about this erosion of their ancient liberties, asks Bernard Porter?

The leader of the British Union of Fascists, attempted to portray himself as a reluctant antisemite, a narrative many historians have bought into. But such a reading is wrong. Opposition to Jews was at the very core of the would-be dictator’s ideology.

The warrior and tutor-in-arms to the son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine promised his dying charge that he would complete the sacred task of crusading to the Levant. Did he succeed in his mission and fight the forces of Saladin?

Roger Hudson details the political and social events that provided Tsar Nicholas II’s prewar visit to Kiev with a tense background. 

Can the UK’s politicians offer lasting, inclusive solutions to the constitutional fall-out from last year’s referendum on Scottish independence? The historical precedents are not encouraging.

Accounts of the second siege of the royalist stronghold in Dorset during England’s Civil Wars have romanticised the role of its aristocratic owner. But was Mary, Lady Bankes even there? Patrick Little investigates.

Speculation about the illegitimacy of England’s royal lines has been encouraged by the publication of the DNA of the last Yorkist king. But, argues Ian Mortimer, it is history rather than science that should lead the debate.

The 'Divine Sarah' had her right leg amputated on February 22nd, 1915.  

The novelist and peer died on February 11th, 1940. 

The young queen married Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha on February 10th, 1840.

Second-hand books don’t just tell the stories of their authors but of their former owners, too.