History Matters

Thoughts, opinions and commentary on all things historical.

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One of the great struggles of writing a history of gender identity is understanding people’s internal lives. How should we talk about those who dressed as men and went to war?

Pulled Apart by the Great Powers, from ‘L’Assiette au Beurre’, 1903.

The North African country before and after Islam. 

Limelight: President Truman presents the Medal for Merit to David K. Niles, 20 August 1947.

David K. Niles worked in the shadows of US presidents. He also helped save their administrations.

William Holman Hunt, and Edith Holman Hunt, late 19th century.

Marrying the sister of a deceased wife was illegal in Victorian England.

Soviet tanks roll into Prague, 21 August 1968.

‘Socialism with a human face’ came head to head with the realities of Soviet communism.

‘Much like a diving falcon’: the prototype Kettering Bug, c.1918.

There is nothing new about uncrewed aircraft.

Issue of The War Illustrated showing Gurkhas in action, 1914.

One of the world's poorest countries, for much of its history Nepal has been hidden from the world.

Slum in Victorian London, 19th century. (Bridgeman Images)

The seemingly insignificant objects of our daily lives are vital tools to understanding our past.

Choppy waters: a wounded soldier is evacuated from Dunkirk, 1940.

It is tempting to try to understand events such as Brexit through historical analogies, but how useful are these comparisons?

King Sebastian of Portugal, by Cristóvão de Morais, 16th century.

The 16th century was a time of crisis and change for Portugal’s empire.