History Today Subscription

History Matters

Thoughts, opinions and commentary on all things historical.

Get Miscellanies, our free weekly long read, in your inbox every week
The Gorleston Psalter (detail), 1310-25 © British Library Board/Bridgeman Images.

How Worcestershire sauce changed the way we look at medieval manuscripts.

Still Life with Fruit, by Osias Beert, c.1600 © National Portrait Gallery, London.

How Chinese porcelain became a worldwide sensation, changing tastes and the global economy.

 The Ptolemaic system of the universe from the Harmonia Macrocosmica, by Andreas Cellarius, 1708 © Bridgeman Images

The long and complicated history of why there are 360 degrees in a circle.

Thomas Becket before Henry II, English manuscript, 14th century © Bridgeman Images.

An audacious plan to install an English saint as the patron saint of Ireland.

Diagram of the Brookes, 18th century. Alamy.

The anniversary of the abolition of slavery reminds us how visible the memory of Britain’s slave trade remains.

A Gypsy encampment, Belvedere Marshes, Kent, 1936 © John Topham/Topfoto

Recent government proposals are merely the latest in a long history of hostility.

 ‘Is This a Time for Sleep?’, 1883, in which Cholera looms over New York Harbor while Science sleeps 23 © Granger/Bridgeman Images.

Quarantine is intended to protect, but it can also punish.

Woden surrounded by his descendants, English manuscript, 12th century © Bridgeman Images.

In Anglo-Saxon England a hill could be a dragon’s lair and a ditch the home of gods.

‘The city of lovers / Is glowing this evening’: view from the roof of Notre-Dame, 1961. Photo by Gunter R Reitz/Michael Ochs Archives © Getty Images

What does it mean to rebuild Notre-Dame?

A fishing fleet on the Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland, copper engraving, French, 1683 © Bridgeman Images.

The first pilgrim settlers to America tried, and failed, to settle in Newfoundland.