History Matters

Thoughts, opinions and commentary on all things historical.

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A life examined: Rosalind Franklin, c.1950.

Rosalind Franklin’s work was pivotal to one of the 20th century’s greatest scientific discoveries.

O Captain!: Wilhelm Voigt as  drawn by Ernst Kellermann in Simplicissimus, 12 January 1906.

Germany is the country most closely associated with militarism, but Britain has had its militarist moments, too.

No smoking: the ‘cutting room floor’ frames from the Roundhay Gardena Scene by Louis Le Prince, October 1888.

The world’s first filmmaker disappeared without trace. Are we watching his outtakes?

The staff of History Today pick their favourite articles of the past year.  

Strangers welcome: the initial invitation to 24 Dutch (beginning with John Powells) and, beneath them, six Walloon masters (beginning with Robert Goddarte) to settle in Norwich, 1565.

Norwich prospered in the 16th century, thanks to an influx of immigrants, who arrived fleeing persecution.

‘And nightly meadow-fairies, look you sing’: illustration for Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, by Hugh Thomson, 1910.

Folklore, fairies and demonic spirits in the sceptical 17th century.

Change at last: engraving celebrating the emancipation of slaves, by Thomas Nast, c.1863.

As today, accusations of rape in 19th-century America inevitably, and repeatedly, met with harsh backlashes against the victims.

A new life: a moorish woman in Granada, from Christoph Weiditz’s Trachtenbuch, 1530s.

A previously unnamed slave in Catherine of Aragon’s bedchamber may have known the answer to one of history’s greatest questions.

The ‘C Room’ in the Members’ Library.

For 200 years, the House of Commons Library has guided politicians and policy.

The Flying Ace reflected one generation’s memories of war and shaped those of the next.