History Matters

Thoughts, opinions and commentary on all things historical.

Get Miscellanies, our free weekly long read, in your inbox every week
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.

South Polar Chart, 1901.

First sighted in 1820, for much of human history Antarctica has been an abstract idea.

Power couple: The Lover's Seat: Shelley and Mary Godwin in Old St Pancras Churchyard by William Powell Frith, 1877

Behind the dominating presence of Frankenstein, the richness of Mary Shelley’s life is in danger of being lost.

Dedicated: portrait of a lady identified as Catherine Howard, Holbein the Younger

Seemingly inconsequential, dedicating books to royalty was a vital part of Tudor publishing.