History Matters

Thoughts, opinions and commentary on all things historical.

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Pin-heads: postcard showing the Imperial government bowled over by the threat of revolution, Russian, 1905.

Short, angry missives pinged across the world – Russian propagandists used postcards to get their message across.

Castro (right) with fellow revolutionary Camilo Cienfuegos, 8 January 1959.

Were US-Cuban relations soured for the want of ten dollars?

Palace of Communications: the Lisbon Post Office, known as Palácio das Comunicações, early 1950s.

The buildings that came out of Portugal’s New State were described as an ‘architectural lie’.

Boys just want to have fun: February scene from the Trivulzio tapestry, by Benedetto da Milano, after a design by Bramantino, Milan, 1504-9.

Venetian officials sought to stem a ‘plague’ of sodomy by promoting the heterosexual sex trade.

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.