History Matters

Thoughts, opinions and commentary on all things historical.

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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.

A series of panel discussions at the Institute of Historic Research.

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.

Wendell Phillips, 1952.

Wendell Phillips is not remembered fondly in Yemen. 

Not to be ignored: Kitty Marion, Criminal Record Office, c.1913.

Why is it so easy to forget an unsavoury aspect of Britain’s recent past?