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Occupying British troops march past the Nusretiye mosque in Istanbul in 1920, as the Ottoman Empire collapses.
Across the Balkans, relics of Ottoman glory and decline, such as mosques, bridges and hamams, exist in various states of disrepair. Can they be brought back to life?

Alev Scott

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.

Tobie Mathew

A woman swimming in the sea in Margate, Kent, Thomas Rowlandson, c.1800.
Is it conceivable that the majority of the population of the Western Empire could forget how to swim?

Eric Chaline

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Voluptuous: the Venus of Willendorf, c.28,000-25,000 BC.

A cultural history of fat.

Henry VI, c.1535  (detail), English.

Faced with extreme pressures, the ruler of England suffered a complete breakdown. But beware modern diagnoses of medieval mental health.

Yunnan

In this episode, writer and Gardeners' Question Time panellist Matthew Biggs travels to 1905 to watch the plant hunter George Forrest begin an ill-omened expedition into the mountains of Yunnan.

Illustration by Darrel Rees.

How can we work out the true value of money in the past? It depends how you do the sums.

A portrait depicting the Elgin Marbles in a temporary Elgin Room at the British Museum surrounded by museum staff, a trustee and visitors, 1819

Four historians consider one of the most contentious questions facing the West’s museums and galleries.

Man Reading, attributed to Rembrandt, c.1648.

We remember the Dutch Golden Age for its paintings – which may be why so few realise that it was Europe’s publishing powerhouse. 

Occupying British troops march past the Nusretiye mosque in Istanbul in 1920, as the Ottoman Empire collapses.

Across the Balkans, relics of Ottoman glory and decline, such as mosques, bridges and hamams, exist in various states of disrepair. Can they be brought back to life?

Moudhy Al-Rashid.

‘Humans change very little over time. We love, worry and hope today in much the same way as we did 5,000 years ago.’

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Current Issue

Volume 69 Issue 3 March 2019

  • The madness of King Henry VI
  • The changing value of money
  • Mobility in the classical world
  • Publishing in the Dutch Golden Age
  • Turkey's new Ottoman Empire
  • The history of sushi

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