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Denis Diderot.

A professionally organised covert industry satisfied the public’s demand for illicit books in the years before the French Revolution.

Peter Brown

The tragic figure whose death led to the outbreak of the First World War was born on 18 December 1863.

Richard Cavendish

Arrival of Napoleon in Venice, by Giuseppe Borsato, 19th century.
The arrival of Napoleon’s troops in Venice in 1797 instigated one of the biggest plunders in the history of art.

Nora Gietz

Miscellanies is our free weekly long read.
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Anglo-Irish relations: Henry authorises Dermot to levy forces in 1170, from J.W.E. Doyle's A Chronicle of England, BC55 to AD 1485 (1863). (Bridgeman Images)

In the first of a new series, we ask historians one of the burning questions of the day.

Anti-British propaganda in a Tehran street. ‘The evil state of Britain is an enemy of the Iranian nation and is one of its oldest and most traditional enemies.’

Relations between Iran and Britain have often been strained. Yet the relationship is an old one, marked by mutual admiration.

Frontispiece from Paul Barbette’s The Practice of the Most Successful Physitian (sic), engraving by Frederick Hendrik van Hove, 1675.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, patients were encouraged to snuff, snort and sneeze their way out of a whole range of ailments and illnesses. 

Denis Diderot.

A professionally organised covert industry satisfied the public’s demand for illicit books in the years before the French Revolution.

Election Fair, Copenhagen Fields, London, 1795, featuring Thelwall, mid-oratory, at front right, by James Gillray.

Is it possible for dissidents to bring peaceful change to repressive regimes?

Convicts wearing ‘mask hats’ exercising at Pentonville Prison. Engraving by Swain after Bennett, c.1870.

Turning chaotic havens of ‘sloth and debauchery’ into systemised institutions of ‘pain and terror’, Victorian ‘model’ prisons were anything but. 

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.

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Current Issue

Cover of the December issue.

Volume 68 Issue 12 December 2018

  • The Crown’s long farewell to India
  • Kazakhstan’s bloody December
  • What's wrong with liberalism?
  • The woman behind the Kindertransport
  • The global suffrage movement
  • Christmas before Dickens

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