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Conquest of the frozen Dutch war fleet in Den Helder, 1795, Pauquet, after Robineau, 1795 - 1796. Rijksmuseum.

On 23 January 1795, William of Orange's fleet, stuck in frozen waters of the Zuiderzee, was attacked by the French cavalry.

Murder Mystery

The most powerful family of Florence and the most powerful man in the world offer a new solution to one of the most notorious crimes of the age.

An illustration of a hysterical patient, from Les Maladies épidémiques de l’esprit, by Paul-Marie Léon Regnard, 1884 © Bridgeman Images.

A Victorian doctor offering to cure female ‘lunacy’ came under fire for his scandalous new operation: female genital mutilation.

Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels  at a campaign  rally, Berlin Sports Palast, 31 November 1933 © Bettmann/Getty Images.

On 1 January 1933, Germany was a democracy with a range of political parties. By the end of the year its parliament was a rubber stamp for Adolf Hitler’s will.

Nguyen Ai Quoc (Ho Chi Minh), 1921.

When, in 1931, the Vietnamese revolutionary Nguyen Ai Quoc was discovered to be hiding in Hong Kong, the French authorities requested the British extradite him to Indochina where a death sentence awaited. 

Frescoed shop in Pompeii, Luigi Bazzani c.1927. Wiki Commons.

‘If I was let loose in the archives of the Archaeological Museum in Naples I might never emerge.’

Fra Angelico’s Deposition  from the Cross (detail), 1436 © Bridgeman Images.

It is a pity when specialist historians condescend to an enthusiastic public.

The body beautiful: the Wound  of Christ, from the Prayer Book of Bonne de Luxembourg, attributed to Jean Le Noir, French, c.1345 © akg-images

Medieval women’s bodies were a battleground: they were either irretrievably sinful, or they were Christ-like.

Mail-order radiation protection suits made by Civil Defence Supply, c.1980 © Hulton/Getty Images.

The 1980 Protect and Survive booklet opened government plans to ridicule.

Ehecatl (left) and Mictlantecuhtli with 20 calendar day signs,  Codex Borgia, c.1450, Apostolic Library, Vatican City © Bridgeman Images.

An ‘almanac of destiny’ predicts the fortunes of the harvest.