Recently Published

When the Cuban Revolution succeeded in January 1959, Fidel Castro had a problem: he was 550 miles from Havana. Undeterred, the would-be leader turned his journey to the capital into a victory march.

Wall painting of a bird in a garden, Pompeii, first century AD.

The role birds played in the lives – intellectual, practical, emotional and otherwise – of men and women in the ancient world. 

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?

John Lilburne

The remarkable rise of John Lilburne.

The Virgin and the Unicorn, by Domenico Zampieri (Domenichino), fresco, 1604-5.

A mythological creature of extraordinary resilience.

Vanitas, by Edward Collier, late 17th century.

Can the collective endeavour of history still be our guide in the age of solipsism?

Illustration by Ben Jones.

Many historical analogies have been drawn to explain the Trump phenomenon. Few have pointed out that the 45th president has something in common with his great predecessor, Abraham Lincoln. Both sought to shape an economy that benefited white working men. 

Michael Palin Podcast. Travels Through Time

In the first episode of our new podcast, Travels Through Time, Michael Palin takes us aboard HMS Erebus.

‘Grover Cleveland Taming the British Lion’, Joseph Keppler, Puck, 1888.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were 16 empires of varying size and reach. At the end of the century, there was just one: the United States. How did this happen and what role did Britain play in smoothing America’s path to global hegemony?

illustration of Aztec cannibalism, from the Codex Magliabechiano, 16th century.

The Conquest of Mexico was justified by the Spanish as an evil necessary to save a people who practised human sacrifice and worshipped false gods.