This Month's Magazine

Cover of the December issue.
Cover of the December issue.

In our December issue:

  • 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
  • The rise of Japan

You can buy this issue from our website or at newsagents across the United Kingdom from 22 November. You can also subscribe or read it as a digital edition via the History Today App.

There's also a Spotify playlist to accompany the issue, featuring songs inspired by the magazine's contents:

 

Selected articles from this issue

A child carrying a panettone in Milan, 20 December 1958.

Rich enough to appeal to lords and dukes, the success of panettone is down to its festive, egalitarian simplicity.

Paradise, by Lucas Cranach  the Elder, 1530, now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

The fall of man and the concept of Original Sin.

George V and Queen Mary watching the Delhi Durbar from the Red  Fort, accompanied by Indian princes acting as pages, 1911.

The voice of the British monarch carried considerable weight in imperial India. Its slow silencing mirrored the retreat of Britain from the subcontinent. 

Marie Schmolka’s identity card.

Female volunteers such as Marie Schmolka played a decisive role in the collaborative project to rescue beleaguered Jewish children.

Charles Dibdin, by Thomas Phillips, 1799.

Charles Dickens’ name conjures up the quintessential English Christmas, but it is to another Charles D that we must look if we want to know what festivities were like before the Victorian makeover. 

Mikhail Gorbachev and Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Mikhail Gorbachev’s Perestroika triggered an outpouring of resentment across the USSR. In 1986, young Kazakhs made their voices heard, but the Soviet regime was not ready to listen.

Caricature of John Stuart Mill, by ‘Spy’, Leslie Matthew Ward, in Vanity Fair, March 1873.

‘The greatest good for the greatest number’ flounders when society cannot agree on what is ‘good’ – or ‘bad’.

Indian suffrage campaigners on the Women’s Coronation Procession, London, 1911.

Britain was neither the first country, nor the last, to give women the vote. It was one part of a global movement.

Change at last: engraving celebrating the emancipation of slaves, by Thomas Nast, c.1863.

As today, accusations of rape in 19th-century America inevitably, and repeatedly, met with harsh backlashes against the victims.

‘And nightly meadow-fairies, look you sing’: illustration for Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, by Hugh Thomson, 1910.

Folklore, fairies and demonic spirits in the sceptical 17th century.

A great hardship: mother and children, London, early  20th century.

Changing views of illegitimate children raise both moral and economic issues.

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.

Brewer’s son: Thomas Cromwell, after Hans Holbein the Younger, engraving, 17th century.

A master historian’s definitive study of one of the most astonishing and influential careers in English history.

City by the sea: a view of Lisbon, 1548, Spanish woodcut.

A readable history of the Portuguese capital emphasises the modern at the expense of the city’s deeper past. 

‘Les cosaques littéraires en action’, censors remove books from the king’s library, 18th-century engraving.

From the Thirty Years War to the ancient civilisation of Iran, from Anglo-American rivalries in the desert to the persecution of indigenous peoples, historians select their favourite books of the past year.

Meiji, Emperor of Japan, and the imperial family, woodcut, late 19th century. (Getty Images)

When it comes to rapid world-changing events, the Meiji Restoration has few equals.