This Month's Magazine

Cover of the July issue

In the July issue:

  • A hidden chapter: women of the Klan
  • Apocalypse then: when the world didn't end
  • The Civil War's 'Martyr of Peace'
  • The Bengal famine of 1943: is there only one story to tell?
  • 'The last front' of the Freikorps
  • The book that can't be read
  • Thatcher breaks consensus
  • A history of the picnic

You can buy this issue from our website or at newsagents across the United Kingdom from 20 June. You can also subscribe or read it as a digital edition via the History Today App.

Selected articles from this issue

The Course of Empire: Destruction by Thomas Cole

Empires have been part of human history for millennia. Are they, of necessity, a bad thing?

Ben Jones

The revolt against President Omar al-Bashir is not the first in Sudan’s history, but it is the first since Africa’s former largest country split in two.

Cold meats: Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, by Édouard Manet, 1863 © Bridgeman Images

From high life to country living.

The Death of Caesar, by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1867 © akg-images

A vivid portrait of one of history’s most momentous conspiracies.

German soldiers look out over Riga’s old town from the tower of St Peter’s Church, 1917 © Bridgeman Images

Events in the Baltic States at the end of the First World War had serious long-term consequences.

A detail from a ‘balneological’ page from the Voynich Manuscript © akg-images

Despite recent claims, the Voynich Manuscript remains one of history’s biggest mysteries. 

Margaret Thatcher and Conservative  Party Chairman Cecil Parkinson, celebrating the Conservative election victory, 9 June 1983 © Getty Images

Assessing Margaret Thatcher’s premiership: a radical decade and a divisive legacy. 

A detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights, by Hieronymus Bosch, 1490-1500 © Bridgeman Images

Despite the religious rupture caused by the Reformation, fear of the Apocalypse remained common to both sides of western Christendom. But older, classical ideas of an eternal return were at work, too.

Women (and child) at a Ku Klux Klan mass-initiation ceremony, Atlanta, Georgia,  18 June 1949 © Getty Images

The role of women in the Ku Klux Klan is often neglected, but they were key players at all levels.

Hindus burn the bodies  of co-religionists who have died of starvation,  at Calcutta’s Myrone Memorial, 1943 © William Vandivert/LIFE/Getty Images

Starvation and disease killed millions in British India during the Second World War. Why?

Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland, by Anthony Van Dyck, 1641. Collection of the Duke of Devonshire, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire/Bridgeman Images

In an age of political and religious division that ended in Civil War, Lucius Cary and his circle at Great Tew offered a space for debate and compromise.

A Renaissance imagining of the Temple. Tempel van Diana te Efeze, Philips Galle, after Maarten van Heemskerck, 1581 - 1633. Rijksmuseum.

On 21 July 356 BC, the day Alexander the Great was said to have been born, the temple burned to the ground.

The sound of silence: ‘Notre-Dame de Paris’, by Alfred Latour, from Modern Woodcuts and Lithographs by British and French Artists,  by Geoffrey Holme, 1919 © Getty Images

The devastating fire at Notre-Dame destroyed more than just bricks.

‘Oh, my fur and whiskers!’:  a hare or rabbit mosaic, from the House of Dionysus, Cyprus, third century AD © Bridgeman Images

Not content with bringing aqueducts, sanitation and roads, the Romans transformed Britain’s flora and fauna.

Defiant: Jesse Owens after winning the 100m at the Berlin Olympics, August 1936 © Getty Images

How the Nazi persecution of Jews shaped the African-American freedom struggle.

Peace process: the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Japan and Russia, 7 February 1855

Writing treaties in two languages can lead to unexpected problems.

The three horsemen?: Alexander II reviewing troops, 19th century © Bridgeman Images

Why is the West is so suspicious of Russia?

 God in the machine?: Detail from Darkness, by Wassily Kandinsky, 1943 © Bridgeman Images

Christian thinkers whose lives and thoughts connected in 1943, when it looked like the Allies were on top and minds turned to the future. 

Neville Chamberlain announcing "Peace in our Time" on his arrival at Heston Airport, 30 September 1938.

An admirable retelling of the traditional history of appeasement.

Lucy Hay (née Percy), Countess of Carlisle, by Adriaen Hanneman, c.1660 © Bridgeman Images

A hidden network of 17th-century female spies

Illustration for The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, printed by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press, 1896

Is a biography of Chaucer impossible?

John Buchan

An intimate understanding of John Buchan with a scholarly reading of the immense mass of his papers 

Elizabeth I, by Nicholas Hilliard, c.1580 Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2019/Bridgeman Images

Nicholas Hilliard was a portraitist at the pinnacle of his profession.

Dante and the early astronomers, 1913

The pursuit of astronomical study led a Victorian woman from Surrey to the Indian foothills.

Storied life: Zsa Zsa Gabor with her poodle, Farouk, c.1960 © Ed Clark/LIFE/Getty Images

What connects a Hollywood star, a physicist of genius and a recently departed historian?

Matthew Sweet

‘What’s the most important lesson history has taught me? It’s not about you.’

Conservator Claire Reed with the remains of a drinking vessel discovered at Prittlewell, Essex, in 2003 © Press Association Images

Archaeologists and historians are on the same side, despite what journalists say.