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This Month's Magazine

July 2020

In the July issue:

  • The Field of Cloth of Gold
  • Child Voters
  • The Colonels’ Failed PR Coup
  • The Early Life of Gibberish
  • Venetian Spies
  • History’s Worst Political Advisers
  • Drinking Games
  • Ancient Work Hazards
  • Dogs

Plus reviews and more!

You can buy this issue from our website, or subscribe or read it as a digital edition via the History Today App.

Selected articles from this issue

Claudius is proclaimed emperor, by Charles Lebayle, 1886. École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts / Wiki Commons.

Four historians consider the harm caused by those who should have helped their political masters.

Ben Jones

As human populations expand and their exploitation of the globe increases, so does their vulnerability to certain diseases.

The Flood, by Michelangelo Buonarotti, 1509, Sistine Chapel © Bridgeman Images.

Human suffering is at the heart of Michelangelo’s masterpiece.

Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice,  by Leandro Bassano, late 16th century. Alamy.

Venice developed the most sophisticated intelligence network in Renaissance Europe, securing it from enemies within and without.

Detail of a tapestry depicting the Field of Cloth of Gold. Wiki Commons.

When Henry VIII and Francis I met 12 years after the Field of Cloth of Gold – with Henry accompanied by Anne Boleyn – both sought to outdo one another with exquisite items of display.

The Field of the Cloth of Gold, English, c.1545 © Getty Images.

Five hundred years ago, in a spirit of rivalry and cooperation, two young Renaissance monarchs asserted their power and authority at one of the last great demonstrations of the chivalric age.

Children campaigning in the Bethnal Green by-election, 13 February 1914 © Getty Images.

In the politically chaotic decades before true universal suffrage, some infants found a way to vote in British elections.

Armoured infantry in Athens, April 1967 © Bettmann/Getty Images.

A British public relations company in cahoots with sympathetic MPs was unable to whitewash the military regime that seized power in Greece in 1967.

Birds in a bestiary, 14th-century English manuscript (detail) © Bridgeman Images.

What does it mean to speak gobbledygook, mumbo-jumbo or jargon? Such words are more fraught than the playful games of the Jabberwocky suggest.

Bolívar and Sáenz, wall painting by Gustavo Egüez, Caracas, 2009. Photo Bruno Pérousse 2009/akg-images.

154 years after her death, Manuela Sáenz was given a state burial on 5 July 2010.

Work Safety

The ancient world found ingenious solutions for protective equipment in the workplace – but did its workers benefit?

The Triumph of Bacchus (Dionysus), c.1628,  by Diego Velázquez © Photo Josse/Bridgeman Images.

The long history of drinking games – and how to win them.

Henry III with representations of Westminster Abbey and  two church bells, from the ‘Chronicle of England’, by Peter de Langtoft, c.1307-27 © British Library Board/Bridgeman Images.

The complex reign of Henry III, the fourth longest in English history.

Bather in the Woods (detail), Camille Pissarro, 1895. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A history of the clean body is also a history of societal expectation, technological innovation, class, privacy and spare time.

Moseley Old Hall and its knot garden, Staffordshire. Alamy.

The English came late to gardening, but they have more than made up for it.

A woman illuminating the ‘Book of the Prudent and Imprudent’, by Catherine d’Amboise, 1507 © Leonard de Selva/Bridgeman Images.

Will the pandemic see a boom in local history, or will it spur a desire for global perspectives? Perhaps both.