This Month's Magazine

June 2020 cover

In the June issue:

  • The Discovery of Sparta
  • The Death of Toussaint Louverture
  • China: Behind the Mask
  • Hard Work: Universal Credit
  • Female Doctors
  • Does Boom always follow Bust?
  • The Country House
  • Boris Johnson: Disraeli or Churchill?

Plus reviews and more!

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Selected articles from this issue

'The Worm Turns': cartoon of Darwin and an earthworm, Popular Science Monthly, c.1881. Bridgeman Images.

Worms are among the simplest of creatures. But, as Darwin discovered, even they share things in common with humanity.

'Great activity in Wall Street', published in New York Herald, March 19, 1908. Library of Congress.

Four historians consider whether the sudden collapse of the world economy caused by the Covid-19 pandemic will be followed by an equally dramatic resurgence.

Ben Jones

Boris Johnson is facing a national crisis like few other prime ministers. Which of his predecessors will he draw comparisons with?

Penelope Unravelling the Shroud, by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1783-84, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles © akg-images.

Despite a legion of suitors, the wife of Odysseus remains loyal to his memory.

View inside an English Cotton Mill, 1936 © Hulton Getty Images.

The British government’s universal credit scheme seeks solutions to problems that have frustrated politicians for centuries.

Johann and Georg Forster in Tahiti (detail), by John Francis Rigaud, c.1780 © akg-images.

Botany became an unlikely battlefield in the Age of Revolutions.

Portrait of Toussaint Louverture, chromolithograph by George DeBaptiste, c.1870 © Getty Images.

The hero of the Haitian Revolution’s lonely death in a French prison cell was not an unfortunate tragedy but a cruel story of deliberate destruction.

Chinese medical staff prepare facilities during an outbreak of pneumonic plague, Shenyang, 1910 © Corbis/Getty Images.

The Chinese government’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic reveals much about its memory of the humiliations of the 19th century.

Black figure kylix attributed to the Boreads Painter, Sparta, sixth century BC © Getty Images.

Warriors in red cloaks battling against the odds at Thermopylae is the image usually associated with Sparta. But a richer and more contentious tale lies in the ancient city’s stones.

Oedipus and the Sphinx by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1808 © Bridgeman Images.

The city of Thebes was central to the ancient Greeks’ achievements in politics and culture. For many centuries it has been largely – and often deliberately – forgotten.

The entrance to Endell Street Military Hospital, 1917 © © TopFoto.

The First World War offered new opportunities for enterprising female doctors.

Advertisement for London coffeehouse, c.1700 © Bridgeman Images.

Coffeehouses and coffee were not as closely related as one might think.

Niccolò Machiavelli (detail), by Antonio Maria Crespi Castoldi, 17th century © SZ Photo/Scherl/Bridgeman Images.

Discovering Machiavelli’s talent for losing.

Theodore Roosevelt, c.1903 © New York Public Library/Bridgeman Images.

How presidential images show us that in politics, as in entertainment, appearances matter.