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Miscellanies

Miscellanies is History Today's free weekly long read. Every Wednesday, we publish a specially commissioned essay or long read from our archive. The subject? History. As the name suggests, we can’t be more specific…

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In 1904, when tobacco farmers of Kentucky and Tennessee formed an association to unite against the American Tobacco Company, a vigilante splinter group decided to deliver its own brand of rough justice.

For most of history, different peoples, cultures and religious groups have lived according to their own calendars. Then, in the 11th century, a Persian scholar attempted to create a single, universal timeline for all humanity. 

During the First World War, while politicians prevaricated, Romania’s British queen lobbied for entry on the side of the Allies and courted the international press, becoming the glamorous face of her adopted country’s war effort. 

As the warm Middle Ages gave way to the ‘Little Ice Age’, the abundance of ice inspired trade and technology, captivating and terrifying those who endured life in a cold climate.

Fearing nuclear war, in 1965 the UK government published advice on how members of the public should protect themselves against the Bomb. An experiment in York put it to the test.

Faced with a crisis in her personal life and an uncertain future, Sarah Stoddart Hazlitt found respite in long, arduous and often dangerous walks. Countless women have followed in her footsteps.

Portraits of Leo X, Cardinal Luigi de Rossi and Giulio de’ Medici by Raphael, 1518. © Bridgeman Images.

An unsolved Renaissance mystery casts light on the dark world of extortion, revenge and power politics at the heart of the Catholic Church.

The ‘First Television War’ was also documented in over 5,000 songs. From protest to patriotism, popular music reveals the complexity of America’s two-decade long experience struggling against communism in Vietnam.

A pagan queen, an unruly woman and a valiant warrior: Boudica has lived a varied afterlife in British history. Why is the ancient queen of the Iceni such an enduring figure?

In late 1945, a small self-styled fascist church established itself in southern England, where its members worshipped Adolf Hitler. For the war-weary locals, it was too much: vigilante action was required.