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Map of Arabian Peninsula, 1732, from Kitab-ı cihannüma [Constantinople], 1732, by Kâtip Çelebi (1609-1657). In Ottoman Turkish (Arabic script), printed by İbrahim Müteferrika. Typ 794.34.475 Houghton Library/Wiki Commons.

The multifarious motives of Europe’s Ottoman scholars.

A Mughal Fort, probably in Agra. Watercolour painting by an Indian artist, 19th century. Wellcome Collection.

Successful leaders or rapacious, racist, corrupt adventurers? A history of the East India Company.

‘When apples were golden and songs were sweet but summer had passed away’, John Melhuish Studwick, 1906 © Bridgeman Images.

The study of song as an imperfect, protean, untameable art form.

Victims of Cambodia’s ‘Killing Fields’ at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh © Manuel Ceneta/AFP/Getty Images.

Confronting the country's darkest hour and looking for answers.


The views and actions of the man who tried to kill Hitler.

Herring girls knitting at Scarborough harbour, Yorkshire, c. 1910.

The lore and history of knitting in the British Isles.

Stereograph View of the Houses of Parliament, 1850s–1910s. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The life of one of the leading British historians of the mid-20th century.

Portrait of the Musgrave Morris boys, with John Armine Morris (b.1813), later Sir John Morris, 3rd Baronet of Clasemont on the left and George Byng Morris (b.1816) on the right, c.1830 (detail) © Bridgeman Images.

How, in Jane Austen’s England, sons without a fortune tried to find one.

Japanese travel poster for the Great Wall of China,1937 © Bridgeman Images.

The story of China and Japan, and the periodic efforts to find a modus vivendi.


The human cost and conflict behind ‘beef for everyone’.