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Making History

Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery, by Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), c.1621. Dulwich Picture Gallery/Wikimedia/Creative Commons.

In a time of crisis, empathy is the antidote to a culture of naming and shaming.

Cover of Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi, illustration by Attilio Mussino, 1934 © Bridgeman Images.

In a post-truth world, how do we study history?

Rose and Bertha Gugger, by Albert Anker, 1883 © Christie’s Images/Bridgeman Images.

At what point does memoir become biography and biography become history?

Bodleian Library, Oxford: Duke Humfrey's library with a man studying (detail). Frederick Mackenzie, 1787. Wellcome Collection.

What happened when a historian took the ‘Life in the UK’ test for British citizenship?

Temple of Vesta, Rome. c. 1914

Radicals and revolutionaries found inspiration in the study of Greece and Rome.

‘The censor’s joy’: Ronald Syme by Walter Stoneman, August 1946.

Historians often envisage a gulf between family history and other engagements with the past, but they can easily overlap.

Belittled: Simone de Beauvoir, 1945.

Restoring women to history presents challenges – and some opposition.

Woke: Mary Queen of Scots, early 17th century.

We like historical films to be factually accurate, but we also like them to reflect our sensibilities.

Impartial reviewer: Woman Reading, by Lovis Corinth, 1888.

How does the reader decide if a history book is worth their time?

Paradise lost: Native Americans in the Yosemite Valley, California, c.1870.

Blessed with beauty and wealth, California fails to come to terms with its past.