In June 1976, Gay News magazine published a poem that – as the subject of a high profile blasphemy trial a year later – was described as ‘the ultimate in profanity’. Whitehouse v Lemon, the trial in question, exposed Britain’s archaic and obscure blasphemy laws.
Faced with a vast, decaying empire, the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II ruled with an iron fist, curtailing press freedom, promoting Islam and severing ties with the West. His similarities with Turkey’s current president have not gone unnoticed.
The legend of La Llorona has supposedly haunted Mexico since before the Conquest. Her story is one of violence, much like the country whose suffering she is often taken to represent. Beware the woman in white ...
On 24 October 1917, the Central Powers launched a massive offensive at Italy’s north-eastern border. The resulting battle – popularly known as Caporetto – has been described as the greatest defeat in Italian military history.
In the late 19th century, middle-class Britain became fascinated by the existence of a foreign presence in its very own cities and towns. Slums, and the sordid stories of sexual violence and vice within them, held newspaper readers rapt with curiosity and fear.
In the post-Civil War era, Spain’s problem with regional nationalism seemed dominated by Basque separatists. Yet, as recent events show, Barcelona is now the epicentre of the biggest issue facing the Madrid government – an issue with deep historical roots.
In the 1930s, the discovery of the ancient city of Lachish in the British Mandate of Palestine coincided with modern technological advancements which allowed archaeologists to share their breakthroughs with the world.
In the early 19th century ‘filthy rags’ – or banknotes – became a common form of currency. A surge in forgery followed, accompanied by a surge in harsh prosecutions. How did we get from gold to paper?
On the 500th anniversary of the origins of Protestant Christianity, how should we understand its spread – from an academic dispute in a second-rank German university to a global faith that embraces up to a billion people?