History Today

History Today is a monthly magazine published by History Today, Ltd. Founded in 1951, it is owned by Andy Patterson and has a circulation of roughly 30,000 subscribers. Headquarters are based in London, England.The magazine, which is geared towards teachers, students, and those with an interest in history, publishes essays written by some leading history scholars covering myriad periods, regions, topics, and themes in history. It is available in print and online.The print version was founded by Brendan Backen, who worked as the Minister of Information during World War II. He was also the publisher of the Financial Times. Currently, both print and online versions are published under the vision and guide of editor-in-chief, Paul Lay.History Today offers readers articles ranging from atomic medicine to the rise and fall of empires. Each essay comes with illustrations selected by picture editor Sheila Corr. The web edition includes a news digest from web editor, Kathryn Hadley.Subscribers can buy an annual subscription for either the web or print version. Web subscribers can also purchase access to articles from the publication's archives dating back to 1980. The magazine also has a sister publication, History Review, which is aimed at students and is published three times each year.

Articles from Vol. 54, No. 11, November

Archaeology and the Ancient World
Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide, edited by Sarah Iles Johnston (Harvard UP, 32.95 [pounds sterling]) is an illustrated guide to the beliefs, cults, gods and ritual practises in the Mediterranean world 3000-300 BC, with contributions from 140...
Read preview Overview
Asia and Africa
Spanning the period from pre-Islamic late antiquity to the present day, and illustrated throughout with diagrams, photographs and maps, the Historical Arias of the Islamic World by Malise Ruthven and Azim Nanji (Oxford University Press, 25 [pounds...
Read preview Overview
Britain and Ireland
North Sea Sagas by Paul Jordan (Longman, 19.99 [pounds sterling]) tells the story of the North Sea through the ages. It follows the changing ways of life from prehistoric hunters and farmers, Roman colonists, Viking adventurers, medieval traders to...
Read preview Overview
Death of Isabella the Catholic: November 24th, 1504
AFTER FIFTY DAYS anxious prayers and processions, Queen Isabella of Castile called a halt to all further intercession. She knew she was finished and she resolutely prepared herself for death. When an attempt to assassinate her husband Ferdinand almost...
Read preview Overview
Doing Our Duty
THIS ISSUE, WE MARK A CURIOUS NEW PHENOMENON of our times: the pre-centenary celebration. Andrew Lambert offers us his magisterial appreciation of Nelson and Trafalgar, on the occasion of the 199th anniversary of Nelson's fatal triumph off the south-west...
Read preview Overview
Earthy Delights: Denise Silvester-Carr Follows the Path through Literature, History, Art and Horticulture That Leads to the British Library's Latest Exhibition
SOME OF THE GREAT WRITING IN HISTORY has been about gardens, both real and imaginary. As the Year of Gardening comes to a close, it seems appropriate that the British Library should round it off with 'The Writer in the Garden', a major exhibition that...
Read preview Overview
General History
Names and History: People, Places and Things by George Redmonds (Hambledon & London, 19.95 [pounds sterling]) looks at the history of different types of names (Christian, family, place, animals, field, pub) and how they were obtained. DNA in...
Read preview Overview
Insurrection in Algeria: November 1st, 1954
NATIONALIST resistance to the French had been developing in Algeria for years, but the last serious outbreak had been in 1945, when an inadequately organised rising was quickly suppressed. Now the early hours of November 1st saw purposeful assaults...
Read preview Overview
Maggie's Lucky Strike: David Metz Recalls the Dark Days of the Miners' Strike and Considers How Close the Tory Government Came to Defeat
TWENTY YEARS AGO THIS AUTUMN Britain was halfway through the miners' strike of 1984-85. There were regular skirmishes between police and miners around the picket lines, as well as extensive media coverage of the attempts to achieve a negotiated settlement....
Read preview Overview
Medieval Bridges: David Harrison Considers One of the Greatest but Most Underrated Achievements of the Medieval World: The Hundreds of Bridges That Defined the British Communication System Up to the 19th Century
ONE OF THE GREATEST achievements of Anglo-Saxon and medieval England was the construction and upkeep of an impressive network of bridges and causeways. It was impressive in a number of ways. Firstly, in terms of scale: by the thirteenth century throughout...
Read preview Overview
Nelson, Trafalgar and the Meaning of Victory: Andrew Lambert Explains Why Nelson's Life and Death Should Never Be Forgotten
IN 2005 THE NATION WILL commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, a unique event in British history. On October 21st, 1805, the Royal Navy ended the greatest threat to Britain, and her world position, since the Armada but...
Read preview Overview
Prisoners of Conscience: Juliet Gardiner Looks at What It Meant to Refuse to Fight or Lend Support to the War Effort in the Second World War, the Different Reasons People Asserted This Right, and How Their Actions Were Interpreted in Wartime Britain
ON SEPTEMBER 1ST, 1939, the day German troops marched into Poland, the House of Commons passed the National Services (Armed Forces) Act conscripting all men aged between eighteen and forty-one into the armed forces. However, the Act contained the proviso...
Read preview Overview
Read My Lips: Have Politicians Always Been Seen as Liars? Mark Knights Finds Political Spin at Work in the Early Party Politics of Queen Anne's England
THERE IS A PERVASIVE PERCEPTION, undermining public trust in our political system, that today's politicians lie. Many people feel that we were led to war against Iraq on the basis of a lie. The Hutton enquiry, in part designed to remedy the sense of...
Read preview Overview
School for Scoundrels: Andrew Cook Describes How a Chance Encounter with Houdini Had a Profound Impact on the Methods of Britain's Leading First World War Spymaster
ON NOVEMBER 1ST, 1903, Superintendent William Melville, head of Scotland Yard's Special Branch, mysteriously resigned with immediate effect. No reason was given publicly for his sudden departure. The following day, The Times reported: 'Superintendent...
Read preview Overview
Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries
The Spanish Inquisition by Joseph Perez (Profile Books, 16.99 [pounds sterling]) details the 350 years of terror inflicted by the Spanish Inquisition. Established by Papal Bull in 1478, its first targets were the Jews, then humanists and Lutherans....
Read preview Overview
Taylor Made: Giles Radice, for Many Years Labour MP for Durham and Chronicler of the Politics of His Party, Describes How the Past Became Important to Him
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN fascinated by history. In India, the land of my childhood, the past is almost always present. The capital, Delhi, at which we stayed on our journeys to and from the hills, was littered with history. Lutyens' and Baker's New Delhi...
Read preview Overview
Temple Bar Comes Home: John Lucas Rejoices at the Return of Christopher Wren's Temple Bar to London after More Than 120 Years of 'Exile' in Hertfordshire
FOR 200 YEARS, UNTIL 1878, TEMPLE BAR stood where Fleet Street met the Strand. It was originally built at the behest of Charles II and completed in 1672. The sole survivor of the eight gateways into the City (the first 'bar' on this site was recorded...
Read preview Overview
The Americas
The Olmecs: America's First Civilization, by Richard A. Diehl (Thames & Hudson, 27.50 [pounds sterling]) is the first modern overview from recent archaeological finds and recent studies of Olmec art, to explore this enigmatic culture of southern...
Read preview Overview
The Contending Kingdoms of France and England 1066-1904: Glenn Richardson Looks at Almost Nine Hundred Years of Enmity, Jealousy and Mutual Fascination, a Hundred Years after the Entente Cordiale
Take her fair son, and from her blood raise up Issue to me, that the contending Kingdoms Of France and England, whose very shores look pale With envy of each other's happiness, May cease their hatred; and this dear ...
Read preview Overview
The Early Twentieth Century
Healing the Nation: Soldiers and fire Culture of Caregiving in Britain during the Great War by Jeffrey S. Reznick (Manchester University Press, 40 [pounds sterling]) is a study of care-giving during the Great War, exploring life behind the lines for...
Read preview Overview
The Learning Curve: The 46th North Midland Division on the Western Front: Andrew Syk Investigates Whether One British Army Division Truly Comprised 'Lions Led by Donkeys', or Whether Its Officers Learned the Lessons of Their Early Mistakes
ON A MISTY SUNDAY MORNING in September 1918, the 46th (North Midland) Division achieved its finest feat of the war, an achievement described by the military historian John Terraine as one of the greatest in the whole history of the British Army. It...
Read preview Overview
The Medieval World
Leading Italian scholar Alessandro Barbero's Charlemagne: Father of a Continent (University of California Press, 18.99 [pounds sterling]) is an important but engagingly written study of the man and the world he inhabited. Barbero's detailed research...
Read preview Overview
The Nineteenth Century: Britain and Europe
Among the welter of new titles on Nelson this season, the heavily illustrated, Nelson: A Dream of Glory by John Sugden (Jonathan Cape, 25 [pounds sterling]) charts the period of Nelson's career most neglected by earlier writers: from childhood to his...
Read preview Overview
Theodore Roosevelt Re-Elected President of the United States: November 8th, 1904
SCION OF A WELL-TO-DO family of Dutch descent, highly intelligent, energetic and combative, Teddy Roosevelt had been active in Republican politics in New York since leaving Harvard. In the war with Spain he organised his own Rough Riders volunteer...
Read preview Overview
The Postwar World
Magnum Stories edited by Chris Boot (Phaidon, 45 [pounds sterling]) explores the 'photo story' through sixty-one master-classes by some of the world's greatest photographers, members of the international photographic agency Magnum. Henri Cartier-Bresson,...
Read preview Overview
The Prince Rupert of Toryism
The Prince Rupert of Toryism Richard Vyvyan (18100-79) CATHOLIC EMANCIPATION In early nineteenth century evoked strongly hostile reactions from some: none more so than from Sir Richard Rawlinson Vyvyan, the subject of this month's sketch by Terry...
Read preview Overview
The Second World War
Robert Capa (1913-1954), one of the greatest photographers of the twentieth century, had the mind of a committed journalist and the eye of an artist. His lifework, consisting of more than 70,000 negative frames, constitutes an unparalleled documentation...
Read preview Overview
They Were the Reason Why: Hugh Small Challenges the Accepted View of Why the Light Brigade Charged the Russian Guns at Balaclava on October 25th, 1854
'THEIRS NOT TO REASON WHY' was Tennyson's verdict on more than 600 ordinary cavalrymen who obeyed the order to charge over a mile through murderous cannon fire. He hailed their blind obedience as a virtue, and the world has accepted his opinion that...
Read preview Overview
Truth Is No Stranger to Fiction: Historical Novelist Linda Proud Explains Why She Thinks Fiction Can Be as Truthful as 'Fact'
IT SEEMS A SIMPLE ENOUGH DISTINCTION: historians deal in fact and novelists deal in fiction, one in truth, the other in lies. One poet in her late eighties told me that she was too old to read fiction: 'At this age I have to be concerned about my soul.'...
Read preview Overview
Women's History Today: June Purvis Looks Back at Thirty Years of Women's History in Britain
THE JUNE 1985 iSSUE OF HISTORY TODAY included a fascinating section on 'What is women's history?'. Eight contributors answered that question, often with reference to their own research in specific fields. Now, nearly twenty years later, it is appropriate...
Read preview Overview
WWW.Oldbaileyonline.Org
THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE OLD BAILEY website, originally launched in March I 2003, was set up to make a fully-searchable, digitised collection of all the surviving editions of the Old Bailey Proceedings available on the internet free of charge. The project,...
Read preview Overview