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. 7, July

Alan Turing: Codebreaker and Computer Pioneer: B.J. Copeland and Diane Proudfoot Recall the Contribution to the War Effort in 1939-45 of the British Computer Scientist, Whose Death Fifty Years Ago Has Recently Been Commemorated
IN 1936, MATHEMATICIAN ALAN TURING dreamed up the principle of the modern computer--the idea of controlling its operations by means of a program of coded instructions stored in memory. Yet his idea was not turned into a reality for more than ten years--during...
Alexander's Final Resting Place: Andrew Chugg Pinpoints the Emperor's Long-Lost Tomb
The 120-foot Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was ostensibly a representation of the sun god Helios. It is now believed to have been modelled on the features of Alexander the Great, whose conquests had irrevocably...
Alexander the Great: Hunting for a New Past? Paul Cartledge Goes in Search of the Elusive Personality of the World's Greatest Hero
ONCE UPON A TIME, in the public square of the ancient city of Corinth, Alexander--already king of the Macedonians, but not yet 'the Great'--encountered the notoriously unconventional Diogenes the Cynic. Before he could engage the sage in any sort of...
Catastrophe at Smyrna: Matthew Stewart Traces the Roots of the Greco-Turkish War of 1921-22, and the Consequent Refugee Crisis, to the Postwar Settlements of 1919-20
ON SEPTEMBER 15TH 1922, the fires of a raging holocaust began finally to burn themselves out. Smyrna (present-day Izmir), the gem-city of the Turkish Aegean, had gone up in flames. Over breakfast that day readers of the London Morning Post were informed...
Coming to Terms with the Past: Northern Ireland: Richard English Argues That Historians Have a Practical and Constructive Role to Play in Today's Ulster
WHAT ROLE SHOULD HISTORIANS PERFORM in relation to the Northern Ireland Troubles? Do--indeed can--the writing and teaching of history contribute to our coming to terms with Ulster's traumatic past? It has been a deeply and persistently troubled...
Lessons from History: Alan Ereira, Producer of Many Broadcast Historical Documentaries and Presenter of a New Series on the Kings and Queens of England for UKTV History, Explains Why History Is Important, despite All Doubts
ACCORDING TO HEGEL, history teaches that history teaches us nothing. Which means we learn nothing from experience. It certainly didn't teach me very much. In the 1950s I saw television crews at my school or the railway marshalling yard facing...
Macbeth Defeated at Dunsinane: July 27th, 1054
KINGS OF SCOTS had a short life expectancy. Macbeth lived to about fifty, which was longer than many, but how much he had in common with the central character of Shakespeare's tragedy is uncertain. The evidence is sparse and confused, and attempts...
Mary Queen of Scots and the French Connection: Alexander Wilkinson Considers What the French Made of the Controversial Royal Who Played a Pivotal Role in the French Wars of Religion, Both as Queen of Scots and Queen of France
MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, was a very French figure. In 1548, at the age of just five, she left Scotland for France. It was there that she was to spend her formative years. A decade later, she married the heir to the French throne, the Dauphin Francois....
Simon Schama: Daniel Snowman Meets the Celebrated Telly-Don and Historian of 17th-Century Holland, 18th-Century France and America, All of British History and Much Else Besides
I HAVE JUST READ, or re-read, some 6,000 pages of history. Not all of Simon Schama's published oeuvre; but most of most of him books. Not that there are that many of them. But several are journeyings across vast cultural landscapes, Grand Tours of...
The Fitzwilliam Museum Re-Opens Its Doors; Museum Director Duncan Robinson Reintroduces the Famous Cambridge Museum That Has Undergone Some Major Developments in Recent Months
IN JULY, THE FITZWILLIAM MUSEUM re-opens after a long campaign of building and renovation. At the heart of the project lies the Courtyard Development, a new four-storey block inserted into wasted space, a residue from successive, twentieth-century...
The Great Train Crash of 1868: Robert Hume Investigates the First of the Major Railway Disasters in Britain, Which Took the Lives of over Thirty People in a Collision in North Wales
MAY MARKED THE SECOND anniversary of the train crash at Potters Bar in Hertfordshire, in which seven people died and over seventy were injured. Sadly, we have come to expect a serious accident on our railways almost every year: Selby (2001), Hatfield...
The Republican Party Founded: July 6th, 1854
THE PARTY WAS born of hostility to slavery. Back in 1820, the US Congress had agreed the Missouri Compromise, under which Missouri entered the Union as a slave state, but slavery was forbidden anywhere else in the Louisiana Purchase north of 36[degrees]...
The Trans-Siberian Railway Completed: July 21st, 1904
THE WORLD'S LONGEST single railway journey, 5,772 miles (9289 km) from Moscow to Vladivostok by way of Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, Omsk, Novosibirsk and Irktusk, nowadays takes about a week. The Trans-Siberian was the most spectacular achievement...
The Winchester Marriage, 1554: Michael Leech Visits the City That Is Celebrating the Anniversary of the Marriage of Mary Tudor and the Future Philip II of Spain, 450 Years Ago This Month
WINCHESTER MAY SEEM A PROSPEROUS, sedate city, but it's going wild about Spain in 2004. Many events are planned throughout the summer to mark the marriage of Mary Tudor and Philip of Spain, on July 25th, 450 years ago. In 1554, the new queen, daughter...
Wace without Prejudice: Valentine Fallan Offers a New Look at a Once-Derided Source for the Norman Conquest
THE FIRST TRANSLATION of the complete Roman de Rou, probably written in the 1160s by the Norman poet Wace (born around 1100, died after 1174), has just been published as The History of the Norman People. This panoramic narrative poem is known mainly...
Wealth and Poverty: David Bates Introduces the Summer's Major Historical Conference
THIS YEAR'S ANGLO-AMERICAN CONFERENCE at the Institute of Historical Research, London, on July 7th-9th, is devoted to the theme of 'Wealth and Poverty'. Over eighty papers address the multitude of problems which economic inequality has posed for human...
William Gulston, Bishop of Bristol, 1679-84
The Bishops sat in the House of Lords as (for the most part) reliable servants of the Crown. But they could also be called on to act as agents of government control in their dioceses. At times of high political tension--such as the anti-Catholic hysteria...
William Hodges, Art and Empire: Geoff Quilley Shows How the Work of Hodges, Official Artist on Cook's Second Voyage and Subject of a Major Exhibition Opening This Month at the National Maritime Museum, Sheds Light on Perceptions of the British Empire
THERE HAS BEEN MUCH debate in past twelve months about significance of the history of the British Empire and its place (or lack of it) in the teaching curricula of our schools and universities. Argument has centred largely on the morality of empire...