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. 1, January

Amazons among the Coal Tubs
'HER FACE BESMEARED WITH COAL-DUST As black as black can be, She is a pit brow lassie, But she's all the world to me.' THOSE LINES, FROM A POEM published over a century ago, were written in celebration of one of the hundreds of powerful, resilient,...
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Ayodhya: Digging Up India's Holy Places
NEVER BEFORE IN INDIAN HISTORY has a team of archaeologists been under such close scrutiny, or handled such a sensitive assignment, on whose conclusion rests not only the historical documentation of a nation, but also the scripting of its future. ...
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Coming to Terms with the Past: Argentina's Coup: Social Myth, Memory and History
Federico Guillermo Lorenz shows that those who control the present are sometimes able to control interpretations of the past. WHAT NARRATIVES HAVE SHAPED the history of the military coup in Argentina of March 24th, 1976? Which social actors bare...
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Constantin the Great
DESCRIBED BY ONE CRITIC in 1937 as 'the greatest modern sculptor living', the Romanian sculptor Constatin Brancusi changed the face of sculpture in the first half of the twentieth century with his pure abstract forms and refined models carved directly...
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Fairy Tales Old Wives and Printing Presses: Ruth Bottigheimer Argues That the Survival of Our Best-Loved Fairy Tales Owes More to Popular Print Tradition Than to Fireside Story-Telling Passed Down through the Generations
TALKING ANIMALS, magic numbers, supernatural creatures, and fabulous transformations have drawn children and adults into fantastical narratives for millennia. From the late Middle Ages onwards, one plot in particular dominated these tales in Europe....
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Lord Cromer and Gertrude Bell: Roger Owen Considers Bell's Impact on the Much Maligned Consul-General of Egypt
On New Year's Eve 1906 Gertrude Bell went to dinner with the first Lord Cromer (1841-1917) at his Nile-side British residence in Cairo. It was an obligatory port of call for all those aspiring to what Benjamin Disraeli once called 'a career in the...
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Opening of the Sudanese Parliament January 1st, 1954
THE FIRST-EVER parliament of the Sudan was opened in Khartoum by the British governor-general, Sir Robert Howe, who praised the way in which a population unused to democracy had coped with the elections for the House of Representatives and the Senate....
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Opening the Hermit Kingdom: Wilson Strand Looks at the Many Attempts to to Open Korea to Western Trade in the 19th Century
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE nineteenth century Korea, the Hermit Kingdom, was isolated from the rest of the world and unknown. Today the same title is sometimes used to refer to North Korea, similarly reclusive. The Choson or Yi dynasty, based at its capital...
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Prising Open the Casket
I KNEW AT SIXTEEN that I wanted to be a historian. I'd read the vigorous, exhilarating, at times excoriating debates between Geoffrey Elton and his critics about the Tudor revolution in government. I never looked back. Elton knew his archival sources...
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Prize Historians
THE END OF THE YEAR marks the announcement of several major prizes for history. The largest of these went to veteran Eric Hobsbawm, who in November was awarded the Balzan prize for his work on European history since 1900. The prize money is worth...
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Queen of the Sands
IN APRIL 2003, REPORTS concerning the looting of Baghdad Museum reached the West and provoked outrage from academics and laymen alike. While the argument still rages over whether the looting was in fact as widespread or as malicious as first reported,...
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Richard J. Evans
RICHARD EVANS MAY be Professor of Modern History at Cambridge but that doesn't stop him receiving periodic bouts of hate mail and Internet opprobrium. It's flattering in a way, for Evans has emerged as one of the most prominent knights in the field...
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Sir Allen Apsley and Sir Allen Brodrick
The period after the Restoration of 1660 offered many opportunities for royalists well-connected enough to seize them. This month's Commons Sense deals with the intertwined careers of two men, whose family alliances and associations in the Civil War...
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The Hampton Court Conference January 14th, 1604
THE ENGLISH PURITANS in 1603 had high hopes that the new Scottish king, James I, would push the Church of England nearer to Calvinism. As he rode south to London, James was presented with the Millenary Petition, signed by a thousand of 'the godly',...
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The Hidden Photographs of U-564
FIFTY-FIVE YEARS AFTER THE END of the Second World War in Europe a unique time capsule from that turbulent period was unearthed in Yorkshire. Three hundred and sixty-one photographs showing a single war patrol of U-564 were discovered among the possessions...
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The Treaty of Lyons January 31st, 1504
THE POLITICAL kaleidoscope of Italy in 1500 involved shifting combinations of alliance and hostility among the city states of Venice, Milan and Florence, the Papal States under the Borgia pope, Alexander VI, and his son Cesare, and the kingdom of Naples...
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The Unknown Safe Haven: Frank Shapiro Investigates the Options Open to Jews Who Wanted to Leave Nazi Germany Prior to the Outbreak of the Second World War, and Considers Why One Possible Route to Safety Was Abandoned
BEFORE THE OUTBREAK of the Second World War, Nazi policy against the Jews included disenfranchisement of their civil rights and enforced emigration (judenrein). From Hitler's installation in power in January 1933 and up to November 9th, 1938, the expulsion...
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Thomas Jefferson and the Environment
OVER TWO CENTURIES SINCE his presidency, most Americans still feel that Thomas Jefferson deserves not just his memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C., but to have his face carved gigantically into the face of Mount Rushmore. Every year, tourists...
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To Remain Indestructible in a Perishable World
AT THE MARK TWAIN HOUSE & MUSEUM the public can experience a taste of the author's life in the house where he lived from 1874 for nearly twenty years. During this time, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, wrote eight major works,...
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