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. 2, February

Brush Up Your History! Start Quoting It Now! Mark Cohen and John Major Describe How They Approached the Task of Producing a Ground-Breaking Volume of Historical Quotations
THE FIRST QUESTION facing any compiler of historical quotations is, of course, What is, and what is not, an historical quotation? Our rough definition has been 'a quotation related directly to historical personalities, events, ideas and issues'. Thus...
Coming to Terms with the Past: Israel; David Cesarani Examines the Effects of a Long History on a New Nation State
HISTORY WEIGHS MORE heavily on Israel and plays a greater role in public life than is probably the case for any other country. The modern State of Israel was founded in a self-conscious act of continuity with the Jewish states of antiquity and was...
Ford Grey, 3rd Baron Grey of Warke and Earl of Tankerville
In the turbulent world of Restoration politics, Ford Grey, 3rd Baron Grey of Warke, and later Earl of Tankeville (1655-1701), was one of the most notorious and able politicians. His career from 1677 to 1701, the subject of this month's History of Parliament...
History of an Illusion: Historian and Magician Peter Lamont Considers What Can Be Learned by Studying the History of a Famous Conjuring Trick-Or Con Trick?
UNTIL A FEW YEARS AGO, historians of conjuring were agreed upon the history of what was often called the world's greatest conjuring trick--the Indian rope trick. This is the legendary feat in which a rope rises into the air without any means of support,...
History with the Boring Bits Put Back: Terry Jones, Former Python, Describes How a Perverse Fascination with the Boring Bits of Chaucer Converted Him from Being a Clown into a Historian of the 14th Century
EVERY CHILD IS naturally interested in history. You want to know what went on before you; it's the way you know who you are and where you stand on the planet. Unfortunately, though, it can so easily get wiped out of you. As a child I used to have little...
Iraq: Lessons from Northern Ireland: Peter R. Neurmann Shows the Relevance of 'The Troubles' to Allied Policy in Iraq
THE, AMERICAN-LED occupation of Iraq is now in its tenth mouth, and despite the capture of Saddam Hussein, things are not going according to plan. The Americans have lost almost 200 troops by hostile fire since President Bush declared major hostilities...
Japan's Attack on Port Arthur: February 8th and 9th, 1904
ANTICIPATING THE EVENTS of thirty-six years later, the Japanese launched a sodden, surprise attack on the Russian naval base of Port Arthur on the coast of Manchuria without the formality of declaring war. At dead of night Japanese destroyers found...
Murder Most Foul: Robert Garland Asks What Murder Meant to the Apparently Bloodthirsty Greeks and Romans
WHAT DID MURDER MEAN in the ancient world? Did it exist? How was it defined? We have no statistical evidence of its incidence within ally population. There is little information about motives or even about methods. We never hear of serial killers,...
Roman Holiday: Theodosius and His Spanish Villa; Danny Wood Visits Carranque Archaeological Park, near Madrid. Recently Opened to the Public
THE HOLIDAY PLAYGROUND for the family of Theodosius the Great, Roman emperor An 379-95, lies just twenty miles outside Madrid. In 1983 the discovery by a farmer of a mosaic led to the uncovering of one of the most important Roman archaeological sites...
Theatres Fit for Prints: Charlotte Crow Lifts the Curtain on 'Juvenile Drama'-A 19th-Century Phenomenon, Subject of a New Exhibition on Regency Toy Theatre at Sir John Soane's Museum in London
IN 1811 WILLIAM WEST (1783-1854), a London haberdasher, had the idea of publishing theatrical portraits to sell to children from his shop in Wych Street off the Strand. He soon discovered that these souvenirs were being cut out and used in miniature...
The Dead beneath Our Feet: Nicholas Orme Considers How the Crowded Cities of Medieval England Dealt with the Death and Burial of Their Citizens
IMAGINE A SUMMER'S day outside a cathedral. Let us say in Exeter in Devon, but we could as well be at Salisbury, Wells, or many other great churches. Around the building is a wide green lawn, shaded by trees, where people are picnicking, talking, embracing,...
The Death of Joseph Priestley: February 6th, 1804
PRESIDENT THOMAS Jefferson of the United rates wrote to Joseph Priestley, clergyman and chemist, when the latter was seriously ill in 1801, 'Yours is one of the few lives precious to mankind, for the continuance of which every thinking man is solicitous.'...
The Death of Roger II of Sicily: February 26th, 1154
THE NEPHEW OF Robert Guiscard and son of Count Roger I of Sicily, Roger II succeeded to Sicily at the age of nine in 1105 and took personal control in 1112, when he was sixteen. Subduing all opposition, he ruled it until his death in Palermo at the...
The Last Warlord: Rana Mitter Recalls the Career of a Man Who Once Ruled an Area Larger Than France and Germany, but Who Spent Forty Years in Chiang Kai-Shek's Gaols
IN 2001, NOTICES ill the broadsheets announced the death, on October 14th, of 'the last warlord of Manchuria'. A romantic image, perhaps bringing to mind a sturdy character on horseback riding through snow-entrusted mountain passes at the head of a...
With the Crofters to Canada: Archaeologist Keith Branigan Uncovers Clues Revealing the Patterns of Emigration from the Isle of Barra to British North America, from 1770 to 1850
The HIGHLAND Clearances of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are one of the most notorious and well-documented episodes in Scottish history. Thousands of crofters and their families in the Highlands and Islands were forcibly removed from their...
Writing World History: C.A. Bayly Looks at the Opportunities Presented to the Historian in 21st Century When Trying to Write the History of the World
DURING THE LATE TWENTIENTH century a dominant aim of the historical profession was to write deeper and more nuanced social histories This was done through studies of localities and institutions and by revealing the experience of people 'without history'...