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. 57, No. 4, April

Affairs of State: For Her Latest Book, Historical Biographer Sarah Gristwood Has Turned to the Story of Elizabeth I and Leicester. Here She Discusses Some of the Risks and Pleasures of Writing about Such a Well-Known Relationship, a Process That She Found Unexpectedly Fascinating
THERE IS A SHAMING SENSE of proprietorship that sneaks over the writer of a historical biography--or of most historical biographies, anyway--a sense, however unrealistic, that no one has ever approached the subject before. It doesn't work that way,...
April's Anniversaries: The Return of the King ... the Departure of the Emperor ... Bourbons Take the Biscuit ... Richard Cavendish Looks at April's Anniversaries
A Foiled Coup in Jordan April 13th, 1957 THE HASHEMITE KINGDOM OF JORDAN was the successor to Transjordan, an artificial Arab territory consisting almost entirely of desert east of the River Jordan, which was created out of the old Turkish Empire...
A Turbulent Reputation: Michael Staunton Considers How Thomas Becket, a Controversial Figure Even in His Own Lifetime and Ever since, Was Described by His Earliest Biographers
IN 2001 THOMAS BECKET (1120?-70) was named by the Daily Mail as one of history's 100 'Great Britons'. Four years later he came runner-up to Jack the Ripper in a BBC History magazine poll of 'Worst Britons'. Such a disparity of opinion is nothing new....
First Folio for the First Time since 1623: The Shakespeare First Folio Is One of the Iconic Books in the Cultural Tradition of the West. Jonathan Bate Explains Why He Is the First Scholar for Centuries to Produce a Proper Edition of Its Text
SHAKESPEARE'S INSIGHTS into the dynamics of power are such that his plays will always strike a resonance with the times. With each new turn of history, a new dimension of his work opens up before us. When George III went mad, King Lear was kept off...
I'm a Historian, Get Me into There!
WHERE WOULD YOU PUT your vote for Britain's best historic site for a day out? Somewhere famous and universally celebrated, like Hampton Court or Hadrian's Wall? Or perhaps you'd choose a smaller, less visited place, somewhere only you know about, a...
Ireland at the Somme: John Horne Asks Why the Heroic Efforts of the Two Irish Divisions, the 16th (Irish) and the 36th (Ulster), in the Bloody Events on the Western Front in 1916, Have Been Viewed So Differently Both at the Time and Since
THE SOMME BATTLEFIELD CARRIES a range of monuments that form a mosaic of commemoration, where men from around the globe converged in 1916 to fight in one of the greatest battles of the First World War. But unlike many others, the monuments to the Irishman...
Learning in the Classroom: Richard Willis Believes the Government Should Pay Attention to the History of Teacher-Training in Its Plans for School-Based Training Schemes for Graduates
THERE IS NOW, AS THERE WAS ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, more than one method of becoming a teacher. The most common way for graduates is still to study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree, but another...
Liverpool World City: On the City's 800th Anniversary in 2007, and the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade, John Belchem Examines Liverpool's Cosmopolitan Profile and Cultural Pretensions
Unlike the dwellers in most English towns, all of us in Liverpool are, to a great extent, citizens of the world, for everything around us tells us of far-off countries and foreign ways, and in our midst are constantly natives of so many distant lands...
Pact with the Devil? One of the Great Conspiracy Theories of the Second World War Is That the Americans Struck a Deal with Mafia Mobsters to Conquer Sicily. Tim Newark Exposes the Truth Behind This Notorious Story of Mafia Collaboration
DESPITE MUSSOLINI'S SUCCESSFUL crusade against the Mafia in the 1920s, it survived in Sicily and twenty years later Sicilian gangsters commanded tremendous influence in Europe and America. After Pearl HarbOr and Germany and Italy's declaration of war...
Shock and Oar: Mary Rose an the Fear French Galleys: This Year Marks the 25th Anniversary of the Recovery of Henry VIII's Flagship Mary Rose from the Seabed of the Solent. David Childs Examines How Her Long Career Was Influenced by the Threat of French Naval Galleys and How These May Have Contributed to Her Loss
SINCE BECOMING KING Hery VIII (r. 1509-47) had wanted to lock horns with France as a means of asserting his monarchical qualities against the traditional enemy. War was declared in 1512 and by March 1513 he had experienced the realities of conflict...
The Man in a Diving Suit Who Does Not Dive: The Victoria and Albert Museum's Exhibition, 'Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design', Opens on March 29th. Becky Conekin Looks Forward to It
IN 1937 VOGUE ATTEMPTED TO EXPLAIN to its readers what Surrealism was. It told them that the man pictured was 'Mr Salvador Dali', sporting his signature moustache, a fencing mask and an epee. It clarified, though, that this man was not a fencer, but...
The Mother of Pictorial Satire: Although Most Well-Known Cartoonists Have Been Men, One of the Most Influential Early Figures in the Field Was a Woman, Mary Darly. Cartoon Historian Mark Bryant Looks at Her Influence as an Artist, Publisher and Educator
THOUGH OFTEN OVERLOOKED in histories of the subject, women have played a significant part in the development of cartoons and caricature in Britain from its beginnings in the days of Hogarth almost 300 years ago right up to the present. Perhaps the...
The Rise and Rise of Family History: Jules Hudson and Nick Barratt Examine Why Family History Has Become the Flavour of the Month, as the 'Who Do You Think You Are? Live' Event at Olympia on May 5th-7th Will Make Evident
'EVERYONE'S GOTTA BE SOMEWHERE,' said the Coal Man, arias Peter Sellers, when asked what he was doing in a cellar during a memorable Goon Show. His answer was funny but also incisive, for as well as being somewhere we all have to be someone too. If...
The Unknown Soldiers: Tobias Grey Introduces a Film about the North African Soldiers in the Second World War Which Has Taken France by Storm, and Is Opening in Britain on March 30th
FOR THE FILM DIRECTOR RACHID BOUCHAREB, whose grandfather fought on the side of the Allies in the Second World War, making Indigenes (literally: natives) was never going to be easy. French-born, though of Algerian descent, Bouchareb had set his heart...
Toronto: Patricia Cleveland-Peck Visits a Canadian City That Looks to the Future Yet Has an Intriguing Past
TORONTO IS A YOUTHFUL CITY by European standards but the wilderness on which it stands was populated by hunters well over 10,000 years ago. At this time the area was in the grip of an ice age and when this Finished leaving a huge lake, ancestors of...
Trading Places: Richard Hodges Says the Rubbish Tips of Anglo-Saxon London and Southampton Contain Intriguing Evidence of England's First Businessmen
PROFESSOR MIDDLETON, the principal character of Angus Wilson's novel Anglo-Saxon Attitudes (1956), disarmingly states: 'I know nothing whatsoever about Dark Age Trade, or at any rate no more than befits a gentleman.' Half a century ago, the economy...
What Is History For?
CAN YOU LEARN TO BECOME A GOOD CITIZEN--or even a loyal subject of the Queen--through the study of history? Can you teach someone what it means to be British through the study of history? If so, how? Eric Hobsbawm once argued that governments the...