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. 60, No. 12, December

A Jubilee Street Party: As Coronation Street Celebrates Half a Century in the Nation's Living Rooms, Andrew Roberts Looks at Why an Intensely Parochial Television Series That Has Wilfully Refused to Acknowledge Change Is Still Going Strong
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In September 2010 Coronation Street became the world's longest-running television soap opera. It celebrates its 50th birthday on December 9th. If a television drama is a mirror, then Coronation Street is one that reflects...
A Very British Crime Wave: Detective Stories Captured the Imaginations of the British Middle Classes in the 20th Century. William D. Rubinstein Looks at the Rise of Home-Grown Writers Such as Agatha Christie, How They Mirrored Society and Why Changes in Social Mores Eventually Murdered Their Sales
Between around 1910 and 1950 England was in the grip of a genteel crime wave; a seemingly endless output of murder mysteries, generally set among the upper and upper middle classes and usually solved by a brilliant amateur detective rather than by...
Barriers to the Truth: The Historian's Desire for Certainty Is Hard to Square with the Fragility of Sources and Their Constant Reworking by the Profession. Casting a Cold Eye on the Remaining Evidence Relating to the Deaths of Edward II and Richard II, Ian Mortimer Plots a Way Forward for His Discipline
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Dealing with historical evidence is a complicated business. Surviving artefacts, monuments and texts are the historian's principal means of discovering the past. Yet often they are partial, incomplete, flawed, fraudulent,...
Britain's First World Wars
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Wellington's victories over the forces of Napoleon were critical to Britain's ascendancy to superpower status. Peter Snow wonders why such a thrilling period of history is too often neglected. 'Why do we call it World War...
Dr Trelawney's Cabinet of Historical Curiosities ... as Unlocked by Justin Pollard
THIS MONTH'S SUBJECT: BETHLEHEM William Wey (1405/6-76) bequeathed his collection of relics to the chapel of the House of Bonshommes at Edington, Wiltshire, where they were to be placed in replicas of the buildings he had originally obtained them...
Family Fortunes: Has the British Family Undergone an Unparalleled Breakdown since the 1960s, as Is Often Claimed? Pat Thane Argues That There Never Was a Golden Age of Domestic Bliss
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] There is a widespread belief, especially in some political and media circles, that since the 1960s there has been a breakdown of family life in Britain on a scale without historical precedent. Such a claim may result, among...
Favourite Historical Experiences of 2010
Since the Christmas season is traditionally a time of reflection and relaxation, it has become customary for newspapers and magazines to ask some of their regular contributors to choose the book they have most enjoyed reading in the previous year....
From the Editor
Downton Abbey has brought a much-needed touch of class to ITV's schedules. An impeccably crafted and acted upmarket soap opera, it appears to have touched a public nerve in its depiction of a well-mannered, rural England, civilised by the certainties...
Milton's Angels: Though Protestants Sought to Distance Themselves from Roman Catholics on the Subject, Angels Played a Key Role in Protestant Culture as a Means by Which to Understand Humans and Their Place in the Universe
How many angels can dance on a pinhead? Even today the question is immediately recognisable--it is emblematic of the unworldliness of medieval discussions of angels and of the foolishness of scholastic theology. It was, however, a Protestant slur on...
Months Past: The First Act of the American Civil War; the End of the Farthing; and a Baron's Violent Death. Richard Cavendish Looks at December's Anniversaries
December 20th, 1860 South Carolina secedes from the Union The American Civil War was fought to preserve the Union.There had long been tensions between the rights of the states under the constitution and those of the federal government, so much...
Plato's American Republic: 'Complex Marriage', 'Male Continence' and the Selection of the Perfect Partner Were All Themes Propounded by a 19th-Century Cult in New York State. Clive Foss Explores the Influence of Plato's Republic on John Humphrey Noyes and His Perfectionist Movement
In recent years, a debate has been raging in the United States over the definition of marriage. For traditionalists it is an arrangement made between one man and one woman. Their opponents advocate a broader view encompassing same-sex couples. Even...
Restoring the Social Fabric: Paul Lay Is Moved by an Exhibition of Tokens Left by the Mothers of Children Abandoned during the Mid-18th Century
Though barely five minutes' walk from the British Museum and the delights of Bloomsbury, the Foundling Museum remains one of London's neglected treasures. It stands on the site of the Foundling Hospital, London's first home for abandoned children,...
Round & About
Northern Spirit: 300 Years of Art from the North East Laing Art Gallery New Bridge Street Newcastle upon Tyne NEI 8AG Telephone: 0191 232 7734 www.twmuseums.org.uk/laing The Laing's newly opened permanent exhibition showcases a tri-century...
The Dignity of Decent Men: Geoff Coyle Revisits an Article by Chris Wrigley, First Published in History Today in 1984, Examining the Mining Dispute of 1926, Which Developed into Britain's First and, to Date, Only General Strike
Chris Wrigley wrote his article on the mining dispute of 1926 against the backdrop of the bitter miners' strike of 1984, which saw the end of large-scale mining in Britain. Workers in the mining industry were always acutely aware of their history,...
The Historical Imagination: In His Occasional Round Up of Recent Historical Fiction Jerome De Groot Considers a Wide Range of Books Demonstrating the Range and Vitality of the Genre. Fiction about the Past, It Seems, Has an Amazing Capacity to Explore and Investigate the Diversity of History
Lynn Shepherd's Murder at Mansfield Park (Beautiful Books, 7.99 [pounds sterling]) demonstrates the astonishing fecundity of Jane Austen's work and the ways in which it is continually being transformed, continued and evolved. After the zombies, the...
The Man Who Remade Alexandria: Once the Classical World's Dominant Port, by the Early 19th Century the City Founded by Alexander the Great Was Seemingly in Terminal Decline. but the Energy and Vision of the Ottoman Governor Muhammad Ali Restored Its Fortunes and, Ultimately, Set Egypt on the Path to Independence
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] In 1806, with a population of just 6,000, the Egyptian port of Alexandria appeared to the French writer and politician Chateaubriand to be 'the saddest and most deserted place in the world'. By 1849 it had become a cosmopolis...
Throwing Open the Shutters: What Can the Historian Learn from Writing Fiction? Lisa Hilton, Whose First Novel Is Set in South-West France, Discovered Revelations about the Area as Well as Her Approach to Interpreting the Past
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] My novel, The House with Blue Shutters, is set in a fictional department of France, based on the Tarn-et-Garonne, where I have lived, on and off, for the past 12 years. It is one of the most rural and least fashionable parts...
Video Game: Great Battles Medieval
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] VIDEO GAME Great Battles Medieval Slitherine Software Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC 39.99 [pounds sterling] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] 'It is not gold, as is vulgarly supposed, that is the sinews of war, but good soldiers,'...