BBC History Magazine

magazine Dec 01 2020 · BBC History Magazine

cover image of BBC History Magazine

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BBC History Magazine aims to shed new light on the past to help you make more sense of the world today. Fascinating stories from contributors are the leading experts in their fields, so whether they're exploring Ancient Egypt, Tudor England or the Second World War, you'll be reading the latest, most thought-provoking historical research. BBC History Magazine brings history to life with informative, lively and entertaining features written by the world's leading historians and journalists and is a captivating read for anyone who's interested in the past.





TALKING POINTS Write here, write now • The events of 2020 will be a rich subject for future historians – but, Twitter wondered, how did scholars make sense of the upheavals of their own eras? ANNA WHITELOCK followed the discussion

Clive Emsley (1944–2020)

HISTORY IN THE NEWS • A selection of the stories hitting the history headlines


ANNIVERSARIES • DOMINIC SANDBROOK highlights events that took place in December in history

WHY WE SHOULD REMEMBER… • When Coronation Street held up a mirror to working-class Britain

HIDDEN HISTORIES • DAVID OLUSOGA explores lesser-known stories from our past



HITLER AND STALIN’S UTOPIAN DREAMS • Laurence Rees argues that, despite their many differences, the leaders of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were united by a common passion: to create their own warped version of a paradise on Earth

The voices of CHINA • Michael Wood, who’s written a new history of China, taps into a civilisation’s extraordinary past through the writings of five of its people – from the historian facing terrible persecution 2,000 years ago to the righteous anger of a 20th-century feminist

“This was the most disastrous moment in British maritime history” • On the 900th anniversary of the White Ship disaster, Charles Spencer, author of a new book on the tragedy, and medieval historian Dan Jones discuss how it rocked the English monarchy

The colonial secrets of Britain’s stately homes • They’re the very epitome of the English rural idyll. Yet behind the majestic architecture lies a history with powerful ties to imperialism – and the slave trade. Corinne Fowler, founder of the Colonial Countryside research project, considers the controversy swirling around country houses’ pasts

IMPERIAL HISTORIES • Three stately homes with colonial connections

Inside the Viking MIND • Beyond the stereotype of the rampaging, blood-spattered raiders lay a sophisticated culture with highly developed ideas on identity, the supernatural and what it meant to be alive. Neil Price explores the Vikings’ view of the world from five perspectives

Q&A • A selection of historical conundrums answered by experts


“Dearest love”, “splendid animal” or “Jezebel”? • Being a queen of England in the 12th and 13th centuries was a tough assignment, requiring consorts to be fertile, modest, just and faithful (when their husbands were often anything but). Alison Weir considers how five queens measured up to expectations

The best of times ... ...the worst of times • Never was the chasm between rich and poor more stark than in the Regency era. Ian Mortimer chronicles a period in which the wealthiest gorged themselves on the fruits of Britain’s industrial might, while the working classes endured lives that were often nasty, brutish and short

“We simply don’t have any hope of stopping war unless we understand more about it” • MARGARET MACMILLAN talks to Ellie Cawthorne about her new book on war’s mutating yet intrinsic role in human history – and why...

BBC History Magazine