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.
WELCOME OCTOBER 2023
THREE THINGS I'VE LEARNED THIS MONTH
THIS ISSUE'S CONTRIBUTORS
ANNIVERSARIES • HELEN CARR highlights events that took place in October in history
Have nations always used sport to launder their reputations? • As countries with questionable human rights records buy overseas teams and vie to host global tournaments, MATT MCDOWELL speaks to Matt Elton about the rise of ‘sportswashing' – and whether sport and power have always gone hand in hand
“My historical research shows that much higher levels of inclusion are possible for people labelled disabled” • A new study by historian LUCY DELAP suggests we need to rethink the experiences of people with learning disabilities in the 20th century. Here she explains how many thrived in work and wider society
HISTORY NEWS IN BRIEF
MICHAEL WOOD ON… • SLAVERY'S ONGOING LEGACY
HIDDEN HISTORIES • KAVITA PURI explores lesser-known stories from our past
BBC History Magazine
Templars on trial • From 1307, members of the Knights Templar were beaten, brutalised and put to death on charges of heresy, Satanism and mass murder. But, asks Steve Tibble, were this elite band of holy warriors fitted up for crimes they didn't commit?
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR
How life returned to the streets of Pompeii • With a new BBC TV series about Pompeii in the offing, Sophie Hay looks back 100 years to a dig that transformed our understanding of daily life on the city's streets
MY HUNT FOR JOSEF MENGELE • In 1949 the notorious Nazi doctor fled to South America. Three decades later, Gerald Posner (left) set out to track him down. Here the former lawyer tells us about his mission to catch the ‘Angel of Death’
HATE MAIL • The 19th and early 20th centuries saw an explosion of malicious letters penned by anonymous authors. As Emily Cockayne reveals via six cases, these messages often reflected the fears and prejudices that stalked Britain
1 A slur on ‘spunging sisters’ • In 1829, a Georgian gossip cast aspersions on a former artillery officer and his middle-aged siblings
2 Beware being buried alive!
3 Secret prejudice
4 Breaking the bank • When a typewritten letter warned of imminent bank collapse, account holders were consumed by a mass panic
5 Loathe thy neighbour • Several women were convicted of sending obscene letters to neighbours – who actually penned the decoy notes themselves
6 Victims of foul play • Footballers were among the celebrities who received anonymous hate mail from over-passionate fans in the 1930s
Golden boy • Over the past 200 years, Dick Whittington has become one of Britain's best-loved pantomime heroes. Yet, as Michael McCarthy tells Jon Bauckham, the real-life story that inspired Dick's rags to riches tale is even more remarkable than the fiction
PANTOMIME HERO • How a medieval merchant morphed into an icon of the stage – and where his legendary cat comes in
Q&A • A selection of historical conundrums answered by experts
WHEN PIRATES RULED ASIA'S WAVES • Pirates didn't only spread chaos in Caribbean and Atlantic waters. Adam Clulow...