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.
THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS
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THIS MONTH IN HISTORY
A history of violence • Events in Afghanistan have dominated the news in recent weeks, with Twitter users debating their historical context and parallels. ANNA WHITELOCK followed the discussion as it unfolded
Student speaking contest returns
HISTORY IN THE NEWS • A selection of the stories hitting the history headlines
New light on Kristallnacht • The gunning down of a German diplomat by a Jewish teenager sparked a pogrom across Nazi Germany, escalating the anti-Semitic violence that preceded the Holocaust. The fate of the assassin has always been a mystery, but NIGEL JONES reveals evidence that could rewrite his story
MICHAEL WOOD ON… • THE CULTURES AND DIVISIONS OF AFGHANISTAN
ANNIVERSARIES • DOMINIC SANDBROOK highlights events that took place in November in history
WHY WE SHOULD REMEMBER… • When the paper poppy became a symbol of remembrance
BBC History Magazine
AMERICA’S FALL GUY • King George III has long been cast as the crazed despot who squandered America. Yet, argues Andrew Roberts, this grim characterisation is the result not of hard facts but a historical stitch-up
WHAT LAY BEHIND THE KING’S MADNESS? • It was long believed that George III suffered from porphyria, but now experts have shed new light on his condition
TIMELINE How Britain lost its grip on the American colonies
Medieval trial by combat • In 1386, two Frenchmen fought a duel in a field outside Paris, each seeking to bury his blade in the other’s body. One combatant had been accused of raping the other’s wife, a charge he denied vehemently. After an initial verdict of innocence was returned, the accuser demanded a trial by combat. The judgment was now God’s alone… …who would be chosen to die?
CASES IN THE COMBAT COURTROOM • Hannah Skoda delves into the historical hies for three judicial duels that didn’t go to plan
WINDOWS ON TO HISTORY • From the glittering stained glass in medieval cathedrals to modernist high-rises, windows have illuminated our buildings for centuries. But, argues Rachel Hurdley, the presenter of a new BBC Radio 4 documentary on the history of windows, they can also shed light on the past
“I WHO HAD been a slave in THE MORNING, trembling at the will of another, was become my OWN MASTER, and completely FREE” • Olaudah Equiano’s dramatic biography of his perilous journey from slavery to freedom added a powerful black voice to the burgeoning abolition movement. David Olusoga reflects on his extraordinary story
BLOOD RIVALS • Elizabeth I and her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots constantly feuded over power, culminating in Mary’s execution. Susan Doran explores their turbulent relationship through 12 objects from a new British Library exhibition dedicated to the queens
Q&A • A selection of historical conundrums answered by experts
THE FIRING LINE • From the Sahara to Europe’s frozen borderlands, the Sherwood Rangers were at the very heart of the fight against Nazi Germany. James Holland recounts this regiment’s extraordinary road to victory
FIRE ENGINES • Three tanks that...