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 CHRISTMAS 2023
THREE THINGS I'VE LEARNED THIS MONTH
THIS ISSUE'S CONTRIBUTORS
ANNIVERSARIES • HELEN CARR highlights events that took place at Christmas in history
How do intractable conflicts come to an end? • With the Israel-Gaza war continuing to dominate the headlines, MATT ELTON assembled a panel of historians to discuss the factors that lead to entrenched warfare – and what might help resolve them
Hard times: what centuries of cost-ofliving crises reveal • As prices have soared in recent months, living costs have outstripped many incomes in the UK. But as VICTORIA BATEMAN explains, this is not a new state of affairs
MICHAEL WOOD ON… • THE GLORIES OF BUDDHIST ART
HIDDEN HISTORIES • KAVITA PURI on the price China paid in the Second World War
BBC History Magazine
“People like to tell themselves that the origins of American independence were non-violent. But it's not true” • The Boston Tea Party is often cited as a model of peaceful civil protest. But, as Elinor Evans reveals, on the 250th anniversary of this milestone in America's foundational story, it occurred against a backdrop of bloodshed
TIMELINE The road to revolution
The long death of the Roman republic • Julius Caesar's murder is often seen as the event that ushered in the age of emperors. Yet structural weaknesses had plagued Rome's republic long before his death
Q&A • A selection of historical conundrums answered by experts
THE RACE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC • In 1969, everyone from Prince Michael of Kent to Billy Butlin competed in a dash between London and New York aboard tandems, sedan chairs and jump jets. Rachel Harris-Gardiner recalls a madcap forerunner Race Across the World
THE MANY FACES OF NAPOLEON • As a major new film explores the life of the French emperor, Matt Elton asks historians Laura O'Brien and David Andress how we can make sense of the diverse and contradictory aspects of Napoleon's character and career
TIMELINE Napoleon: from artillery to emperor to exile
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The queen behind the veil • Matilda of Scotland, wife of Henry I, did perhaps more than any other figure to bridge the chasm between the Anglo-Saxons and their Norman conquerors. So why, asks Joanna Arman, has she been written out of history?
Walter Cowan Britain's oldest commando • For some servicemen hardened by a long military career, death in battle is preferable to simply fading away in old age. JOSHUA LEVINE tells the story of one such man, a retired naval officer who leapt bravely back into the fray during the Second World War – at the age of 70
2023 BOOKS OF THE YEAR • It's been another excellent year for history publishing, with new books that offer fresh insights into the past and help us make sense of the present. Here, a panel of historians recommend the titles they've most enjoyed this year, from tales of peerless Roman rulers to life in postwar Britain
“Tea permanently shaped Britain's relationships with the US and China, two great superpowers“ • SATHNAM SANGHERA (left) tells us about his new BBC Radio 4...