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.
THREE THINGS I’VE LEARNED THIS MONTH
THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS
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THIS MONTH IN HISTORY
The long, long 19th century • Has the imagery of the 19th century – corsets, cowboys, cigars – become a wider visual shorthand for “the past”? The suggestion prompted a debate that ANNA WHITELOCK watched unfold
Immigration to Orkney “dominated by women”
KEITH LOWE ON… THE RUSSIA-UKRAINE CRISIS • There is nothing new about the tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Ukrainians have been trying to disentangle themselves from Russia for more than a century, but it has always refused to let go.
ANNVERSARES • HELEN CARR highlights events that took place in April in history
WHY WE SHOULD REMEMBER… • The translation of Anne Frank’s diary, a window onto the Holocaust
MICHAEL WOOD ON… WHY MYTHOLOGY PREVAILS OVER REALITY
LETTER OF THE MONTH
BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE
1942 CHURCHILL’S DARKEST HOUR • If 1940 was the year in which Winston Churchill’s reputation was forged, 1942 was the one in which it was almost destroyed. Taylor Downing chronicles a terrible period for the prime minister – both on the battlefield and in the court of public opinion
TIMELINE Britain’s year at the brink
THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF BRITAIN • Charles I was dead, Oliver Cromwell was on the rise, and a nation was grappling with a strange new reality – one without a monarchy. Anna Keay tells the story of the 1650s, through the eyes of three of the people who helped shape Britain’s republican decade
TIMELINE Three kingdoms without a king
The decade that forged modern Britain • The 1650s fostered a national media, the scientific revolution and international expansionism
INTERVIEW / NEIL MACGREGOR • In his new BBC Radio 4 series, curator and broadcaster Neil MacGregor explores the changing role of Britain’s museums. He explains to Matt Elton why these venues are more vital now than ever
How Napoleon (almost) destroyed the French Revolution • The Corsican general proclaimed himself a defender of republican ideals – while doing all he could to dismantle them
AN ISLAND MYSTERY • Three centuries ago, when European explorers first sighted the Pacific island of Rapa Nui, it was home to a thriving population and hundreds of haunting moai statues. But, within a few generations, the landscape was decimated and its population in sharp decline. So what happened? Cat Jarman untangles
THE MAGNIFICENT MOAI • Cat Jarman answers key questions about the enigmatic statues
Q&A • A selection of historical conundrums answered by experts
DID YOU KNOW...?
“Mary Seacole never aspired to be a pioneer of women’s nursing. It is only in recent decades that we have invested her with this status” • Helen Rappaport, who has spent 20 years researching Mary Seacole’s life, argues that the Jamaican healer’s transformation into a modern cultural icon has obscured the real woman
The life of Mary Seacole
Mirroring multicultural Britain • From its inception the BBC has featured entertainers of colour, but they were often reduced to “exotic” attractions. DAVID HENDY explores how the...