Culture & Literature
History Revealed

History Revealed

December 2020

History Revealed brings the past to life for everyone. It’s an action-packed, image-rich magazine with zero stuffiness. Each issue has a central section that takes a closer look at one of history’s big stories, such as the Wild West or Ancient Rome, telling everything you need to know. We also explore the lives of the truly famous, follow the great adventures of the past, taste the blood and thunder of battles, and look at how closely Hollywood blockbusters have told history. Plus, we answer questions about some of the more surprising and strange aspects of the past. If you want to get into history, subscribe today.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
things we learned this month....

EGYPTIAN NECROPOLIS YIELDS IMPRESSIVE TREASURES Hidden for 2,500 years, 59 sarcophagi have been uncovered in the Egyptian necropolis at Saqqara, south of Cairo. For more than 3,000 years, Saqqara was used as a burial ground for the inhabitants of the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. The 59 sarcophagi were found in wells, and are believed to be the largest find of their kind. The wooden coffins, with mummies inside, appear to have been undisturbed since they were originally buried and many of the coffins are ornately decorated. Egypt’s Antiquities Minister, Khaled el-Anany, believes this is only the start of a huge discovery at Saqqara. MEDIEVAL BAKERY FOUND IN IRELAND The remains of a sourdough bread bakery have been found during a dig at a medieval monastic settlement in Meath. A communal toilet was…

4 min.
head of book conservation at the bodleian library

“Recording what happens around us, in all its beauty and horror, is critical to being human” WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE AS HEAD OF BOOK CONSERVATION ENTAIL? I lead a team of seven bookbinders and conservators. Our purpose is to preserve, protect and make accessible the materials of the Library, a task which covers many types of work. We repair modern books (by which we mean post-1850) on the open shelves and in the other University libraries, as well as carry out fast turnaround work on new acquisitions for the Rare Books, Archives and Manuscript department. Major repair projects also fall into our remit. These might be books or manuscripts associated with an upcoming exhibition, a research interest, or something that has been in need of repair for years and which can only be…

1 min.
your essential guide to henry viii and his wives

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. How King Henry VIII ended each of his marriages is widely known thanks to this handy rhyme, while the stories of his six wives continue to enthrall. The annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon provoked a religious schism, while his second wife, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded on charges of adultery, incest and treason, as Henry tore up the rules in his desperation for a son. In this essential guide, we get to know the six women who became a Tudor queen, explore their romance – or lack thereof – with Henry, and examine the impact they had on his reign. Over the next pages, we answer the key questions about Henry’s tumultuous love life. What if his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, had…

3 min.
jane seymour the ‘obedient’ one

JANE’S EARLY LIFE Jane Seymour, Henry VIII’s third wife, was born in around 1508. Her distant kinsman, the courtier Sir Francis Bryan, secured a place for her in the service of Queen Catherine of Aragon. Jane later transferred into the household of Catherine’s successor, Anne Boleyn. By 1535, Jane was in her late twenties, with few marriage prospects. One contemporary considered her to be “no great beauty, so fair that one would call her rather pale than otherwise”. She nonetheless attracted the King’s attention – perhaps when he visited Wolf Hall in September 1535. Anne Boleyn blamed the loss of her child, in late January 1536, on the developing relationship, complaining to Henry that she had “caught that abandoned woman Jane sitting on your knees”. The Queen and her maid had already come…

1 min.
did you know?

TO THE BOOKIES Children’s book word-wizard Dr Seuss agreed to a bet with his publisher that he could write a book using only 50 words. He won the bet with Green Eggs and Ham, which remains one of his bestsellers. COMRADES-IN-ARMS In 1866, the country of Liechtenstein sent 80 men to guard the border to the south. When they returned, their force had actually grown to 81 as they had made an “Italian friend”. BRASSED OFF When the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe was 20, he lost a chunk of his nose in a sword duel. For the rest of his life, he wore a prosthetic made of brass, although he had silver and gold alternatives for special occasions. SQUARE PEG, ROUND HOLE In 1718, British lawyer James Puckle developed a proto-machine gun that could fire square bullets,…

7 min.
tv, film & radio

Doomed marriage The Crown / Netflix, streaming from Sunday 15 November The likeness is extraordinary. Not primarily because actor Emma Corrin bears a particular resemblance to Lady Diana Spencer, although she does, but because publicity photographs suggest Corrin has perfectly caught the young Diana’s wariness, the sense this was a young woman caught by the world’s gaze. As series four of Peter Morgan’s The Crown explores as it charts the Windsors’ story from c1977-90, the future Princess of Wales had every reason to be worried. Her marriage to Charles (Josh O’Connor), celebrated in the fairytale ‘Wedding of the Century’ (1981), would soon hit the rocks, as was perhaps inevitable considering Charles’s longstanding attachment to Camilla Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennell). Outside the confines of the royal family, the 1980s were a tumultuous year in British…