EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Culture & Literature
BBC History Magazine

BBC History Magazine January 2020

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.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
Frequency:
Monthly
Read More
SUBSCRIBE
$56.83
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
welcome

“Welcome to our first issue of 2020. New years often come with resolutions, and giving up alcohol could well be one of them. A century ago, the United States did so en masse, beginning the prohibition era that is now probably best known for the organised crime and illicit nightlife it spawned. But prohibition had numerous other legacies – less familiar, but arguably more important in shaping America’s development over the 20th century. In her article on page 50, Lisa McGirr reveals the many ways in which the ban on alcohol transformed a nation. Quitting drinking is one thing, but hopefully few are planning to give up washing for 2020. Yet, there’s a widespread assumption that this is exactly what our forebears did during the medieval period. As always, the reality…

1 min.
this issue’s contributors

Kathryn Warner Philippa of Hainault was a remarkable queen, supporting her husband, Edward III, for four decades in the 14th century – even through the wars he waged against her family over the French throne. Kathryn tells the story of a medieval queen who beat the odds on page 60 Katherine Harvey I’m investigating medieval attitudes to the body, including ideas about personal hygiene. We often assume that medieval people were dirty and smelly, but in fact they liked washing just as much as we do! Katherine argues that medieval people were cleaner than we think on page 22 Stephen Tomkins The Puritans felt they were not allowed to worship as the Bible commanded. Since they couldn’t worship correctly in the parish church, they decided to hold their own meetings – in their houses, on ships or…

1 min.
tunnel vision

Photographs charting the work of one of Britain’s largest building firms are to be digitised as part of a new project led by Historic England. The Breaking New Ground initiative will scan more than 10,000 images from the collections of John Laing, which worked on construction projects ranging from the M1 motorway to the modernist Coventry Cathedral. A tranche of 2,000 photographs will be viewable at historicengland.org.uk from 13 January, with the remainder uploaded by autumn 2020. The image above shows a tunnel being built at Berkeley Nuclear Power Station, Gloucestershire in 1958. Have a story? Please email Jon Bauckham at jon.bauckham@immediate.co.uk © HISTORIC ENGLAND ARCHIVE, JOHN LAING PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLECTION. JLP01/01/078/03…

2 min.
burning the midnight oil

When the respected Cambridge classicist Mary Beard (@wmarybeard) recently tweeted, “Can I ask academics of any level of seniority how many hours a week they reckon they work? My current estimate is over 100. I am a mug. But what is the norm in real life?” she can hardly have expected the response that ensued. Rebecca Brückmann (@historleans) led the angry responses: “I’m sorry, but I am not remotely impressed by academics working 100 hours/week... you cannot tell me that you maintain the same productivity for 100 hours as you could for 40–50. And you are setting a horrible example for junior scholars in terms of self-exploitation.” Brückmann continued: “It is quite impossible for people with caring responsibilities, less than stellar health or no means for external cleaning services (plus people who…

1 min.
‘fake news’ found in babylonian text

A famous Babylonian tablet contains an early example of ‘fake news’, claims a University of Cambridge academic. Dr Martin Worthington, a senior lecturer in Assyriology at St John’s College, says that a nine-line passage from the Gilgamesh ‘flood’ tablet, discovered in the 19th century, contains cunning wordplay that changes the meaning of a crucial message. The tablet, held in the British Museum, tells the story of the Great Flood – a myth believed to have inspired the Biblical story of Noah. Although the Babylonian god Ea appears to tell Uta-napishti (Noah) that food will “fall from the sky” if he asks others to help him build an ark, Dr Worthington claims the phrase has a double meaning. In the same way that ‘ice cream’ sounds like ‘I scream’, the message is phonetically identical…

3 min.
history in the news

Detectorists sentenced for Herefordshire hoard theft Two metal detectorists have been jailed for stealing a hoard of “exceptionally rare and significant” Anglo-Saxon treasures they unearthed on Herefordshire farmland. George Powell and Layton Davies were sentenced to a combined 18 and a half years at Worcester Crown Court in November for concealing their finds and selling them on to dealers. The hoard, which included coins, jewellery and a silver ingot, was found on land north of Leominster owned by Lord Cawley in June 2015. Despite taking two coins and three items of jewellery to the National Museum of Wales, Powell and Davies hid the true extent of their discovery – estimated to have been worth a total of £12m. The bulk of the ninth-century hoard, visible in photographs recovered from Davies’s phone, has still…