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BBC History Magazine

BBC History Magazine March 2019

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.

United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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CHF 48.97
13 Ausgaben


1 Min.

“Anyone familiar with the works of Charles Dickens will have some concept of the Victorian underworld – the seamy underside of 19th-century British cities, populated by a criminal class, enveloped in soot and grime. It was as familiar a picture then as it is to us today, but is this construction based on truth? In this month’s cover feature, on page 20, Professor Heather Shore seeks out the inhabitants of the ‘underworld’ to see how far they accord with the legend. Our Victorian theme continues on page 28 where we go back to school in the 19th-century. The curriculum, discipline and attendance are frequent subjects of debate today, but how did they differ 150 years ago? Susannah Wright and Ellie Cawthorne have the answers. Of course, many Victorian Britons spent their lives…

1 Min.
this issue’s contributors

Catherine Hanley Matilda should have become England’s first queen regnant. She was an influential figure whose legacy stretched far beyond her own lifetime. • Catherine discusses her new book about the 12th-century claimant to the English throne on page 65 Lauren Johnson Henry VI is an unfairly overlooked monarch. Without “the shadow on the wall”, as one contemporary called him, there would be no Wars of the Roses and no Tudors. His reign was disastrous, but completely compelling. • Lauren analyses the character flaws that scuppered Henry VI’s reign on page 34 Jeffrey Auerbach The Victorian empire was full of excitement, but it could also be dull and disappointing. Happily for me as a researcher, boredom turned out to be a fascinating topic, one that sheds new light on the imperial experience. • Jeffrey describes the ennui that…

1 Min.
russia’s tsar is brutally beaten to death

Catherine the Great was a hard act to follow. Even so, her son and heir Paul, who became tsar of Russia in 1796, made a pretty wretched fist of it. Having been separated from his mother as a boy, he had become obsessed with military minutiae and kicked off his regime by introducing Prussian-style uniforms, which proved deeply unpopular with his soldiers. His plans to force the nobility to subscribe to a new code of chivalry produced an angry reaction, while the total failure of his anti-French foreign policy made for a stark contrast with Catherine’s canny diplomacy. On the night of 23 March, matters came to a head. After a frosty dinner party, Paul had retired to bed in St Petersburg’s Mikhaylovsky Palace. Meanwhile, a group of aristocratic officers, including…

2 Min.
the ‘lindbergh baby’ vanishes

On the evening of 1 March 1932, the pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh was at home in New Jersey with his wife, Anne, and 20-month-old son, Charles Jr. At 7.30pm, a nanny laid the toddler down to sleep in his crib. About two hours later, Charles heard a noise he thought sounded like a crate smashing, but thought nothing of it. Then at 10pm, the nanny, frantic with worry, reported that the baby had disappeared. In his bedroom, Charles found a handwritten, misspelled note: “Dear Sir! Have 50000$ redy 25000$ in 20$ bills 15000$ in 10$ bills and 10000$ in 5$ bills ... We warn you for making anyding public or for notify the Police. The child is in gut care.” So began one of the most lurid cases in American criminal history.…

2 Min.
sicilians revolt against their french oppressors

As the people of Sicily celebrated Easter in 1282, the mood was tense. For more than a decade, the island had been ruled by the French magnate Charles of Anjou, whose heavy taxes and Gallic hangers-on were much resented by the locals. After years of growing unrest, passions were running high; all that was needed was a spark. It was on Easter Monday, just before the evening Vespers service at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Palermo, that the moment came. As crowds gathered outside the church for the annual festival, a group of swaggering, tipsy French officials, with a man called Drouet particularly prominent, made overtures to some young Sicilian women. In the ensuing melee, one outraged husband plunged his knife into Drouet – and all hell broke loose. “To the…

1 Min.
thomas cranmer meets a fiery end

The death of Thomas Cranmer was one of the most dramatic in all English history. Under Henry VIII and Edward VI, Cranmer had been the driving force in the English Reformation, pushing through a revolution in the nation’s religious and political life. But under the Catholic Mary I, his fortunes changed. In September 1553, he was arrested and sent to the Tower of London. Tried for treason and heresy, Cranmer was sentenced to death. With Mary determined to make an example of him, not even his increasingly frantic recantations could save him. Cranmer’s burning was scheduled for 21 March 1556, but Mary agreed that he could make a final recantation in Oxford’s University Church beforehand. Cranmer duly mounted the pulpit, armed with the grovelling sermon he had agreed with his gaolers.…