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BBC History MagazineBBC History Magazine

BBC History Magazine April 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.

Land:
United Kingdom
Sprache:
English
Verlag:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
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IN DIESER AUSGABE

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welcome

“History is being made all the time, but in Britain we do seem to be living through a moment of particular significance for our national story. This issue goes on sale just a few days before Brexit is due to take place, and though much may have altered by the time you read these words, we still thought it would be a good opportunity to draw some historical parallels with the events of 2019. To that end we’ve asked a group of experts to describe five previous episodes when Britain’s relationship with its European neighbours was dramatically altered – from the Roman empire to the Munich crisis. You’ll find that on page 59. Another subject dominating the news agenda recently has been the rise of anti-Semitism. It is, of course, one…

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this issue’s contributors

David Olusoga I have discovered that people want to commune with the ghosts of past residents and owners of their homes, to discover their names and something about their lives. • David tells us about Britons’ growing fascination with the history of their homes on page 38 Kim Wagner I wanted to explore the Amritsar Massacre of 1919 not as an isolated event but in the context of the British colonial mindset, and violence of the empire, in the 19th and 20th centuries. • Kim considers what the Amritsar Massacre can tell us about the British empire on page 50 Kelcey Wilson-Lee Medieval princesses weren’t the powerless pawns that we have come to expect. Their position provided the opportunity for extraordinary influence, but also brought heavy expectation to act for England’s benefit. • Kelcey chronicles the ways in…

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brutal crusaders plunder the byzantine capital

“There was never a greater crime against humanity,” wrote the great historian Steven Runciman, “than the Fourth Crusade.” That is debatable. But there is little doubt that the crusaders’ attack on Constantinople in April 1204 marked a nadir in Mediterranean medieval history, from which the Byzantine empire – and Greek culture more broadly – never fully recovered. The Fourth Crusade was a supremely cynical exercise from start to finish. Having got no further than the Byzantine capital, the joint expedition with the Republic of Venice kicked out the existing emperor, Alexios III, and replaced him with its own men, Alexios IV and his father, Isaac II. But when the people rose against the new rulers, the crusaders decided it was time to attack the city and loot its treasures. The first assault…

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pony express hits the road

For the people of St Joseph, Missouri, the evening of 3 April 1860 was one to remember. For months, a consortium of local businessmen had been working on plans for the United States’ first high-speed mail service, with a network of riders to carry post from the Midwest to the booming new state of California, on the Pacific coast. They called it the Pony Express. And from the moment the first rider departed that evening, to the blast of a cannon and cheers from the watching crowds, it became part of American legend. The origins of the Pony Express were a fascinating lesson in technology, migration and commercial opportunism. The key figure was a stagecoach boss called William Hepburn Russell, who realised that individual riders could carry letters westward much faster…

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restless vesuvius blows its top, spreading panic and misery

While the best-known eruption of Mount Vesuvius was the disaster that consumed Pompeii in the year AD 79, further eruptions were recorded for centuries afterwards. By early 1905, there were signs that the demons inside the great mountain were awakening again. That spring, locals reported heavy lava flows from the crater, and the following January there came reports of increasingly violent explosions. Then, on 5 April 1906, came the climax: a vast eruption that engulfed the surrounding villages and killed hundreds of people. “Many homes have been abandoned for the open air,” wrote one observer two days later, “although there has been a thick fog all day and the atmosphere has been dense with volcanic ashes and the fumes of subterranean fires. The churches are crowded day and night with people…

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the lionheart roars his last

The death of Richard I on 6 April 1199, writes the historian John Gillingham, “was the decisive turning point in the history of the Angevin empire”. For five years, the Lionheart had been pushing back his rival Philip II of France, reconquering much of Normandy and consolidating his hold over Aquitaine. But then, in March 1199, fate brought him to the little castle of Châlus-Chabrol, south of Limoges. It was a pitifully obscure sort of place; for Richard, though, it was to prove fatal. Historians have argued ever since about why Richard chose to besiege the castle at Châlus. One legend suggests that he had been attracted by stories of buried treasure, but he probably saw the castle as a step towards domination of the Limousin region. In any case, the…

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