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BBC History MagazineBBC History Magazine

BBC History Magazine May 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

“As we go to press, the news agenda in Britain continues to be dominated by Brexit. And while it would be dangerous to predict how things will have developed by the time you read these words, it’s clear that both the country and parliament are divided. Of course, history provides several examples of similar periods of flux, and in this month’s issue we’re zoning in on 1979 when political tensions were also running high. On page 30, BBC journalist and producer Phil Tinline takes the mood of the country 40 years ago. The ultimate outcome of this period was 11 years of rule by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives. On the anniversary of her accession to power, we’ve asked four experts to reflect on this pivotal period of British history. Was it her…

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this issue’s contributors

Sarah Knott My feature highlights the large transformation I discovered in writing Mother: An Unconventional History. From the 17th century, declining family sizes had a significant impact on women’s lives. • Sarah traces the west’s fertility decline from the 17th to 20th centuries on page 60 Anita Anand The Raj is still evoked as a golden age of British might, but it’s useful to remember what was needed to achieve that might. • Anita discusses her new book on one man’s quest to avenge the Amritsar Massacre on page 67 Joanne Cormac I’m fascinated by 19th-century music and culture, and love unearthing entertainments that were hugely popular to the Victorians but have since fallen out of fashion. • Joanne introduces the mixture of titillation and elitism that was Victorian burlesque on page 44 HENRY VIII PAINTED IN 1540 BY…

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oliver cromwell’s forces attack jamaica

At the end of 1654, one of the largest fleets in English history left Portsmouth for the Caribbean. Having declared war on Spain, Oliver Cromwell had conceived a ‘Western Design’ to seize the island prize of Hispaniola. Unfortunately, the expedition was a fiasco, and the fleet’s 3,000 English marines completely failed to capture the island’s capital at Santo Domingo. “In one afternoon,” one historian has noted, “the invincible reputation of the New Model Army had been thrown away.” Reluctant to return without a consolation prize, the admiral, Sir William Penn, turned instead to another Spanish island, Jamaica, which was much less well defended. On 10 May 1655 the fleet sailed into Cagway Bay and opened fire on the little Spanish battery. The marines disembarked and, after six days, Penn concluded a…

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theatre fans turn nasty

Shakespeare’s plays often provoke strong feelings, and Macbeth is no exception. Even so, when the British actor William Charles Macready arrived in New York in 1849 to play the Scottish usurper, he could hardly have expected that local objections to his performance would see at least two dozen people killed and more than a hundred injured. The violence on 10 May was rooted in the long-running rivalry between Macready, probably the finest Shakespearian actor of his generation, and his American rival Edwin Forrest. Both men had toured in Britain and the US, with Macready enjoying the greater success. Even in New York, discerning patrons agreed that Macready was better. But in the aggressively nationalistic, anti-English climate of the 1840s – especially among Irish immigrants – it was dangerous to say so. In…

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beethoven’s ninth symphony delights vienna

In the spring of 1824, Ludwig van Beethoven was 53 years old. Exhausted, ill and by now almost totally deaf, he had spent years working on his epic Ninth Symphony, and originally planned to stage the premiere in Berlin. But after a petition from bigwigs in Vienna, where he remained enormously popular, Beethoven agreed that it would go ahead in the city’s splendid Theater am Kärntnertor on 7 May 1824. The performance has gone down in musical legend. Since the composer’s deafness made him a very unreliable director, the orchestra followed their own director, Michael Umlauf, during the rehearsals, while Beethoven sat on the stage, turning the pages of his manuscript and beating time for musicians he could not hear. The performance, attended by the great and the good of Viennese society,…

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blood is shed in bolton

It was late on 28 May 1644, and the Angel of Death was approaching Bolton. After almost two years of war, England was bleeding, and now a royalist army under Prince Rupert of the Rhine was marching north towards the Lancashire town, whose reputation as a hotbed of Puritanism had earned it the nickname ‘the Geneva of the North’. By this point in the war, Lancashire had become a parliamentarian stronghold, but now Rupert’s advance seemed irresistible. Having taken Stockport three days earlier, he was moving so quickly that his Roundhead adversaries could scarcely retreat fast enough. By the time he reached Bolton, the skies were darkening and rain was pouring down, but Rupert ordered his men to attack anyway. The first attack was repulsed with several hundred casualties, but when Rupert’s…

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