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BBC History Magazine

BBC History Magazine June 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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1 min

Seventy-five years ago this month, the largest amphibious invasion in history took place as more than 150,000 Allied troops landed in France in just a single day. That day, 6 June 1944, was one of the most dramatic and decisive moments in the Second World War, and one that still provokes questions and debates in the 21st century. In this month’s issue we’ve included a special D-Day supplement, which explores several different aspects of the Norman- dy landings. You’ll discover how the day unfolded hour-by-hour, why General Montgomery deserves credit for masterminding operations, and, in our cover feature, the tremendous, but little-known human cost of training for Operation Overlord. A much earlier part of French history hit the headlines shortly before we went to press with the news that the medieval…

1 min
this issue’s contributors

James Holland I always used to feel very critical of Montgomery, but when I began looking at D-Day and Normandy in detail I struggled to find much wrong with his plan. It made me think about Monty quite differently. James speaks up for the military prowess of Bernard Montgomery on page 17 of our D-Day supplement Daisy Dunn I’ve always been fascinated by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. Pliny the Younger was an eyewitness to it. My question was, what happened to this young man after the disaster? Daisy charts the career of Pliny, lawyer, senator and orator, on page 29 Jared Diamond Pakistan is suffering from severe problems, El Salvador has chronically been locked in strife. Just as with people, there are plenty of examples of countries that don’t resolve their difficulties. Jared discusses how…

1 min
home from home

The charity Action for Children has released images of England’s early children’s homes in a bid to trace the descendants of some of those sent there. England’s first children’s home opened in Church Street, Lambeth, in 1869, and from there they spread across the country. The image here shows children taking lessons at a home in Birmingham between 1882 and 1900. For more information and images, visit actionforchildren.org.uk/archive Have a story? Please email Jon Bauckham at jon.bauckham@immediate.co.uk…

2 min
restoration or rebirth?

For several hours on the evening of 15 April, medieval art and architecture was trending on social media as historians, and many more besides, watched Notre-Dame, France’s great cathedral, going up in flames. The sight of this iconic Gothic monument ablaze led to desperate real-time commentary as Twitter and Facebook posts chronicled its history, and the priceless art and relics that might be lost. Medieval historians including Janina Ramirez shared their sorrow at the news: “A building like this – a heart of history, a point of passions, a cultural conduit. How do you even start to mourn for something like this?! Tragic…”, she tweeted. As the sun rose the following morning, there was relief that, despite the collapse of the medieval ‘forest’ roof, so much had survived, including the rose…

1 min
film found of last slave ship survivor

The-last-survivor-of-the-final-ship-tobring-slaves-from-Africa-to-the-US-hasbeen-identified-on-film.-Dr-Hannah­Durkin,-a-lecturer-in-literature-and-filmat Newcastle-University,-traced-Redoshi (renamed-Sally-Smith)-to-an-18-secondappearance-in-a-1938-US-public-information-film-called-The Negro Farmer: Extension Work for Better Farming and Better Living – the-only-knownfilm-footage-of-a-female-transatlanticslavery-survivor. In-an-article-published-in-Slavery and Abolition: A Journal of Slave and Post-Slave Studies,-Durkin-writes-that­Redoshi-was-most-likely-smuggled-from west-Africa-on-the-slave-ship-Clotilda.­ Slave-importation-to-the-US-had beenbanned-in-1808,-but-illegal-shipmentscontinued-on-ships-including-the­ Clotilda,-which-arrived-in-Mobile-Bay,­ Alabama,-in-1860,-where-it-was-scuttled soon-afterwards.-Redoshi,-thought-tohave-been just-12-years-old-whenshe was-captured,-was-forcibly-married to another-captive-and-the-pair-weresold-to-a-banker-from-Bogue-Chitto,­ Alabama.-Redoshi-remained-in-the-state until-her-death-in-1937. Prior-to-Durkin’s-discovery,-the-lastsurvivor-of-the-Clotilda-was-believedto be-a-west-African-man-named-Oluale­Kossola,-who-died-in-Alabama-in­1935 under-the-name-of-Cudjo-Lewis.­ His-story-was-recorded-by-the­-African-American-author-Zora-Neale­Hurston,-who-interviewed-Kossolain 1927.-Her-resulting-work-was-finallypublished-in-2018-as-Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”, bringing-Kossola’s-story-to-publicattention.-But-Hurston,-Durkinclaims, knew-of-Redoshi’s-existence­ even as she was declaring Kossola to be the-last-survivor-of-the-Clotilda voyage.-As-a-result-of-Hurston’ssilence, Redoshi’s-experiences-haveremained-relatively-unknown.…

2 min
history in the news

Casimir Pulaski confirmed as female or intersex DNA testing on the skeleton of 18th-century Polish-American general Casimir Pulaski has confirmed he was either female or intersex (born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit typical definitions for male or female bodies). Previous tests revealed female characteristics, but it is only now that the remains have been confirmed as definitely Pulaski’s. The general fought with Washington’s army from 1777–79 and is considered a war hero in Poland and the US. Iron Age skeletons may have been sacrificed Archaeologists studying 26 Iron Age skeletons, discovered in small pits at Childrey Warren in Oxfordshire, believe they may have been part of a ritual sacrifice. Most Iron Age communities opted for ‘sky burials’ for their dead, with bodies allowed to decompose in the open. Experts…