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BBC History Magazine

BBC History Magazine

February 2021

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.

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United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

‘‘One of the great tragedies of the Tudor age was Henry VIII’s destruction of the monasteries, which saw more than 800 religious houses suppressed. The evidence of these actions is plain to see in the ruined buildings that still dot the landscape today. But the story of the Dissolution is not so clear cut, and, as Hugh Willmott argues in this month’s cover feature, this was not just a “smash and grab raid”. By exploring the archaeological evidence – from buried lead ingots to the skeletons of crushed dogs – Hugh offers a more nuanced picture of events. Turn to page 20 for that. Archaeological discoveries also lie behind new history film The Dig, which is about to be released on Netflix. It focuses on the excavations at Sutton Hoo in…

1 min.
this issue’s contributors

Hugh Willmott I am fascinated by the Dissolution of the Monasteries and have spent the last decade studying the subject, conducting excavations at Thornton Abbey and Monk Bretton Priory. Hugh argues that the Dissolution was not wanton destruction, but instead a highly organised undertaking on page 20 Elma Brenner I was keen to investigate the lived experience of childbirth in the Middle Ages, and the medical expertise, divine assistance and community support that women drew upon at this time of both joy and danger. Elma shares six ways that medieval women readied themselves for childbirth on page 50 Malcolm Smith When I started researching the impact of the hat feather trade on wildlife, I was astonished at the scale of the killing. Some species were driven to near extinction. And all for fashion. Malcolm explores the horrifying impact…

1 min.
more from us

historyextra.com The website of BBC History Magazine is filled with exciting content on British and world history. For more information on the content in this issue, go to historyextra.com/february2021 For more information on the content in this magazine, scan the QR code (right) with the camera on your smart phone or tablet historyextra.com The website of BBC History Magazine is filled with exciting content on British and world history, and includes an extensive archive of magazine content The History Extra podcast Download episodes for free from iTunes and other providers, or via historyextra.com/podcast Our digital editions BBC History Magazine is available for the Kindle, Kindle Fire, iPad/iPhone, Google Play and Zinio. Find us in your app store or visit historyextra.com/subscribe Facebook and Twitter twitter.com/historyextra facebook.com/historyextra Our special editions Discover our range of collector’s editions at buysubscriptions.com/special-editions/history Contact us PHONE Subscriptions & back issues 03330 162115 Editorial…

1 min.
this month in history

EYE-OPENER Cross examination When it was plucked from the earth of the Scottish region of Dumfries and Galloway in 2014, this ninth-century cross was coated in centuries of soil and far from its former glory. But now, thanks to an extensive restoration process, the skill of its creators has been revealed. Each of the Anglo-Saxon artefact’s arms features an intricate gold-leaf design representing the New Testament evangelists: an eagle (John), a lion (Mark), a man (Matthew) and a cow (Luke). Experts think that such a detailed work must have been commissioned by a high-ranking member of society, such as a priest or king. The cross, along with the rest of the Galloway Hoard of which it is part, is set to go on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh from 19…

2 min.
talking points a right royal ruckus

It’s arguable, of course, that the lives of the British royal family are already stranger than fiction. They may be elite and some may think them eccentric, but are they as scandalous as The Crown – the fourth series of which debuted on Netflix in November – suggests? Such was the question that has exercised many over the past few weeks, not least the culture secretary Oliver Dowden who called on Netflix to add a disclaimer that the series is drama, rather than reality. Former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter (@RoyalDickie) supported Dowden. “No one has the right to embellish [the facts] about living people for the sake of drama,” he wrote. “There is a very definite line between fact and fiction and @TheCrownNetflix has gone beyond that to the point…

1 min.
aztec history wins major book prize

A study of the lives of the Aztecs that draws on their own records has been announced as the winner of this year’s Cundill History Prize. Camilla Townsend’s Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs was revealed as the recipient of the $75,000 award in an online event in December. The distinguished professor of history at Rutgers University triumphed ahead of fellow finalists William Dalrymple, for The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company, and Vincent Brown, for Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War. The decision was made by chair of the jury Peter Frankopan and jurors Anne Applebaum, Lyse Doucet, Eliga Gould and Sujit Sivasundaram. Fifth Sun explores more than 300 years of history, from the years before 1299 to the changes that took place…