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British history


  • As an Island, Britain Became a Stage for Roman Politicians

    by Richard Hingley

    The conquest of Britain mattered to Roman emperors not for the island's strategic significance, but because it signaled a ruler's mastery of the ancient deity Oceanus and thus his worthiness in domestic politics. 


  • The Strangely Forgettable Burial Place of Henry VIII

    by Emma Levitt

    Though the monarch's grandiose plans for his own tomb were never fulfilled, they reveal much about Henry VIII's ideas of power and masculinity, and pose an ironic contrast to the austere slab that marks his resting place today. 


  • Art's Historical License in Netflix's "The Edge of War"

    by Yoav Tenembaum

    The recent Netflix film's treatment of the Munich Accords reads backwards from the outcomes of Neville Chamberlain's appeasement policy to argue, wrongly, that the Prime Minister's intent was to buy time for the British to rearm. 



  • Reviewed: The BBC: A People's History

    David Hendy's book was built on complete access to BBC archives, but a reviewer finds that it's long on bureaucratic history and short on analysis of the programming that made the Beeb a national institution. 


  • Neville Chamberlain: Unsung Hero of WWII

    by Luke Reader

    A new Netflix film should prompt a reassessment of the legacy of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who arguably succeeded in saving Britain and the European opposition to Hitler through a two-pronged strategy that used appeasement to buy time for rearmament. 


  • A Walk Around the "Wood that Built London"

    by C.J. Schüler

    The remnants of the North Wood outside London posed a mystery of cartographical history to the author: how to reconstruct the forest that was timbered to build the metropolis.



  • Colin Morris, 1928-2021

    Colin Morris identified the beginnings of the concept of individualism two centuries earlier than had previously been believed, part of a career of groundbreaking scholarship on the Middle Ages. 



  • Boris Johnson’s Roman Fantasies

    by Mateusz Fafinsky

    Boris Johnson's recent statements that the collapse of Rome was caused by open borders are well out of step with historical understanding of the fragmenting of the Roman empire, but in line with a long legacy of political misappropriation of Rome as an allegory for the danger of immigrants.