JULY 2015



Every month

6 ANNIVERSARIES 11 HISTORY NOW 1 1 The latest history news

1 4 Backgrounder: What triggered Scotland’s political earthquake? 1 6 Past notes

An unreconstructed brute or the father of the Renaissance? Find out on page 38

22 The Battle of Britain The RAF held all the aces when it faced the Lu wa e in 1940, says James Holland

28 The Black Death Four experts address the big questions surrounding a medieval apocalypse that killed millions of Europeans

33 Portraits of the plague Charlotte Hodgman introduces photos of a pandemic that swept ve continents as recently as the 19th and 20th centuries

38 Genghis Khan Frank McLynn considers whether the infamous Mongol leader deserves his monstrous reputation

46 Great entertainers Dominic Sandbrook selects 10 British cultural exports that have taken the world by storm over the past century

51 The perils of piety in Tudor England Being devout in the 16th century could be a seriously hazardous business, as Steven Gunn and Tomasz Gromelski explain

58 Tragedy on the Matterhorn Peter H Hansen tells the story of a fateful attempt on an Alpine peak in 1865

18 LETTERS 21 MICHAEL WOOD’S VIEW 56 OUR FIRST WORLD WAR 65 BOOKS Experts review new releases, plus

Yasmin Khan discusses her book on India in the Second World War

77 TV & RADIO The pick of this month’s history programmes

80 OUT & ABOUT 80 History explorer:

the rise of Britain’s canals 85 Five things to do in July 86 My favourite place: Inishbo n

93 MISCELLANY 93 Q&A and quiz 94 Samantha’s recipe corner 95 Prize crossword

98 MY HISTORY HERO Richard E Grant chooses

Emmeline Pankhurst

44 SUBSCRIBE Save 27% when you subscribe* to the digital edition

The Battle of Britain



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The Battle of Britain has long been hailed as the triumph of the plucky underdog over the Nazi goliath. Yet, says James Holland, when rival ghters clashed over England in 1940, it was the RAF that held all the aces

BBC History Magazine

BBC History Magazine


BBC History Magazine BBC History Magazine

A force to be reckoned with Hawker Hurricanes patrol the skies in 1940. Fighter Command’s victory in the Battle of Britain reflected the immense power of the nation – one that could call on resources of which the Germans could only dream



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58 The Victorian disaster that made a pariah of the mountaineering community

33 Images of the plague that killed 12 million


BBC History Magazine