18 Matilda: the Conqueror’s queen Tracy Borman hails the supreme diplomatic skills of William the Conqueror’s ambitious wife, Matilda

24 A war of words Mark Burman reveals why the Soviet author Vasily Grossman fell out of love with the communist regime

30 Simon Jenkins on England The journalist and National Trust chairman discusses the defining moments of a nation’s history

33 Postwar revolutionary? What led people to fear that Douglas Haig planned to lead a rightwing coup? Gary Sheffield investigates

41 Should historians comment on current affairs? Pat Thane on the fallout from David Starkey’s recent Newsnight interview

42 Elizabeth’s security chief John Cooper looks at the career of Tudor spymaster Francis Walsingham

50 A history of science in 10½ objects Patricia Fara explains how an apple, wedding ring and battery changed mankind’s perception of the world

58 Rugby warriors Gavin Mortimer profiles the men who excelled in war and on the rugby pitch


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6 Letters

8 Milestones: It happened in October

News 12 Breaking news 14 News from the journals 17 News round-up

29 Opinion by Jerome de Groot

49 Big days in history by Dominic Sandbrook

57 Changing times by Chris Bowlby

61 Book reviews 11 new history books reviewed

75 TV&Radio What’s on in October

Out&About 78 Where history happened: Alfred and the Vikings 84 100 places that made Britain: Battle Abbey 86 Ten things to do this month 88 Ye olde travel guide: Venice 1500

Miscellany 93 Q&A: Your historical questions answered 96 Prize crossword: Win the book Shakespeare 97 Puzzles

98 My history hero by Alice Roberts

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USPS Identification Statement BBC HISTORY (ISSN 1469-8552) (USPS 024-177) October 2011 is published 13 times a year by Bristol Magazines Ltd., 9th Floor, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol BS1 3BN, UK. Distributed in the US by Evergreen Marketing, 116 Ram Cat Alley, Suite 201, Seneca, SC 29678-3263. Periodicals postage paid at Seneca, SC and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to BBC HISTORY, PO Box 421133, Palm Coast, FL 32142-1133.

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