Book review – British history

Emmeline Pankhurst is carried bodily from a demonstration outside Buckingham Palace in 1914

When persuasion failed, force seemed the only option for women to get the vote

10 February 2018 9:00 am

Jane Ridley describes how campaigners for female suffrage in Britain tried every tactic in vain. It took a world war to secure even a limited number of women the vote

Narvik harbour, March 1940

The ruthless coup that put Churchill in power

21 October 2017 9:00 am

Lord Woolton put it best: ‘Few people have succeeded in obtaining such a public demand for their promotion as the…

The dining car of the London to Liverpool express — back when croutons were still served with the soup

Sexual assault, chamber-pot etiquette, and other problems of early rail travel

19 September 2015 8:00 am

Simon Bradley dates the demise of the on-board meal service to 1962, when Pullman services no longer offered croutons with…

A Sikh member of the Indian Army Services Corps at Dunkirk, 1940

Britain didn’t fight the second world war — the British empire did

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Had it not been for the empire, Britain might have lost the second world war, says William Dalrymple. The war certainly lost Britain the empire

Mary Anne Disraeli by James Godsell Middleton

Politics as an aphrodisiac: the secret of the Disraelis’ happy marriage

17 January 2015 9:00 am

The long, happy and unlikely marriage of the great Conservative leader Disraeli and his wife Mary Anne, 12 years his…

‘There was great danger of being kidnapped by licensed thugs and turned into a not-so-jolly Jack Tar’ George Morland’s ‘The Press Gang’ (1790s)

Terror plots, threats to liberties, banks in crisis: welcome to Britain during the Napoleonic Wars

1 November 2014 9:00 am

At the end of the 18th century, Britain shuddered in Boney’s shadow, living in constant expectation of invasion and occupation, says Nigel Jones

Tenements in the Gorbals area of Glasgow — considered some of the worst slums in Britain — are replaced by high-rise flats, c. 1960

Corrie and ready-salted crisps: the years when modern Britain began

13 September 2014 9:00 am

The only thing really swinging in early Sixties Britain, says Sam Leith, was the wrecking-ball

Henry VI did at least fulfil one function of kingship — that of ‘sacerdos’. Kneeling behind him is his uncle Henry Cardinal Beaufort, and standing (bearded) is another uncle, the ‘good Duke’ Humphrey

Britain’s own game of thrones

13 September 2014 9:00 am

Thank goodness for Game of Thrones. I think. Apparently it is inspired by the Wars of the Roses, drawing inspiration…