History

Our island story

18 March 2017 9:00 am

It used to be thought that emphasising British history in multi-ethnic schools was somehow wrong. But it is the best way to foster integration, says Robert Peal

How did we end up naming storms?

11 March 2017 9:00 am

Naming the weather Former BBC weatherman Bill Giles has said he’s fed up with storms being named. — The practice…

1917: Saving the English village

4 March 2017 9:00 am

From ‘Sir Thomas Acland’s example’, The Spectator, 3 March 1917: In 1912 we discussed the idea — a favourite dream…

1917: The Americans are coming!

25 February 2017 9:00 am

From ‘What will the United States do?’, The Spectator, 24 February 1917: It may be that the congestion of American…

The Islamic world did liberalise – but then came the first world war

25 February 2017 9:00 am

The Muslim world had an age of modernisation. It died in the first world war

The romance and drama of the night train is captured in Charles d’Albert’s illustration

Time to wake up to the benefits of the sleeper

25 February 2017 9:00 am

As a child, I used to travel with my mother from London to Cannes, a journey that took slightly under…

1917: War is no excuse for theft

18 February 2017 9:00 am

From ‘The confiscation of enemy property’, The Spectator, 17 February 1917: It is perfectly possible to remove German influences without…

An obituary for the Bullingdon Club, by one of its old boys

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Cameron and Osborne made my old university club famous. Now it has died of overexposure

Speaker Bercow has split the House and dishonoured his office

11 February 2017 9:00 am

As we have been reminded this week, the most famous words (apart from ‘Order, order’) ever uttered by a Speaker…

Bloody Marys and the funniest woman in the House of Lords

11 February 2017 9:00 am

To the Western Isles, or at least to its embassy in Belgravia. Boisdale restaurant always claims to be extra-territorial. There…

Indians are getting post-truth history about Winston Churchill

4 February 2017 9:00 am

Did Winston Churchill, like Donald Trump, also like to ‘grab them by the pussy?’ Last week at the Jaipur Literary…

A storm brewing over Hill Hill Hill

The magic and strangeness of British placenames

4 February 2017 9:00 am

British placenames are so good you can read the map for entertainment rather than navigation. Hardington Mande-ville, Bradford Peverell, Carlton…

Maipure Indians, inhabitants of the Upper Orinoco, grill the limbs of a dead enemy (Italian engraving, 1781)

Eating people is rare (and very unhealthy)

4 February 2017 9:00 am

The subject has been popularised from Homer to the Brothers Grimm, but, mercifully, human cannibalism has always been rare, says Philip Hensher

It's crazy to give up on cash

28 January 2017 9:00 am

Banknotes and coins are at the heart of British life. In these dreary contactless times, we’d be mad to lose them for ever

1917, and Britain doesn’t quite rule the waves

21 January 2017 9:00 am

From ‘Raiders, submarines and some naval problems’, The Spectator, 20 January 1917: At the moment the enemy’s fleet is compelled to…

Why does America inaugurate its presidents in January?

21 January 2017 9:00 am

Starting cold Why is US Presidential Inauguration Day always on 20 January? — The date was moved from 4 March…

What physicists understand that economists don’t

21 January 2017 9:00 am

Particle of faith Sir: Fraser Nelson draws our attention to the most worrying aspect of economists getting it wrong, which…

The Stonehenge tunnel is monumental folly

21 January 2017 9:00 am

The Stonehenge tunnel is a ruinously expensive plan that will deprive millions of a small but important pleasure

The Spectator on the killing of Rasputin

7 January 2017 9:00 am

From ‘News of the Week’, The Spectator, 6 January 1917: The war has been crowded with romantic adventures by sea…

Why Putin’s Russia will be keeping quiet about 1917

7 January 2017 9:00 am

The 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution presents today’s Russian autocrats with an embarrassing dilemma

Infantrymen, circa 1915

The first world war’s Christian soldiers

10 December 2016 9:00 am

From a letter published under the heading ‘The religion of the ordinary soldier’, The Spectator, 23 December 1916: During a discharge…

America’s first great cultural export

How Santa Claus ate Father Christmas

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Presents, stockings, the flying sleigh? It all began as a New York practical joke

Red dawn: Lenin demands revolution, April 1917

The centenary of the Russian revolution should be mourned, not celebrated

10 December 2016 9:00 am

As its centenary looms, never forget the brutal oppression ushered in by the Russian Revolution

The consolations of sports geekery

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Sports geekery is a comfort in dark times – like, say, now

‘Snow scene in the Garden of a Daimyo’. Triptych by Hiroshige and Uagawa Kunisada

The terrible beauty of snow

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Here is William Diaper in 1722, translating Oppian’s Halieuticks (a Greek epic poem on the loves of the fishes): As…