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WELCOME

FEBRUARY 2024

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H A N D

There are few historical subjects as evocative as the Seven Wonders of the World. From the Great Pyramid of Giza to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Colossus of Rhodes, these ancient marvels continue to fascinate and inspire people today. In her cover feature this month, the historian Bettany Hughes guides us through these incredible monuments, intermixing their stories with her experiences of visiting the sites today. You’ll find that on page 20.

BBC History Magazine is not quite as venerable as the Seven Wonders, but we have reached a significant milestone with the publication of our 30 0 t h i s sue. We’re hugely grateful to all of you for engaging with the magazine, and I’d also like to extend my thanks to our regular contributors, without whom a magazine like this would not be possible. To mark the occasion we have joined forces with some of our favourite historians to create a 300-question trivia quiz, which you can find on page 42. I’m sure you’ll know all of the answers – but just in case you’re struggling with one or two, you can find the solutions, plus some more fascinating trivia, on page 84.

Finally, we’re launching a new regular feature this issue, highlighting surprising facts about popular historical topics – beginning with the Regency (page 40). It accompanies our online HistoryExtra Academy, which brings you a different short course from a historian each month, and is free to BBC History Magazine subscr ibers . Head to historyextra.com/academy to begin your journey.

Rob A t ta r Editor

THREE THINGS I’VE LEARNED THIS MONTH

1. Moneybugs

Among the unusual views westerners once held of the east was a belief that India was home to gold-digging ant s t hat were l a r ge r t han foxe s (p age 70 ).

2. Wellington go t t he boo t I learned plent y from Liz zie Rogers’ piece on the Regency, including the fact that the victor at Waterloo was turned away from an event for wearing the wrong trousers (page 40).

3. A mass i ve achievement

T he s c a l e of t he Seven Wonder s of t he Wor l d was of t en s t agger i ng.

I hadn’t r e a l i s e d b e fo r e t hat t he Gre a t

P y r amid of Gi z a was c ons t r uc t e d of an as to n i sh i ng 2. 3 mi l l i on b l o c ks (p age 23).

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS

Christopher Harding “The west has always been intrigued by Asia. Early on, that fascination involved stories and golden jewels, whereas into our own age, it’s much more about spiritual salvation and the renewal of societies back home.” Christopher traces the west’s fascination with India, Japan and China on page 70

Hannah Skoda “Breastfeeding in the Middle Ages lay at the heart of a much more expansive notion of parenthood and care-giving, with mothers, fathers, relatives and the wider community all involved.” Hannah reveals what breastfeeding can tell us about medieval society on page 35

Peter Coates “During the first Covid lockdown, from my home office I could see a big tree full of (grey) squirrels. Their distracting presence prompted me to write a book about this controversial species.” Peter chronicles Britain’s love-hate relationship with squirrels on page 64

Bettany Hughes “I set myself the task of travelling to the location where each of the Seven Wonders once stood. This, I reasoned, was the best way to get a feel for what these creations meant to the people of antiquit y.” Bettany considers what drove the ancients to create the Seven Wonders of the World on page 20

Contact us

P H O N E Subscriptions & back issues 03330 162115 Editorial 0117 300 8699 EMAIL Subscriptions & back issues www.buysubscriptions.com/ contactus Editorial historymagazine @historyextra.com POST Subscriptions & back is sues BBC History Magazine, PO Box 3320, 3 Queensbridge, Northampton, NN4 7BF. Basic annual subscription rates: UK: £90.87, EU overseas: € 96, USA: $49.95, AUS/NZ: AU$144 ROW: $109

In the US/Canada: Immediate Media, PO Box 4 01, Williamspor t , PA 17703; buysubscriptions. com/contactus; Toll-free 888-941-5623

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