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FEBRUARY 2015

CONTENTS

Features

Every month

6 ANNIVERSARIES 11 HISTORY NOW 1 1 The latest history news

14 Backgrounder: US race relations 17 Past notes

Discover why Christians thought they were ‘cursed’ by sexual lust, on page 44

22 What did Magna Carta mean to the English in 1215? David Carpenter weighs up what impact Magna Carta had on barons, knights, women and peasants in the 13th century

28 The amazing legacy of Magna Carta Nick Vincent reveals how the charter has changed the course of world history

36 Captured by the Germans Former PoWs’ accounts of how they were captured give us a unique perspective on war in the trenches, argues AD Harvey

44 Christianity’s rocky relationship with sex Diarmaid MacCulloch traces the church’s 2,000-year obsession with physical love

51 Victorian murder scandals Clive Bloom investigates the 19th-century fascination with macabre killings

56 Britain at war over Vietnam Harold Wilson’s policy on the war in Asia sparked fury at home, says Sylvia Ellis

18 LETTERS 21 MICHAEL WOOD’S VIEW 40 OUR FIRST WORLD WAR 61 BOOKS Experts review new releases,

plus Anita Anand discusses her book on a prominent su ragette

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

78 OUT & ABOUT 78 History explorer: life in the Victorian workhouse 82 Ten things to do in February 84 My favourite place: Languedoc

87 MISCELLANY 87 Q&A and quiz 89 Sam’s recipe corner 90 Prize crossword

98 MY HISTORY HERO CarolineQuentinonWilliamHogarth

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

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ABOVE: English forces under King John clash with the French. Defeat at Bouvines in 1214 to Philip II of France so weakened John that he was soon forced to submit to his barons’ demands to seal Magna Carta BELOW: A scene from the Queen Mary Psalter (c1310–20) shows peasants reaping corn. The Great Charter did little to improve the lot of the 1.5 million unfree residents of 13th-century England

BBC History Magazine

COVER STORY

What did Magna Carta mean to the English in 1215?

It famously went on to inspire everyone from Cromwell to Gandhi, but what impact did King John’s Great Charter have on his subjects in the year that it was sealed? David Carpenter investigates

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A peasant cuts hay with a scythe in a 13th-century illumination. Magna Carta discriminated against huge swathes of the population, argues David Carpenter

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USPS Identification Statement BBC HISTORY (ISSN 1469-8552) (USPS 024-177) February 2015 is published 13 times a year under license from BBC Worldwide by Immediate Media Company Bristol Ltd, 9th Floor, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol BS1 3BN, UK. Distributed in the US by Circulation Specialists, Inc., 2 Corporate Drive, Suite 945, Shelton CT 06484-6238. Periodicals postage paid at Shelton, CT and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to BBC HISTORY, PO Box 37495, Boone, IA 50037-0495.

36 The grim experiences of First World War PoWs

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