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MARCH 2015

CONTENTS

Features

Every month

Find out who really orchestrated the killing of Julius Caesar, on page 32

24 Welcome to Britannia Bronwen Riley opens a window on Britain in AD 130, when relations between the Romans and natives were far from cordial

32 The death of Caesar History has largely ignored one of the masterminds of the plot to kill the great Roman general, says Barry Strauss

38 Dressed for war Charlotte Hodgman explains why fashion ourished on the home front during the Second World War

44 The English ‘colony’ in deepest France Simon Harris and Guilhem Pépin reveal how the duchy of Aquitaine resisted French e orts to crush it for 300 years

51 A seventh wife for Henry VIII? David Baldwin pro les Katherine Willoughby, the woman who almost led the king up the aisle for a seventh time

56 Sex in high places Randy noblemen and cavorting courtesans star in Susan Law’s dissection of the sex scandals that rocked Georgian Britain

6 ANNIVERSARIES 11 HISTORY NOW 1 1 The latest history news

1 4 News feature: Richard III 1 6 Backgrounder: Charlie Hebdo 1 8 Past notes

20 LETTERS 22 MICHAEL WOOD’S VIEW 54 OUR FIRST WORLD WAR 63 BOOKS Experts review new releases,

plus Richard Davenport-Hines discusses his new book on Keynes

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

80 OUT & ABOUT 80 History explorer:

the young Shakespeare 84 Ten things to do in March 86 My favourite place: Plovdiv

93 MISCELLANY 93 Q&A and quiz 95 Sam’s recipe corner 96 Prize crossword

98 MY HISTORY HERO OmidDjalilichoosesSamKinison

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

24

COVER STORY

WELCOME TO BRITANNIA

Bronwen Riley takes the pulse of Roman Britain in AD 130 and nds that, 80 years a er the conquest, tensions are still simmering – especially in the borderland around Hadrian’s Wall

BBC History Magazine

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BBC History Magazine

Britannia lay at the northwesternmost boundaries of an empire so vast that it encompassed “the ocean where the sun god rises to the place where he sinks”. Although an imperial province for more than 80 years, ever since the emperor Claudius, accompanied by elephants, claimed it for Rome, in AD 130 Britannia and her inhabitants remained a byword for a remote land and distant people.

For anyone making the perilous journey across to Britannia’s shores, expectations, as far as we can tell, were low. The natives were considered to be uncultured and generally unpromising, though their plain clothes were of most excellent quality wool and their hunting hounds were deemed to be effective, if unprepossessing in looks. The climate, too, left much to be desired. Here was a place where the rain fell, the sun was seldom seen, and a thick mist was said to rise from the marshes “so that the atmosphere in the country is always gloomy”.

Although the crossing from Gesoriacum (Boulogne) to Rutupiae (Richborough in Kent) was comparatively short (somewhere between six and eight hours), the symbolic distance was immense. For to set foot on a

Hadrian’s Wall dissects the countryside of northern England. By AD 130, the wall’s turf sections were being rebuilt in stone and many adaptations being carried out, a sure sign that trouble was afoot

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USPS Identification Statement BBC HISTORY (ISSN 1469-8552) (USPS 024-177) March 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.

51 The woman who almost wed Henry VIII

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38 Why gas masks and rationing weren’t a barrier to looking good in the Second World War

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