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JULY 2017

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King John was one of England’s least popular monarchs and there must have been many people during his reign who wished to see him dead. But did one of them take the ultimate step and assassinate the king, as a rumour that swept 13th-century Europe suggests? In this issue’s cover feature on page 20, Dr Laura Ashe investigates this allegation and considers what the story can tell us about medieval attitudes towards kingship.

Another dramatic tale we are exploring this month is the 1940 evacuation of Allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk. This iconic moment in Britain’s Second World War story is the subject of a major new historical blockbuster starring the likes of Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh. On page 50, Dr Tim Benbow narrates the tale of the Allied operation and considers some of the big questions that still occupy historians today. Did Hitler allow the Allies to escape? And how much did the evacuation a ect the war’s outcome?

One of the topics that has dominated British political discourse in recent years has been that of migration, which came into sharp focus at the time of the EU referendum. Though nowadays the discussions mainly revolve around those coming in to Britain, back in the 17th century there was great concern about the huge numbers leaving the country. On page 40 James Evans explains why hundreds of thousands ed England to seek a better life in the Americas, and reveals whether their new lives matched up to their aspirations.

Rob Attar Editor BSME Editor of the Year 2015, Special Interest Brand

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS

Laura Ashe King John is famous for being a truly terrible king – and his people thought so at the time. But the fact that medieval people believed they had the right to judge their king would change history. P Laura asks if ‘Bad’ King John was murdered on page 20

Clare Mulley These women were not just small cogs in a machine doing what was expected of them. They made great e orts not just to work, but to lead the way in maledominated industries. P Clare talks about her new book on two women who flew for the Nazis on page 65

James Evans Why did so many people leave 17th-century England for North America? Both Bismarck and Churchill thought the fact that they did was the most important in the modern world. P James explores England’s 17th-centur y migration cr i s i s on page 40

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