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CHRISTMAS 2017

CONTENTS

Features

Every month

6 ANNIVERSARIES 9 HISTORY NOW 9 The latest history news

1 2 Backgrounder: Rohingya 14 Past notes: Christmas pudding

Read about the mysterious mania that swept medieval Europe, on page 46

20 The Peasants’ Revolt Laura Ashe asks what provoked the murderous rampage of 1381 that saw a rebel army ransack London

27 How to negotiate an exit Tom Cutterham assesses Benjamin Franklin’s approach to extricating the United States from the British empire

33 Britain’s invasion scares Sam Willis and David Coward trace how the threat of invasion has shaped the psychology and landscape of Britain

42 How great was Alfred? Max Adams examines how propaganda may have distorted the reputation of the Anglo-Saxon king

46 Medieval dance mania What was behind the dancing plague that saw people sometimes dance themselves to death? Helen Carr investigates

50 Catastrophe in Canada Tim Cook tells the story of the explosion that decimated the Nova Scotia port of Halifax during the First World War

16 LETTERS 19 MICHAEL WOOD’S VIEW 67 BOOKS OF THE YEAR Leading historians pick their favourite history reads from the last 12 months, plus a look ahead to the treats of 2018

77 TV & RADIO The pick of new history programmes and a look back on the best history television of 2017

80 OUT &ABOUT 80 History Explorer: Iron Age hillforts

84 My favourite place: Yaoundé

91 MISCELLANY 91 Q&A 92 Samantha’s recipe corner 94 Christmas quiz and prize Christmascrossword

98 MY HISTORY HERO ActorMiriamMargolyeschooses literarygiantCharlesDickens

40 SUBSCRIBE Save when you subscribe today

57 Lincoln’s jokes Richard Carwardine celebrates the humour of the 16th American president

* Available to UK Direct Debit orders only

60 Britain’s Bonnie and Clyde Alyson Brown reveals how a celebritygangster duo thrilled – and scandalised – Middle England in the 1930s

USPS Identification Statement BBC HISTORY (ISSN 1469-8552) (USPS 024-177) Christmas 2017 is published 13 times a year under licence from BBC Worldwide by Immediate Media Company Bristol Ltd, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol BS1 3BN, UK. Distributed in the US by NPS Media Group, 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 MAGAZINE, PO Box 37495, Boone, IA 50037-0495.

42 Is King Alfred worthy of his formidable reputation?

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50 The story behind history’s biggest manmade explosion

33 Invasion: how Britain built a siege mentality

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