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JANUARY 2018

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As any reader of 1066 and All That will be aware, there are only two “genuine dates” in English history. One is of course the Norman conquest, while the second is 55 BC, when Julius Caesar launched the rst Roman invasion of Britain. Sellar and Yeatman may have been writing a parody, but there are good reasons for considering Caesar’s attack to be a major milestone in Britain’s past. For, while the Roman era did not o cially begin until 90 years later, these early incursions placed Britain rmly in the Roman orbit and transformed our relationship with Europe for centuries to come. In our cover feature, beginning on page 50, Guy de la Bédoyère revisits these remarkable events.

Another gure from the ancient world whose career we are exploring this month is the Egyptian queen Nefertiti. Her glamorous bust is one of the most iconic images that have passed down to us from ancient Egypt. But, asks Joyce Tyldesley on page 62, has this stunning artefact actually skewed our historical understanding of Nefertiti?

Finally, this month sees the release of the latest historical blockbuster, Darkest Hour, in which Gary Oldman plays Winston Churchill during the dramatic early days of his premiership. With European nations collapsing before the German juggernaut, some in the cabinet argued for negotiations with Hitler. On page 20 Allen Packwood reveals how the new leader persuaded the nation to continue the ght until “each one of us lies choking in his own blood”.

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

THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS

Allen Packwood Things may seem uncertain now, but Churchill had only been prime minister for a few days when he found himself facing an unprecedented political and military crisis. As an archivist, it is interesting to revisit the sources. P Allen chronicles the first, fraught days of Winston Churchill’s premiership on page 20

Katherine Harvey People have always worried about their health. I’m exploring the ways in which ideas about medicine and religion in uenced sexual behaviour, and concerns about sexual health, in medieval England. P Katherine turns medieval sex doctor on page 57

Leanda de Lisle The ’secret rooms’ at Belvoir Castle hold the world’s greatest private collection of Civil War manuscripts. I had exclusive access for my research and found royal letters that give a fresh voice to Charles I and his maligned queen. They are quoted here for the rst time. P Leanda profiles Charles I’s courageous wife, Henrietta Maria, on page 26

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