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I O N O F T H E C H A P T E R O F W O R C E S T E R C AT H E D R A L
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R E P R O D U C E D B Y P E R M
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W O R C E S T E R C AT H E D R A L A R C H A E O L O G
I S T O P H E R G U Y
P H O T O G R A P H B Y M R C H R
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C O V E R C R E D
I N O T T
: J E N
PA G E
History is being made all the time, but in Britain we do seem to be living through a moment of particular signi cance for our national story. This issue goes on sale just a few days before Brexit is due to take place, and though much may have altered by the time you read these words, we still thought it would be a good opportunity to draw some historical parallels with the events of 2019. To that end we’ve asked a group of experts to describe ve previous episodes when Britain’s relationship with its European neighbours was dramatically altered – from the Roman empire to the Munich crisis. You’ll nd that on page 59.
Another subject dominating the news agenda recently has been the rise of anti-Semitism. It is, of course, one of the oldest prejudices, and for the Jews of England the medieval period was a particularly di cult time, ending with their expulsion under Edward I. In this month’s Explorer piece, on page 80, Jonny Wilkes and Sethina Watson pay a visit to the site of a 12th-century anti-Jewish massacre in York.
Less than a decade a er the pogrom in York, a new king arrived on the English throne, who was himself no stranger to wanton violence. While the debates over King John’s badness seem to have been decided (not in his favour) there are still questions to be asked about the origins of his malevolence. In this month’s cover feature, on page 26, Nicholas Vincent delves into John’s early life and reveals how his Irish adventures might explain his disastrous reign.
I hope you enjoy the issue.
Rob Attar Editor
THIS ISSUE’S CONTRIBUTORS
David Olusoga I have discovered that people want to commune with the ghosts of past residents and owners of their homes, to discover their names and something about their lives. P David tells us about Britons’ growing fascination with the history of their homes on page 38
KimWagner I wanted to explore the Amritsar Massacre of 1919 not as an isolated event but in the context of the British colonial mindset, and violence of the empire, in the 19th and 20th centuries. P Kim considers what the Amritsar Massacre can tell us about the British empire on page 50
Kelcey Wilson-Lee Medieval princesses weren’t the powerless pawns that we have come to expect. Their position provided the opportunity for extraordinary in uence, but also brought heavy expectation to act for England’s bene t. P Kelcey chronicles the ways in which royal women wielded power in the Middle Ages on page 45
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