WELCOME MARCH 2021
Blanche of Castile (picturedwithherson, Louis) is one of the powerful royal women we meet in this month’s essential guide
When we think of the key individuals of the Middle Ages, we might be forgiven for immediately turning to the well-known faces of Richard III, William the Conqueror, Henry V or Richard the Lionheart – men whose power and influence have been well recorded in both contemporary and modern sources. But what about the women who stood beside them and whose roles – and lives – have so often been overlooked by past historians?
In this month’s essential guide, we’ve teamed up with Dr Elena Woodacre, an expert in medieval queenship at the University of Winchester, to explore women as leaders throughout the Middle Ages – as rulers in their own right, as mothers, wives and daughters, strong political and military figures, and patrons of religion and culture. Turn to page 26 to get started.
Elsewhere, we investigate a Victorian crime as intriguing as any Sherlock Holmes detective novel – a mystery that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself tried to solve, and one that can tell us a great deal about attitudes to race and justice in Edwardian England. Don your deerstalker hat and head to page 58 to read more. We al so explo re how h i sto ry might have been d i erent had the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 deteriorated into full-scale war (page 70); chart John Cabot’s epic journey to North America in 1497 (page 16); examine sculptor and painter Michelangelo’s artistic genius (page 62); and look at the impact of the infamous Corn Laws of the 19th century (page 21).
Finally, don’t forget to take advantage of this month’s great subscription o er, which could see you receive a free book worth up to £30! e full details can be found on page 24.
Until next month, stay safe.
Charlotte Hodgman Editor
THIS MONTH’S BIG NUMBERS
1m The number of people believed to have died in Ireland during the famine of 1845–49
300 The number of figures that Michelangelo painted on the ceiling of the
£1,313 The cost of the jewel-encrusted crown given to Joan of Navarre by her husband
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(L-R) - MARGARET
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