Emma Mason

Emma Mason is Digital Editor for BBC History Magazine

Children using computers, July 1980. (SSPL/Getty Images)

From iPads to wafer-thin laptops, home computers (in one form or another) are today commonplace. But when did we first embrace this technology? Tom Lean, the author of Electronic Dreams: How 1980s Britain Learned to Love the Computer, investigates…


Most of us are familiar with British history’s landmark events: the Roman invasion, the battle of Hastings, Magna Carta, the Reformation and so forth. But what about the overlooked, lesser-known moments? In his new book, Philip Laycock takes readers on a journey through Britain’s hidden history...

Mary Tudor (1516–58) in 1544. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Mary I was known posthumously as ‘Bloody Mary’ for her persecution of Protestants. We bring you eight facts about the Tudor monarch…

Medieval couple being married by a clergyman. (PHAS/UIG via Getty Images)

Getting married in the medieval period was incredibly simple for Christians living in western Europe – all they had to do was say their “I do’s” to each other. But, as Sally Dixon-Smith reveals, proving that you were actually married and had not tripped up on the many potential ‘impediments’ to marriage might be another thing altogether…

Ancient Egyptian childbirth scene. (DeAgostini/Getty Images)

Throughout history our ancestors have sought to combat disease, relieve pain and postpone death. Here, Caroline Rance, the author of The History of Medicine in 100 Facts, shares seven fascinating tidbits from medicine’s long and often shocking past…

This article appears in BBC History Magazine's The Story of Medicine bookazine

Henry VIII. (The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)

Historian and author Tracy Borman has expressed doubts about a new study that concludes Henry VIII’s erratic behavior in the later years of his life can be explained by a brain injury caused by jousting

Henry VIII by Hans Holbein, c1536/37. (Universal History Archive/Getty Images)

He is one of the most controversial figures in European history, best remembered for executing two of his six wives and for breaking away from the Catholic Church in what became known as the Reformation. Now, a new study concluding that Henry VIII suffered brain damage caused by a jousting injury offers the strongest explanation of his erratic behaviour “short of miraculously finding his preserved brain in jar,” its lead author has claimed

The Intervention of the Sabine Women, 1799. (Exotica.im/UIG via Getty Images)

Our fascination with Ancient Rome has inspired a glut of books, documentaries, movies and even games. But, writer Jem Duducu points out, our focus tends primarily to centre on just one period – the era from Julius Caesar to (roughly) Constantine the Great. Here, Jem brings you seven lesser-known facts about the fascinating years before Nero or Hadrian, and about the era of Roman decline…

Jews waiting for the deportation to a concentration camp - Imagno/Getty Images

Orchestrated by anti-Semitic Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the Holocaust saw the systematic murder of more than six million Jews. Here, leading historians of the Holocaust debate whether more should more be done to remember the Holocaust in Britain.

This article was first published in February 2014

Cleopatra coin, 2007. (Scott Heppell/AP/Press Association Images)

She was described by the Roman historian Cassius Dio as “a woman of surpassing beauty”, and is portrayed by Hollywood as a glamorous seductress. But was Cleopatra really the famous beauty she is often depicted as? Professor Kevin Butcher investigates…

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