Emma Mason

Emma Mason is Digital Editor for BBC History Magazine

Margaret Rutherford as Miss Jane Marple. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Drawing upon her extensive chemical knowledge gleaned from working in a chemists’ during both world wars, Agatha Christie revelled in the use of poison to kill off hundreds of her characters – indeed, she employed it more than any other murder method. Now, a new book explores the poisons used by the celebrated crime novelist in 14 classic murder mysteries


The January 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine is now on sale

The battle of Bannockburn (The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)

In his book, Scottish History For Dummies, Dr William Knox from the University of St Andrews explores the story of Scotland and its place within the historical narratives of Britain, Europe and the rest of the world. The book charts Scotland’s turbulent past to the present day, and explains the impact of key historical figures such as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and philosopher David Hume...

This article was first published in September 2014

Kelpie, 1880. (© Private Collection/The Stapleton Collection/Bridgeman Images)

From dragons to devil dogs, from fairies to vampires, history is full of tales of mysterious creatures that haunt the British Isles. Carolyne Larrington from the University of Oxford explores how such folktales are deeply embedded in the British landscape, and reveals how through history they have helped people to deal with ubiquitous concerns about life and death...

William Gillette as Holmes. (Gillette/London Stereoscopic Company/Getty Images)

From his first appearance in 1887, in Beeton’s Christmas Annual, to Benedict Cumberbatch’s already iconic television incarnation, Sherlock Holmes and his crime-busting abilities have long fascinated readers and viewers alike…

William Shakespeare. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

From the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, to a revealing exhibition examining the history of underwear, 2016 looks set to be an exciting year. Here, we take a look at what lies ahead in the world of history...

Battle of Agincourt, 25 October 1415. © The Art Archive/Alamy Stock Photo

From ancient times to the present day, battles have been lost to dire weather, insufficient weaponry and bad luck. But what about those for which poor judgment and bad planning are to blame?

Mary, Queen of Scots c1560-61. (National Galleries Of Scotland/Getty Images)

They immediately succeeded the Tudors, and reigned over some of the most monumentally changeable times in British history – civil war, rebellion, the beheading of a king, plague outbreaks, a disastrous fire and a successful foreign invasion. Yet the Stuarts remain a largely overlooked dynasty...

Santa Claus lithographic, 1893. (Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)

The festive season is well and truly upon us, but how much do you know about the history of Christmas? Here, we bring you a festive extract from the newly released QI book – The Third QI Book of General Ignorance

Evening Party - Time of Charles II, 1850. (The Print Collector/Getty Images)

It is said to have been one of the most hedonistic courts in English history – a sexual merry-go-round of flirtation, seductions and infidelities. RE Pritchard explores the sexual liaisons of Charles II and the men and women at his court...

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