The Nazi death camp at Auschwitz was liberated 70 years ago today, but the world still struggles to understand the minds of those who committed the atrocities there. Laurence Rees, writer and producer of a major BBC TV series marking the event, has interviewed war criminals from German, Russian and Japanese camps and he explains why many of the former Nazi soldiers he met had a different mentality from the others.
This article was first published in the January 2005 issue of BBC History Magazine
In the Middle Ages, the nation that was to give the world the full English widely skipped breakfast. Yet, by 1600, a culinary non-entity had become a key part of our daily routine. Why the change? Ian Mortimer investigates.
This article was first published in the April 2013 issue of BBC History Magazine
History tells us much about the lives of the people who ruled in the 1500s, but what of those further down the social scale? Deborah Youngs examines a rare personal notebook from one of the lesser gentry.
This article was first published in the May 2009 issue of BBC History Magazine.
One of the most hotly anticipated historical dramas of recent years will finally come to television screens tonight. Starring Homeland’s Damian Lewis, Wolf Hall will follow the meteoric rise of Thomas Cromwell in the Tudor court, from his lowly start as the son of a blacksmith to becoming Henry VIII’s closest advisor. We caught up with Dr Catherine Fletcher, a historical adviser on the BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novels. Here, she shares some of the more unusual elements of the job…
For most of the five centuries since Henry VIII sent his chief minister to the scaffold, historians have cast Thomas Cromwell as a scheming, rapacious vulture. But does this characterisation really do him justice? Diarmaid MacCulloch investigates.
This article was first published in the March 2013 issue of BBC History Magazine
It is a period famed for the high-profile marriages of Henry VIII and his six wives, but what of nuptials lower down the social pecking order? Here, as part of our Tudor Week celebrating the arrival to television screens of the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall, Professor Ralph Houlbrooke from the University of Reading reveals the customs surrounding love and marriage in Tudor times
The Tudor dynasty is one of the best known in history, popularised by the likes of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Edward VI. But do we really know all there is about this turbulent period? Here, to mark the launch of our September issue, which includes a feature on the fall of Thomas Cromwell, historian Tracy Borman reveals five things you (probably) didn’t know about the Tudors.
This article was first published at HistoryExtra.com in August 2014