Tim Harris argues that bad luck, rather than ineptitude, condemned Charles I to failure.
Meanwhile, Mark Bostridge looks at the events that overshadowed the countdown to the First World War.
Elsewhere in the magazine, Carl Thompson examines a case of cannibalisation in 1884, when the starving crew of the Mignonette were forced to eat their cabin boy.
And ahead of his new BBC series, Jeremy Paxman explores the experiences of people in the First World War.
Meanwhile, Miles Russell investigates how rich Roman Britons turned their homes into palaces.
Plus, historians nominate their most important photographs of all time.