February issue out now


The latest issue of BBC History Magazine is now on sale. In our new edition, Charlotte Hodgman talks to Professor Mark Ormrod about how the Black Death shaped medieval society, and takes a look at nine places associated with the deadly disease.


Elsewhere in the magazine Mark Nicholls explains how the celebrated Elizabethan polymath Walter Ralegh fell foul of King James and ended up on the executioner’s block.

The February issue also features Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of a new biography of Jerusalem, who speaks to Rob Attar about how the city became so special and why it has been beset by violence for thousands of years.

Also in this issue, Stella Tillyard looks beyond the high society Regency world of Jane Austen novels and finds a time of unrest and uncertainty, while Peter Hart offers his explanations for the Allies’ failure at Gallipoli.

Meanwhile, John Styles, curator of the exhibition now running at the London Foundling Hospital, explains how heartbroken parents giving up their children often left keepsakes in an effort to express their emotions, and Martin Johnes reflects on a century and a half of Anglo-Welsh relations, and considers how the sporting clashes between the two countries have helped shape the story.

Other topics this month include the adventures of Ólafur Egilsson, who escaped from a life of north African slavery after being captured by Barbary corsairs on the Icelandic coast and returned to tell the tale. Adam Nichols tells his story.

Also featured in February’s magazine is the history of shaving, which has links with technological progress, the Enlightenment, and the vagaries of fashion, as Alun Withey and Chris Evans explain.


You can buy the magazine in all good newsagents. If you’ve read it and would like to comment on the articles, you can join the discussion on our forum or get in touch with us by post, telephone or email.