The Historian 156: Out now

The magazine of the Historical Association

By Trevor James (editor), published 3rd February 2023


Read The Historian 156

The sadness that came with the death of our patron Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is tinged with our appreciation of her willingness many years ago to become our patron. Some of our older members will remember that she and the Duke of Edinburgh attended our 75th Anniversary proceedings at St Paul’s Cathedral and the ensuing reception at Stationers’ Hall in 1981. A momentous occasion. What very few of you will know is that the Duke was a regular reader of The Historian. We discovered this is 2008. In our summer edition we had published an article by Professor J. M. Lee, who was emeritus professor of Politics at Bristol University, entitled ‘Why the OBE survived the Empire’. This was a discussion about how in the 1960s there had been active consideration of re-aligning or indeed replacing the ‘honours system’ and this had revealed the Duke’s part in the debate. Some weeks after publication a letter arrived from the Duke’s private office at Buckingham Palace complimenting us on this particular item, a clear indication that we did indeed have a Royal reader. This is why, in mourning the passing of our Queen and Patron, we should also pay tribute to Prince Philip and the role that he played in public life, and indeed for his support of The Historian and the wider Historical Association.

When this edition of The Historian was being planned, a possible theme had been identified. In the event it was not possible to fulfil that aspiration but we hope that our loyal readers will nonetheless find the range of items that we are offering very gratifying. Our contributors range from newly emerging scholars to the much more experienced, and we have attracted the support of a prominent author, who uses history as the principal source material for her novels.

The range of topics is very extensive and demonstrates the fullness of historical enquiry – from research into literary sources, to the history of art, a less well-known international conflict, an unsolved mystery, the celebration of a Ukrainian woman doctor, and the appreciation of the local and international landscape, along with a much complimented Young Historian winner from 2022 and an archaeological report based on a very recent branch lecture.

What we have been able to assemble very swiftly is a tribute to our voluntary supporters who readily offer us an extraordinary range of possible items for consideration. This is a strength of the Historical Association and we do invite further potential contributors, so that we can continue to provide a service of this quality and range.