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Jerry Brot­ton

Shake­speare’s re­la­tion­ship with his own his­tory re­mains sur­pris­ingly lit­tle known. As well as ex­am­in­ing his in­ter­est in high po­lit­i­cal his­tory, I’m fas­ci­nated by how Shake­speare drama­tised the lives of ex­iles, émi­grés and out­siders in ad­di­tion to those of roy­alty. Jerry looks at the sub­texts of eight plays on page 46

Ali­son Coo­ley

I have long been in­ter­ested in the way newly dis­cov­ered in­scrip­tions can offfff­fer un­ex­pected in­sights into the lives of the an­cient Ro­mans, whether record­ing the last known words of the em­peror Hadrian or re­veal­ing the im­pres­sion made on con­tem­po­rary view­ers by Hadrian’s Wall. Ali­son dis­cusses Hadrian’s itchy feet on page 26

Clare Jack­son

Charles II was a po­lar­is­ing char­ac­ter in his own time. One of the things about charis­matic in­di­vid­u­als is their ca­pac­ity to cre­ate an en­vi­able – but also quite elu­sive – qual­ity. Charles clearly di­vided con­tem­po­raries, and he’s totally po­larised his sub­se­quent re­cep­tion, too. Clare talks about the ‘merry monarch’ on page 65

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