Popular interest in Richard III seems to show little sign of abating, as his first place in our recent History Hot 100 poll confirmed. But is there really anything more to say about him? Well, according to Chris Skidmore, author of this month’s cover feature, there certainly is. For his piece on page 27 he tackles one of the thorniest issues of all: Richard’s dramatic and violent path to power. Was he an evil schemer or did events propel him in a direction he’d never intended to go?
Also this month we’re covering two of the biggest anniversaries of 2017: the centenary of Russia’s communist revolution and the quincentenary of the European Reformation. On page 20, a panel of distinguished experts discuss the birth of the Soviet Union. Then turn to page 44, whereDavid Starkey is on typically controversial form as he offers his views on Martin Luther, Henry VIII and the wider impact of the rise of Protestantism. Both anniversaries are also being extensively covered on BBC radio and TV. You’ll find more details on page 77.
Another highlight of the BBC’s autumn history schedule is a dramatic retelling of the gunpowder plot on BBC One, starring Kit Harington of Game of Thrones fame. To coincide with the series, we asked Hannah Greig and John Cooper, historical advisors to the drama, to answer some of the key questions about the events of 1605. Head to page 50 to find out why the plotters ultimately failed and what their plans for England were, had the gunpowder done its work.