BBC History Magazine - - Welcome - Rob At­tar Edi­tor

Nar­ra­tives of Anne Bo­leyn’s life tend to fo­cus on her re­la­tion­ship with the man who mar­ried and sub­se­quently be­headed her, Henry VIII. But there is an­other fig­ure whose in­flu­ence on the Tu­dor queen shouldn’t be un­der­es­ti­mated, and that is her fa­ther, Thomas Bo­leyn. A lead­ing light in Henry’s court, Thomas’s ac­tions were in­stru­men­tal in mould­ing Anne into the woman who would catch the king’s eye. In this month’s cover fea­ture, on page 26, Lau­ren Mackay ex­plores the fam­ily dy­nam­ics be­hind one of English his­tory’s best-known dra­mas.

Else­where, we are ex­plor­ing two crises – 70 years apart – that both led to tremen­dous ten­sions in the UK. On page 20, Robert Crowcroft shows how Cham­ber­lain’s at­tempts to pla­cate Hitler at Mu­nich in 1938 nearly brought down his gov­ern­ment. Then, on page 32, ex­perts re­flect on the 2008 fi­nan­cial cri­sis, com­par­ing it to pre­vi­ous crashes, and con­sid­er­ing how sharp a rup­ture it has been in 21st- cen­tury his­tory.

Of course 2008 is still very re­cent his­tory and some might con­sider that it is not yet his­tory at all. There is, how­ever, lit­tle agree­ment about how much dis­tance is re­quired be­fore his­to­ri­ans can be­gin their work and whether dif­fer­ent ap­proaches are needed when analysing events still fresh in the mem­ory. Th­ese are is­sues Ian Ker­shaw has wres­tled with in writ­ing a new his­tory of Europe since 1950 and in this month’s es­say, on page 59, he re­lates the chal­lenges he has faced in pro­duc­ing a book that sits en­tirely within his own life­time.

I hope you en­joy the is­sue.

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