Trouble with the neighbours
If you know someone called Carter, Francis or Mortimer, then you know someone with French origins. These are just three of the hundreds of common ‘English’ names with their roots in Normandy. British history is entwined with that of our neighbours across the English Channel ( la Manche to our Gallic cousins). But nothing so epitomises the endlessly uneasy relationship between England and France as the Hundred Years’ War ( p28 . England eventually lost – but had it not been for a freak storm in 1360, who knows how things might have panned out? Sticking with the unknown, don’t miss our bumper pull-out supplement investigating the 50 greatest mysteries in history ( centre pages , in which we explore subjects that have kept us guessing – from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Of course, history is all about uncovering great stories from the past, and we have plenty more great tales to reveal. Ever heard about the Nazis who landed a U-boat in New York during World War II ( p58 ? Or the 19th-century mother of three who accepted a bet to cycle round the world – despite never having been on a bike ( p69 ?
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It was 50 years ago today that the Beatles created the soundtrack to the Summer of Love (