History in the News: January 2021

Welcome to History in the News! It’s pretty self explanatory… but please comment if you have any suggestions!


5 January: A set of bones has been found in the walls of a 1860s monastery. BBC News.

7 January: University College London apologises for it’s links to eugenics, including coiner of the term, Francis Galton. Guardian.

14 January: The key to Napoleon’s prison bedroom has sold for £81,900 at auction. It was found in an old trunk in Scotland. BBC News.

14 January: A Tintin drawing by the Belgian artist Herge sold for 2.6 million euros, breaking the record for the most expensive comic book art in history. The Independent.

26 January: X-rays from Medieval skeletons in Cambridge show high levels of injury (44%) in manual workers. BBC News.

26 January: Radiographer Margaret Harding obituary. Guardian.

27 January: 10 Spanish maps, believed to have been drawn the year after the Spanish Armada (1588), were sold to an buyer in July but an export ban was imposed and the maps were ‘saved for the nation’ after £600,000 was raised to buy them. BBC News.


Have You Ever Heard Of…? Episodes on: Ching Shih, George Fox and Tom Sayers.

History Extra Podcast. Episodes released daily, some January topics include: Bizarre books, Lenin’s revolutionary train journey, The decline and death of Henry VIII, How Oceans shaped human civilisation, The hunt for Caesar’s killers and a guide to Norse Gods.

In Our Time (History). 21 January: The Plague of Justinian.

History of England: Working his way through Elizabethan times.

The Memory Palace: The Stone (an ancient Greek story).

TV Shows & Film

The Windermere Children on the BBC: The story of the pioneering project to rehabilitate child survivors of the Holocaust on the shores of Lake Windermere.

Inside the Mind of Robert Burns on the BBC: Writer Alan Bissett explores the complex brain of Robert Burns in a quest to discover the real man behind the myths and reveal the conflicts in his life and work.

The Dig on Netflix: a widow hires an excavator to dig up her land, where they find long lost treasure. On the brink of war, tension rises as others get wind of the find. (I watched this recently and loved it). Based on real events.

Dachau Liberation on Amazon Prime.

Black Seeds: The History of Africans in America on Amazon Prime.


See a full list of new history releases on Goodreads here. Here I’ve picked a cross section that covers a number of interesting and different topics!

12 January: Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Andrea Pitzer

19 January: The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine by Janice P. Nimura

19 January: War of Shadows: Codebreakers, Spies, and the Secret Struggle to Drive the Nazis from the Middle East by Gershom Gorenberg

19 January: The African Lookbook: A Visual History of 100 Years of African Women by Catherine E. McKinley

26 January: Let the Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty by Maurice Chammah

28 January: China 1949: Year of Revolution by Graham Hutchings

Thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions let me know below and I’ll try to include them next month!

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