One of my current favorite magazines — and I do mean magazine, not comic book — is a bimonthly out of Canada called History Magazine.
The magazine isn’t related in any way to the History Channel, which in my opinion is a good thing.
While the History Channel loves to focus intensely on World War II and other warfare, History Magazine has a much broader scope.
Each issue features extensive highlights from one decade from the past. And we aren’t talking the recent past. Most of the time, for example, the magazine spotlights a decade from the middle ages. This section is several pages long, complete with period art and illustrations.
Aside from its neat “decade” feature, it has a wide variety of small and large articles on diverse topics. Recent issues have explored the history of rural roads, candy corn, the London Bridge, vending machines and the history of the television.
My only real complaint is that the magazine is highly euro-centric. In fact, if a European or American wasn’t involved in some historical event, you won’t find it covered in History Magazine.
As a writer of role-playing game articles, adventures and games, I find it an invaluable resource for ideas. I imagine it might be a great resource for all sorts of writers and teachers, too.
In fact, I just got the new issue in the mail and it’s already starting a real brainstorm in my head.
Take a look for yourself at www.history-magazine.com. They even have an issue you can download as a PDF.
Take a look at it and tell me what you think!
Here’s a rundown of what was in the September issue:
A Phony Fairy Tale: Phill Jones presents the story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Case of the Cottingley Fairies.
Roads of the Mid-19th Century: Jack L. McSherry, Jr. and Patrick McSherry look at the evolution of roads in North America.
Life on the Homefront During WWI: David A. Norris looks at civilian life in America during WWI.
The Battle of San Jacinto: Andrew Hind recounts the battle after the Alamo — a turning point in American military history.
A Metal for Modern Times: Steve Voynick tells how, in less than a century, aluminum changed the world.
Lights in the Darkness Astronomy and Charlemagne: According to Ralph Benton, the history of early astronomy is written in the stars.
Science, Sex and Super Crown Soap: From his book Infamous Scribblers, author Eric Burns describes Benjamin Franklin’s foray into printing and publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette.
Trial By Combat: Eric Jager looks at court-ordered duels in the Middle Ages and their modern legacy.