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Books

This month’s best historical books

BOOK OF THE MONTH

The Time Traveller’s Guide to Restoration Britain

By Ian Mortimer

Bodley Head, £20, 400 pages, hardback

Named for the resumption, in 1660, of the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies under Charles II after the republican governments of the Civil War, Restoration Britain - which, in Ian Mortimer’s new book, extends as far as 1700 - was a period of rapid change and cultural innovation. Some of the most recognisable icons of British history reside here, from Samuel Pepys and the Great Fire of London to the endeavours of Isaac Newton and Christopher Wren. Mortimer charts these skillfully, but also sets them alongside the experiences of less well-known individuals. It’s a vivid portrait of a 40-year period whose effects, he argues, are still being felt today.

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About History Revealed

Discover the real King Arthur with our exclusive article from archaeologist Miles Russell, who believes that the legendary figure was in fact a Dark Age warlord. Elsewhere, Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell go head to head, take a look at life on the Thames in the Victorian era, and learn about the forgotten storyteller who wrote one of our most-loved fairytales.