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This month’s best historical reads

Red Thread: On Mazes and Labyrinths

Jonathan Cape, £25, hardback, 224 pages,

ALAMY X1, GETTY X1, PHOTO OF CHARLOTTE HIGGINS BY DAVID LAVENE

The labyrinth of Crete, with its elaborate, winding paths and imprisoned half-man half-bull minotaur, remains a compelling image from ancient myth, even thousands of years later. In Red read, journalist Charlotte Higgins navigates the origins of the story and its impact on cultures around the world – from other classical civilisations to medieval mazes and more modern constructions.

The minotaur was said to be King Minos’s son, born to his wife after some interference from the god Poseidon
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About BBC History Revealed

At the dawn of the second century BC, two titans of the ancient world went to war: Macedon, the pre-eminent power of Ancient Greece, and Rome, then still an upstart republic. This is the complete story of a war that defined antiquity, where phalanx clashed with legion. Plus: Protest and turmoil ripples around the world in 1968; the split loyalties of Thomas More, the accident that made Frida Kahlo an artist, a glimpse inside the Titanic & more.