But wait, you might be saying, this is not a book. It’s not even an e-book. You’re right. I can’t deny that BBC History Magazine is, by it’s own admission, not a book. It occurred to me that some readers may not be aware of this really outstanding publication. It seems like a lot for the American reader to spend on a magazine, I know. I take advantage of the Christmas subscription rates. December often brings a sharp reduction. (The normal digital price hovers around $7 USD, the paper issue around $8 USD.)
Yet this is one of the very few things I still purchase in paper format. Without fail, without question, without blinking at price fluctuations when I did not have a subscription. For the price of an Agency paperback I get hours more of enjoyment. I listen to the podcast as well, but never before reading the issue cover to cover. Sometimes, rarely, I disagree with BBC History utterly. Challenged on an article referring to Native Americans as ‘Indians’ the Letter Column asserted that ‘Indian’ was the correct (indeed preferred) American term even citing the Bureau of Indian Affairs as proof. Let’s just say it’s not as simplistic as it was made out to be.
Those sort of quibbles aside, BBC History consistently offers excellent and engaging history made completely accessible. Want to know what the streets of Tudor London smelled like? They’ve got you covered, right down to why it was bad but better than the Seine. Wondering if the Roman Occupation was all that? Britannia has a defender in BBC History. If I had to give up an expenditure in my entertainment budget, this magazine would be one of the very last items to go. We don’t have an American magazine of this caliber, obsessed as we are with WW2 and the Civil War. A magazine that would delve into King Philip’s War or the Trouble With Trumans? Not easy to find, and often slanted to a certain political point of view to boot.
If you’ve a magazine of the same quality as BBC History, please recommend it to me. If you’ve never checked out BBC History hit their website up to sample the wares.