In 1869, Henry Morton Stanley went in search of the famous explorer, Dr. David Livingstone. Upon reaching the town of Ujiji, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Stanley encountered a white man and uttered one of the most famous sentences in the history of exploration: “Dr Livingstone I presume?” This fateful meeting captured the minds of 19th century explorers everywhere, and just as it did 150 years ago, exploration has captured our imaginations for this month’s issue of the Manchester Historian. Following on from Stanley’s adventurers we have looked into other great tales of exploration including the rediscovery of the Ancient city of Petra which was lost to the world for 2000 years, and the escapades of Marco Polo across the Middle Kingdom. We have not confined our historical reach to the earth however, we have journeyed from the moon and the planets, to the depths of the sea, considering how these discoveries have impacted history.
Looking beyond the headlines recently, we have dedicated an article to the 70 years anniversary since the liberation of Auschwitz, considering the importance of remembering such horrific events. We also turned our eye to recent events in Africa, looking into the radicalism that has inspired Boko Haram, the terrorist organisation committing atrocities in Northern Nigeria, and the origins of their aspiring caliphate. Outside the confinements of your course we are once again, trying to educate you in the history you should know, but might not. From the Tiananmen Square incident to the York suicide, our writers have documented the causes and events that took place in these cases. While you think you know about the abolition of African-American slavery in the US, the trials Lincoln overcame in passing the 13th Amendment are less known but laid the foundations for the end of slavery.
More locally, everyone recognises the head of Samuel Alexander sitting in the North Foyer of our beloved history building, so for this issue we thought we would look into the legend behind the man and why our building is named after him. Looking deeper in the history of the University, we explored Professor Tate; whose unique letters to student-soldiers fighting during the First World War have provided an important cornerstone of the University’s history.
We have also had the honour of interviewing renowned writer, Tim Butcher, whose books follow the adventures of famous historical characters whilst charting the recent history of the areas he traverses. To complement this, we have reviewed his latest book, The Trigger, which offers a unique insight into the mind of Gavrilo Princip, the catalyst of The Great War.
Thank you to all our writers and our wonderful team for their contributions. We hope you enjoy your journey of exploration through issue 18 of the magazine. If you are interested in writing for us please email firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch on our facebook page.
Xan and Zoey.
“I may not have proved a great explorer, but we have done the greatest march ever made and come very near to great success.” Robert Falcon Scott