In the month since issue 9 was published the trees have lost their leaves, the nights have drawn in and the days keep getting colder. At this time of year many of us turn to all kinds of sources for comfort and in this issue we’ve focused on one of our favourites – baking.

We’ve crossed time and space to study baking from the very beginning of civilisation. If you’re a fan of yeast products, Breaking Bread in the Ancient World will show you how bread has circumvented the ravages of time to look almost identical now as to how it did two millennia ago. Continuing the theme of tradition, the afternoon tea is a whimsical treat that is as enjoyable for us now as it was for its creator three centuries ago – find out where it all started in this issue.

As for truly international foods, do you really know where your ‘New York’ bagel comes from? Or why Paris is the capital of confectionary? Our histories of both may well surprise you. Finally, we’ve looked to home to see what happened to baking during the Industrial Revolution, when Manchester was the epicentre of commerce in the UK.

After the rises in energy prices were announced recently, many of us are anticipating a particularly cold winter. History Behind the Headlines should go some way to explaining why fuel is so expensive in the UK today and why some alternative options prove contentious at best. Remaining on the controversial, we’ve looked at the women who stood beside, or in some cases even in front of, some of the major dictators of the last century, following the death of Tito’s widow Jovanka Broz. To subvert this, we’ve celebrated free speech and royal babies alongside the dicey history of policing and some audacious heists.

The features we introduced you to in issue 9 are back. Our year in photos is 1963, in deference to the Kennedy assassination anniversary. In the next issue we will review some of the plethora of programmes covering this so do get in touch if you have any strong feelings about those you’ve seen. If you still have some historical gaps remaining, our History You Should Know covers the rise of Mussolini and the Gettysburg Address so some more of these should be filled. Dr Jenny Spinks recommended this issue’s Undiscovered Hero – if you’re interested in very early human rights you should read this.

Finally, we’ve been very fortunate this issue to be able to bring you some fantastic insights into the department. In the final few pages you will find an interview with an alumnus that offers a fascinating view of how the city itself appeared to students in the 1960s. A recent MA History student at Manchester has also offered his views on studying here, though these ones may be slightly more applicable to those of you who have considered carrying on your studies after graduation!

As ever, thank you to all those involved in this issue, which will hopefully provide you with some warming entertainment on the cold, dark bus home. It may even inspire you to do some baking! In the meantime, if you’d like to get involved in the Historian or have any opinions for us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.