What is Histories, then?

Histories is a regular journal exploring the hidden corners of history, usually in the English-speaking world, particularly Britain as that’s where I’m based – and using the words of people who were actually there at the time.

Each week I’ll send you an article on a historical theme – the free newsletter offers carefully curated excerpts from articles, diaries, letters and memoirs of the past; these alternate with the History by Numbers series for paying subscribers only. The aim is to find interesting stories about real people’s lives in the past, mostly away from the usual spotlights on royalty and people in the public eye (although occasionally those too).

Sometimes these windows onto the past will reflect the big events of history – what was it like being at the Great Exhibition, or in the American Civil War? – and at others they will offer interesting insights into what it was like doing a particular job, or illuminate daily life in the past. And where possible they will ferret out interesting little stories and vignettes.

Histories is brought to you by history journalist and editor Andrew Chapman – I’ve been writing in the history field since 2003. Between 2015 and 2018 I ran the magazine Your Family History and since 2011 I have been editor of Discover Your Ancestors; from 2023 I’m also the editor of Local History News. I’m in the UK so a lot of my material comes from British history, but I’m also going to be looking across the whole English-speaking world for interesting tales to share. But you’ll have to forgive my British spellings.

(Speaking of spellings, I have lightly edited some of the extracts to modernise spelling and some punctuation, purely for clarity, while preserving the words and tone of the original writers.)

Histories is a personal project to bring to light many of the fascinating things I have come across in the course of this work, on the assumption that people in the past have often had great stories to tell which have sometimes been forgotten or overlooked. You can enjoy these newsletters conveniently on any device, through your inbox or at this website.

NEW! Histories print edition

NEW! Histories is now available in other formats to paying subscribers – signing up for one of these options makes it possible for me to continue the long hours of research that go into writing Histories, and I’m hugely grateful! There are three options:

  1. Standard subscription ($5 a month or save 50% and pay $30 a year) – you will have access to the latest annual (and any previous editions) in ebook form (both PDF and EPUB formats). There will also be bonus ebooks for you: at present there are 7 of these, with more coming in future, and you have online access here to the full archive.

  2. Founder subscription ($75+ a year) – in addition to the ebooks described above you will receive the attractive paperback printed edition. There will be no extra charge for shipping.

  3. Or you can simply buy the printed anthology here.

If you like this sort of stuff, do please spread the word, too! Please click the like button that comes with each newsletter, and use the sharing options: these things make a huge difference. And if you come across great sources for these sorts of stories, please let me know! Replies to the newsletter will come directly to me.

Subscribe to Histories

Regular stories from the hidden corners of history, in the words of those who were there. Paying subscribers also receive the History by Numbers series.


Andrew Chapman

Writer, book publishing consultant and history magazine editor