In the latest issue:

Real Men Go to Tehran

Adam Shatz

What Trump doesn’t know about Iran

Patrick Cockburn

Kaiser Karl V

Thomas Penn

The Hostile Environment

Catherine Hall

Social Mobilities

Adam Swift

Short Cuts: So much for England

Tariq Ali

What the jihadis left behind

Nelly Lahoud

Ray Strachey

Francesca Wade

C.J. Sansom

Malcolm Gaskill

At the British Museum: ‘Troy: Myth and Reality’

James Davidson

Poem: ‘The Lion Tree’

Jamie McKendrick


Jenny Turner

Boys in Motion

Nicholas Penny

‘Trick Mirror’

Lauren Oyler

Diary: What really happened in Yancheng?

Long Ling


Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions of use refer to the London Review of Books and the London Review Bookshop website ( — hereafter ‘LRB Website’). These terms and conditions apply to all users of the LRB Website ("you"), including individual subscribers to the print edition of the LRB who wish to take advantage of our free 'subscriber only' access to archived material ("individual users") and users who are authorised to access the LRB Website by subscribing institutions ("institutional users").

Each time you use the LRB Website you signify your acceptance of these terms and conditions. If you do not agree, or are not comfortable with any part of this document, your only remedy is not to use the LRB Website.

  1. By registering for access to the LRB Website and/or entering the LRB Website by whatever route of access, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions currently prevailing.
  2. The London Review of Books ("LRB") reserves the right to change these terms and conditions at any time and you should check for any alterations regularly. Continued usage of the LRB Website subsequent to a change in the terms and conditions constitutes acceptance of the current terms and conditions.
  3. The terms and conditions of any subscription agreements which educational and other institutions have entered into with the LRB apply in addition to these terms and conditions.
  4. You undertake to indemnify the LRB fully for all losses damages and costs incurred as a result of your breaching these terms and conditions.
  5. The information you supply on registration to the LRB Website shall be accurate and complete. You will notify the LRB promptly of any changes of relevant details by emailing the registrar. You will not assist a non-registered person to gain access to the LRB Website by supplying them with your password. In the event that the LRB considers that you have breached the requirements governing registration, that you are in breach of these terms and conditions or that your or your institution's subscription to the LRB lapses, your registration to the LRB Website will be terminated.
  6. Each individual subscriber to the LRB (whether a person or organisation) is entitled to the registration of one person to use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site. This user is an 'individual user'.
  7. The London Review of Books operates a ‘no questions asked’ cancellation policy in accordance with UK legislation. Please contact us to cancel your subscription and receive a full refund for the cost of all unposted issues.
  8. Use of the 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is strictly for the personal use of each individual user who may read the content on the screen, download, store or print single copies for their own personal private non-commercial use only, and is not to be made available to or used by any other person for any purpose.
  9. Each institution which subscribes to the LRB is entitled to grant access to persons to register on and use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site under the terms and conditions of its subscription agreement with the LRB. These users are 'institutional users'.
  10. Each institutional user of the LRB may access and search the LRB database and view its entire contents, and may also reproduce insubstantial extracts from individual articles or other works in the database to which their institution's subscription provides access, including in academic assignments and theses, online and/or in print. All quotations must be credited to the author and the LRB. Institutional users are not permitted to reproduce any entire article or other work, or to make any commercial use of any LRB material (including sale, licensing or publication) without the LRB's prior written permission. Institutions may notify institutional users of any additional or different conditions of use which they have agreed with the LRB.
  11. Users may use any one computer to access the LRB web site 'subscriber only' content at any time, so long as that connection does not allow any other computer, networked or otherwise connected, to access 'subscriber only' content.
  12. The LRB Website and its contents are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. You acknowledge that all intellectual property rights including copyright in the LRB Website and its contents belong to or have been licensed to the LRB or are otherwise used by the LRB as permitted by applicable law.
  13. All intellectual property rights in articles, reviews and essays originally published in the print edition of the LRB and subsequently included on the LRB Website belong to or have been licensed to the LRB. This material is made available to you for use as set out in paragraph 8 (if you are an individual user) or paragraph 10 (if you are an institutional user) only. Save for such permitted use, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt such material in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department.
  14. All intellectual property rights in images on the LRB Website are owned by the LRB except where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited. Save for such material taken for permitted use set out above, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt LRB’s images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department. Where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, reproduce or translate such images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. The LRB will not undertake to supply contact details of any attributed or credited copyright holder.
  15. The LRB Website is provided on an 'as is' basis and the LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website will be accessible by any particular browser, operating system or device.
  16. The LRB makes no express or implied representation and gives no warranty of any kind in relation to any content available on the LRB Website including as to the accuracy or reliability of any information either in its articles, essays and reviews or in the letters printed in its letter page or material supplied by third parties. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) arising from the publication of any materials on the LRB Website or incurred as a consequence of using or relying on such materials.
  17. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) for any legal or other consequences (including infringement of third party rights) of any links made to the LRB Website.
  18. The LRB is not responsible for the content of any material you encounter after leaving the LRB Website site via a link in it or otherwise. The LRB gives no warranty as to the accuracy or reliability of any such material and to the fullest extent permitted by law excludes all liability that may arise in respect of or as a consequence of using or relying on such material.
  19. This site may be used only for lawful purposes and in a manner which does not infringe the rights of, or restrict the use and enjoyment of the site by, any third party. In the event of a chat room, message board, forum and/or news group being set up on the LRB Website, the LRB will not undertake to monitor any material supplied and will give no warranty as to its accuracy, reliability, originality or decency. By posting any material you agree that you are solely responsible for ensuring that it is accurate and not obscene, defamatory, plagiarised or in breach of copyright, confidentiality or any other right of any person, and you undertake to indemnify the LRB against all claims, losses, damages and costs incurred in consequence of your posting of such material. The LRB will reserve the right to remove any such material posted at any time and without notice or explanation. The LRB will reserve the right to disclose the provenance of such material, republish it in any form it deems fit or edit or censor it. The LRB will reserve the right to terminate the registration of any person it considers to abuse access to any chat room, message board, forum or news group provided by the LRB.
  20. Any e-mail services supplied via the LRB Website are subject to these terms and conditions.
  21. You will not knowingly transmit any virus, malware, trojan or other harmful matter to the LRB Website. The LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website is free from contaminating matter, viruses or other malicious software and to the fullest extent permitted by law disclaims all liability of any kind including liability for any damages, losses or costs resulting from damage to your computer or other property arising from access to the LRB Website, use of it or downloading material from it.
  22. The LRB does not warrant that the use of the LRB Website will be uninterrupted, and disclaims all liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred as a result of access to the LRB Website being interrupted, modified or discontinued.
  23. The LRB Website contains advertisements and promotional links to websites and other resources operated by third parties. While we would never knowingly link to a site which we believed to be trading in bad faith, the LRB makes no express or implied representations or warranties of any kind in respect of any third party websites or resources or their contents, and we take no responsibility for the content, privacy practices, goods or services offered by these websites and resources. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability for any damages or losses arising from access to such websites and resources. Any transaction effected with such a third party contacted via the LRB Website are subject to the terms and conditions imposed by the third party involved and the LRB accepts no responsibility or liability resulting from such transactions.
  24. The LRB disclaims liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred for unauthorised access or alterations of transmissions or data by third parties as consequence of visit to the LRB Website.
  25. While 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is currently provided free to subscribers to the print edition of the LRB, the LRB reserves the right to impose a charge for access to some or all areas of the LRB Website without notice.
  26. These terms and conditions are governed by and will be interpreted in accordance with English law and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  27. The various provisions of these terms and conditions are severable and if any provision is held to be invalid or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction then such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the remaining provisions.
  28. If these terms and conditions are not accepted in full, use of the LRB Website must be terminated immediately.
Europe: The First One Hundred Million Years 
by Tim Flannery.
Penguin, 368 pp., £10.99, June 2019, 978 0 14 198902 0
Show More
Show More

Deep inside​ the Bruniquel Cave, in southwestern France, there are a number of mysterious assemblages. Built out of broken and stacked stalactites, they form two circles, and half a dozen ‘raised structures’. Nearly four hundred stalactites, carefully snapped off, were used in making them. Uranium-series dating, which measures the decay of uranium isotopes, has established that they were created 176,000 years ago. There were no Homo sapiens in Europe then; the Bruniquel Cave constructions were made by Neanderthals. Nobody can say what they are or what they meant, just as no one knows why other Neanderthal cave sites feature collections of bear skulls arranged into patterns. People more and less like you and me painted the caves at Lascaux and Chauvet, and the human connection can still be felt. But Bruniquel doesn’t come from our past at all. The line goes dead, and there are strangers in the dark.

Cretaceous Europe, around eighty million years ago

Cretaceous Europe, around eighty million years ago

Push further back into the geological record, and everything becomes fluid. The seabed is found in the mountain, the forests are deep under the ground, the shorelines have been erased and written over. The very plates of the Earth have moved, the oceans have come and gone; what remains is a crumpled palimpsest of all these past states. Ancient and alien as they are, the Bruniquel monuments are still in situ. But at greater depths of time, does it make sense to talk about locations we know today? If we were to stand on the shores of the ancient Tethys Ocean a hundred million years ago, and look out towards a vast archipelago, could we really call our surroundings ‘Europe’?

Maybe so. Defining Europe at all is ‘a slippery undertaking’, Tim Flannery writes at the start of Europe, ‘its diversity, evolutionary history and shifting border make the place almost protean.’ But definitions can be found, and for natural history purposes Europe’s rocks provide a baseline: in strictly geological terms, ‘Europe extends from Ireland in the west to the Caucasus in the east, and from Svalbard in the north to Gibraltar and Syria in the south.’

Some of these rocks are ‘unimaginably old’ – more than three billion years in parts of Scotland, Scandinavia and the Baltic. But there wasn’t much life to be seen back then, so Flannery sets his time-machine for the hundred-million-years-ago mark, in the late Cretaceous period, the moment when the first distinctively European organisms evolved. Or at least, the moment when palaeontology begins to furnish us with evidence of such locally distinct creatures: Flannery is at pains to remind us that the incompleteness of the fossil record means we only ever have a very partial picture of life in the prehistoric past. ‘Ghastly blanks are the norm,’ he cautions, introducing the useful palaeontological axiom devised by Philip Signor and Jere Lipps in 1982, ‘since the fossil record of organisms is never complete, neither the first nor last organism in a given taxon will be recorded as a fossil.’ In other words, no individual fossil creature is exemplary of the first or the last of its kind; in palaeontology, we are always walking into the cinema halfway through the film, and leaving before the end.

What, then, were these first specifically European organisms? The most dramatic of them were peculiar, diminutive dinosaurs that inhabited a large island known as Hateg: horse-sized sauropods and mini titanosaurs, scaled-down duck-billed hadrosaurs and miniature herbivorous iguanodons. They were joined (and probably eaten) by a giant pterosaur, Hatzegopteryx, which walked rather than flew, and seems to have been the apex predator of the late Cretaceous Hateg ecosystem: as tall as a giraffe, with a three-metre-long skull and a ten-metre wingspan; Flannery describes it ‘crawling about on its wrists, with its great leathery wings folded over its body like a shroud’.

The fossils of the Hateg fauna were first discovered in the late 19th century by an eccentric Transylvanian baron, Franz Nopcsa von Felső-Szilvás. Nopcsa was an overlooked figure for most of the 20th century – perhaps because he was extremely rude, but also perhaps because he was openly gay – and his contribution to palaeontology has only recently been recognised. He was an obsessive fossil enthusiast and a serious but erratic scholar (at one point he planned to invade Albania and crown himself king), the first person to begin excavating and classifying the fossils of the Hateg basin in Romania. He was also the first to propose (correctly) that Cretaceous Europe had been an island archipelago, arguing that the small size of the continent’s dinosaurs could be attributed to insular dwarfism, the now well-recognised tendency of island species to become smaller than their mainland counterparts. The opposite, equally well-attested effect – island gigantism – may explain the giant Hatzegopteryx. Both processes are observable in the long history of Europe’s island faunas. Millions of years later, during the Pleistocene period, numerous Mediterranean islands, including Crete, Malta and Sicily, were home to an assortment of miniature elephants, most of which died out around 11,000 years ago (about the time when humans arrive on the islands, predictably). The dwarf elephant of Cyprus was only a metre high at the shoulder; the island was also home to a tiny, sheep-sized hippo. Minorca, meanwhile, had a giant rabbit as big as a medium-sized dog.

Nopcsa’s Hateg was a ‘land of dragons’, Flannery writes, conjuring with the imagery of European folklore. It was bounded to the south by the Tethys, a tropical ocean that divided the archipelago from Africa, reaching eastwards through what is now the Indian Ocean, and on towards Australasia. North of Hateg, a sprawl of islands gave onto the great landmass of Bal and the cold Boreal Sea, its waters white with an abundance of coccolithophores – microscopic phytoplankton, whose calcite casings would eventually form the chalk beds of Northern Europe. Further north still, a land bridge to North America existed via Greenland, while to the west of Hateg, an arc of islands that would become parts of Britain, Ireland, Spain and France ranged from the Boreal Sea down towards Africa. Populated by a unique fauna and flora that traced their ultimate origins to the regions that became North America, Africa and Asia, the archipelago was a ‘receiver of immigrants’.

Sixty-five million years ago, after an asteroid struck the Earth, Europe’s little dinosaurs were obliterated along with all the others – all the others that weren’t birds, anyway – and much besides. Around three-quarters of animal species became extinct, and the planet would take many millions of years to recover. The European world that gradually emerged in the battered aftermath of the impact is partially represented by a series of fossils discovered 25 metres beneath the turf of a football field in Hainin in Belgium. They show that five million years after the catastrophe, Hainin was an area of thick forest. Crocodiles, turtles and large fish populated its lakes; the undergrowth stirred with frogs, salamanders and small insectivores, including the strange kogaionids, the only mammals that have ever hopped like frogs to get around. Blind snakes and amphisbaenids burrowed through the leaf litter. It was a chthonic fauna: fossorial, subterranean, aquatic, amphibious. Such were the creatures whose ancestors had survived the asteroid strike, and the devastation and darkness that came in its wake. ‘It is as if only the bowels of the Earth itself could offer refuge from such destruction,’ Flannery writes.

Ten million years after the asteroid, a proto-continent was emerging from the northern waters of the archipelago, and the Earth was entering a phase of rapid warming (no one is quite sure what caused the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide at this point, though it seems to have been released into the atmosphere at a far slower rate than current emissions; soberingly, the eventual level of warming was 5-8°C). With no large herbivores to check plant growth after the death of the dinosaurs, Europe was blanketed by enormous trees – an ur-greenwood, pristine and un-munched for millions of years. The balance was upset by a new arrival from across the North American land bridge: Coryphodon, one of an early group of plant-eating mammals known as Pantodonts. They weighed the better part of a ton and were, according to Flannery, ‘overstuffed shrews … functioning somewhat like dim-witted bulldozers’. With no predators in their new home, they ‘feasted and wreaked havoc’, chomping their way through the stillness of the European forests. Other creatures arrived in their wake, drifting in over land and sea: primitive ferret and otter-like beings, pangolins, early predatory mammals, frogs and toads, bats, primitive ungulates and the first primates. The rat-like insectivores and hopping mammals of the European forests, isolated since the apocalypse, were swept away.

Something of the richness of this new Eocene fauna has been preserved at Messel, near Frankfurt, where the bottom of an ancient lake was discovered in the pit of a lignite mine. Fifty-four million years ago it was fringed by rainforest, and set about by volcanoes, which occasionally emitted clouds of carbon dioxide. Settling over the surface of the lake, these clouds spelled death for passing creatures. The muddy sediment into which they sank is now a yellowish oil shale, between whose leaves the creatures lie as perfect as pressed flowers, with fur, feathers, skin and stomach contents all immaculately petrified. Even colour has been preserved in some cases. It’s a snapshot of a lost world: crocodiles, gar, proto-hedgehogs, ostrich-like birds, primitive owls, falcons, parrots, turtles, beetles, and even a very early primate.

Almost all these beings in turn disappear, in an obscure extinction event that marked the end of the tropical Eocene and the start of the dryer, cooler Oligocene, about 34 million years ago. It is known as ‘la grande coupure’ (‘the great cut’) and as with most extinctions, it seems to have been brought about by climate change – in this case a rapid cooling, followed by the emergence of an entirely new fauna that replaced the old. The mammals of the Oligocene are often described as though they were halfway creatures, semi-formed prototypes: dog-bears (bear relatives that looked like dogs), bear-dogs (dog relatives that looked like bears), large cat-like sabre-toothed hunters that were not true cats, and the most charismatic members of the Oligocene bestiary, the entelodonts, or ‘hell pigs’: each as big as a cow and equipped with huge crocodile-like jaws, a sort of ‘gigantic, hyper-carnivorous warthog’. Not actually pigs at all, they were more closely related to whales.

Andso the cycles turn. Extinction follows extinction, one climactic epoch shades into the next, each startling array of fauna and flora is gradually or suddenly replaced. The slow grind of the continents pushes mountains into place and shapes the boundaries of the seas; land bridges open to allow great migrations, seas rise to cover the land, ice sheets encroach and then recede. Flannery charts the changes, as told in the fossils and rocks, and as revealed by the sciences that have read them. He dips into ocean and lake to examine the lost European coral reef, or the thirty million square mile raft of duckweed that once covered the Arctic, or the giant sea-snails of the Paris basin; he embarks on safaris through savannahs and laurel woods alive with a European megafauna of rhinos, early giraffes and chalicotheres: these were, he says, ‘among the strangest mammals that ever lived’, and included Anisodon, a being ‘so unfathomable as to belong in a fairy tale’. With a horse-like head on a gorilla-like body, walking on its knuckles in the manner of a great ape, it was ‘Europe’s answer to the ground sloths of South America and the gorillas of Africa’.

Among the more baffling and dramatic events he chronicles is the Messinian Salinity Crisis, a roughly 600,000-year period at the end of the Miocene, when the clockwise twist of the African continent closed the straits of Gibraltar and cut the Mediterranean off from the Atlantic. In only a thousand years the sea almost completely dried up, leaving a vast salt plain, baking hot and uninhabitable by anything other than extremophile bacteria. What had been islands became isolated plateaus, standing several kilometres proud of the salt; the mouth of the Nile cut itself a valley two and a half kilometres deeper than present-day Cairo. Eventually the Atlantic broke through again, falling in a four-kilometre waterfall into the empty basin of the sea, refilling the Mediterranean at a rate of ten metres a day.

The story of the continent’s infancy and growth is expertly and engagingly told. But as you might expect, the drama of the past set out here leads inexorably towards our own appearance on stage. As Bruniquel shows, however, others were here before us. Many others. The reconstructed early history of the hominins – the group that includes Homo sapiens as well as other kinds of people, long lost – is now thought to show that our earliest known human ancestor, Graecopithecus, came from the Europe of around seven million years ago. However, the evolution of Homo, our own genus, seems to have taken place in Africa, at a much later date. The first member to migrate northwards was Homo erectus, which crossed into Europe around 1.85 million years ago. Living partly in caves, and most likely using fire, they remained on the continent until about half a million years ago, when the Elster glaciation smothered the northern half of the continent in ice, transforming its environment once more.

They were supplanted by the Neanderthals, who also evolved in Africa, and who enter the European picture shortly after this glacial period. Bigger than modern humans, and with larger brains, Neanderthals shared 99.7 per cent of their DNA with us. Relatively little is known about their lives or their culture, though it seems they may have cared for the dead, something often considered a uniquely human trait. The Bruniquel constructions certainly speak of other mysteries. They had mastered fire, were capable, it seems, of preparing animal skins to wear, and had some relatively sophisticated technology – by about 300,000 years ago they were using tree bark to make pitch, with which to haft flint heads onto spears. Their skills with wood also appear to have been quite advanced: a cache of spears found in Germany are so carefully weighted that replicas have been found to fly ‘as well as the best modern javelins’. Much stronger than modern humans, Neanderthals were ‘obligate carnivores’, who fed almost exclusively on meat, hunting deer, boar, mammoths and aurochs. Their hair was red, their skin was pale, their eyes were blue; they were adapted to the cold and low light of the Ice Age north, and they lived a dangerous life hunting huge mammals. Our closest relative, and the last other human species we shared the planet with, they are ‘a profound enigma’, Flannery writes. ‘After they became extinct somewhere in Western Europe about 39,000 years ago, we were left alone.’ What happened to them?

There is little concrete evidence, but as with the miniature elephants of the Mediterranean, the answer is very probably that Homo sapiens happened to them. Perhaps there was competition for habitat and food, perhaps there was disease, perhaps there was war and extermination. What is beyond doubt is that there was close contact between the two species, because whatever else may have happened, we know that there was successful interbreeding. Indeed, it was a hybrid people descended from sapiens-Neanderthal unions that seems to have displaced the original Neanderthals. Fossil human remains from across Europe indicate that for the first 25,000 years of human occupation, all Europeans traced their descent to these first hybrids, and carried about 6 per cent of Neanderthal DNA. Flannery calls them ‘bastards’, and wonders whether, had scientists been around back then, ‘they might have classified the Europeans as a new hybrid species.’

Hybridity, immigration, transformation: natural Europe, for Flannery, is most stable in its changeableness, and purest in its bastardy. It is ‘the mother of métissage’, a crucible of crossbreeds in which frogs, elephants, birds, ungulates, humans and others have successfully interbred with their close relatives. The wisent or European bison, Europe’s largest mammal, is descended from hybridisation between steppe bison and aurochs; the Italian sparrow and edible frog are both hybrids too. ‘Because of its position at the crossroads of the world, Europe has had many immigrant species that provided unprecedented opportunities for hybridisation,’ Flannery writes. ‘It may be this fact, as much as anything, that has driven evolution at such a rapid pace in Europe, and which in turn has lent many European species the capacity to colonise new and environmentally different lands.’ And perhaps it was this hybrid nature that made the earliest sapiens-Neanderthal hybrid Europeans such ‘very special bastards’ – ‘pioneer beings, endowed with capacities not seen in either parent’.

Natural history or not, you can’t call a book Europe now, or maybe ever, without calling politics into play. And what Flannery is trying to do, both in passages like this and throughout the text, is quite clear. Against a long and ignoble tradition of European chauvinism whose core doctrines have been exceptionalism, race thinking and white supremacy – a tradition today expressed most clearly as a pan-European xenophobic obsession with immigration and racial replacement – he presents a counter-image, sanctioned by natural history: Europe as a crossroads, nature’s ‘receiver of immigrants’, ever since the time of the dinosaurs. It is no fortress of purity. It is a place whose essence is and has always been hybridity, migration and endless change. The political implication is plain.

This is all well and good; these arguments and others like them must be made and made again in the face of a resurgent fascism. But one of the major features of that European chauvinist heritage has been the conviction that the shape of history reflects the order of nature. Much as Flannery would like to work against bogus ideas of natural European purity, when he writes, for instance, that even in the late Cretaceous, Europe was ‘exerting a disproportionate influence on the rest of the world’, or when he notes that Europe is for natural reasons ‘a place where evolution proceeds rapidly – a place in the vanguard of global change’, he preserves the petrified imprint of European exceptionalism in his writing. Fossils might tell us the idea of European purity is a myth, but there are fossils in language too.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.