The Octavian 2021 Book List


Our picks for the books you need to read in 2022, featuring Fareed Zakaria, Dara Horn, BHL, Mario Vargas Llosa, and many others.

  Andrew Roberts on Churchill vs. the Spanish Flu


An Interview with Andrew Roberts


The best-selling historian shows us that real leadership, like Churchill's, does matter in times of crisis.

  James Shapiro on Shakespeare's Plague Years

A Pox on All Our Houses

An Interview with James Shapiro


The leading Shakespeare scholar examines the playwright's difficult and dark relationship with the plague that devastated his nation.

  Tom Holland on the Plague at Athens

Feverish City

An Interview with Tom Holland


The best-selling historian take a look at a pandemic that changed the course of ancient history.

  John Barry on the Spanish Flu

The Pale Horse

An Interview with John Barry


The award-winning historian explains why the Spanish Flu did so much damage and what we can learn from it as we move through the COVID crisis.

  Mark Braude on Napoleon's Quarantine on Elba

The Emperor's New Digs

An Interview with Mark Braude


The man who reshaped Europe spent a long time in isolation, with results that no-one predicted.

Light in the Darkness


The religious symbol with the longest history of use has meant many things to many different groups, Jewish and otherwise.

Where Does Quarantine Come From?


The new episode of our podcast features John Henderson on the history of quarantine and why Florence's response to plague in 1630 will seem eerily familiar.