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From 1853 to 1856, an alliance of Britain, France, Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire were in military conflict with the Russian Empire. There were many causes of the conflict, and conflict began in the Balkans with Russian forces occupying modern Romania. After several destructive battles with significant casualties, the Treaty of Paris was signed, bringing the conflict to an end. The war was marked by criticism of military failures, especially logistical and tactical ineptitude, and began to lose public support. The Illustrated London News was famous for its war coverage, and was one of the first publications to use illustrations sent from the conflict itself.


“The Battle on the Alma. Battle of the Alma (Supplement).” Illustrated London News, 14 Oct. 1854

Our Special Correspondent. “The Siege of Sebastopol.” Illustrated London News, 4 Nov. 1854

“Navvies for the Crimea.” Illustrated London News, 30 Dec. 1854

“Carrying the Sick and Frost-Bitten to Balaclava.” Illustrated London News, 3 Mar. 1855



By 1800, aristocratic landholders were offering use of plots of land to their tenant farmers to plant potatoes in lieu of pay. By the time the famine struck in 1845, three million of the island’s population of eight million people were solely dependent on the potato for food. The response of the British government to the crisis has been subject to intense criticism from the time of the Great Famine onward. All told, approximately two million Irish men, women, and children fled Ireland during the years of the Great Famine. About one million more died, either from starvation or disease. In terms of both death and economic hardship caused, the famine was the greatest human disaster of the 19th century.

Adapted from: “The Irish Potato Famine.” Global Events: Milestone Events Throughout History, edited by Jennifer Stock, vol. 4: Europe, Gale, 2014).


“Sketches in Ireland.” Illustrated London News, 26 Aug. 1848

“The State of the Nation.” Illustrated London News, 7 July 1849

“The Land Question.” Illustrated London News, 8 Sept. 1849

“The Tide of Emigration to the United States and to the British Colonies.” Illustrated London News, 6 July 1850



The Illustrated London News covered the life and activities of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) consistently, especially after he became the leader of the Indian National Congress in 1921. They reported on his 1921 campaigns of passive resistance, through to his funeral in 1948. During this time, they did not just cover the political and activist elements of his life, but sought to show the human, personal side of him as well. Within the coverage of politics and activism, they also produced photographs and articles of Gandhi at rest, and in recovery after the exertions of his fasts. Whilst remaining fairly neutral in regards to the political elements, the ILN attempted to show the public the human side of the man, and did so very effectively.


“The ‘Mahatma’ of Indian unrest: Preaching ‘Passive resistance’.” Illustrated London News, 17 Sept. 1921

“The ‘High Priest’ of Indian Sedition: Gandhi—Awake and Asleep.” Illustrated London News, 3 May 1930

“India’s Miracle Man’: Mahatma Gandhi (Left) Recovering from a Fast Which Brought Peace to Calcutta.” Illustrated London News, 20 Sept. 1947

“India’s Farewell to Gandhi: At Birla House and at the Burning Ghat.” Illustrated London News, 7 Feb. 1948



In 1961, president John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) called for more funding to support the United States’ space programme, after the launch and successful introduction into orbit of Sputnik 1 by Russia in 1957 initiated the ‘space race’. Kennedy set the target of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. After managing to successfully capture public opinion to help overcome the political barriers, president Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) managed to continue the space programme after Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. After several successful missions to launch men into space and orbit the moon during the decade, Apollo 11 became the first manned mission to land on the surface of the moon on July 20 1969. 


“Dress Rehearsal for Manned Moon Flight: Ready for Project ‘Apollo’.” Illustrated London News, 30 May 1964

“The Space Race.” Illustrated London News, 26 Oct. 1968

“Moon Mission.” Illustrated London News, 26 July 1969

“Back on the Moon.” Illustrated London News, 27 Feb. 1971



During its maiden voyage, the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Titanic sank on April 14th-15th 1912 after colliding with an iceberg in the Atlantic. The Titanic was one of three ships to be built by Belfast firm Harland and Wolff, commissioned by White Star, one of the two main transatlantic passenger ship lines. The Titanic focused heavily on safety, with confidence so high in the engineering that it was claimed to be unsinkable. The Titanic embarked from Southampton on April 10th 1912, sailing for New York, with many prominent figures on board. After entering an iceberg zone, the warning message of an upcoming ice field was not relayed to the bridge, and the ship scraped an iceberg that ruptured the hull. More than 1,500 died, despite rescue efforts from nearby ships.


“Brave as the ‘Birkenhead’ Band: The ‘Titanic’s’ Musician Heroes.” Illustrated London News, 27 Apr. 1912

“Chief Witness at the Senatorial Inquiry: The White Star Chairman.” Illustrated London News, 27 Apr. 1912

“On the Other Side: ‘Titanic’ Disaster Survivors in New York.” Illustrated London News, 4 May 1912

“Saved by ‘S. O. S.’:’Titanic’ Survivors in the Life-Boats.” Illustrated London News, 4 May 1912



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