Gamasutra has just posted the third, and (one would assume) final chapter in their massive "History of Computer Role Playing Games" series. (You can read The Early Years and The Golden Age if you need to play catch-up.) There's a lot of fascinating stuff here as they explore the direct and spiritual predecessors of some modern favorites, call out and analyze some of the biggest problems for CRPGs during the 90s, and try to figure out when we'll see the "next big thing" in the genre.
It would be almost impossible to click away from the 20,000-word epic not having learned something, but even if you are a CRPG android, it'll at least be a nostalgic reminder of some of your past favorites. Now, if you'll excuse us, we're going to go dig out our copy of Arcanum.