Winter Shack Landscape

A Feminist Reading of The Long Winter

In The Long Winter, often praised as Laura Ingalls Wilder’s greatest novel, the villain may be not the snow, but oppressive gender roles.
Christmas banquet

How Victorians’ Fear of Starvation Created Our Christmas Lore

One scholar sees more in the Christmas food of authors like Charles Dickens—English national identity and class.
Compleat Housewife frontispiece

What Amateur Cookbooks Reveal About History

Remember those spiral-bound cookbooks from your church group or your mom’s favorite charity? Those amateur recipe collections are history books, too.
Monkeys illustration

Early America’s Troubled Relationship With Monkeys

The real and supposed resemblances between humans and non-human primates shaped American conversations about race and society.
Carlisle Indian Industrial School

How Native Americans Taught Both Assimilation and Resistance at Indian Schools

In the nineteenth century, many Native American children attended “Indian schools” designed to blot out Native cultures in favor of Anglo assimilation.
Young Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill’s Love-Hungry Childhood

Winston Churchill started life as a love-starved child whose lonely childhood set the stage for his almost fanatical need for influence and power.
1949 Little Women

The Grumpiness of Little Women

By focusing in on the characters’ emotions, a scholar discovers something more than good little women. She finds surprisingly angry ones.
Punch bowl

Punch vs. Tea in the 18th Century

In the 18th century, whether a person drank punch or tea revealed a lot about gender, stereotypes, sociability, and domesticity.
Thoreau Sherlock Holmes

The Truth About Sherlock Holmes: He’s Actually Henry David Thoreau

A tongue in cheek comparison between the British fictional sleuth and the American Transcendentalist author, just because.
Colorful donuts with different decorations

The Delicious Democratic Symbolism of…Doughnuts?

Doughnuts became popular during World War I, when Salvation Army volunteers—most of them women—made and served the soldiers million of doughnuts.