Iris Origo La Foce

Iris Origo’s Italian War Diary

The marchese's 1939-1940 diary, detailing the months before Italy's armed alliance with Nazi Germany, is now available as A Chill in the Air.
Avalanche Lake trail at Adirondack High Peaks, New York.

The Odd History of the Adirondacks

The largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi was deemed "Forever Wild" in 1885. But it wasn't exactly created to preserve nature.
Vernon Lee 1881 by John Singer Sargent 1856-1925

The Forgotten Master of the Ghost Story

Vernon Lee was a widely-read writer of 19th-century ghost stories, called the "cleverest woman in Europe." Her life story was pretty fascinating, too.
Lew Welch

The Poet Who Wanted to Be Eaten by Vultures

One day in 1971, the hard-drinking Beat poet Lew Welch walked into the woods of Nevada County and disappeared, possibly angling to be eaten by vultures.
Glyptodon

Megafauna Memories?

Some folklorists have hypothesized that the mythical beasts and monsters of legend were actually inspired by shadowy collective memories of megafauna.
River Basin archaeologists

The River Basin Surveys Preserved American Prehistory

Between 1945 and 1969, archaeologists hurriedly surveyed over 20,000 prehistorical sites before the Mississippi River Basin was flooded by dams.
anti-abolitionist cartoon

How Antebellum Christians Justified Slavery

After Emancipation, some Southern Protestants refused to revise their proslavery views. In their minds, slavery had been divinely sanctioned.
Marbles Reflecting a Rainbow Background

Losing Our Marbles

For decades kids across the world played with marbles, creating their own games and slang. So why did such a popular game go suddenly extinct?
Maxim Gorky

Revolutionary Writer Maxim Gorky’s NYC Sex Scandal

In 1906, Russian Bolshevik writer Maxim Gorky was given a warm welcome in the United States. Then the American media manufactured a scandal about his girlfriend.
Bread Turkey roasted baked

Baking Vs. Roasting

We cook bread, meat, and vegetables much the same way: in our ovens. So why do we say we "bake" bread, but we "roast" meat and veggies?