Sir Humphry Davy

When Scientists Perform Experiments on Themselves

More than one self-experiment has resulted in a Nobel Prize. Against all odds, and sometimes in spite of the damage they cause, these crazy gambits pay off.
Email friendship

How Facebook Revived the Epistolary Friendship

Would today's online, social media-based friendships look familiar to the letter-writing friends of earlier centuries, when epistolary friendships were also common?
18th century hoop skirt

Why Hoop Petticoats Were Scandalous

In the 18th century a new trend in women's underwear sparked public scandal: the hoop petticoat. How the world became obsessed with what was under women’s skirts.

An 18th-Century “Sapphist”’s Sexy Garden

The 18th-century "sapphist" gardens of Mary Granville Pendarves Delany were piquant places that expressed same-sex desires.
baby sheep

The Invention of Pets

Pet are a relatively recent invention. In the 18th and 19th centuries, pethood arose in the split between farm animals and home animals.
Marie Antoinette hair

The Political Power of Marie Antoinette’s Hair

With the help of a French hairdresser, Marie Antoinette embarked on what initially appeared to be a happily fated alliance between the Habsburgs and the Bourbons.

Debating Birth Control In Pre-Revolutionary France

Attitudes toward birth control in 18th century France.