A detail from Ophelia by John Everett Millais, c. 1851

Elizabeth Siddal, the Real-Life “Ophelia”

A working-class woman with artistic aspirations of her own, Siddal nearly died of pneumonia after posing for John Everett Millais’s iconic painting.
A jet brooch with a vulcanite ring

Victorians Mourned with Vulcanized Rubber Jewelry

Nineteenth-century Anglo-American mourning rituals called for a period of sentimental sadness, but they also demanded an investment in clothing and jewelry.
Scene from 'Mischievous Matt,' Bracebridge Hemyng (Jack Harkway's), new story in No. 487 Frank Leslie's Boys' and Girls' Weekly

Dime Novels and Story Papers for Kids

The rise of popular literature for children put a story, a role model, and a set of values in a young boy’s pocket.
Statue of Benkos Biohó in San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia

Black Conquistadors and Black Maroons

Some formerly enslaved Blacks and freedmen accompanied the Spanish invaders; others formed their own communities.
Photograph: Thousands march through the streets near City Hall during the 11th day of an ongoing teachers strike on October 31, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. 

Source: Getty

Socialism: Foundations and Key Concepts

What is the political, philosophic, and economic system known as socialism? Some starting points for further study.
from How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Anti-Jewish Tropes in How the Grinch Stole Christmas

You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch. You’re in keeping with the medieval tradition of viewing the Jew as an outcast and a baleful force in society.
Nasty Woman Mug

Bad Language for Nasty Women (and Other Gendered Insults)

Is it true that "nasty" is more likely to be applied to describe women than men?