Mary Sidney and the Voice of God
Philip Sidney’s attempt at translating the Psalms ended with his early death. Then, his sister took up the cause—and proved herself the superior poet.
Her Majesty’s Kidnappers
In the 17th century, Nathaniel Giles had the right to conscript young singers into the British royal children’s choir. He and a business partner went a step further.
Plant of the Month: Dittany
Did women in the premodern world have much agency over reproduction? Their use of plants like dittany suggests that they did.
The Extremely Real Science behind the Basilisk’s Lethal Gaze
According to the extramission theory of vision, our eyes send out beams of elemental fire that spread, nerve like, to create the visual field.
The Beaufort Botanist and Her “Innocent Diversion”
Despite the twelve volume herbarium she created, this seventeenth-century scientist earned little recognition.
The Ladylike Language of Letters
Letters reveal how language changes. They also offer a peek into the way people--especially women--have always constructed their private and public selves.
English Sweating Sickness: The Epidemic You Forgot to Be Terrified Of
The 15th and 16th epidemics of English sweating sIckness still fascinate historians and epidemiologists.