The Devonshire Manuscript facsimile 6v

The Devonshire Manuscript

The sixteenth-century handwritten collection of poetry and commentary offers a glimpse of intellectual life at the court of King Henry VIII.
The Rosetta Stone

Jean-François Champollion Deciphers the Rosetta Stone

On September 27, 1822, the French philologist announced that he’d decrypted the key that would unlock Egypt’s ancient past.
The second page of Austen's The History of England, with illustrations by Cassandra Austen

Jane Austen’s Mock History Book

Working with her sister, Cassandra, the teenaged Austen composed a satirical send-up of England's monarchs.
Harvey Milk at Gay Pride, San Jose 1978

Harvey Milk’s Gay Freedom Day Speech: Annotated

Five months before his assassination in 1978, Harvey Milk called on the president of the United States to defend the rights of gay and lesbian Americans.
A meeting of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) leaders, c.1906 - c.1907

Can a Woman Be a Genius?

Many Edwardian progressives and utopians put their hopes in the exceptional individual who was able to overcome obstacles with a force of will.
The Dissolute Household by Jan Steen, ca. 1663-64

Drunk as a Lord? OK, if You’re a Lord

Where does class-based hypocrisy over substance use come from? Look to the seventeenth century.
Travels through Virginia. [From Theodor de Bry's 'America', Vol. I, 1590, after a drawing of John White].

The Construction of America, in the Eyes of the English

In Theodor de Bry’s illustrations for Thomas Harriot’s Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, the Algonquin are made to look like the Irish. Surprise.
Two Horsemen, Elgin Marbles at the British Museum

Wait, Why Are the Parthenon Marbles in London?

Lord Elgin went beyond his original mandate, amassing a vast store of treasures, one scholar notes.
Punch and Judy by George Cruikshank, 1828

When Puppet Shows Were Too Violent For Kids

How much violence do we accept in our entertainment? 19th-century Punch and Judy shows were misogynistic, murderous, and definitely not for children.
guy fawkes mask

The Gunpowder Plot, Redux

The cultural meaning of Guy Fawkes’ conspiracy to blow up the House of Lords has shifted, from countercultural symbol to HBO drama.