Building a Fairy Kingdom in Britain
Around the fourteenth century, folk and literary traditions concerning elves, demons, and other creatures coalesced into a unified fairy kingdom.
Catherine of Aragon: Europe’s First Female Ambassador
Remembered as the wife Henry VIII brushed aside for Anne Boleyn, Catherine of Aragon was viewed as a strong leader and diplomat in her own lifetime.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
Wait, Why Are the Parthenon Marbles in London?
Lord Elgin went beyond his original mandate, amassing a vast store of treasures, one scholar notes.