Felicia Hemans portait

What, Prithee, Is a Poetess?

The loss and recovery of a poetic genre shows how the canon of literary history treats women writers the moment they start to gain attention and approval.
Thames tunnel walk

How the Thames Tunnel Revealed London’s Class Divide

The Thames Tunnel, the world's first underwater tunnel, is still in use 175 years after its long-delayed opening, but you can't shop there anymore.
English tea time

The Extremely Un-British Origins of Tea

Tea is bound up in the nation's history of colonial expansion. British tea drinkers preferred Chinese tea at first, and had to be convinced on patriotic grounds to drink tea from India.
Christmas banquet

How Victorians’ Fear of Starvation Created Our Christmas Lore

One scholar sees more in the Christmas food of authors like Charles Dickens—English national identity and class.
Turkish delight

Why Was Turkish Delight C.S. Lewis’s Guilty Pleasure?

Austerity during WWII was hardly the time for pounds of exotic candy. Yet The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe prominently features Turkish delight.

“The Culture of the Copy”: Victorians’ Obsession With Wax Flowers

Wax flowers were a major obsession of Victorian women, allowing them to combine art and industry.