Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Memorial_jewellery_made_from_human_hair_in_a_case.jpg

Why Victorians Loved Hair Relics

Victorians were mesmerized by the hair of the dead -- which reveals something about about how they saw life.
Charlotte Bronte

Sorry, but Jane Eyre Isn’t the Romance You Want It to Be

Charlotte Brontë, a woman whose life was steeped in stifled near-romance, refused to write love as ruly, predictable, or safe.
An empty bottle for opium tincture

When Doctors Took Opiates To Gain Credibility

Long before today's opioid epidemic, doctors shared stories of their own experiments with the drugs they prescribed their patients.
Orchids in a Wardian Case

The Accidental Invention of Terrariums

Victorian London became obsessed with Ward's cases, which protected plants from the city's toxic pollution -- and piqued peoples' imaginations.
Georgie Hyde-Lees

W. B. Yeats’ Live-in “Spirit Medium”

In the Victorian era, a different kind of ghostwriting became popular—largely because it allowed men to take all the credit.
Vernon Lee 1881 by John Singer Sargent 1856-1925

The Forgotten Master of the Ghost Story

Vernon Lee was a widely-read writer of 19th-century ghost stories, called the "cleverest woman in Europe." Her life story was pretty fascinating, too.
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.