Elizabeth Bennett

How Lizzie Bennet Got Her Books

In Regency England, a novel cost about $100. Subscription-based circulating libraries became a way for women of modest means to gain knowledge.
David Hockney

Why David Hockney Makes Both Paintings and Photographs

In a 1991 interview with singer Graham Nash, David Hockney explained how he applied his drawing skills to photography via the computer.
John Snow

John Snow and the Birth of Epidemiology

Even though this physician pre-dated germ theory, he was able to track a London outbreak of cholera to one particular water pump.
King Arthur Harry Potter

Harry Potter, the Arthurian Romance

Perhaps the Harry Potter stories are so potent because they rework the iconic hero stories of medieval French Arthurian romances.
Charles I royal touch

The Divine Power of Kings to Heal by Touch

Healing ceremonies showed that monarchs ruled by God’s will, as divine power worked through anointed hands.
Victoria wedding cake

England’s Obsession with Queen Victoria’s Wedding Cake

Queen Victoria's wedding, and its spectacular cake, caused a frenzy.
Treadmills atonement

Treadmills Were Meant to Be Atonement Machines

America’s favorite piece of workout equipment was developed as a device for forced labor in British prisons. It was banned as cruel and inhumane by 1900.
Mary Queen of Scots

The Literary Propaganda Campaign Against Mary, Queen of Scots

May of 1568 was a fateful month for Mary, Queen of Scots. She managed to escape prison, but only to be being defeated in battle soon after. Then she made the fateful decision to run to England.
Restoration Poet

The Restoration’s Filthiest Poet (and Why We Need Him)

Creature of the court, royalist and fop, dandy and dilettante, John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester, knew how to scandalize with verse.
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.