Photo taken in the Bourbaki Congress of 1938 in Dieulefit

The Mathematical Pranksters behind Nicolas Bourbaki

Bourbaki was gnomic and mythical, impossible to pin down; his mathematics just the opposite: unified, unambiguous, free of human idiosyncrasy.
On the left stands King George III surrounded by symbols of British peace and liberty, while across the Channel the figure of Napoleon is stalked by poverty and ‘universal destruction’.

Jacobin Hating, American Style

The most radical faction of the French Revolution was hated by everyone in the United States from reactionaries to abolitionists.
From a 1703 atlas of the world

Bringing France Back into American History

The current arrangement of nation-states in North America has made the role of the French in colonial history seem less important.
Two women hugging in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

When It Comes to Coming Out, Location Matters

Two scholars compared coming out experiences in the U.S. and France. The differences may speak to shifts in everyday life for LGBTQ people.
La Liberté ou la Mort by Jean-Baptiste Regnault

The French Revolution as Illuminati Conspiracy

The Illuminati was a real secret society. But in the hands of British conservatives during the French Revolution, it became a massive conspiracy.
Marie Lafarge, c. 1850

The Arsenic Cake of Madame Lafarge

The first trial to use forensic toxicology electrified France in 1840 with the tale of a bad marriage and poisoned innards.
Patrocle by Jacques-Louis David

Who Were the Male Models in French History Paintings?

Before the French Revolution, professional models were salaried professionals. That would all change in the nineteenth century.
Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc, for Fascists and Feminists

As Catholics mark the centennial of her canonization, it’s clear that there is more than one Joan of Arc. How did that happen?
Mme du Coudray

How a French Midwife Solved a Public Health Crisis

Angélique Marguerite Le Boursier du Coudray revolutionized childbirth in France through education, building a detailed birthing mannequin.
Paulette Nardal

What Was the Black International?

The twentieth-century struggle for African independence began in Paris salons hosted by the daughters of elite blacks, then travelled by telegram and steamship.