A physician administers leeches to a patient. Colour reproduction of a lithograph by F-S. Delpech after L. Boilly, 1827.

Why Did the Victorians Harbor Warm Feelings for Leeches?

Medical authorities wrote about leeches as if they sucked blood out of the goodness of their hearts.
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.
A headstone featuring clasped hands

The Cemetery Symbol of Eternal Love

Why did Victorian-era gravestones include so many images of clasped hands?
Geranium

Why Victorian Gardeners Loathed Magenta

For decades, British and American gardeners avoided magenta flowers. The color had associations with the unnatural and the poisonous.
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.
Bread Turkey roasted baked

Baking Vs. Roasting

We cook bread, meat, and vegetables much the same way: in our ovens. So why do we say we "bake" bread, but we "roast" meat and veggies?
Parlor room

What Ever Happened to the Parlor?

For musicologist Edith Borroff, the parlor was egalitarian, open, and joyful—all qualities she equates with the best musical spirit.
Susie Steinbach

Ask a Professor: Susie Steinbach

An interview with scholar Susie Steinbach, a professor of history at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Victorian gloves

What Gloves Meant to the Victorians

According to one historian, the year 1900 was “the zenith of glove-wearing,” when any self-respecting Victorian (British or American) wouldn’t be caught dead without covered hands.
Victorian-era lacemakers

How the Victorians Politicized Lace

Scholar Elaine Freedgood tells the story of how, in the face of encroaching industrialism, handmade lace enjoyed a frilly revival.