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

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.
Antique illustration of seance session

When Women Channeled the Dead to be Heard

Spiritualism was one of the nineteenth-century's most successful religious innovations, a movement of individuals who yearned for a religion which united mysticism and science.
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.
Punch bowl

Punch vs. Tea in the 18th Century

In the 18th century, whether a person drank punch or tea revealed a lot about gender, stereotypes, sociability, and domesticity.
Victorian fern gatherers

When Ferns Were All The Rage

Despite the jurassic-sounding name, pteridomania (from the Greek for fern, plant and mania) was responsible for the 19th century fern leaf collector's job.
uncomfortable chairs

Character-Building With Uncomfortable Chairs

Chairs were a subject of much debate as far back as the nineteenth century, pitting health and technology against propriety and aesthetics.
Victorian era dog

The Victorian Debate Over Rabies

Rabies began a contentious debate between Victorian pet owners and veterinary experts about how to regulate dog health. Rough.