Little Women

Did Victorians Really Get Brain Fever?

The melodramatic descriptions of "fevers" in old novels reveal just how frightening the time before modern medicine must have been.
Sheet music from Barnum's Baby Shows

Babies on Display

In the mid- to late nineteenth century, people showed off their infants at baby shows.
scared kid

How Scary is Too Scary?

Halloween poses questions for parents, like how scary is too scary for their kids? The answer depends on when we ask the question.
Woman at Bank of England

The Long History of Financial Advice for Women

There's a whole modern industry devoted to promoting women’s financial literacy.

“The Culture of the Copy”: Victorians’ Obsession With Wax Flowers

Wax flowers were a major obsession of Victorian women, allowing them to combine art and industry.
Mr. Bumble, full-length, standing, facing left, pointing with right hand. Illus. in: The Characters of Charles Dickens pourtrayed (sic) in a series of original water colour sketches by "Kyd", color lithograph, Raphael Tuck & Sons, London, ca. 1899.

Charles Dickens and the Linguistic Art of the Minor Character

Charles Dickens' characters are famous for their elaborate, often hilarious names. Even for bit parts, Dickens' naming conventions were linguistically rich.
anti-Mormon illustration

How Victorian Writers Eroticized Mormons

Victorian anti-Mormonism meant 19th-century Americans were both fascinated and frightened by Mormons' marriage and sexual practices.

Obscenity and Unintended Consequences

In the Journal of American Studies, Amanda Frisken investigated how an earlier set of standards around obscenity emerged in the 1870s.

Anonymity and Public Debate—in the 1800s

But 150 years ago in Great Britain, the question of what role anonymity should play in public discourse looked completely different than today.