Harriet Beecher Stowe George Eliot

When Harriet Beecher Stowe and George Eliot Were Penpals

These 19th-century novelists might seem to have little in common. But for 11 years they wrote each other letters, forging an unusual literary friendship.
Bart Roberts pirate

The Pirate Creed

Examining the 18th-century social contract of Captain Bartholomew Roberts and his men shows just how organized and codified pirate societies could be.
Antigua sugar cane slavery

Did Venereal Disease Lead to Abolition?

Many abolitionists seeking to end slavery in the British West Indies were concerned less with human rights, more with the preponderance of interracial sex.
Jabir ibn Hayyan Geber

How to Create a Human Being

The Book of Stones, a central alchemical text, contained formulae with the power to create living tissue from ordinary matter, supposedly.
My Body My Choice graffiti

What Roe v. Wade Means for Internet Privacy

Roe v. Wade left Americans with the idea that privacy is something we can expect as citizens. But does the SCOTUS consider privacy a constitutional right?
Neuroscience of Ventriloquism

How Ventriloquism Tricks the Brain

New research shows our brains place more weight on vision than hearing in identifying the source of a sound. But why?
Engraved Illustrations of Various Castles and Fortified Structures

The Medieval Castle That Pranked Its Visitors

At Hesdin, in France, the idyllic beauty of the grounds met the sadistic slapstick of the castle’s “engines of amusement.”
1919 Chicago White Sox

When “Foreigners” Were Blamed for a Baseball Scandal

In the early 20th century, baseball was a magnet for illegal gambling. But when the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series, Jews became the scapegoats.

When Salad Was Manly AF

Esquire, 1940: “Salads are really the man’s department... Only a man can make a perfect salad.”
drag queen

The Unspeakable Linguistics of Camp

When gay and lesbian people had to invent their own languages with which to talk with each other, camp led the way.