Category Archives: History

January 15

Mathew Brady: The American Civil War Photographer

On the 15th of January 1896, Mathew Brady died in the charity ward of the Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. He was one of the most prolific American photographers at the time, yet he died in poverty and in a state of deep depression brought on him by the project he is nowadays most […]

January 10

Napoleon, Divorce and Women’s Rights

On the 10th of January 1810, the divorce ceremony of Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Joséphine was performed as a grand social gathering, with each of the parties reading out a statement of devotion to the each other. A year prior to that, after a tense dinner together, Napoleon had announced to Joséphine that he […]

December 26

Boxing Day Bonanza

To celebrate festive traditions, here is an excerpt from The Book of Christmas descriptive of the Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling, and Festivities of the Christmas Season (1836) by Victorian poet and critic Thomas Kibble Hervey (1799 – 1859). “Boxing-day is still a great day in London. Upon this anniversary, every street resounds with the clang of […]

December 18

Cliff Palace and the Ancient Pueblo People

On the 18th of December 1888, Richard Wetherill, explorer, guide and excavator to-be, along with his friend Charlie Mason, both cowboys from Mancos, found Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde after noticing the ruins from the top of the highland. Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in North America, its structure built by the Ancient […]

December 15

Nero: Poet, Hedonist and Sadist

On the 15th of December 37 AD, Nero, the famous Roman Emperor (54-68 AD), was born in Antium, Italy. He was a controversial figure known for his explosive violence, homoeroticism, love of poetry and bad acting. This puzzling mélange of character traits has spawned numerous anecdotes and stories about Nero’s life. They present him as […]

December 06

The Earliest Encyclopædia Britannica

On the 6th of December 1768, the first part or ‘number’ of 100 thick pamphlets which made up the first ever Encyclopædia Britannica appeared in print in Edinburgh, sold for 6 pence a piece. In our times when digital versions of the Britannica  online and on optical discs can be accessed from various modern gadgets, the graft […]

November 25

Mishima Yukio: The Last Samurai

On the 25th of November 1970, Mishima Yukio, a Japanese writer, actor and film director, killed himself in the traditional Japanese warrior manner of seppuku in Tokyo, Japan. His suicide shocked equally the Japanese and people worldwide. It is believed that Mishima’s suicide was a premeditated act determined by certain political but also personal and […]