Book-hoarding, 10th Century Style

by PamelaToler April 18, 2014
Book-hoarding, 10th Century Style

by Pamela Toler Anyone who’s spent a significant amount of time with me in recent months, whether in real life or in some virtual space, has probably heard me bemoan the state of my office bookshelves. As the photo above attests, they overflow. Loaded two deep and stacked rather than shelved, there is still not […]

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Where Warhol meets Venus

by CarolineLawrence April 15, 2014
Where Warhol meets Venus

by Caroline Lawrence In 2010 a millionaire art collector bought a four story house in a pretty hill town on the French Rivera and made it into a boutique museum for his marvellous collection of Classical and modern art. This is the Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins, or MACM for short. For any lover of ancient […]

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Medicine and Magic–or What I Did This Spring Semester

by Holly Tucker April 11, 2014
Medicine and Magic--or What I Did This Spring Semester

    By Holly Tucker (Editor, Wonders and Marvels) This year, I have been working closely with my colleague, Lynn Ramey to design a unified web portal (Imagining the Past) for students and faculty working on public-facing projects related to early cultural history.  We are obviously still in the early stages–as evidenced by the infelicitous Latin-esque. As part of this […]

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Death in Vienna and the City of Salt

by Helen King April 10, 2014
Death in Vienna and the City of Salt
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Thomas Wiggins: A Nineteenth-Century Piano Savant

by JackEl-Hai April 9, 2014
Thomas Wiggins: A Nineteenth-Century Piano Savant

by Jack El-Hai, Wonders & Marvels contributor A 19th-century photograph of pianist Thomas Wiggins shows a stout young black man at rest on an overstuffed chair. His eyes are closed, and his hands curl delicately on his lap. He looks distinguished, confident, untroubled — and drowsy. It’s a shock, then, to learn that a reporter […]

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Who First Identified Elephant Fossils in America?

by AdrienneMayor April 6, 2014
Who First Identified Elephant Fossils in America?

by Adrienne Mayor (Wonders and Marvels contributor) African slaves dug up some colossal teeth while working in a swampy field on Stono Plantation (North Carolina) in about 1725. The English botanist Mark Catesby visited Stono to view the amazing discovery. His hosts, the plantation owners, told him that the great molars were all that was […]

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The Experience of False Pregnancies in Early Modern France

by Lisa Smith March 30, 2014
The Experience of False Pregnancies in Early Modern France

By Lisa Smith, W&M Contributor I was rustling through some old research notes on strange pregnancies when a detail in a case addressed to the Société Royale de Médecine from 1787 suddenly caught my eye. The case was one of unexpected pregnancy in which an unnamed forty-four year old woman (sterile for twenty-three years, one […]

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YA Historical Fiction and the Classroom—And a Giveaway!

by tracybarrett March 20, 2014
YA Historical Fiction and the Classroom—And a Giveaway!

by Tracy Barrett (W & M Contributor) One of an author’s many jobs is helping to get her books into readers’ hands. Those of us who write for children and adolescents have to appeal to several groups in order for that to happen—not only our intended audience, but adults as well: reviewers, parents, and teachers […]

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If You Love Jane Austen….

by PamelaToler March 18, 2014
If You Love Jane Austen....

by Pamela Toler Allow me to introduce Emily Eden–aristocratic spinster, political hostess, accomplished painter, and talented novelist. I first discovered Emily Eden through her connection to India. Her brother George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland, was appointed Governor-General of India in 1835. Emily accompanied him to India and served as his Burra Lady Sahib (the […]

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Up yours, Brutus!

by CarolineLawrence March 15, 2014
Up yours, Brutus!

by Caroline Lawrence One of the first things that greeted visitors to the Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition at the British Museum in the summer of 2013 was a jolly fresco of a phoenix above two peacocks (below right). On the audio guide, curator Paul Roberts called this fresco a “pub sign”. […]

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Vincent Van Gogh’s Rehearsals

by Elizabeth Goldsmith March 11, 2014
Vincent Van Gogh's Rehearsals

by Elizabeth C. Goldsmith   (W&M Contributor) Many of us have had the experience of visiting a museum and seeing one of the iconic paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, and thinking that we had seen it before in another museum.  This is because Van Gogh did in fact make multiple versions of some of his paintings that […]

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Automata in history

by Helen King March 10, 2014
Automata in history

By Helen King (W&M Monthly Contributor) Do you ever feel your dining table needs cheering up? This week I saw a collection of possibly the last word in ways to impress your dinner guests. I was at the wonderful Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna where the Kunstkammer – a selection from the amazing ‘cabinet of curiosities’ […]

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A Plague of Locusts

by JackEl-Hai March 9, 2014
A Plague of Locusts

by Jack El-Hai, Wonders & Marvels contributor In the second week of June 1873, a southwest wind carried a strange brown cloud over the border from Dakota Territory into Minnesota. Pioneer families initially mistook the cloud for a rain or dust storm. But as it filled the sky, they could see that it contained millions […]

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Rivers as Weapons in Ancient War

by AdrienneMayor March 6, 2014
Rivers as Weapons in Ancient War

by Adrienne Mayor (Wonders & Marvels contributor) Semiramis, queen of Assyria (seventh century BC) boasted in an inscription that she had extended her borders with courage and cunning: “I compelled rivers to run where I wanted, and I wanted them to run where it was advantageous.” Diverting rivers is an age-old environmental tactic in the […]

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The Cloisters New York City: An enchanted medieval world

by stephaniecowell March 1, 2014
The Cloisters New York City: An enchanted medieval world

by Stephanie Cowell If you are willing to take a long bus ride, you can catch the New York City bus to the Cloisters. It bumps along Fifth Avenue and then eventually turns north on upper Broadway. After a very long time, you turn into the enormous open gates of a park which sits high […]

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