I’m poking around in the long eighteenth century these days and stumbling across lots of surprising tidbits. Take silhouettes. I had long known that charming likenesses cut from black cardstock became a popular and affordable alternative to oil portraits in the mid-eighteenth century. To the extent that I thought about the word at all, I…

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At the moment, I’m deep in a chapter about women who disguised themselves as men and enlisted as soldiers–the subject of the blog post below. I know a lot more about the subject than I did when I wrote this post back in 2013. And while I still think all their stories sound much the…

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2017 is the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution, commemorated in Big Fat History Books and innumerable posts by history bloggers.  (I did my bit here and here.)  There has been a certain somber tone to such commemorations, since the Revolution is tied in our historical memory with Stalinism, gulags in Siberia, the Cold War,…

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