Miscellanies

The Many Faces of the Enlightened Man

In the 18th century, new scientific ideas meant new thinking about what it meant to be male and female. As everything became gendered, anxieties proliferated.

The Creatures That Devoured Leningrad

The Siege of Leningrad imposed horrific conditions on its residents, severe food shortages among them. Remarkably, many of the animals in the city’s zoo survived.

The Rise of the Valkyries

Life and death in a Viking battle depended not on military prowess, but on the favour of the valkyries. Why were these mythical figures, who decided a warrior’s fate, female?

From Russia (to Ireland) with Love

In 1805, a lady’s maid from Cork visited the palace of a Russian princess and inadvertently became one of the first published Irish writers on Russia.

Stalin’s Danish Mystery

The small island of Bornholm gave Stalin a Danish foothold at the end of the Second World War. Why did he give it up?

Exterminating the Grand Tour

The French Grand Tour was the preserve of the elite, but in the decades before the Revolution ‘the art of being abroad’ endured a crisis. Who should travel and why?

Behold Palestine

Starting in the 1960s, the Palestinian revolution was galvanised by the production of protest posters which depicted a united people and a hopeful future. As the liberation movement fractured, such visions disappeared.