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It's a truth universally recognized that you have no game

How to pick up genteel women in the 18th Century according to period guides.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 2, 2014 - 17 comments

It's smaller on the outside - The mechanical furniture of the Roentgens

The mechanical furniture of the Roentgens [more inside]
posted by zamboni on Feb 24, 2014 - 25 comments

American History: a very qualified "Yaaay"

After a year of production, John Green's Crash Course US History has come to an end, traveling from the conflicts between the native Americans and the Spanish to the Affordable Care Act.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 11, 2014 - 40 comments

A lot of public domain images

The British Library has posted more than a million public domain images on Flickr.
posted by jiawen on Dec 14, 2013 - 23 comments

18th Century Pharmacopeia

A Cephalic Infusion
Take dry Peacocks dung (the white part) 4 ounces; Millepedes alive bruised 1 ounce; black Cherry water, white Wine, each 1 pint and half; let them stand cold 24 hours, then having clarify'd it, by often passing it through a Flannel bag; add Langius's Antepileptic water 3 ounces; Spirit of Lavender compound 1 dram and half; Oil of Nutmeg 3 drops; Syrup of Piony compound 6 ounces, mix.
It cleanses out the Meatus of the Brain, when choak'd up and grown unpassable, by reason of muddy Feculencies, roborates its Tone when flaccid and suck, and defecates the Animal Spirits, when clog'd and incens'd with an heterogeneous Copula, refreshes and invigorates them when feeble and fainting; discusses the Mists and Clouds of the Head, and procures Serenity and Sun shine. Therefore we employ it with happy Success in an Idiopathic Head-ach, Vertigo, Scotomy, &c. giving a quarter of a pint Nights and Mornings.
800 medicines from Thomas Fuller's Pharmacopeia Extemporanea, 168 from William Buchan's Domestic Medicine and 11 from The Reverend Twigge's Notebook - indexed and fully searchable.
posted by unliteral on Feb 22, 2012 - 30 comments

Burning bodices

The first sexual revolution: lust and liberty in the 18th century
posted by Artw on Jan 21, 2012 - 17 comments

Sixteen Rabbits and Three Tabby Cat Legs

Possibly NSFW. The case of the Rabbet Woman (also known as Mary Toft) is a particularly interesting one. Toft, on the advice of an unnamed accomplice, decided to engage in a scam which would enter her into the annals of history: she pretended to give birth to a series of seventeen baby rabbits and three tabby-cat legs, apparently by pushing their dead corpses up her vagina when no one was looking. Over the course of her fraud, she managed to convince many of the leading scientific and medical lights of the day that she was, in fact, giving birth to these rabbits (and three tabby-cat legs), including John Howard (pdf) (and more, also pdf), Cyriacus Ahlers (one of the King's surgeons), Nathaniel St. Andre (Anatomist to the King), Samuel Molyneux, and Sir Richard Manningham, male midwife to the Queen. Sir Richard Manninghan (Man Midwife!), although originally taken in by the fraud, eventually discovers the truth when a porter admits that he had been going to the market to buy baby rabbits for Toft. His Diary provides a pretty good summary of the case. When the fraud was discovered, Toft was charged, although the charges were eventually dropped; more lasting were the effects on some of the medical professionals, whose reputations were permanently ruined. You can read a nice summary in A Cabinet of Curiosities (google books). The case of the Rabbet Woman took the English world by storm. Scores of pamphlets--in this case the 18th century equivalent to tabloids--circulated, as the public devoured case depositions, scientific publications, satirical doggerel, and semi-erotic prints of rabbits bursting forth from Toft's nether regions (sanitized prints here)*. (previously (pay special attention to the comments), previously) [more inside]
posted by kittenmarlowe on Dec 9, 2011 - 91 comments

Mapping the Republic of Letters

Mapping the Republic of Letters is a cartographic tool designed by students and professors at Stanford that seeks to represent the Enlightenment era Republic of Letters, the network of correspondence between the finest thinkers of the day, such as Voltaire, Leibniz, Rousseau, Newton, Diderot, Linnaeus, Franklin and countless others. Patricia Cohen wrote an article about Mapping the Republic of Letters as well as other datamining digital humanities projects in The New York Times. The mapping tool is fun to play with but I recommend you read the blogpost where Cohen explains how to use Mapping the Republic of Letters.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 16, 2010 - 15 comments

"Believers, Jews, Christians and Sabaeans - whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does what is right -- shall be rewarded by their Lord"

...[John] Adams’s Koran [Qur'an] had a strong New England pedigree. The first Koran published in the United States, it was printed in Springfield in 1806.
posted by orthogonality on Sep 22, 2010 - 22 comments

Interactive 18th century Rome

Imago Urbis: Giuseppe Vasi’s Grand Tour of Rome is a rich and innovative geographic database that projects Vasi's 18th century engravings of Roman architecture onto the contemporary map of Giambattista Nolli [previously] with supplementary modern satellite, photographic and mapping overlays together with copious background detail. The work was undertaken by researchers at the University of Oregon (announcement) [via]
posted by peacay on Jun 11, 2008 - 3 comments

"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are."

A sampling of the range of medieval and 18th C. European diets from Michael de Leone's Ein Buch von Guter Speise and Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's Physiologie du goût (The Physiology of Taste).
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 14, 2006 - 7 comments

Missouri Botanical Gardens Rare Books/Illustrations

Missouri Botanical Gardens Rare Books: The Illustrated Garden
This collection contains seventy seven 18th and 19th century botanical books and these are just a small sample of the 3000+ beautiful illustrations contained within. (via)
posted by peacay on Aug 23, 2005 - 18 comments

Old Newsfilter

Half-hanged Harding; Women of Pleasure; the Rape Master General; Haemorrhoides, Hernia, Bad Teeth and Other Ailments; the Rabbit Woman; Sew-Gelder Tries to Spay His Wife; Getting Rid of Bedbugs, and other Early Eighteenth Century Newspaper Reports.
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 18, 2005 - 14 comments

Lord Timothy Dexter - 'Consler of Trouth'

Lord Timothy Dexter (1747-1806) was one of the most colorful characters of early American history, described here as, among other things, an "Eccentric 18th Century Merchant - Investor with a Midas Touch - Impresario - Patron of the Arts, founding the 'World Mouserum of Grate Wonder and Gret Caricters' - progressive 'Libperel' - Self Appointed 'Consler of Trouth.'" This site includes a complete transcription of Dexter's punctuation-free magnum opus, A Pickle for the Knowing Ones featuring his famous Addenda.
posted by Joey Michaels on Nov 14, 2002 - 12 comments

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