History

Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish

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The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish Cover Image
$28.99
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ISBN: 9780465036714
Published: Basic Books - April 29th, 2014

Even if you've never touched a sewing machine, you'll be planning a trip to the fabric store by the time you finish this history of American clothing. Dress isn't just a matter of fashion here: it's politics, domestic science, economics, and a barometer of women's roles in an evolving world.

Sarah


the Time in the World: A Book of Hours by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins

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All the Time in the World: A Book of Hours Cover Image
$28.95
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ISBN: 9780385535410
Published: Nan A. Talese - October 29th, 2013

Such a fascinating book: this contemporary Book of Hours feeds the mind and heart. Topics range from Casanova's famous late-night card match, to the love of roses in ancient Persia, to the confusing evolution of star naming. Minka Sicklinger's illustrations are a perfect companion. I loved basking in it by reading only an entry a day...

Jennifer


The Year Without Summer: 1816

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The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History Cover Image
$18.99
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ISBN: 9781250042750
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - March 11th, 2014

An astounding study in climate change in the aftermath of a monster volcanic eruption (10 times the force of Krakatoa). This single natural event had world-wide consequences: New England blizzards in June; European food riots; panicking establishment of fringe religious sects; mass population shifts; even the composition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  What a year!

Gary


A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome

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A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome: Daily Life, Mysteries, and Curiosities Cover Image
By Alberto Angela, Gregory Conti (Translated by)
Not Available
ISBN: 9781933372716
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Europa Editions - May 26th, 2009

Great pleasure for the history buff or curious general reader.  Angela picks a specific day at the height of the Roman Empire and follows various typical Romans through their day, illustrating how they dress, eat, etc.  Angela's easy conversational style belies what must be copious research.


Gary


The Secret Rooms

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The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, and a Family Secret Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143124733
Availability: Available at Wholesaler
Published: Penguin Books - December 31st, 2013

Downton Abbey this is not, yet neither is the mystery concealed in the gothic castle quite the horror story one expects.  Bailey does a magnificent research job in her quest to go through the copious amounts of never seen letters and material belonging locked away at Belvoir Castle in the early twentieth century and discover exactly what the then Duke of Rutland was trying to conceal.  The lengths this branch of the aristocracy were willing to go to in order to preserve their lineage is a tale of 'class obsession, hypocrisy and constipated emotion' and the narrative is peopled with fascinating characters capable of more depth and deception than Masterpiece Theatre often provides.

 

Susannah


Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs, by Paul Koudounaris

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$29.95
ISBN: 9780500251959
Availability: Available at Wholesaler
Published: Thames & Hudson - October 8th, 2013

Worth it for the pictures alone, scholar Koudounaris fleshes out a strange little corner of Catholic history- that of the skeletal remains of martyrs that were dressed and ornamented as a response by the Catholic Church to the Protestant Reformation. Read about the skeletons, what they meant to the communities that hosted them and how they ended up. Fascinating!

Marie


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