Category Archives: History

Reading Levels and the Surprisingly Recent Stratification of Children’s Books

Note: this is the second of two three companion posts to Episode 44 of my podcast, Children’s Science Fiction. (I told you, this episode took a lot of research.) For the first post, click here. Today, children’s books—especially fiction books—are … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Where Did School Book Fairs Come From?

Note: in preparing the next episode of my podcast, I had a surprising amount of supplemental material that was kind of off-topic and that I didn’t have time to talk about, so I decided to save it for the blog. … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Essay: Who Was Really the Richest Person in History?

Every so often, some business magazine or other notable publication will publish a list of the richest historical figures of all time. Topping the list is usually John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil and the first person ever to earn a billion United States dollars. … Continue reading

Posted in Essays, History | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

History’s Dinner Party

I wrote this post in 2016, but it got buried in my folder of planned posts. I honestly don’t even remember where I got the idea. I think it was a writing prompt in a group I attended at the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Writing Prompts | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on History’s Dinner Party

Happy Amerigo Vespucci Day

Today is the birthday of Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512), an Italian navigator who explored the newly-discovered Americas, got his name attached to them, and arguably deserves his own holiday more than that other Italian navigator you might be thinking of. Columbus … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, History | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Happy Amerigo Vespucci Day

Cosmos follow-up: Hypatia and the Library of Alexandria

The recent Cosmos series has been a tour-de-force for science education and popularization, equal to the original. However, there is one aspect of both series that I have to take issue with, and that is the holding up of the … Continue reading

Posted in History, TV Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

On Giordano Bruno

The new Cosmos TV series has drawn criticism for its depiction of Giordano Bruno, a Dominican Monk and philosopher who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1600. A lot has been said about this, including criticism of the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Religion, Science | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A brief, festive history of time travel

In this holiday season, let us take a moment to remember the first popular book that brought the idea of time travel to the readers of the world…A Christmas Carol. Wait, Charles Dickens was the father of time travel? Well, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, History | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on A brief, festive history of time travel