European History

The Success of Pastellist Rosalba Carriera

Venetian portraitist Carriera achieved a surprising level of success in the male-dominated European art world of the early 1700s. Her work helped popularize pastels and her portraits were commissioned by Europe's most prominent figures. 

The Great English Convent Case of 1869

This case fed an already growing anti-Catholic movement in England in the 1860s. Additionally, it played on the shock of women being incredibly cruel to one another – something that was even used by the plaintiff’s legal team when speaking to the jury.

The Peterloo Massacre

The Peterloo Massacre took place during a peaceful protest for parliamentary reform in Manchester, England. And there was a lot feeding into why people in Britain, and specifically in the region around Manchester, thought that reform was needed.

Thomas Harriot: Mathematician, Astronomer, Relative Unknown

Harriot's story is tied to SO MANY other notable historic things, including a lot of business with Sir Walter Raleigh. He’s really not a household name like many of his contemporaries, even though he was neck-and-neck with them in terms of discoveries. 

Ferdinand and Barbara, Married Mad Royals

Despite ascending to power in a court filled with intrigue, juggling relations with Britain and France, and both likely having mental health conditions, the reign of Ferdinand VI of Spain and his wife Barbara was surprisingly stable.

Thomas Cook, John Cook, and the Rise of the Tourism Industry

Thomas Cook and his son John Mason Cook were pioneers of the idea of a travel agency to manage tourist holidays. But Thomas Cook was initially motivated by his support of the temperance movement and his deeply held religious beliefs. 






Marie Laurencin: Avante-garde Painter of Paris

Laurencin is a difficult painter to study. In addition to her work not quite falling in line with the artists who were her contemporaries, her personal papers are difficult to access, are censored, and have strict limitations put on their use. 




Samuel Pepys, Beyond the Diary

We’re coming up on the 350th anniversary of Pepys’ last diary entry, written May 31, 1669, so it seemed like a good time to take a closer look not just at the diary, but also at who Pepys was beyond his famous chronicle of life in 17th-century London.




The Limerick Soviet

For two weeks in 1919, the city of Limerick went on a labor strike. During that time, the strike committee managed the workings of the city, including food supplies, and it even began printing its own currency. 





Evil May-day Riots

On May Day in 1517 a riot was carried out by apprentices, journeymen and other workers. While this was an uprising of laborers, this incident, called the Evil May-day or Ill May-day, was also rooted in immigration and xenophobia in Tudor London.