War & Alchemy: The Story of Prussian Blue
The blue shade was synthesized accidentally in German scientist Johann Dippel’s laboratory, after he failed to alchemize gold...
Ruin to Revival: London’s Complicated Relationship with Gin
Back in the 1730s, the rate of gin consumption was so extreme it caused a full-blown epidemic...
Japanese Folklore to Anne Frank: A Brief History of Diaries
You see, fellow reader, I too was a diary writer. And what images that conjures up! The lone man, tweed, tobacco-stained fingertips, driving rain outs
Thatcher and the Glitterati: A Brief History of London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week has evolved from a makeshift experiment to a major-league national institution. Will LFW keep innovating, or lose its urgency...
Gibbering and Chattering: A Brief History of Zoos
Ropes. Cages. Quite a lot of panting. No, I’m not talking about any sort of adult entertainment. This one’s for kids. Let’s face it, trips to
Speakeasy to Snack: Brief History of the Sandwich
The sandwich as we know it - name and all - only emerged in the 18th century. The story of its invention goes like this: John Montagu, 4th Earl of San
Pigs & Pneumonia: Brief History of the Flu
The flu isn’t fatal, it’s just a pain in the arse, another inconvenience like having an iPhone 4 in a city full of iPhone 7’s. Yet, as unbelieva
Green Eyes: Myths, Migration and Melanin
But why did green eyes become considered as specifically mystical? One probable explanation is that they are so rare: less than two percent of the wor
London Faces: Introducing a New London Serial
Serials have a long and admirable history. The tradition stretches back to our city’s original laureate Dickens – many of his bestselling books we
Society & Stigma: Brief History of Salesmen
The salesman is a reviled figure in today’s society, stereotypically seen as a trickster, no better than a criminal or a con man...