Clip of the Week: September 22, 2021

An amusing incident, in which Viscount Peel, the ex-Speaker, was the principal figure, took place the other afternoon in the part of the [House of Commons] which is specially reserved for visitors from another place. His Lordship forgetting for the moment that he was anything more than a distinguished stranger, was observed by the horror-stricken Read More

The Hapsburg Anastasia, Part 3

Spoiler alert: Don’t ruin the ending! Read Part 1 and Part 2 first. Read in your best announcer voice: Last time on “The Hapsburg Anastasia,” Alma eloped with 22-year-old Yale University student and coal-and-steel heir Donald Andrews. Buoyed by love and presumably, lots of money, they fled to London to escape his disapproving parents. If Read More

The Hapsburg Anastasia, Part 2

Welcome! If you haven’t yet read Part 1, please don’t spoil the story for yourself—start there!  When we last left our heroine, Alma Vetsera had failed to break her boyfriend out of an asylum, but at least she’d kicked her first husband to the curb. Alma made the most out of her newfound freedom—it helped Read More

The Hapsburg Anastasia, Part 1

Remember Second Glance History’s friend Crown Prince Rudolf, heir apparent to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire? Conspiracy theorists claim that despite what the history books say, the Hapsburg prince didn’t die on January 30, 1889 in a murder-suicide with Baroness Mary Vetsera, his 17-year-old mistress. In fact, they say he left that hunting lodge Read More

Beginner’s Guide to Pickpocketing

From breaking your lease and traveling for free to becoming a juvenile delinquent, Second Glance History is all about helping you use history to make good life choices. Today, I’m pleased to present yet another guide to antisocial behavior: Pickpocketing 101. Pencils out—but best keep your wallets hidden away. Wear a fashionable hat. On arriving Read More

Diary of a Not-Wimpy Ambassador

If you found a diary left open and unguarded, conveniently transcribed, digitized and text searchable, would you snoop? If you said “no,” you’re a better person than I am.   When it comes to gleaning insights about the days of yesteryear—to say nothing of tantalizing gossip—you can’t beat diaries and letters (along with certain newspapers). Read More

Bram’s Buddy

Inspired by a recent weekend in Dublin, I’m digging deeper into the story of Bram Stoker. Get ready for vampires! Epic battles between good and evil! And copious amounts of garlic! Whoops, wrong book. Today, he’s renowned around the world as the author of the novel that spawned a thousand teenybopper vampire romances, but in Read More

Lost and Found

My terrible sense of direction reared its ugly head, and I got horribly lost. It’s hard to put into words how awful this makes me feel. It isn’t really that I’m afraid I’ll never find my way (although I suppose that’s a tiny, irrational part), but the sense of helplessness and frustration it evokes. I Read More

Too Much Time on Their Hands

♪ Yeah, I’m sitting by my computer, clicking like a damn fool, Got the 20th-century newspaper blues. And I’ve given up hope for an interesting headline And an amusing story. Is it any wonder I have eye strain? Is it any wonder I have carpal tunnel syndrome? ♪ Well, I’m so tired of reading—I got Read More

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