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

Roaming around Rotterdam

When the American tourist of former summers, whose mind was filled with a preconceived notion of Europe made up of a wealth of statistical and historical information, approached the port of Rotterdam on his maiden voyage, he usually suffered his first great European disappointment. The most reliable of reference books had prepared him for the Read More

The Spy Who Came in from the Sea

[In 1892,] a young girl singer of bewitching beauty, destined to worldwide fame thereafter, made her debut at the Costanzi Opera House in Rome in “The Huguenots.” She was “billed” alongside the celebrated tenor, Marconi. Her name was Elena Teodorini. – The Daily News, August 17, 1918 Actually, it was Theodorini, but if that’s the Read More

How to Travel for Free

Travel has been around as long as we’ve had legs to walk on, but in the days before budget airlines and AirBnB, what was an impoverished, wannabe globetrotter to do? Glad you asked. If you’ve read Beginner’s Guide to Travel Writing, you’re ready for John Henry Richardson’s master class on maximizing your sightseeing while minimizing Read More

Summer of ’69

. . . 1769, that is. Sorry, Bryan Adams. If the Enlightenment-era botanist Sir Joseph Banks had a LinkedIn profile, he’d be the connection we’d block from our newsfeeds.  This distinguished-looking Englishman served as president of the United Kingdom’s Royal Society for over four decades, was an influential proponent of settlement in Australia, sailed the Read More

Missing Person’s Report

More than 100 years ago, a young woman disappeared under mysterious circumstances. However, the police can’t help solve this cold case. If you’re an historian who sits in front of your television night after night watching reruns of “Law & Order: SVU,” dust off your archival gloves and put on your “Rocky” soundtrack because this Read More

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