A very short history of the Four-Leaf Clover…..

I am currently finishing off another small book, this time on superstitions, in my new “Short History” series. So I thought that I would share with you an excerpt –  the history of the four-leaf clover… More than any other factor, the rarity of the four-leaf clover (normally, the clover …

A very short history of beans……

I have just put together a short Kindle book on the history of beans. In which you will discover the decidedly odd history of the humble bean . Discover why Pythagarus would not eat beans, why it was forbidden for nuns to eat them, how a fart from eating beans started …

A very short history of kites……

Did you know that kites originated in China as military signaling devices. Around 1200 B.C., a Chinese kite’s colour, its painted pattern, and particularly the air movements it was forced to execute communicated coded messages between camps. The ancient Chinese became so proficient in constructing huge, lightweight kites that they …

A short history of Sex-Related Words……

With the conquest of England in 1066 by William of Normandy, the Anglo-Saxon language of the British Isles underwent several alterations. As the French-speaking Normans established themselves as the ruling caste, they treated the native Saxons and their language as inferior. Many Saxon words were regarded as crude simply because …

A history of designer labels….

Dior. Blass. Prada. Givenchy. De la Renta. Von Furstenberg. Cassini. Cardin. Lauren. Gucci. History records the names of today’s fashion designers, but nowhere in its pages are the names of the tailors, dressmakers, and seamstresses who clothed royalty and nobility throughout the ages. They must have existed. Fashion certainly did. …

The Star Spangled Banner is in fact British !…..

America acquired the song that is its national anthem about thirty-eight years after the country won its independence from Britain. It is somewhat ironic that the melody is British, and came from a song extolling the pleasures of wine and getting laid. The American lyrics were of course penned by …

A brief history of the match……..

  Homo erectus, a forerunner of modern man, accidentally discovered fire through the friction generated by two sticks rubbed together. But 1.5 million years would pass before a British chemist, John Walker, produced instantaneous fire through the friction of a match rubbed over a coarse surface. Ironically, we know more …

A very short history of Chopsticks……

  As mentioned in a previous post on forks, the early Europeans were confused with the new vogue of cutting food at the table into small, bite-size pieces. They found the custom, recently introduced by merchants trading with China, tedious and pointlessly fastidious. Unknown to thirteenth-century Europeans was the Oriental …

A very short history of the bra……

  The very first modern bra was introduced to the ladies of New York by Mary Phelps Jacob (1891 -1970), a prominent socialite. Her primary concern was not comfort, bearing in mind corsets were still in vogue, but appearance. In 1913, in preparing to go to a swanky ball, she …