breakfast
Europe Origin Stories The Americas

Breakfast: A Brief History of the Most Controversial Meal of the Day

Pancakes stuck around, spreading through cultures across the world. People in the burgeoning United States ate thin, European-style pancakes at any time of day, but that changed around the 1780s. Cooks began to thicken them up with pearl ash, resulting in hearty rounds. Unlike bread, they were quick and easy to make first thing in the morning before a hard day of manual labor.

The Great Hulu Show
Did That Really Happen? Europe

The Great: Empress Catherine Gives Herself Smallpox

Before the advent of modern medicine, smallpox was a devastating disease. It killed about three out of every ten people who contracted it. It also left survivors gruesomely scarred. Variolation had been practiced for quite some time in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, but 18th-century Europe was resistant to jump on the bandwagon. This was despite huge outbreaks that killed hundreds of thousands of people, including a few reigning monarchs.

The Engagement of St Ursula and Prince Etherius
Europe

They Were There: People of Color in Medieval Europe and Beyond

She had an inventory of quite a few possessions, including cutlery, bedding, cooking utensils, a pewter candlestick, and clothing. The lack of any furniture listed suggests she may have shared her home with someone else, possibly Helen Ford, a widow. Her autonomy is a breath of fresh air in a sea of stories about people being owned, rather than owning things themselves.

The Last Kingdom
Did That Really Happen? Europe

The Last Kingdom: Notable Figures In Real Life Pt. 2

When author Bernard Cornwell discovered that among his distant ancestors was an ealdorman named Uhtred who held Bebbanburg, he decided he wanted to weave that into his story. The Uhtred who lived held court in the early 10th century, over 100 years after The Last Kingdom’s events, and nothing much is known about him. Our fictional hero’s remarkable upbringing and adventures are just that — fiction. But we like to think the real Uhtred had his fair share of escapades, too.

The Last Kingdom Alfred
Did That Really Happen? Europe

The Last Kingdom: Notable Figures in Real Life Pt. 1

The Netflix series The Last Kingdom is often compared to Game of Thrones, and for good reason — both are inspired by real British history. But while GoT took the War of the Roses as a loose template for the War of the Five Kings and threw ice zombies, dragons, and dire wolves at it, The Last Kingdom traces fascinating true events by focusing on legendary figures who really lived, weaving a bit of believable mysticism in along the way.