The Rest Is History

The Pope’s dinner, the oldest dress in the world, and a nineteenth-century poet’s home comes into the twenty-first century.

By Angela Serratore

Friday, February 19, 2016

Scene from the Life of Saint Augustine, Master of Saint Augustine, c. 1490. The Cloisters Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

• A 5,000-year-old Egyptian dress is the oldest woven garment on record. (National Geographic

• Scandals in early Christian baking: “The defamation here expressly concerns the bread. It is not that Augustine has simply bewitched it, as if he had merely said ‘Abracadabra’ over it…‘Sperm-filled bread’ was alleged from the start.” (The New York Review of Books

• What happens when the Pope gets hungry: “Polish nuns do the majority of cooking at the Vatican, but the Swiss Guard chefs do step in to make food on formal occasions or to fulfill a special request. Though a guard cooking is a rarity, these men know more about the pope’s eating habits than anyone else, since they are no more than a few steps from him at all times.” (NPR

• Copyediting Donald Trump. (The New Yorker Page Turner

• KKK versus J.C. Penney: “Many high-up Klansmen spoke chillingly of these well-stocked newcomers. One expressed concern that ‘young men of the country…will become “automatons,” with no choice but to work for such monopolies.’ Another, during a public lecture, warned that chain stores were ‘RUINING and CRUSHING DOWN ON THE ENTIRE POPULATION of the world.’ They were commonly lumped in with other sources of Klanxiety: Great Titan Rivers spoke of the ills of ‘atheism, communism, chain stores and companionate marriage’ all in the same breath.” (Atlas Obscura)

• Edgar Allan Poe’s Bronx cottage becomes relevant to a new community. (Urban Omnibus