The Rest Is History

High heels, running, and a pastry queen.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, May 15, 2020

Sketches of Shoes, by Arnold William Brunner, 1883. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Gift of Mrs. Arnold W. Brunner

• COVID-19 in context: the Aztecs’ response to plague, the Shiʿi shrines, June Almeida, and Albert Camus.

• “Unlike other physical fitness programs that required heavy, expensive gear, jogging was accessible to all, boosters claimed. But history shows how untrue that is, and how long the sport of running has maintained this fiction.” (New York Times)

• The photographs of Anne Brigman. (

• On Herman Melville’s Clarel. (The Public Domain Review)

• Revisiting the life, values, and legacies of Franz Boas: “The world—at least the academic world—is no longer safe for Franz Boas. Perhaps that should be no surprise. What we all want, and cannot have, is the ideological equivalent of a Forever stamp, the assurance that our version of enlightenment will withstand the passage of years, without requiring ungainly supplementation.” (The New York Review of Books)

• The atlas and the man who invented the world. (Nautilus)

• “Ancient DNA reveals staying power of early people of the Andes.” (Science)

• On Duchess “Charity” Quamino, the “Pastry Queen of Rhode Island.” (Atlas Obscura)

• Pregnancy and death in the seventeenth century: “When she learned she was pregnant, she secretly bought herself a sheet that she could be buried in and began writing a document full of maternal advice for her unborn child, in case she did not survive to raise him or her.” (Nursing Clio)

• Doctors have always loathed high heels. (JSTOR Daily)

Jill Lepore has a new podcast. (New York Times)

• “The story of Hong Kong and Shanghai isn’t simply a defining story of the last two centuries of Chinese history. It is really the story of all world cities around the globe today: how they thrive and how they decline.” (Public Books)

• On the rise of the People’s Parks and People’s Houses in Sweden. (Places Journal)

• This week in obituaries: Little Richard, Joel Kupperman, Mary Pratt, Andre Harrell, Yu LihuaJerry Stiller, Paul Vasquez, Ann McBride Norton, Peter Dronke, Aimee Stephens, Roy Horn, Satish Gujral, Carolyn Reidy, Betty Wright, Thomas Sokolowski, and Cécile Rol-Tanguy.