The Rest Is History

A matador, wimmen, and the slayer of hundreds of bears and wildcats.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, June 28, 2019

Mademoiselle V…in the Costume of an Espada, by Edouard Manet, 1862. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, H.O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H.O. Havemeyer, 1929.

• “The Gay Jewish Matador from Brooklyn.” (New York Times)

• When it comes to children in detention, “how much more historical awareness do we really need?” (NYR Daily)

• On Section 1325. (Washington Post)

• On the thirtieth anniversary of Do the Right Thing: “We had the crystal ball. There was global warming, gentrification. The film, you could say, is ripped from the headlines presently.” (New York Daily News)

• On the trans history of the West: “Consider Joseph Lobdell, born and assigned female in Albany, New York. When he surfaced in Meeker County, Minnesota, he became known as ‘The Slayer of Hundreds of Bears and Wild-Cats.’ ” (Atlas Obscura)

• Noah Webster’s unwanted spelling reforms: “These spelling reforms—for example, wimmen for ‘women,’ greeve for ‘grieve,’ meen for ‘mean,’ and bred for ‘bread’—were all intended to simplify spelling by making it read the way that words were pronounced, yet they brought him the pain of ridicule for decades to come.” (Aeon)

• Thinking about American history through the lens of fast food. (

• “Sadly, I’m not here to tell you that [John] Hersey is a forgotten genius awaiting rediscovery. Some of his work is plodding and mediocre. Hersey is at his best in extremity, as in his war writing and in Hiroshima, where his restrained, sober voice is able to describe violence and horror that in the hands of a more lively writer might seem lurid.” (The New Republic)

• On H.G. Wells’ fretting about the future. (The Public Domain Review)

• “What were gender roles like during Viking times?” (Science Nordic)

• This week in obituaries: Judith Krantz, Norman Stone, Robert J. Friend, Cecil Woolf, and Brenda Maddox.