The Rest Is History

Charles Dickens, war, and a lost city.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, November 16, 2018

Soldiers manning a portable trench phone, c. 1917. The New York Public Library, The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Photographs of World War I battlefields.

• How was The Mystery of Edwin Drood supposed to end? “ ‘It would be too sad to think the pen had fallen from his hand, and left it incomplete.’ Alas, the pen had fallen from Dickens’ hand when the tale was only halfway done.” (The Daily Beast)

• On World War I: “How, then, to commemorate a useless war that shouldn’t have happened—a black hole in history?” (Slate)

• A story of love letters during World War II. (The Walrus)

• This week in exciting archaeological discoveries: “Greece’s culture ministry said Tuesday that archaeologists have located the first tangible remains of a lost city that the ancient Greeks believed was first settled by Trojan captives of war after the sack of Troy.” (Associated Press)

• A defense of puns. (The Paris Review Daily)

• The amazing life of Félix Nadar: “He achieved a series of historical firsts, with and without the camera: the first person to take photographs from the air, carried aloft in a hot-air balloon; the first to take photographs successfully in the absence of natural light, in a series of extraordinary images from the Paris catacombs and sewers; and the first to transport mail by air, again using hot-air balloons, during the Prussian War and the siege of Paris.” (London Review of Books)

• On W.E.B. Du Bois’ infographics. (

• This week in obituaries: Stan Lee, the voice of HAL, and a member of the singing group that made “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” a hit.