Oddly enough, nothing like Billy Idol 🙂
Centuries before the self-help movements began, people already understood the basic need to better themselves. Benjamin Franklin created what we would call a “to-do” list of 13 areas of his life he wanted to improve; he even charted his progress weekly. I think everyone will find at least a few of these familiar. It’s heartening to learn that even the best of us are human — we all struggle against some of the same tendencies as those of our ancestors.
This post is written in honor of Ada Lovelace Day, celebrating the achievements of women in science and technology.
Hildegard von Bingen (born 1098 – died 1179) is probably best known as a medieval religious visionary, literary author, and composer. But she was a woman of many more talents, including natural philosophy and medicine. Read more “Hildegard von Bingen: Sybil, Saint, and Scientist”
The academic study of history makes a strong distinction between “primary” and “secondary” sources. While secondary sources are narratives, opinions, or analysis produced after the fact, primary sources are the real artefacts of the time in question: contemporary documents produced by those with direct experience of events. Primary sources are as close as you can get to experiencing the time during which they’re created; they are snapshots of a few droplets of water rushing along in the ephemeral river of time. You hope as a historian to be able to view as many of these multi-faceted drops as you can to formulate a theory as to the shape of the river’s path.
I’ve just stumbled upon this blog which features a wonderful varied collection of such sources. Letters of Note “is an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos.” Take a moment to peruse a few of these prismatic pieces of history. Fascinating!