April was a great month for history news and research! I have compiled my favorite stories from sources near and far and hope that it will make for fun weekend reading. A few highlights:

  • A comprehensive Beatrix Potter exhibition in Nashville
  • The castle that marked the beginning of Catherine Howard’s downfall
  • A guide to the Restoration 

I would love to hear from you if you ever come across a news story that you’d like me to share here or on our social media channels. You can email them to me here. 

Although it was a great month for historical news, I think many of us have had enough of April showers and are ready to move on to May flowers! I look forward to seeing what the history tree shakes off during the next month. 

Happy reading!

Smithsonian Magazine: When Did Clothing Originate?  

The origin of clothing fulfilled two needs: biological and cultural. Scholars are becoming more interested in the history of something that nearly everyone around the world shares in common, with some even recreating clothing from prehistoric times. 

Mental Floss: 11 Extinct Foods from History

You won’t find these foods on a menu soon!

Artsy: Alison Saar’s Formidable Sculptures Honor Black Women’s Rebellion

Using “found objects” such as cotton, canvas, wood, and piano keys, this artist creates stunning sculptures to highlight the history and resilience of Black women around the world. A must view! 

Dwell: Behind the Victorian-Era Obsession With Porcelain, There’s a Fraught History of Exploitation

We don’t use a lot of porcelain today. As the writer of this blog post points out, we are more likely to interact with it in the bathroom than at the kitchen table. But it was all the rage in the Victorian era. But did you know that it often came from China under exploitative circumstances? 

Ms.: 10 Revolutionary Women Poets in U.S. History and Present

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? To close things out Ms. has put together this great list of female poets, past and present. Give it a look, and maybe buy a new collection of poetry this weekend. 

New York Times: She’s More Than the Creator of Peter Rabbit

I know what exhibit I want to attend next! The Victoria and Albert Museum are working with The National Trust to bring to Nashville a comprehensive look at the life and work of Beatrix Potter.”“Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature” is in the country music capitol until September 17 and includes a wide range of Potter’s art but also objects such as personal objects and letters, family artworks and photographs, manuscripts, early sketchbooks, watercolors, diaries, scientific drawings, and commercial merchandise.

History Extra: Pontefract Castle: the beginning of Catherine Howard’s downfall

I have always been fascinated by the audacity of Catherine Howard. I enjoy that new and continued research is being done on each of the six wives. As part of a six-part series, History Extra looks at the locations attached to each wife and the role it played in their legacy. 

Smithsonian: Hollywood’s First Professional Stuntwoman Jumped From Planes and Swung Onto Trains

This woman had more physical bravery than I do! Helen Gibson grabbed the opportunity that motion pictures presented for someone with her skillset. By 1916 she had become one of the only female stunt women, considered to be irreplaceable by her production company. Her life is so riveting! This article explores the renewed interest in her life and career. 

History Extra: Your ultimate guide to the Restoration period

I think that the Restoration is one of history’s most underrated and underrespected time periods. I have found that a lot of people don’t even know about it. If this is you, you’ll enjoy this easy-to-digest guide to the era. 

Great British Life: What were conditions like in a Victorian era jail?

There were a lot more jails in the Victorian era, with many towns having their own, can you imagine? But the conditions were a punishment in and of themselves. See how with this enticing blog post. 

The Guardian: No phone, no internet, no power, no money – it was like being sent back to the Victorian era

What would it be like to go back to the Victorian era after a life spent with today’s comforts? This woman tried it, and was struggling after only five hours. 

More from the Recollections blog:

Celebrating spring with the maypole

Victorian spring cleaning tips and tricks

The Victorian Croquet Craze: crazier than you think

A brief history of Victorian afternoon tea