The Thickness of the Upper Crust

An afternoon refresher of European history is enough to give an idea of how common inbreeding was among the world’s most prestigious families. Aristocratic bloodlines have the highest rates of traceable inbreeding, and the tradition can be found as early as the Medieval years when marriages between close relatives were common among the ruling elite. ... Continue Reading →

The Shakers

Or, The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing. The Shakers originated in northwest England in 1747 as a millenarian restorationist sect. The group believed that they were living in the end times and that Christ had already returned to earth in the form of one of their founders. The name Shakers is a... Continue Reading →

The Icarians

The Icarians were a 19th-century utopian society in France. The movement’s formation was inspired and encouraged by the writings of Etienne Cabet; a politician, writer, and irritator.  The Founding Before becoming a radical Cabet was born in Dijon in 1788. He grew up in a family of middle-class artisans. He became active in politics after... Continue Reading →

Wild Europe: Search for the Black Nobility

I came across the term Black Nobility while reading a vintage conspiracy book that liked peppering in ominous names paired with sinister insinuations dastardly geopolitical deeds. There was little explanation of these spooky societies. Coincidentally I was also reading J.M. Roberts’ A History of Europe around the same time and had come across an entry... Continue Reading →

The Lives of the Kings & Queens of England

by Antonia Fraser, originally published in 1975 and edited in 2000. This one is more valuable as a reference book than for entertainment. It’s especially useful for parsing out the various Henrys and Edwards that have sat on the English throne. There’s also a clear trace of the decline of British monarchial powers starting post-... Continue Reading →

The French Revolution

Ian Davidson, 2016 This one is a sweet middle ground between scholarly and easily digestible. There's a brand of contemporary non-fiction that I call candy tales. It's that poppy, junk food way of detailing the life of some vast historical figure in these already stale OMG Scandal Gossip or Totally Super Rad Bro tones. This... Continue Reading →

Oneida Community Limited

The decline and fall of the Oneida community began when founder John Noyes chose to pass the commune's leadership onto his son, Theodore. Besides being shy and awkward, Theodore was an agnostic. This change caused a schism in the community with one Communitarian, John Tower, attempting to take control himself. He and a breakaway group... Continue Reading →

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