His 20-volume masterwork was hailed as "the most ambitious enterprise in publishing since the production of the King James Bible"—and he paid dearly for his ambition
March 21, 2012 | By Gilbert King
In 1887, a painter was inspired by an idea: commemorate the everyday heroism of men, women and children who had lost their lives trying to save another's
March 19, 2012 | By Mike Dash
"Don't talk to me about X-rays," Edison said after an assistant on one of his X-ray projects started showing signs of illness. "I am afraid of them."
March 14, 2012 | By Gilbert King
The massacre almost brought the United States to war against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but only one man was brought to trial: John D. Lee
February 29, 2012 | By Gilbert King
Sir Basil Zaharoff was the archetypal "merchant of death"—an arms salesman who made a career out of selling to both sides in a conflict and stood accused of starting World War I for his personal profit.
February 16, 2012 | By Mike Dash
The officer who gained glory as a warrior in the Civil War also had a domestic side.
February 14, 2012 | By Gilbert King
The secret of Glamis Castle—a concealed room, a hidden heir—was one of the great talking points of the 19th century. But will the mystery ever be resolved?
February 10, 2012 | By Mike Dash
Two centuries after his birth, the novelist is still wildly popular, as a theme park, a new movie and countless festivals attest
February 2012 | By Joshua Hammer
Charles J. Guiteau said he wanted to kill President James A. Garfield "in an American manner." He passed up several opportunities before he thought the time was right.
January 17, 2012 | By Gilbert King
No one had ever tunneled under a major river before Marc Brunel began a shaft below London's river in the 1820s
January 03, 2012 | By Mike Dash
John Harlan championed racial justice on a hostile Supreme Court. Robert Harlan, a freed slave, achieved renown despite the court's decisions
December 20, 2011 | By Gilbert King
At the height of the sailing era, four of the world's fastest clippers raced to be first home from China to London with the season's precious early cargo of tea
December 15, 2011 | By Mike Dash
As a young man, Paul Morphy vanquished eight opponents simultaneously while effectively blindfolded
December 12, 2011 | By Karen Abbott
The 19th-century artist Robert Walter Weir took inspiration from Washington Irving to create a prototype of Santa Claus
December 2011 | By Owen Edwards
The explorer of Dr. Livingstone-fame provides a classic character study of how willpower works
December 2011 | By Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney
The first case of stigmata—the appearance of marks or actual wounds like those Christ received during the Crucifixion—was recorded in 1224. Hundreds of cases have followed. But this phenomenon has not been fully explained.
November 18, 2011 | By Mike Dash
Amid the vast literature of the Civil War, it's easy to lose sight of some of the stranger facts, coincidences and quirks of character
November 15, 2011 | By Karen Abbott
A new exhibition of American wonders underscores the debt our country owes to its waterways
November 2011 | By Daniel Walker Howe
Striving for academic honors meant risking infertility and madness, Victorian scientists warned women. Then Philippa Fawcett triumphed in the toughest challenge of them all
October 28, 2011 | By Mike Dash
Beloved by 19th-century audiences around the world, the African-American artist fell into obscurity, only to be celebrated as a genius more than a century later
October 19, 2011 | By Lucinda Moore