Articles by Ted Scheinman

The bold, brilliant Mary Wroth with a string instrument called a theorbo, circa 1620.

The Secret Codes of Lady Wroth, the First Female English Novelist

The Renaissance noblewoman is little known today, but in her time she was a notorious celebrity

Before donating the 45.5-carat Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution, the jeweler Harry Winston had Bradford Bachrach photograph Eleanor Kidd—the face of Lucky Strike cigarettes—wearing 
the gem in 1958.

The Story Behind the Photography Studio That Captured America

For generations, Bachrach Photographers made everyone, from JFK to Duke Ellington to everyday people, look great

Ory in November 1945, during his comeback after working as a janitor.

Kid Ory Finally Gets the Encore He Deserves

The childhood home of the musician who put New Orleans jazz on the map will soon open to the public

Father Reginald Foster celebrating his birthday in 2019

Father Reginald Foster Used Latin to Bring History Into the Present

Who speaks Latin these days? A surprisingly large number of people, thanks to the late friar, who died on Christmas Day at 81

English novelist John le Carré in March 1965.

John le Carré, Dead at 89, Defined the Modern Spy Novel

In 25 novels, the former British intelligence officer offered a realistic alternative to Bond, using the spy genre as a vehicle for imperial critique

Over the last nine months, Jane Austen's House has found inventive new ways to keep Janeites diverted during quarantine.

Virtual Travel

Celebrate Jane Austen's Birthday With a 360-Degree, Interactive Tour of Her House

The trustees of the house where Austen wrote her celebrated novels are finding ways to keep visitors happy—even amid a pandemic

One of the oldest pairs of jeans in the world is this set of Levi’s, made around the 1880s and still tough as dirt.

How Denim Became a Political Symbol of the 1960s

The blue jeans fabric conquered pop culture and fortified the civil rights movement

"Assassination of Julius Caesar" by Vincenzo Camuccini

The Hunt for Julius Caesar's Assassins Marked the Last Days of the Roman Republic

A new page-turning history details the events that led to the deaths of many of the conspirators

The Original Selfie Craze Was the Mirror

Today’s social media obsession has its roots in the development centuries ago of the reflective material

Badger Clark in 1954.

Saddle Up With Badger Clark, America's Forgotten Cowboy Poet

The unsung writer, known to many as "Anonymous," led a life of indelible verse

Letters are a key part of Jane Austen's novels

A New Edition of 'Pride and Prejudice' Crosses Its T's and Dots Its I's

Barbara Heller used period handwriting—and new material—to bring the novel’s colorful letters to life

“Freeman's Hands"

The Remarkable Life and Work of Guitar Maker Freeman Vines

For nearly half a century, the North Carolina native has created instruments out of found wood—including some from a notorious hanging tree

In 2018, more than 40 million Americans traveled overseas.

Covid-19

What American Travel Looked Like Before COVID-19

Despite historic setbacks similar to today's, Americans have become more dedicated travelers

The cover story of the debut issue was about elephant breeding in Sri Lanka.

Smithsonian Magazine Turns 50

When this publication first appeared five decades ago, it was happy to join the fray

Anya Taylor-Joy plays the manipulative-but-well-intentioned titular character Emma in Autumn de Wilde's adaptation of the oft-revisited Austen novel.

What Autumn de Wilde's 'Emma' Gets Right About Jane Austen's Irony

By turns faithful and deeply irreverent, the newest Austen adaptation offers an oddly delightful mix of 19th-century satire and Wes Anderson

Left: Walker in 1912; Right: Octavia Spencer as the inspiring businesswoman in the Netflix series “Self Made,” which debuts this month.

Women Who Shaped History

Madam C.J. Walker Gets a Netflix Close-Up

A turn-of-the-century hair-care magnate who shared her wealth gets the spotlight

Scenes From a Reenactment of a Slave Uprising

Earlier this year, a group of organizers led by a daring performance artist donned 19th-century clothes and recreated the 1811 revolt

New Yorkers celebrate the end of Prohibition in 1933.

Breaking Down the Numbers of Americans' Drinking Habits

A century after Prohibition, we uncork a history of the nation’s shifting relationship with booze

Older people tend to believe that younger generations lack whatever traits they themselves possess in abundance.

The Psychology Behind Generational Conflict

Older people have groused about younger people for millennia. Now we know why

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