On March 13th, 1781, from his home in Bath, England, the astronomer William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus. It is the third-largest planet in the solar system and visible to the naked eye! Yet it was not understood to be a planet, until the modern era, due to its dimness and its slow orbit around the sun.

How Big Was That Empire?

Now you can compare all the largest empires that have ever existed, by geographic area. Thank you modern geography!

Officer of the Imperial Palace Guard’s Armor

That much embroidery probably hinders their freedom of movement...but it sure looks snazzy! From the Qing Dynasty, circa 1700s

The Great Hare: An Algonquin Trickster Who Helped Create The World

Nanabozho is a prominant trickster figure, found in most Algonquin tribes' belief system. Stories about him vary considerably from tribe to tribe. His parents change, he is sometimes given siblings, and stories about his deeds would fill a book. Nicknamed "the Great Hare" although he is rarely shown as a rabbit, Nanabozho is a transformer figure, a creator and provider of food and representative of the various life force(s). Although a bit of a trickster figure, Nanabozho is not truly immoral or even seriously inappropriate. He is viewed as a virtuous hero and friend of humankind who happens to have a mischievous side.

There's so much contradictory information about Nanabozho so that is where I will stop. If you want to read some of the many tales about Nanabozho, here is a list to get you started.

Studying "Study of an Archer"

This unifinished study, from India around 1750, helps modern art historians understand how paintings were created at that time. Artists began by covering the paper with a thin layer of white paint, which created an even surface suitable for detailed work. They then made a preliminary drawing using ink and a fine brush; this is clearly visible where the quiver was meant to be executed. Pigments were then added, in this case, opaque watercolors. And at various stages, the painting was turned face down on a smooth surface, and rubbed with a hard tool to achieve a glossy finish.

The imperial summer palace, or Yuanming Yuan, evolved over time into the main residence of the Qing emperors. Eight miles north of the Forbidden City, it was constructed throughout the 1700s and early 1800s, as emperors successively added gardens, water features, follies, and eventually European-style palaces.

Yuanming Yuan was burned from October 18th to October 21s of 1860, during the Opium Wars, by the Anglo-British Expeditionary Force. These photographs were taken on October 18th before the palace was burned.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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