Many women reacted strongly to Anton Mesmer’s magnetic therapies; some of them convulsing or falling unconscious.

In 1778 Anton Mesmer arrived in Paris. He had left Vienna under a cloud when his new practice of animal magnetism raised objections among medical prac(...)

Mary Robinson’s snail plates sold for €70

“Let them eat cake”, Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France reputedly said when told her subjects were famished. Yesterday, [Tuesday, November 28t(...)

Jacob Rees-Mogg: the MP’s stance on abortion horrified audiences that cherished him as previous generations cherished Oliver St John-Mollusc and other spoof aristocrats from Monty Python. Photograph: Parliament.uk

So of the times and so behind them, Jacob Rees-Mogg has lived a paradox this summer. The Conservative MP’s refusal to apologise for his high birth tur(...)

Ana Maria Pacheco’s Hairy Legs of the Queen of Sheba.  Courtesy of the artist and Pratt Contemporary

Many centuries ago a young Portuguese girl was said to have been so determined to remain chaste, she prayed to be made ugly. God granted her a beard. (...)

“C’est bizarre,” observed the female passerby as she looked in the window of Cafe Philippe alongside the medieval market of Carreau De Temple. She was(...)

Sofia Coppola. Photograph: Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Sofia Coppola enters the room noiselessly and unannounced. It’s how she does things. Her outsized dress is insanely fashionable, but low-key. Her soft(...)

Bus Éireann strike: “It has been a bit of an upheaval,” says Tara Cotter, mother of Lily, James, Olivia and Ella. Photograph: Emma Jervis

David Williams has watched over the past fortnight as the effects of the Bus Éireann strike have rippled to the tip of the Mizen Peninsula, in Co Cork(...)

Dash McCarthy in front of the Eiffel Tower

The only time my eight-year-old son has ever fallen down the stairs was when he was a baby and my wife had left us home alone for the first time to go(...)

Pro-choice activists  in front of  the US Supreme Court in Washington DC. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty

Marie Antoinette’s alleged “let them eat cake” remark had a quality of truthfulness, even if she never in fact said it. We can be more confident – thi(...)

The fountains in Versailles, France. Photograph: Bernard Menigault/Corbis via Getty Images

Between economic, political and social crisis, and jihadist attacks that have claimed 234 lives in France since January 2015, the country sometimes se(...)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Next
  • Last »