From the Paris morgue to CPR training

Death masks have been a way of preserving the final likeness of the dead for centuries. Their general purpose was to help create acurate funeral effigies or busts of the unseeing sitter.

Many death masks are famous and are the cause of a creepy fascination of many, but none have captured the imagination quite like that of L’Inconnue de la Seine, or The unknown woman of the Seine. This unknown woman’s likeness eventually became the face of the Resusci Annie dolls that anyone who has done a first aid course will recognise.

But between her tragic death and her modern-day…

…still eaten today

Great Britain seems to have had a food PR problem for several decades. Most people think of fish and chips or a classic sunday roast dinner as being the height of traditional British cuisine.

But if you dig just a little bit deeper beneath the surface you will find a rich gastronomic history, from exotically spiced and delicately sauced dishes of the medieval period through to today’s vibrant food scene filled with chefs who are living off the fat of the land, and making the most of fresh, British produce.

Here we take a look at some of Britain’s historic…

Megxit, duty and Oprah…

On a beautiful summer’s day in May 2018, the bunting was hung and the champagne was on ice. A fairytale straight out of The Princess Diaries came true as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry married in St George’s chapel at Windsor Castle after a whirlwind romance which caught the public’s imagination. However, almost immediately afterwards the adoration of the couple du jour began to fade, with tales and whispers about the newly minted Duchess of Sussex appearing everywhere.

Rumours begin

Even before her marriage, Meghan was being unfavourably compared to that woman, the other American divorcee who had the cheek to pollute…

From the turnip to the sublime

Death comes to us in many guises. We sometimes leave the mortal world in a blaze of glory, sometimes in a very mundane way on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon.

But sometimes, it happens in embarrassing or unusual ways. This is rather unfortunate if you are a historical figure and your legacy through the echoes of time isn't your just great work, but the weird way in which you left your earthly body.

Here are six of those bizarre deaths from history…

1) Saint Lawrence

You’ve arrived… now what?

Moving house and settling into a new area can be difficult. Moving to a new country entirely and having a language barrier is an even bigger challenge.

My family and I recently made the move to France. We have experienced the intitial settling in, and have learnt a fair few lessons of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to sorting out the boring official stuff and the prospect of becoming part of the community and making friends. It’s daunting but oh-so-worth it when you crack it.

If you’re sensible, you’ve spent the last months (or even years) scoping…

Warning: may contain carrots!

“I am speaking to you from the Cabinet Room at 10, Downing Street.”

So began the darkest news the country had endured since the Great War. At 11:15 am on Sunday 3 September 1939, British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, announced to the nation that the country was at war with Germany in a radio broadcast.

Away from the battle raging on the continent, World War II (WWII) saw another battle being fought in homes around the United Kingdom. The war led to the disruption of food imports, leaving the country at risk of starving.

Wartime spirit helped women, the elderly…

How a leap of faith helped to kickstart my life

“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”

- Winston Churchill

On paper, I had it all. I was living with my lovely boyfriend and had a very easy, reasonably well-paid job in a library at a world-renowned institution. I had great hours and generous leave in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Why was I so dissatisfied?

I looked inward and searched the nooks and crannies of my mind and heart and came out with these realisations:

1. My job was good and I loved the people I worked with, but at…

All about us…


Welcome to The History Edit, the home of interesting stories about history.

We believe that history should entertain, enthral, delight, shock and awe. We do not believe that history should be dull and dry.

Here you will find the best snippits, the juciest morsels, and the most interesting history stories. We pride ourselves on providing entertaining narratives that are also accurate and educational.

So sit back with your (insert favourite drink here) and dig in!

Writing for The History Edit

If you would like to become part of The History Edit collective, just pop a comment on this post and you will be added as…

And one that has yet to pass

The people of the medieval and early modern world were God-fearing. They were in awe of their God and the events that he made manifest to either make his pleasure or displeasure known.

These omens, portents, and superstitions came in the shape of natural disasters, celestial events, and happenings that we today would put down to coincidence, but that they would see as divine.

Here are three watershed moments from history that were deemed to have been foretold via some portent or omen. There is also one omen that is still yet to pass….

#1. Fiery dragons and lightning predict the heathen men

Advice for the beginner language learner

This is a treatise for those who, like me, are slowly learning a language far too many years beyond their schooldays for comfort.

I, alongside my young family, have recently upped sticks and moved our life to France. I have no doubt my small children will pick up the language in the speedy manner in which youth lends itself to learning. The little sponges.

It’s not the average adult’s fault in finding learning language a slower process.

Jade Revell

Historian and freelance writer with special interests in Richard II, food history and a little bit of everything else.

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