Elizabeth Archibald

Ask the Past
  • Ask the Past

  • Want to know how to garden with lobsters? How to sober up? Grow a beard? Or, simply, how to make a perfect cheesy omelette? Look no further than Ask the Past.

    Chock-full of advice that has (and some that hasn't!) stood the test of time, Ask the Past is the tongue-in-cheek compilation of hilarious and true answers to life's questions, drawn from actual antique sourcebooks by a historian and bibliophile.

    From medieval headache remedies to Renaissance pick-up lines, Ask the Past brings you advice that will make you laugh out loud and shake your head in amazement.

    Here are the answers to the questions you’ve always wanted to ask – 'How do I impress my boss?' or 'How do I put out a fire' – and some that you didn’t know you needed to. Brimming with advice both wise and weird, and illustrated throughout with charming images from rare books, Ask the Past offers a surprising vision of the past, together with a hilarious menu of solutions to the knotty problems of the present – like how to kill a snake with a radish!

Elizabeth Archibald holds a Ph.D. in History from Yale University, with research focusing on the history of education from Antiquity to the Renaissance and the History of the Book. She has published on topics including the history of Latin instruction and the history of women’s book ownership. She teaches in the Humanities Department at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Ask the Past was born when Elizabeth began posting morsels of advice from medieval manuscripts and rare books to a blog. Today the blog continues to charm a global audience of book lovers and history enthusiasts.

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