Hello and welcome to ZaraBlog!
Every now and then, I plan to write about things from then and now. You'll find me discussing things from "then" more than "now," as I'm a scholar of the eighteenth century and find that time period endlessly fascinating. But if anything can get me to leave my favorite century, it's things.
You'll find me talking about these things here because they're just inherently really interesting, with wonderful histories hidden inside them. But I'll also talk about things to break down walls; walls between the academy and the public, and walls between fields within the academy. I strive to bring together fields of inquiry historians often separate, like women's history and military history. And one of the main reasons I wanted to launch this website was to provide another forum for bringing academic history to a wider public.
Here in this blog, you'll hear about my thing for things. You'll find me chatting about things ranging from the political history embodied in body armor made in Tudor England, to the fashion history behind that new floral dress in the ZARA store. I'll unpack the mysteries behind things as physically unlike one another as a note purportedly made of human skin during the American Revolution and an oil painting of a wealthy merchant's wife who lived in colonial Boston and had seventeen children.
Whether from the 1520s or 2016, whether made of metal, fabric, paint, or human skin, these are all objects with stories to tell. And they are all really good stories. I promise.