Milton's Teeth and Ovid's Umbrella: Curiouser and Curiouser Adventures in History

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Touchstone, Jun 18, 1996 - History - 256 pages
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We've been taught that history is the story of great events and important people -- but is it? In Milton's Teeth and Ovid's Umbrella, Michael Olmert shows how the most ordinary artifacts of everyday life can also be important sources of information. For the modern historian it's the little things that count, and these intriguing essays force us to take another look at the odds and ends of life we so often take for granted, including:
-- Toothbrushes -- how they eased civilization into the Industrial Revolution
-- Graffiti -- why they became a feature of our public "decoration"
-- Playing cards -- how the technology of printing cards led to Gutenberg's Bible
-- Keys -- why these little metal objects have been a symbol of power and authority throughout the ages
-- Horse racing -- how the rage for racing played an important role in the development of fashion and journalism

Whimsical, witty, and highly informative, Milton's Teeth and Ovid's Umbrella leads us through the back door and into the kitchen of history -- where people really lived.

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User Review  - TheDivineOomba - LibraryThing

This book is a book of essays - mostly about the daily objects and rituals that are found in the modern world. Some are more interesting than others (I skipped most of the chapter about baseball) but ... Read full review

Milton's teeth & Ovid's umbrella: curiouser and curiouser adventures in history

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Life, leisure, celebrations, implements, and symbols are the categories under which Olmert (The Book of Books, LJ 9/1/92) places his stories about such subjects as hair and hands, betting and sports ... Read full review



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