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

Michael Olmert (Author)


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.

Product Details

Touchstone Books
Publish Date
June 18, 1996
5.62 X 0.63 X 8.72 inches | 0.75 pounds
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About the Author

Michael Olmert teaches English Literature at the University of Maryland. He has won three Emmys for writing documentaries and is a regular contributor to Colonial Williamsburg magazine. He is also the author of The Smithsonian Book of Books and Milton's Teeth and Ovid's Umbrella: Curiouser and Curiouser Adventures in History.