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  • Published: 15 June 2015
  • ISBN: 9780224101240
  • Imprint: Square Peg
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $29.99

Ask the Past

Pertinent and Impertinent Advice from Yesteryear



Answers, advice and age-old wisdom, from the Middle Ages to the Age of Enlightenment.

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!

  • Published: 15 June 2015
  • ISBN: 9780224101240
  • Imprint: Square Peg
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $29.99

About the author

Elizabeth Archibald

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.

Praise for Ask the Past

From medieval headache remedies to Renaissance pick-up lines, we are promised old-school advice to make us laugh out loud and shake our heads in amazement

Bookseller

A wonderful compendium of received wisdom from our forebears, this endlessly fascinating book provides the answer to conundrums that still vex us today. From sleeplessness to weight loss, table manners to taming wayward eyebrows, 900 years of sage, thoughtful and downright bizarre advice is interspersed with witty commentary by the author. A must for anyone with an eye to the curious world of the past.

Tracy Borman

The perfect book for anyone who wants really preposterous advice

Harry Ritchie, Daily Mail

The perfect book for anyone who wants really preposterous advice

Harry Ritchie, Daily Mail

This compendium has all the qualities of a well-curated cabinet of curiosities

Juanita Coulson, 4 stars, Lady

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