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Out From Behind This Mask

A Barthesian bristle and the curious power of Walt Whitman’s posthumous eyelids — D. Graham Burnett on meditations conjured by a visit to the death masks of the…more

Notes on the Fourth Dimension

Hyperspace, ghosts, and colourful cubes – Jon Crabb on the work of Charles Howard Hinton and the cultural history of higher dimensions….more

Machiavelli, Comedian

Most familiar today as the godfather of Realpolitik and as the eponym for all things cunning and devious, the Renaissance thinker Niccolò Machiavelli also had a li…more

Scurvy and the Terra Incognita

One remarkable symptom of scurvy, that constant bane of the Age of Discovery, was the acute and morbid heightening of the senses. Jonathan Lamb explores how this un…more

Black on Black

Should we consider black a colour, the absence of colour or a suspension of vision produced by a deprivation of light? Beginning with Robert Fludd’s attempt to pict…more

A Dangerous Man in the Pantheon

This October marks 300 years since the birth of French Enlightenment thinker Denis Diderot. Although perhaps best known for co-founding the Encylopédie, Philipp Bl…more

Lucian’s Trips to the Moon

With his Vera Historia, the 2nd century satirist Lucian of Samosata wrote the first detailed account of a trip to the moon in the Western tradition and, some argue,…more