Want to know how to garden with lobsters? How to sober up? Grow a beard? Or simply how to make a perfect omelet? Look no further. Rather, look backward.

Based on the popular blog, Ask the Past is full of the wisdom of the ages–as well as the fad diets, zany pickup lines, and bacon Band-Aids of the ages. Drawn from centuries of antique texts by historian and bibliophile Elizabeth P. Archibald, Ask the Past offers a delightful array of advice both wise and weird.

Whether it’s eighteenth-century bedbug advice (sprinkle bed with gunpowder and let smolder), budget fashion tips of the Middle Ages (save on the clothes, splurge on the purse) or a sixteenth-century primer on seduction (hint: do no pass gas), Ask the Past is a wildly entertaining guide to life from the people who lived it first.

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews


"Lucky for her readers, Archibald has a wry wit and keen eye for absurdity. Some of the book's advice makes the past feel very far away...but much of it reminds of what we have in common with our ancestors, who also worried about attracting lovers, raising children, and killing bedbugs (the secret is gunpowder)."
Boston Globe
"Comical and illuminating."
Johns Hopkins Magazine
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