Sunday, February 8, 2015

"Death by Petticoat: American History Myths Debunked" by Mary Miley Theobald

I picked this up at Colonial Williamsburg in November because it looked like a fun book and I wondered if it would be appropriate for Sam, my 7-year-old, who loves history.  Turns out, it was both fun and appropriate.  Took me a while to dig my TBR pile down to it, but I'm glad I finally did.  This is a really fast read -- no myth takes more than 1 1/2 pages for Theobald to debunk convincingly.  Not an in-depth history book, but an informative one.

Want to know if there was ever a "closet tax" that kept people from putting closets in their houses years ago?  Or whether or not women really wore wax makeup that melted off their faces if they sat too close to a fire?  Or if the position of a horse's legs indicate how the war hero on it died?  All the answers are here!

And now that I've finished it, I'm going to let Sam read it :-)  You can visit the author's website here to get a taste of the sorts of things that are in her book, and also find citations for much of the info, which are sadly missing from the book.

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  G.  


  1. Seems like the citations of research should be in the book...but this sounds fun! I might have to find it now.

    1. I figure it's because this is kind of a light book, aimed at casual readers, and because she never (that I recall) cited or quoted anything in the text. I would have liked a "works consulted" section at the back or something, but since the book was put out with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's cooperation, I decided I could trust it.


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