News from the Past

cover of Ask the Past, with 18th century surveyor assessing woman's giant hairdo

Good news, book lovers: Ask the Past is now a book! With lots of all-new (well, actually quite old) advice and charmingly curious illustrations from rare books, Ask the Past will finally reveal how to win a legal case, make a love potion, and get rid of mosquitoes.

Even better news: you can pre-order it now.

US and Canada (Hachette Books): out May 5th. Find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or IndieBound.

UK (Square Peg): out May 21st. Find it at Amazon or Waterstones.

Advance Praise (Really Far in Advance) for Ask the Past:

(OK, technically these authors thought they were discussing other books, but it seems clear in hindsight that they were talking about Ask the Past.)

Benjamin Franklin, 1771: “I bought it, read it over and over, and was much delighted with it.”

Petrarch, 1350: “I opened the compact little volume, small indeed in size, but of infinite charm, with the intention of reading whatever came to hand, for I could happen upon nothing that would be otherwise than edifying.”

Michel de Montaigne, 1580: “The knowledge I seek is there treated in disconnected pieces that do not demand the bondage of prolonged labour, of which I am incapable.”

Henry David Thoreau, 1857: “I am disappointed in not finding it a more out-of-door book.”

William Caxton, 1485: “And for to passe the tyme thys book shal be plesaunte to rede in, but for to gyue fayth and byleue that al is trewe that is conteyned herin, ye be at your lyberte.”

Jane Austen, 1814: “I read it immediately–& with great pleasure.”