Tag Archives: History

The Exception: A Very Short Review

by Brenda W. Clough Stephen Sondheim famously complained in “Putting It Together” that the audience doesn’t want to be socked with novelty. It wants what it already knows. And since we all know this, the artist is always trying to … Continue reading

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A Bandalore by Any Other Name

It is a truth universally acknowledged that historical research is probably the most fun you can have with your corset on. I was doing research on Eton in the early nineteenth century a week or so ago, and was on … Continue reading

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Lawn Ornaments, Garden Furniture, and Hermits

As 19th century tourists meandered about the English countrysides in search of the picturesque, guidebooks in hand as they viewed scenic vistas and visited stately homes surrounded by artfully planned “natural” landscapes, they might pause to admire a grotto here, … Continue reading

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Posted in gardening, History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Favorite Books

When I returned from Spokane, I brought with me my dad’s old copy of Mein Kampf, one of the few things he wanted me to have he hadn’t already given to me. I almost couldn’t find room for it, but … Continue reading

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Playing with gender roles in fiction

I think one of the appeals of traditional gender and social roles is that they give people a map with which to negotiate the chaos of human relations. We want to be secure (especially when we are less powerful than … Continue reading

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Posted in Books and Reading, History, Lifestyle | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Dramatic License

Today I offer the Author’s Note from the first book I wrote as Anne Rutherford, “The Opening Night Murder, ” where I address the issue of dramatic license in historical fiction. In my associations with other authors, often I’m drawn … Continue reading

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Corporal Violet

Violets. Aren’t they pretty? Such a charming picture to print—or rather, re-print in Ackermann’s Repository of the Arts. The original image was a hugely popular one around France in 1814 and early 1815, so much so that it was quickly … Continue reading

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Posted in History | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

The Reluctant Traveler comes home and there are dogs

English Mastiff breeders share a common anecdote: by the end of the second World War, the English Mastiff all but vanished from Britain. American breeders helped to revive the breed in England. This intrigued me. Plans for a historical novel … Continue reading

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Posted in dogs, History | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

The heart of the epic

                    In 1740, Lord Chesterfield wrote regular letters to his son in Latin, French, as well as English. Many have heard of his famous letters, but alas, few have read them. … Continue reading

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Posted in Books and Reading, History | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Anamnesis

I often think of our brains as hypertext: certain smells, sights, bits of music, words, will trigger a cascade of memories or ideas. As I’m doing chores that require two hands so I can’t read, or while I’m walking the … Continue reading

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Posted in Art, Books and Reading, History, Inspiration, Science | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments