Historical girl crush alert!

on March 14, 2018

Usually when I proclaim a historical girl crush, it’s my platonic adoration of a female historical figure. This time, it’s heartfelt admiration for a gifted historian, Helen Castor. I first came across her work when I saw the three-part series SHE-WOLVES based upon her book of the same name. I ADORE when historians get to…

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Wrapping up Twitter questions

on July 7, 2016

Today we’ve got a twofer! I’m answering the last two Twitter questions. First up, Christina had a query about imposter syndrome vs. historical fiction: Do you ever feel like you’ve captured the time period? Capturing the time period is impossible, so I don’t aim to. The difficulty is that, while familiar, the past is a…

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References for Kate

on July 5, 2016

Via Twitter, Kate asked: What are your go-to references for historical accuracy in fashion, politics, social interaction, etc? Most readers and writers are familiar with the obvious sources, so I’m going to list a few that might not immediately come to mind: *Instagram. I’ve only been Instagramming for about a year, but I’ve found a…

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Today is creepy

on June 7, 2016

When I was a fairly ghoulish child, I developed an interest in queens–notably the ones who were executed. I read voraciously about Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Mary, Queen of Scots, Lady Jane Grey, Marie Antoinette. I sorted them into categories: the innocent victim (Anne Boleyn); those I felt deserved their fate (Mary, Queen of Scots…

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Women in history

on March 10, 2016

Earlier this week we had International Women’s Day, and it seems like a splendid time to link to this fabulous article from English Heritage. It’s an interview with Bettany Hughes, one of my favorite historians, on the subject of women in history–namely, why there is so LITTLE written about women. (If you haven’t caught her…

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Let them eat cake!

on February 18, 2016

That title phrase has long been associated with Marie Antoinette although the truth is that she never said any such thing. (A remark of a long-dead French princess was revived and put into her mouth to indicate her lack of compassion for starving French peasants. As accurate reporting goes, it was crap. As propaganda, it…

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Some thoughts on historical accuracy

on February 9, 2016

So I was puttering through my archives, tidying things away, and I discovered a mini-rant on the subject of historical authenticity. One of the things people–me included–love to do when a new TV series or book appears is rip into its use of history. The authors and screenwriters who repackage history for contemporary entertainment run…

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Career alternatives

on January 28, 2016

Pootling through the archives, I found this post on a potential alternate career as a courtesan if I’d lived a few centuries ago… So it occurred to me that, in a different time and place, the job of courtesan might have been a rather good career choice for me. Well, aside from the inherent unpleasantness…

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Victorian round-up!

on August 20, 2015

Which sounds like a really AWESOME rodeo, doesn’t it? But we’re rounding up links, not cattle. I’m posting a few places you might like to visit if you love all things Victorian. *Postal delivery times. Did you know that Londoners could receive mail delivery up to seven times a day? Makes our six times a…

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Talking about Granny Meg

on August 18, 2015

We haven’t had an ancestor post recently, and the visit to Westminster Abbey to see the tomb of Edward I was a chance to give a thought to his wife, Margaret of France. (Unfortunately, her tomb isn’t there. She was buried at Christ Church Greyfriars in London, but her burial place was despoiled during the…

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