Category Archives: history

Jane Austen trivial pursuit, expert edition

Ten questions on Jane Austen The plot of which Austen novel relies on the weather? Where does Wickham have a tryst with Georgiana Darcy? And which character says ‘I hate money’? Accuracy is Austen’s genius, and asking specific questions about … Continue reading

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Why adolescence lingers… why love stabilizes

From Why You Truly Never Leave High School New science on its corrosive, traumatizing effects. By Jennifer Senior, New York Magazine, January 20, 2013 Not everyone feels the sustained, melancholic presence of a high-school shadow self. There are some people who … Continue reading

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Marilyn, fifty years later

Inventing Marilyn Anyone who thinks the story of Marilyn Monroe doesn’t warrant such attention doesn’t know much about it. By Caitlin Flanagan,, February 20, 2013 Thump—it landed on the doorstep last summer like an abandoned baby: the newest biography of Marilyn Monroe, a … Continue reading

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The end of celebrity

From “The World Needs More Gwyneth Paltrow“ by Jonathan Naymark,, May 3, 2013 The past few weeks have been busy for America’s most contentious celebrity: Gwyneth Paltrow. PEOPLE Magazine named her the world’s most beautiful woman, while readers of Star … Continue reading

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A.S. Byatt, on the tale of Scheherazade

Narrate or Die: Why Scheherazade keeps on talking by A.S. Byatt, the New York Times magazine The best story ever told? Perhaps the story of the two brothers, both kings, who found that their wives were unfaithful, took bloody vengeance, and … Continue reading

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In which time periods did the Disney princesses “live”?

Reinterpreting Disney Princess Costumes Through a Historical Lens by Caroline Stanley,, July 18, 2011 If you grew up watching Disney movies, then you can probably picture the evening gown that Cinderella wore to Prince Charming’s ball or what Jasmine was … Continue reading

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The Historical Hypatia

“Agora” and Hypatia – Hollywood Strikes Again by Tim O’Neill, Armarium Magnum, May 20, 2009 Normally I’d be delighted that someone was making a film set in the Fifth Century (at least, one that wasn’t another fantasy about “King Arthur” … Continue reading

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Mysterious Cleopatra

Cleopatra – what do we really know? from, August 8, 2011 What do you think of when you hear Cleopatra? Do you image a dark haired beauty, queen of sin, an enchantress?  Cleopatra was born in 69 BC and what we know … Continue reading

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Girlhood, 1971.

Here are the first five minutes from the documentary Growing Up Female, widely considered to be the first film of the modern women’s movement.

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The 18th century: when marriage was a sexy prospect

What did eighteenth-century men want? Prof. Amanda Vickery, Royal Holloway University of London 11 November 2010   Such is the gloom that surrounds settling down today and the glamour that attaches to mature bachelor freedom, it is hard to imagine … Continue reading

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