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Beecher-Tilton Scandal: Part 1

Illustration at left stresses Henry Ward Beecher’s hypocrisy in his relationship with Elizabeth Tilton. Center drawing of Mrs. Tilton seated in Beecher’s lap; a reference in the bottom left to Beecher and a Mrs. Moulton, and other negative references to Beecher. On May 22, 1871 the New York World printed a letter written by Victoria

Victoria Woodhull: The First Woman to Run for President

Victoria Clafllin Woodhull lived life on her own terms and if her terms were scandalous, all the better. She was the seventh of ten children born to unmarried parents. Her mother, a believer in spiritualism; her father, a some-time lawyer and con man. As a child, Victoria worked as a fortune teller and child preacher,

Mischievous Tanuki

If you’ve been to a Japanese restaurant, you may have encountered this rascal outside the door. Known as a Tanuki this mythical creature is derived from the actual Japanese Raccoon Dog, Nyctereutes viverrinus, which is endemic to Japan. Tanuki are related to foxes, wolves, and domestic dogs, but not to actual raccoons. Mythological Tanuki have

The Sewing Machine Revolutionized Stitchery

The sewing machine, beloved by stitching hobbyists and home fashionistas, was invented by French tailor Barthelemy Thimonnier. In 1830 he patented a mechanical device that could produce a simple chain stitch that would allow uniforms for the French army to be mass produced, rather than sewn by hand. Thimonnier’s innovation was not well-received. Realizing mechanized

Aphra Behn: Restoration Playwright

In 1929 Virginia Woolf published A Room of One’s Own in which she argued that if a woman is going to write fiction, she must have money and a room of her own. Woolf developed her theme by looking at female writers in history, many of whom did not publish their writings. In her observations

Lady Mary Wroth & the English Renaissance

When we think of women novelists writing in the English language, Jane Austin is usually the first name that comes to mind. It’s fair to say the Jane Austin was the first to have a popular impact, but the first female author writing in English was Mary Wroth (1587-1653). Jane Austin’s work came out 200

More Mysteries: Dark, Cozy, & Curious

I kicked off this year’s Summer Reads with murder mysteries set in Yorkshire, so perhaps it’s fitting to end the series with a darker story set in the same locale. Grimm Up North by David J. Gatward Grimm Up North: A Yorkshire Murder Mystery is the first volume in the DCI Harry Grimm crime novels.

An 18th Century Formal Dinner

Over the past two weeks, we’ve dressed a lady and a gentleman in 18th century clothing, so it seems only fair that we give these fashionable people a destination. In this case, they are attending a formal dinner. Table manners were different in the 18th century. As you may have observed from Jane Austin dramas,

Gentlemen’s Fashion in the 18th Century

Though clothing for an 18th century gentleman was less cumbersome than it was for women, getting dressed was more complicated than slipping on slacks and a dress shirt. Like their female counterparts, 18th century men didn’t bother much with basic undergarments. Though underbreeches existed, most men took advantage of their long shirt tails to provide

An 18th Century Woman Gets Dressed

I write historical fiction based on the lives of actual women. This involves a great deal of research on the person being profiled and the world in which she lived, as well as information on events that occurred. Saxon Heroines, for example, focused on the lives of four royal women in 7th century Northumbria. Information