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Articles Categorized History

The Rehabilitation of Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to address a Congressional Committee and the first woman to run for president. She and her sister were known as spiritualists as well as being the first women to own a newspaper and a stock brokerage. But Victoria Woodhull’s most notorious reputation was her advocacy for free love. Thomas

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

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,

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

“Would You Like to Ride in my Beautiful Balloon?”

In 1967 The 5th Dimension [remember them?] invited listeners to join them in “my beautiful balloon.” At the time, it seemed an unrealistic invitation. Did they mean the balloons we used for decorations? Obviously not. However, there was a new mode of transportation in the air, one that Ed Yost made possible in 1960. That

May Day Celebrations

The Celts believed that the time we define as May Day was midway between the Winter and Summer Solstice when darkness turned to light. They celebrated the return of fertility to the world with a festival called Beltane. Rituals protected sprouting crops and livestock returning to summer pastures. As customs changed, May celebrations turned into

Walking: A Beneficial Activity

In Jane Austin’s Pride & Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet decides to visit her sister who fell ill while calling on the Bingleys. When Elizabeth’s father reluctantly offers her the use of a horse, Elizabeth declines.“I do not wish to avoid the walk,” she says. “The distance is nothing when one has a motive: only three miles.

Christmas Star 2020

Solstice, the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, happens on December 21. In addition to being the longest night, December 21, 2020 is also the date of the Great Conjunction when Jupiter and Saturn will be so closely aligned that, providing the night is clear, you can go outside and see a