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Articles Categorized Sandra Wagner-Wright

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,

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

Mystery Reads

I like good historical fiction, but while in mindless escape mode as I lie on a hammock,  I want stories that engage my attention but don’t require much thought on my part. My recent reading choices lean towards mysteries that don’t dwell too much on crime details. And if there’s a dash of romance involved,

Stories of Fanciful Pigs: Porky Pig, 3 Little Pigs, & the Mathematical Yellow Pig

Day dreams on lazy summer days bring many strange things to mind. The other day, I started thinking about fanciful pigs. In particular, Porky, the stuttering pig created by Warner Brothers for Looney Tunes, and later a fixture of children’s cartoons. Porky first appeared in 1935 in a film short called I Haven’t Got a