Historiography

Medieval People

December 2, 2014

In Medieval People: Vivid Lives in a Distant Landscape, historian Michael Prestwich [author of Knight: The Medieval Warrior’s (Unofficial) Manual] challenges generalities about the Middle Ages* by looking at the specific: biographies of 69 people who lived between 800 and 1500, a period that stretches from Charlemagne’s empire to the early Renaissance. Prestwich’s choice of […]

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Curiosity’s Cats

July 1, 2014

Research is a big part of my writing work day. In fact, I read far more words than I write in my constant search for a topic, a story,* and/or a telling detail. I have special glasses for the hours I spend on the computer, and eye drops that I generally forget to use. (Excuse […]

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In which I consider the nature of historical periods–and moving

June 11, 2014

Despite good intentions, and a couple of creative efforts,*  I succumbed to radio silence here in the Margins while My Own True Love and I moved four whole blocks.  The construction isn’t quite done, but we’re half-way settled into the new house. (Okay, maybe a quarter of the way.  Between us we have a lot […]

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The Warrior Queens

May 10, 2014

I’m in the midst of re-reading an old friend–Antonia Fraser’s The Warrior Queens: The Legends and the Lives of the Women Who Have Led Their Nations in War. If I were a more patient sort, I would wait to finish and then write a reasoned post with carefully thought out conclusions. But sometimes you just […]

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Back To The Silk Roads

May 6, 2014

In response to my recent post on the so-called Silk Roads, a reader asked me what books I would recommend for someone interested in learning more about the subject. I will try to show some restraint.* Here are some of my favorite books and websites on the subject: Boulnois, Luce and Helen Loveday. Silk Road: […]

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History on Display: Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair

January 10, 2014

Last Sunday My Own True Love and I cocked a snook at cold and snow* and headed out to Chicago’s Field Museum to see what we thought was an exhibit on the 1893 World’s Fair, aka the Columbian Exposition. We had neglected to read the subtitle for the exhibit: “Opening the Vaults”. As is often […]

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On War, Part 2

November 26, 2013

After last Friday’s post about the Pritzker Military Library’s symposium, On War, I got a challenging e-mail from a reader, asking me for the titles of definitive histories for World War I, World War II and Vietnam.* My first response was “danged if I know.” My second response was doubt that there is a definitive […]

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On War: An Opinionated Report

November 23, 2013

Last week My Own True Love and I attended On War: Exploring 20th Century Conflict, a military history seminar at Chicago’s Pritzker Military Library. I promised to report back. The short version? Wow! Four wars, four sessions. (1) I came away with pages of notes and two major takeaways: • I know nothing about the […]

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The Allure of the Archives

October 15, 2013

The tagline for History in the Margins reads “A blog about history, writing, and writing about history.” (If you’re reading this through e-mail you may never have seen it.  Click on the title of the post and look at the top of the page.  It’s worth doing at least once because my blog design is […]

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