Nineteenth Century Europe

Was Prof. Bhaer A 48-er?

September 25, 2015

Unlike most of the women I know who grew up reading Little Women, I was never indignant that Jo March married Professor Bhaer instead of the adolescent golden boy, Laurie.  That kiss in the rain under the umbrella defined romance for me.   I was always firmly on Team Professor.  And now I think I know […]

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A Bit of (Really Gross) Waterloo Trivia

June 18, 2015

Let’s face it, there’s no reason for me to give you a quick synopsis of what happened at the Battle of Waterloo, what led to the Battle of Waterloo, why it mattered, or the battle’s social/political/artistic impact.  If you are reading this on or soon after June 18, 2015, blog posts and news articles related […]

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Lovelace, Babbage, and Steampunk Comics

June 9, 2015

Normally when I use the phrase “comic-book history” here on the Margins I’m referring to the shorthand popular version of history that we learned as children and carry in our hearts as adults:  Abraham Lincoln dashing off the Gettysburg address on the back of an envelope,  the first American Thanksgiving, Marie Antoinette’s infamous line “let […]

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Bernard Cornwell on Waterloo

May 26, 2015

Bernard Cornwell writes historical fiction.  Really vivid, well-researched historical fiction with a military bent and complicated main characters. Now Cornwell makes his first foray into historical nonfiction with Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles. Published in time for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Cornwell’s account features the […]

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Went The Day Well? Witnessing Waterloo

May 15, 2015

In case you’ve missed it, the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo is nigh.  As is always the case with major historical anniversaries, major historical hoopla has begun. The first commemorative articles have already appeared. Reenactment groups are preparing a grand scale reenactment–5000 reeanctors, 300 horses, 100 cannons, a gazillion spectators.* And new books on […]

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Abd al-Qadir Fights Back

January 20, 2015

  If the French hadn’t invaded Algeria in 1830, Algerian emir Abd al-Qadir would probably have been content to follow his grandfather and father as the spiritual leader of the Qadiriyah Sufi order. In the fall of 1832, when the French began to expand their control into the Algerian interior, the Arab tribes of Oran […]

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Victorian City

September 9, 2014

In The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens’ London,* social historian Judith Flanders (The Invention of Murder) reminds us Charles Dickens was a journalist before he was a novelist. The London that stands at the hearts of his novels–so vibrant that it’s almost a character in its own right–is not only a work of the […]

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First Known Serial Killer Terrorizes The Slums of London

August 12, 2014

On August 6, 1888, Martha Tabram was stabbed to death in the Whitechapel neighborhood of London–many believe she was the first victim of the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.* Between August and November, five more women were murdered within a one-mile radius in London’s East End. All were prostitutes and all but one […]

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Introducing Flat Arthur, aka His Grace the Duke of Wellington

March 12, 2014

Several weeks ago, fellow Historical Novel Society member Cora Lee shared an idea that she’d been having fun with for a few months and asked if any of us would like to play along. She took the idea of “Flat Stanley” and gave it a historical twist, creating “Flat Arthur”– a two dimensional version of […]

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The Crystal Palace

January 28, 2014

Several weeks ago, My Own True Love and I ventured out into a frozen Chicago to attend an exhibition about the Columbian Exposition at the Field Museum.  A meta-exhibit if there ever was one, Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair deals with the changing nature of how we think about the world around us and […]

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