Odd Bits

We have a winner! (And a recommendation)

July 8, 2014

Thanks to all of you who threw your names in the hat for a chance to win a copy of Nick Lloyd’s Hundred Days. I’m glad I didn’t have to pick on merit: you sent me links to World War I-related blog posts, quotations from Wilfred Owen, a plea on behalf of a local library, […]

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Happy Fourth of July

July 4, 2014

4th of July picnic in Rogers, Arkansas, ca 1904 If my readers outside the United States will bear with me for a post: Dear Americans: Take a moment in your celebrations to remember what we’re celebrating: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their […]

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In which I consider historical novels

June 14, 2014

Occasionally two separate projects overlap in my head, creating bubbles of thought. (The process is a bit like pouring vinegar on baking soda: the end product is active and slightly acidic.) This is one of those times. As I mentioned before, I’ve been reading about Boudica’s revolt against the Roman empire. At the same time, […]

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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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Moving Pictures

May 27, 2014

It’s a week and counting ’til our move. I’d rather be writing blog posts than sorting, pitching, packing, and hauling. But that’s not realistic. Instead, I’d like to share with you these two video clips from the British Pathé archives. The first is King George VI giving the real speech that inspired the film The […]

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Re-Run: The First Common Market?

May 24, 2014

  My Own True Love and I leave next week for Belgium and my thoughts are turning toward Waterloo, Flanders Field, and the Hanseatic League.* Especially the Hanseatic League. I’m fascinated by traveling merchants, from the Silk Road caravans that brought luxury goods from China and India to the Muslim peddlers who sold dry goods […]

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A Treasure Trove for History (And Film) Buffs

May 2, 2014

If you’ve been hanging out in the places I hang out on line, you already got the word:  British Pathé has put its 85,000 historic newsreels on YouTube.  My first reaction was “Cool.  That’s a great resource for people who write about the 20th century.”  Then I looked a little closer. The company’s founder, Charles […]

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History on Display: Lost Kingdoms

April 26, 2014

On my annual visit to New York for writerly stuff, I always try to squeeze in a visit to a museum or that mecca for all book lovers, the Strand Bookstore. This year, with my office over-flowing with books and a move on the horizon, I promised My Own True Love that I would stay […]

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Foyle’s War

March 31, 2014

History buff-ery can lead you to unexpected places. Recently it’s led My Own True Love and I to our living room in front of the television, where we are totally absorbed in the BBC television series Foyle’s War.* It’s a police procedural set during World War II in the town of Hastings** on the southeast […]

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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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