The Free and Independent Republic of West Florida

And speaking of short-lived, mostly forgotten nations, as I believe we were, allow me to go back into my notes from our road trip in 2015, and dig up a story that never got the blog post it deserved. * The Free and Independent Republic of West Florida made the Free State of Fiume look…

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A Year in Review: 1519

Back in May, announcements of museum exhibitions celebrating the work of Leonardo da Vinci began to appear in the various places where I hang out online, triggered by the 500th anniversary of his death.(1) They made me wonder what else of note happened in 1519.(2) It turned out that quite a lot was going on.…

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Escalante’s Dream, or The Spanish Lewis and Clark

In 2011, I became a reviewer for Shelf Awareness for Readers: an on-line bookish newsletter that comes out on Tuesdays and Fridays.(1) It was a wonderful experience. I reviewed Big Fat History Books, quirky little reference books, and an occasional cookbook. (2) In April, 2017, I resigned. It just about broke my heart, but I…

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