Blabbing with a Buccaneer: Part One

Like many women—and men, too—on occasion, I’ve fallen prey to the charms of an archetypical “bad boy.” What can I say? A few tattoos, a motorcycle and a hint of an attitude problem make for an inexplicably attractive combination. Swashbuckling pirates might just be the original bad boys: They seek out adventure and danger, they Read More

A Cinderella Story

No, not that Cinderella story. If you’re here for an insightful analysis of the teen flick starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray, you’re most welcome, but you’re likely to be disappointed. However, if you can forgive the lack of teen angst, read on. Today’s fairy tale comes to us from a 1911 newspaper blurb. Read More

How to Pull Off the Greatest Practical Joke Ever in Four Easy Steps

Step 1: Infiltrate the West Virginia State Poultry Association’s chicken show. For the uninitiated, this is a big deal. The annual exhibit brings together “the best of the blue blooded aristocracy of the barnyard” and awards prizes “worth shipping stock a considerable distance to compete for.” With a sales pitch like that, I’m crushed I Read More

Beginner’s Guide to Travel Writing

In her nearly fifteen years crisscrossing England on horseback, Celia had survived roadside accidents, lousy weather and overpriced meals at the 17th century version of a tourist trap—but highway men were a first. A few miles outside the town of Whitchurch in Shropshire, two men had burst from the dense woods and onto the road. Read More

Seven Signs You’re Living the 19th Century Version of “The Hangover”

“I did what last night?” Most of us have asked this question after waking up, heads pounding and stomachs roiling, following a night out. No judgement here. Thankfully, few have stories quite as epic as that portrayed in the popular 2009 film “The Hangover.” However, more than a century before four guys walked into a Read More

A New Page

On January 12, 1912, Abner and Mary Hammond stepped off a ferry in San Francisco and did what courageous people have done since the dawn of time: They left their old lives behind in search of a fresh start. It wasn’t a unique story. What made them notable, according to the newspapers that covered their Read More

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