Madame Palatine’s Burn Book, Part 2

Bonjour! If you haven’t yet read Part 1, start there for the full scoop on Liselotte and her clique. Last time, we patiently listened, er, read as Madame Palatine, aka Liselotte, vented in her 18th-century correspondence about her daddy issues, disobedient son and cringeworthy views on women in power. With all those grudges, how did Read More

Madame Palatine’s Burn Book, Part 1

She is a wicked devil; treacherous in every way, and of a very dangerous temper. Upon the whole, she is not good for much. – Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d’Orléans, Memoirs of the Court of Louis XIV and of the Regency, 1899 If you enjoyed the movie “Mean Girls” as much as teenage me did, allow me Read More

Snarky in Seattle

Some people say, “Take a trip and forget your unhappy love affair.” What! Forget it now, only to remember it all the more later on? Never! . . . Better let your heart bleed for several days in succession and then heal itself than to staunch it by a few weeks’ trip somewhere only to Read More

Letters from the Front Lines

When this you see, remember me, though many miles between us be. – George Deal to Sarah Cole Deal; Memphis, Tennessee; February 1863 It is a truth universally acknowledged. . . that most people’s letters are insufferably boring. Mine included: If rambling on about the weather was an Olympic sport, I’d have several gold medals, Read More

Bram’s Buddy

Inspired by a recent weekend in Dublin, I’m digging deeper into the story of Bram Stoker. Get ready for vampires! Epic battles between good and evil! And copious amounts of garlic! Whoops, wrong book. Today, he’s renowned around the world as the author of the novel that spawned a thousand teenybopper vampire romances, but in Read More

5 Times Love Conquered All

However, by “love,” I mean practical jokes and boredom. And by “all,” I mean unpronounceable surnames and social awkwardness. You know, insurmountable obstacles. Regardless of your relationship status, take comfort in knowing that at least you (hopefully) haven’t had to beg a governor to release your significant other or had to scrounge up a date Read More

Lost and Found

My terrible sense of direction reared its ugly head, and I got horribly lost. It’s hard to put into words how awful this makes me feel. It isn’t really that I’m afraid I’ll never find my way (although I suppose that’s a tiny, irrational part), but the sense of helplessness and frustration it evokes. I Read More

18th-Century Public Service Announcement

On December 31, 1790, Captain Clement Lemon signed an unusual agreement with Boston merchant Thomas Ramsden. As a condition of captaining the Mary Ann on an upcoming voyage, the Revolutionary War veteran and—I like to believe—ancestor of the illustrious Liz Lemon promised: Be it Known; I Clement Lemon do hereby Agree to, and with, Thomas Read More

A Sampler of Courage, Part 2

Before reading, fortify yourself with Part 1. Already read it? Full speed ahead! Whether you’re a roaring lion or a scaredy cat, welcome back to our survey of courageous people we admire and/or hope we don’t have to emulate anytime soon. Allow me to introduce you to a man who checks both of the above Read More

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