Tagged with history

Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan

Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan

Maid of Secrets comes out today, and I’m thrilled to share my thoughts on this engaging, historical tale that captured my imagination and made me long for a sequel. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC a few months ago, and as a dyed-in-the-wool history nerd, always on the alert for original perspectives from … Continue reading

On Oral Tradition…

“For most of human history, ‘literature,’ both fiction and poetry, has been narrated, not written — heard, not read. So fairy tales, folk tales, stories from the oral tradition, are all of them the most vital connection we have with the imaginations of the ordinary men and women whose labor created our world.” – Angela … Continue reading

On the Anonymous Woman…

“When one reads of a witch being dunked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily … Continue reading

Off the Page: Segovia, Spain

Off the Page: Segovia, Spain

I love history. And when I travel, I like to explore the corners of history that before, I’ve only been able to read about in books. When I went to Spain last winter, it was during the New Year and it was spectacularly cold. Many museums and restaurants were closed in Madrid for the extended … Continue reading

On Fairy Tales for All Ages…

“Though now we think of fairy tales as stories intended for very young children, this is a relatively modern idea. In the oral tradition, magical stories were enjoyed by listeners young and old alike, while literary fairy tales (including most of the tales that are best known today) were published primarily for adult readers until … Continue reading

The British Library Discovers A Unicorn Cookbook?

The British Library Discovers A Unicorn Cookbook?

On Sunday morning, coincidentally the first day in April, I came across this extraordinary news while scanning my inbox! The British Library had recently discovered a rare medieval cookbook in their holdings that had apparently been lost to the ages. Proclaiming that the book contains recipes for blackbirds, hedgehogs and even unicorns, the article went … Continue reading