The Real Game of Thrones: Daenerys Targaryen and Empress Matilda

The unexpected heir usurped, bereaved, and whose three children are the key to success… Read More The Real Game of Thrones: Daenerys Targaryen and Empress Matilda

A Brief History of Women’s History Month

I’ve been self-identifying as a feminist as long as I can remember, but it was only few years ago that I realized I didn’t know the history of March’s Women’s History Month. As part of rectifying this oversight, I wrote “A Brief History of Women’s History Month” for Persephone back in 2011 and we’ve rerun the feature annually since.

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Catherine of Siena: Rebel, Problem Solver, Foreskin Jewelry Designer

What… or who… is actually being maligned?

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A History of Possession

My students always struggle with apostrophe use. Indeed, it’s probably the number one writing — error? problem? nonstandard usage? — I see in my students’ writing.

My guess is that apostrophe usage is on the way out. I suspect a hundred years from now, English writers will not use apostrophes. And that’s okay. I’m not someone who’s like, “Oh no, English is devolving, it’s terrible, everyone is stupider now.” Language changes. That’s what’s so cool about it.

But I do like apostrophes. I think they make writing easier to understand. I’m sad they might be disappearing.

So here is a history of apostrophes.

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Medieval Legends

Not many people know this, but I have a fondness for “Strange yet true!” tales, of the type that are clearly false (stories about aliens, Bigfoot, etc). Nothing like reading some Carl Sagan followed by Chariots of the Gods. Modern legends are easy to find, but older ones can be hidden, forgotten or wrapped into other tales. Still, if we look hard enough, we can still find “Strange yet true” (and by true we mean false) tales.

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3 Medieval Outlaws

Was Robin Hood real? Most evidence (it’s lack) suggests no. He seemed real enough to medieval people. And stories about Robin may have been based on three real medieval outlaws: Hereward the Wake, Eustace the Monk, and Fulk Fitzwarin.

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Leagues and Leagues of Remarkable Women

It is utterly classic for me to get extraordinarily enthusiastic about a project and then, slowly and inevitably, get dragged down in to the muck and the mire of the details of getting it going. For instance: as a child, I spent hours sculpting the characters for the stories I was of course going to write — excel spreadsheets with the color of hair, shape of forehead, style of dress, and on and on and on. The stories themselves never got all that far off the ground. Read More Leagues and Leagues of Remarkable Women