I have researched and explored the lives and experiences of English women and men who faced fertility problems in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. I have become so immersed in their world that a friend who is a modern day OB/GYN teases me that I talk about my historical subjects as though they were patients.
The post office was central to the life of our village in the 1950s. It stood right at the corner where the main street took a sharp bend, and from its front steps, you could see down one way past the jeweller’s and the dry goods store as far as the Felt Boot Factory, and down the other past cars and buggies parked in front of the telephone exchange, the Five-and-Dime, and the blacksmith.
"Cavett once related an anecdote that he and Marlon Brando were having dinner at a restaurant when a female fan approached the two men and made an advance. The men almost partook in a threesome with the fan, but Cavett decided against it because they had not finished their soup."
Yes, it may not feel like that long ago, but the 1980s now count as history, so we’re taking a leap back of about 35 years, meaning that a whole bunch of people reading this just reared back and went, “Oh my god, it was THAT long ago? I am old, oh god, I am old and I need wine.”
One of the very best parts about writing this column over the last three years has been the questions and comments from readers. Along the way I’ve usually incorporated questions into future columns, but now that the end is nigh, I thought it would be fun to dedicate a whole column to answering the backlog of questions I’ve gotten. So, without further delay, the AMA version of Watching Downton Abbey with an Historian!…
Cars are sexy, beautiful creations that promise a world of speed and freedom. They are also symbols of risk and danger. By the episode’s end, neither Mary nor Edith is entirely ready to embrace the risks of a new relationship. But, as Tom says, "Being hurt is part of being alive."
A few months ago I wrote a couple of knockoff letters from Union General and Certifiably The Worst Ever Guy George McClellan, who spent the entire Civil War complaining about his oyster and champagne supplies and professionally not attacking the Confederate line.
This week, I heard from a group of Civil War enthusiasts who performed a dramatic reading of the letters set to "Ashokan Farewell."
I hardly know where to begin with this, my thoughts are so scattered and unfocused, and because this is Exactly What It Says On The Tin. Ayn Rand once had a breakup that went so badly she cursed the guy's penis for the rest of his life and he moved to Los Angeles to escape the Curse of Ayn Rand, only it didn't work because once Ayn Rand has it out for your genitals. you're already…
Architecture is more than the sum of its visual features or appraisal value -- it can be a permanent marker of a place’s values, history, and thought processes. Whether or not we always like what it says or how it's presented, saving and preserving some of it is crucial to understanding who we are and where we live.
Sunday night’s episode of Downton Abbey felt different. What seems to be a simple domestic drama can be read, instead, as a dream-like meditation on the menace of war and the corrosive power of secrecy. This episode works through symbols and allusions, rather than Downton’s usual blend of realism and exposition.
Back in D.C. after fourteen years, I felt bracketed on one end by the visceral memory of the first time I felt, with the fullest force, how much motherhood could compel me to behave in ways unforeseen and uninvited by my previous self, and on the other by a decade-and-a-half of living with and for two humans I had created inside me.