Category Archives: history

Aphra Behn: The Unsuccessful Spy

As cliché as it may be, sometimes things do fall into place. While we all try to find our purpose in life, we’ll make mistakes and have experiences that will change us forever. This might come across as superficial blathering (believe me, it feels like that writing it), but we all have our own niche. No one found this life lesson more apt than Aphra Behn. Continue reading

Advertisements

Men of Honor: General Washington and Major André

Nobody likes a traitor..

Other than Judas, history has no more famous traitor than Benedict Arnold, whose name has become synonymous with betrayal. A military officer in the American Revolution and a friend of George Washington, Arnold fell to persuasion from Major John André, a British spymaster, into surrendering West Point to the British for £20,000. This would have enabled the British to cut off New England from the rest of the colonies.

Continue reading

Paul Milner: The Everyday Sleuth

Although Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle is most the center of this drama (with his name in the title, seems only fair, haha), and comes up with the final piece needed to solve every case, for this article I wanted to focus on another member of the main detective trio as he appeared through Seasons 1-5, Detective Sergeant Paul Milner. Continue reading

An Unconventional Life

The particular relationship between Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, her husband William, Duke of Devonshire and Lady Bess Foster has fascinated historians for generations. While married women often had to tolerate their husband’s mistresses, it was unheard of to place her in the same house as the wife. The scandal was even more juicy because Georgiana and Bess were best friends… or could they have been something more? Continue reading

Our Fair William

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you an amazing playwright, a genius mind, the greatest bard of the Renaissance period… William Shakespeare! But you already know who is he and what is he famous for? Well, what we know about the most famous English playwright is really a lot and really… nothing. Why? Let me show you…

‘What’s in a name? A rose by any name would smell as sweet.’ (Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 2) Continue reading

My Literary Journey

The people we allow into our lives shape us. They become a part of our identity whether or not we realize it. I look back on the teenage me and am amazed at how little I knew of classic literature. Oh, sure, there were lessons in Shakespeare and a truly painful course on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, but apart from that my interests were average. I spent most of my time reading flimsy clean romances. Continue reading

Frances Burney

While now known through Jane Austen aficionados as one of Austen’s favorite novelists, for a while the world largely forgot Frances “Fanny” Burney. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Fanny’s social satires and comedy of manners were the books to read. Young Jane Austen subscribed to a circulating library to read Fanny’s latest novel. It influenced her enough she borrowed from said works and incorporated them in her own canon. The wealthy man’s pursuit of a social inferior, the buffoonish suitor, vulgar relatives, the name Willoughby, the phrase “Pride and Prejudice” itself—all originated with Fanny Burney. Continue reading

Olympe de Gouges

The history of women in politics has been a long, torrid, even bloody affair. Even women born into positions of power, such as Cleopatra and Elizabeth I, had to fight for their thrones. What about the women who weren’t lucky in the parental lottery? The odds of an ordinary woman gaining access to the political circles before the 20th Century were second-to-none. But even before “feminism” arrived as a concept, one woman dared voice her political opinions. Continue reading

The Dangers of Patriotic Zeal: Taras Bulba

The 1962 film Taras Bulba focuses on a revolution you might never have heard of if you’re not from eastern Europe. It tells the story of a 17th-century rebellion of the Zaporozhian Cossacks against their Polish overlords by focusing on a fictional family. It’s based on a book by Ukrainian author Nikolai Gogol, originally released as a short story in 1835. The Tsarist Russian authorities condemned that version as being “too Ukrainian.” Gogol later revised and expanded the story into a novel that pleased those in power. Continue reading