The Elephant Man


“I am not an elephant! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a man!” these are the words proclaimed by John Hurt in the 1980 David Lynch classic The Elephant Man. Hurt plays Joseph Merrick, the titular Elephant Man. But who was Joseph Merrick, and what does his treatment say about care for the disabled in Victorian Britain? Continue reading The Elephant Man


Dangerous Illusions: The Women of Beguiled


The women of Beguiled live in a world of illusions, separate from the external world, where their perceptions form the basis of their reality, but over the course of the film, their darker motives come to light. The film shows the deeper, bitter nature of women, and forces them to abandon their self-perception of “angels of mercy.” The story reverses the usual traditional gender roles, with the man adopting feminine attitudes and behaviors (beguiling the women) and the women being not helpless damsels in distress, but ruthless and cunning. Continue reading Dangerous Illusions: The Women of Beguiled

A Madding Crowd of Suitors


The years of history known as the Victorian era offer readers a plethora of literary possibilities to choose from and enjoy. Many impressive and essential efforts from authors of both genders from England and America have endured through the years. This period was before the world made much progress towards women’s equality, however, and one author couldn’t help but be a product of his times. Thomas Hardy wrote novels that remain in the public consciousness despite their often downbeat endings. One of Hardy’s happiest endings is in his fourth novel, Far From the Madding Crowd. In it, the three suitors represent patriarchal archetypes to guide women in their choices regarding the opposite sex. Continue reading A Madding Crowd of Suitors

Halloween 2017: The Victorian Era

The public knows no era better for ghost stories, vampire fiction, and superstition than the Victorian era. The arrival of science began to dispel old myths, but many authors clung to the “old ways” through an upturn in Gothic Fiction, and the Victorian era also produced many of the most popular classic novelists. Dickens took long walks in the dingy London streets. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes ran wild in the imaginations of impressionable readers. The Brontë sisters penned famous novels in the moors. Penny Dreadful sold on each street corner. Jack the Ripper scandalized Europe with his gruesome murders. And… the world continues to look to the Victorian Era for inspiration, for harrowing tales, and for glimpses of humanity’s darker natures.

In this issue, we feature six Victorian-era topics for you to savor on a chilly October afternoon.


A Maddening Crowd of Suitors, by Rachel Sexton

The Elephant Man, by Scarlett Grant

Dangerous Illusions: The Women of Beguiled, by Charity Bishop

The Brontë Sisters, by Victoria Leigh

Haunted by the Hound, by Rachel Kovaciny

The Turn of the Screw, by Carol Starkey

Join us November 1st for a sneak preview into our next issue, Through Time.

Writers Wanted: Jan / Feb 2018: Black History Month Issue

I’m now accepting sign-ups for our special issue, running Feb 1-28, for Black History Month.

Articles on historic figures of African or African-British or African-American or African-French, etc., descent (famous historical figures, actors/actresses/directors/authors, etc), are welcome, as are books, films, and characters from television shows.

Here is a list of interesting recent famous African Americans. I welcome anyone else you can think of. 🙂

Article deadline: Jan 17, 2018.

Taken: A United Kingdom, A Patch of Blue.

Comment here or send the editor an e-mail at femnista at

“Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Aviatrix and Author”


Today, if you’ve heard of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, it’s probably because of one or two things. Most people know her name because she married Charles Lindbergh, who may have been the most famous man in the world when they met. He made the first solo transatlantic flight a few months before he met her, which made him a hero to millions of people. But she didn’t just marry a famous aviator—she shared his passion for flying and became the first American woman to earn her glider pilot’s license. Together, the Lindberghs made many record-making flights. Continue reading “Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Aviatrix and Author”

Mother of a Dynasty, Founder of Universities: Margaret Beaufort


One of history’s more misunderstood, under-represented, and thanks to several negative depictions in fictional works, maligned women is Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, and founder of the Tudor dynasty. I find this unfortunate because she was a remarkable woman for her time. Continue reading Mother of a Dynasty, Founder of Universities: Margaret Beaufort

A Self-Made Woman: Eliza Lucas Pinckney


Elizabeth Lucas, nicknamed Eliza, was born on December 28, 1722 in Antigua as the daughter of Lt.-Col. George Lucas and Anne Lucas. She had two brothers and one sister. They sent Eliza away to boarding school where she received an excellent education. (In this time, most young women of her wealth went to finishing schools.) Continue reading A Self-Made Woman: Eliza Lucas Pinckney

Small and Mighty: Golda Meir


Even now, in the 21st century, the sight of a woman occupying a nation’s highest political office is rare. The examples of such women throughout history is a low number. Their names (Margaret Thatcher, Indira Ghandi) should be familiar to everyone, and it’s sad the United States has not yet added a name to that list. (Hopefully someday soon!) They all contributed something important to the world, and Golda Meir was one of them. Golda Meir left a legacy in a male-dominated field just as complicated and inspiring as any man’s. Continue reading Small and Mighty: Golda Meir

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