Author Archive

The Rise of Muhammad Ali Pasha

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Lately I’ve been envisioning stories set in 1840, with an interest in Egypt. When I began to survey the historical landscape I kept coming back to Egypt. In many ways the fate of… Continue reading

What is Real?

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“It isn’t a real chapel.” I heard that twice last week; both speakers referred to the Saint Francis Chapel at The Mission Inn in Riverside, California, and both put the emphasis on “real.”… Continue reading

The Cleghorns, Gardens, and a Princess

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Writers often wander down some winding roads; many call it “the research rabbit hole.” This past week I got lost in one when I began by asking about public gardens that may have… Continue reading

Unforeseen Consequences

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If our principles are right, why should we be cowards? Lucretia Mott Ah, but which principles. High minded reformers don’t always see eye to eye. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson may have both… Continue reading

Making War on Cultural Heritage

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  … the enemy makes a wilderness and calls it war. Richard Harding Davis, NY Tribune, witness to the burning of Louvain, 1914 Cultural treasures disappear at a disheartening rate, often due to… Continue reading

Tea, Taxes, and War

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Historians suggest a variety of causes for the Opium Wars. Some declare the cause to be “extraterritoriality,” the refusal of one sovereign nation, in this case, the United Kingdom, to allow their citizens… Continue reading

The Prince of Fraud

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In an era of British imperial expansion, with limited social mobility at home, men with ambition, energy, and imagination looked to the wide world for opportunities to make their fortune. It didn’t seem odd… Continue reading

Orkney and the Hudson’s Bay Company

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Folks from the Orkney Islands in Scotland impacted the exploration and settlement of Canada by Europeans heavily, particularly through their close connections to the Hudson’s Bay Company. It isn’t difficult to understand why… Continue reading

Malacca and the World in 1511

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The wide reach of history weighs on me since my visit to Malacca last month when one date in particular sparked my curiosity: 1511. The ruins of a Portuguese fort in that UNESCO World… Continue reading

The Natchez Trace

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Once young men routinely floated their goods—products of the farms and settlements of newly formed states and territories—down the Ohio, Wabash, and Illinois rivers to the Mississippi and on to New Orleans. They… Continue reading