Author Archive

Assembly Rooms: Party Time

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If you’ve ever had to arrange a venue for a large celebration of some kind, you know the difficulty in finding a place the offers space to accommodate a large number of guests,… Continue reading

Candles Light Up Our Lives

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What is Christmas—or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa—without candles flickering in the night? Light is, after all, the midwinter wish of mankind. Those of us who celebrate Advent begin with candles as a symbol of… Continue reading

Thanksgiving Without the Pilgrims

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November moves along and it is time for tall black hats, turkey, and indigenous peoples in highly incorrect head dresses. In the United States we all know the drill: the Pilgrim Fathers of… Continue reading

The Hakima, Clot-Bey, and Women’s Health

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It may surprise you to know that a medical school for women opened in Cairo in 1832. Can you imagine such a thing in the United States or Great Britain at that time?… Continue reading

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