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

Biddy Mason, Real Estate Tycoon

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I often prowl around on elusive websites searching for women of character upon which to build my heroines. While I was searching for great ladies in the wild west who were not school… Continue reading

Vizcaya: Roaring 20’s Glamor and a Fabulous Party Barge on Biscayne Bay

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In Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood, not far from where Interstate 95 ends and US 1 begins its journey south connecting the Keys to the mainland, stands an Italianate castle and gardens with one… 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

The Federation of Woman’s Exchanges

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I love it when history smacks you in the face unexpectedly when you turn the corner. I expected to glean some historical significance last week when I visited one of the oldest log… Continue reading

America’s Largest Castle

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The word castle usually engenders images of European historical structures designed for military defense or to house nobility and royalty, places like mad King Ludwig II’s Neuschwanstein in Bavaria and England’s Warwick Castle.… 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

America’s First Balloon Flight

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This week would not be complete without paying homage to the first American to attempt air flight by flying in a balloon. On September 8, 1830 Charles Durant did exactly that. He flew… Continue reading

Glitz, Glamour, and Gambling: an American in Havana

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He stood only five feet, five inches in height with a slight frame. From his appearance, one might have assumed he was a baker, deli owner, or banker. He was smart enough to… 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