The Curious Flaw of Amiens Cathedral

A few months ago, I was researching medieval church architecture for Book Two of my Hildegard of Bingen series (which will come out in February 2019). Part of the story concerns Hildegard's project of building a church for her new foundation, which she wants to do in the "French style," i.e. imitating the nascent Gothic... Continue Reading →

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

I finally read Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders's Man Booker Prize winner for 2017, and it was quite an experience. The book made a splash for its unusual theme and innovative style - it is written in a quasi-dramatic form and composed in part of quotes from history books and primary sources, including diaries of White House... Continue Reading →

Woman’s Work(s): The Poetry of Louise Labé

Guest blog by Julianne Douglas In 1555, printer Jean de Tournes of Lyon published a small volume of poetry titled EVVRES (WORKS). This innocuous label belied the book’s audacity, for the collection—a proto-feminist dedicatory epistle, a lengthy dialogue between Love and Folly, three elegies, and twenty-four sonnets—was the first of its kind in France: a... Continue Reading →

The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer

I have confessed on this blog to being conservative when it comes to my historical fiction: I prefer it realistic and serious, no fantasy, parody, alternative histories, etc. Then I came across a synopsis of The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer. The setting of the novel – medieval Siena – had me sit up... Continue Reading →

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