Empress Alexandra, the Funeral Bride
1800s

The Funeral Bride: A Pretend Autobiography of Empress Alexandra

It’s a creative idea — writing a five part autobiography of the last Tsarina of Russia. The first book, The Funeral Bride, details the early life of the Empress Alexandra, who ultimately was murdered with her husband and five children. The book moves along at a nice pace, and provides…

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Hedy Lamarr
1900s, WWII

Bombshell: A Documentary that Tells the Truth About Hedy Lamarr

After reviewing the book The Only Woman in the Room, I stumbled across a new documentary about the 1940s star Hedy Lamarr, which is being released this month. I debated sending a link for this only to subscribers, but decided to post it on the blog, since a lot of…

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Essays, websites

More Posts Coming in Short Order

I decided to write a bit of an essay, primarily to thank Sarah Johnson for allowing me to post on her blog, Readingthepast.com. As I’ve already noted, readingthepast.com is a great resource for finding new historical fiction, and I hope to become as resourceful in the hope you’ll enjoy my…

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Hedy Lamarr
WWII

The Only Woman in the Room is the story of Hedy Lamarr

The Only Woman in the Room, by Marie Benedict ,is a new book about the 1940s movie star Hedy Lamarr, her background in Europe, and her scientific skill that led her to develop some of the technology currently used in cell phones. Sound unusual? It was, and Lamarr was not…

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odessa odessa
1900s

Odessa, Odessa is a History of Judaism in the U.S.

This is a readable, educational book about the history Jews have faced in the United States, and, to a more limited extent, in Israel. It is a story of oppression and flight and families and how they react to stress in their lives. It revolves around a Jewish family that…

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zelary
WWII

Zelary — A Timeless Story of World War II

Zelary isn’t really about World War II. It’s set in a tiny town in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. The movie, in Czech with subtitles, is the story of a woman in the resistance who is forced to abandon her urban home and friends and move to Zelary undercover. The woman, Eliska is…

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Bloody Mary
Tudor Time

Bloody Mary a Tragic Story of Many Martyrs and a Sad Queen

Bloody Mary, by Phil Carradice, is the story of Mary the first’s brief reign as Queen of England, from 1553 to 1558. While very many people have chronicled her half-sister Elizabeth’s reign, not so many have attempted to decipher how Mary attempted to reinstitute Catholicism in England after her father,…

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1840s

Alias Grace: Guilty or Innocent of Murder?

Alias Grace, released late last year on Netflix, is the story of a woman’s plight at the hands of men. It’s a story that would be familiar to a lot of women but not so many men. I found it a little remarkable that so many male reviewers found it…

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The Butcher's Daughter
Tudor Time

The Butcher’s Daughter Spins Tale of a Woman’s Life in Tudor England

First off, it’s a long book, so be prepared for that. The Butcher’s Daughter, by Victoria Glendinning, is unusual in that it illustrates the dissolution of the monasteries and abbeys in Henry VIII’s reign from the perspective of a nun inside an abbey, and all the trauma that brought. Rather…

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To Live
1960s, feature film, War

To Live: About Life and Death

To Live, a Chinese Mandarin language film now available on Netflix DVD, is still powerful 24 years after it was first produced. Starring Gong Li and directed by Zhang Yimou, To Live was banned in China when it was first released, and the Chinese government punished the director by preventing…

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