Tag: History

Those Savage Queens

These days, you can’t spit in fantasy art without hitting some variant of a beautiful, barely clad female lounging on a throne, pasties on her nipples, a pout on her pretty face. The strong suggestion is she rules by whim and her power is absolute, a thing which, I’m sure, many of the male artists …

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Mari Lwyd

Mari Lwyd was a Welsh Christmas and New Year tradition in which a group of male singers carried a hobbyhorse — a horse’s skull mounted on a pole, cloaked and decorated — to houses around the village, with singing and refreshments. Happy New Year!

In Pharaoh’s Army
[Reading Challenge 2018]

In Pharaoh’s Army by Tobias Wolff Vintage Books, 1995 [Challenge # 24: A book about war, on the lines or the home front, fiction or nonfiction.] For my War is Hell selection I originally chose A Delicate Truth by John le Carré, and was stoked to read it because I had recently enjoyed the 2016 …

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Santa Horror

Since the 18th century, when images of Santa Claus began to be disseminated through newspapers, books, and periodicals, his appearance has changed quite a bit. Often those earlier depictions are a tad grotesque, as much for what was considered appealing at the time as the skill of the artist and the means of reproduction. When …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/19/18: Santa’s Elves

Hard as it is to believe, Santa Claus did not always have elves for sidekicks. That tradition came from 19th century Scandinavia and drew on the deeper pagan roots of Northern Europe. Elves, pooka, fairies, and the like were all part of a greater folklore of diminuitive, humanlike creatures that lived alongside humans, often in …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/5/18: Atlantis

Everyone knows about Atlantis, right? In popular culture, it’s most often Grecian, a place sunk by some cataclysm to the bottom of the sea. People may or may not still live in it. Often it’s inside a dome, and just as often, the Greek-like culture is an advanced one powered by crystals with rayguns and …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/21/18: Archaic Clothing

Knickerbockers, tam o’ shanters, farthingales, liripipes… who wears these things anymore? But even if we  don’t, we remember them because of their odd and lyrical names. Here’s a list of more you probably haven’t heard of (because I randomgenned them up) but will remember once you hear them. So will readers and campaigners. Use at …

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Worldbuilding Wednesday 11/14/18: Tarot Cards

Contrary to what you may have heard, the Tarot was not created for telling fortunes. It was instead a cousin of the regular playing card deck used throughout the Western world. Tarot cards date from 15th century Europe and are still used in the present day to play games such as the Italian Tarocchini. Note …

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A Medical Student’s Nightmare

This isn’t the only antique photograph I’ve come across of a doctor surrounded by cadavers intent on dissecting him. It says a lot about gallows humor in the profession. The ghostly legs below the table add to the spooky feel, but it’s likely they were the result of a double exposure used to create the …

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The Other Boleyn Girl
[Reading Challenge 2018]

Henry VIII by Joos van Cleve

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory A Touchstone Book, Simon and Schuster, 2003 [Challenge # 34: A book about a person you know little about.] The Other Boleyn Girl isn’t the sort of book I usually read. But since I found a copy at one of the Little Free Libraries in my neighborhood, and …

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