Category Archives: History

June brings tulips

June’s image from the Limoges Brothers’ Très Riches Heures de Duc de Berry doesn’t match up with the couplet from Sara Coleridge’s poem, “The Months.” I ascribe this to the different worlds featured: the Duc de Berry’s wealthy lands — … Continue reading

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May brings flocks

Well, nothing so pastoral as lambs cavorting around the ewes in the May image from the Limbourg brothers’ Très Riches Heures. It’s the Duke with his lords and ladies who are cavorting, their gorgeous gowns and cloaks competing with the … Continue reading

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A quick recommendation

Edmund de Waal, The Hare with Amber Eyes (2010), The White Road (2015), and Letters to Camondo (2021). A gift from a good friend, The Hare with Amber Eyes arrived as I was working slowly through Marcel Proust’s In Search … Continue reading

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April brings the primrose

Spring at last has arrived in the pages of the Trés Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, where the wealthy can celebrate a betrothal outside their enclosed garden. Pollarded trees shoot up new branches, blossoms burst open in the orchard, … Continue reading

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March brings breezes

March brings breezes loud and shrill, stirs the dancing daffodil.  If you look closely at the image above, another from the Trés Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (Limbourg brothers, early 1400s), you’ll notice not just the plowman with his team … Continue reading

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February brings the rain

February brings the rain, Thaws the frozen lake again.  Sara Coleridge’s couplet for this month describes what’s happening outside my window as I write. Yet this rain, which has washed away all traces of Winter Storm Kenan, could turn to ice … Continue reading

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January brings the snow

“January brings the snow, / Makes our feet and fingers glow.” Sara Coleridge Perhaps I’m pushing the theme a bit, placing a gorgeous illumination from Les Trés Riches Heures de Duc de Berry next to a couplet from the daughter … Continue reading

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Testing the water

Yes, it’s been a while. But I think I’ve licked my case of the “don’t-wants” (as in “I don’t want to …”), and I’m ready to take this thing on again. 2020 and 2021 were years for reading widely and … Continue reading

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Mythbusting: Part II

In my last post, I looked behind the curtain to bust the myth of the mid-19th-century “independent pioneer” during the western expansion of the US. Today I uncover the myth of the lonely autobiographer, who delves deep into memories to … Continue reading

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Mythbusting: Part I

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Caroline Fraser, 2017 (NYPL e-book) I inherited my love of “prairie fiction” from my mother: Willa Cather, O E Rølvaag, Hamline Garland, Sherwood Anderson. Top of the list, of course: Laura … Continue reading

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