thequeenofwolves said: top 5 historical fiction novels/series?


I haven’t actually read a lot of historical fiction, I’m afraid!

Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure that my knowledge of the genre is limited to The Other Boleyn Girl and Wolf Hall.

My darling followers, do you have any recommendations?

Five I have enjoyed, in no particular order: 

PERFUME by Patrick Suskind
THE LIFEBOAT by Charlotte Rogan
MAISIE DOBBS by Jacqueline Winspear

"I had to be patient—I couldn’t abandon her—she was a dying woman, in many ways. There was the cancer, of course, but also the sort of dying that happens when the beautiful person you once were wears off and all that’s left is someone frightened and ugly, this hard and cruel kernel of a self that’s difficult to look at."

— "Who Killed Dolly Wilde?" from ALMOST FAMOUS WOMEN by Megan Mayhew Bergman

(Source: glhlovescelery)


I hadn’t thought of people, when I thought of our tropical resort honeymoon, and the initial pure, scenic expanse of beach sands had encouraged me to continue *not* thinking of them. But as it turned out, there were some other people at the resort. And wherever there are people, Chip will talk to them.

We’re not the same, in that regard. Chip possesses a wealth of interest in his fellow man, harbors a fascination with his own species, whereas I tend to see the prospect of small talk and tedium. It’s not that I don’t like people overall; I just like to personally *select* the ones I spend time with. I favor screening techniques that don’t involve random proximity.

Chip is more of an equal opportunity converser.


Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet


It was a shame the whole world didn’t resemble this resort, I thought fleetingly as, still jiggling inertly, we passed the immaculate landscaping and fragrant flowers brimming from Japanese-influenced rock gardens—that would be nice. Was it so much to ask? How hard could it be? Yes, yes, there were some obstacles, but still—thinking of how the whole world didn’t look like this resort, I felt faintly aggrieved.

I wanted to ask Chip if he thought the fact that the whole world doesn’t look like a beautiful resort was just a question of money—grinding poverty vs. repugnantly excessive wealth. Was it just money, or was money not really the main problem? For instance, I often hear it said that people don’t starve because there’s not enough food in the world, they starve because the food’s not always in the right places. Is it the same way with beauty? Is there, in fact, plenty to go around?

But we got involved in other actions, it was our honeymoon, after all, not some kind of policy debate forum, it was high time for fornication, so we got that out of the way.

Or no, it wasn’t fornication anymore, I realized—we were married. Disappointing.


Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet


The recent release of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" reminded me of one of my favorite ape vs. man films – this 1932 video that shows a baby chimpanzee and a baby human undergoing the same basic psychological tests.

Its gets weirder – the human baby (Donald) and the chimpanzee baby (Gua) were both raised as humans by their biological/adopted father Winthrop Niles Kellogg.  Kellogg was a comparative psychologist fascinated by the interplay between nature and nurture, and he devised a fascinating (and questionably ethical) experiment to study it:

Suppose an anthropoid were taken into a typical human family at the day of birth and reared as a child. Suppose he were fed upon a bottle, clothed, washed, bathed, fondled, and given a characteristically human environment; that he were spoken to like the human infant from the moment of parturition; that he had an adopted human mother and an adopted human father.

First, Kellogg had to convince his pregnant wife he wasn’t crazy:

 …the enthusiasm of one of us met with so much resistance from the other that it appeared likely we could never come to an agreement upon whether or not we should even attempt such an undertaking.

She apparently gave in, because Donald and Gua were raised, for nine months, as brother and sister. Much like Caesar in the “Planet of the Apes” movies, Gua developed faster than her “brother,” and often outperformed him in tasks. But she soon hit a cognitive wall, and the experiment came to an end. (Probably for the best, as Donald had begun to speak chimpanzee.)

You can read more about Kellogg’s experiment, its legacy, and public reaction to it here.

Made me think of the fabulous book We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. 

(via thelyonrampant)



Evening Post: August 12, 1899.
"She immediately alighted, caught hold of the astonished youth, and gave him a sound thrashing, using her fists in a scientific fashion…”

I would love to know what this means.

I think that might be code for “punched him in the balls with devastating accuracy”.





What do french people call a really bad thursday?

a trajeudi

update: if you tell this joke to someone living in france they will refuse to look at you

I believe that, but I still laughed. 

(via cleolinda)

Are there other people who, when watching a documentary set in a prison, secretly think, as I have, Wish I had all that time to read? “

Yes, Zadie Smith. Yes, there are.