Tag Archives: research

#WhatImReadingNow: Heretics and Heroes

The high spirits of Renaissance Italy spilled over into other European lands, though the waves set off by so much gaiety sometimes landed elsewhere with a shock and might even be received with contempt. The Renaissance, as it appeared elsewhere, could at times look and sound quite different from its lively Italian manifestation. And though […]

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#WhatImReadingNow: These Old Shades

‘Done!’ said my lady. ‘Oh, Rupert! I lost my big emerald at play last week! I could have cried my eyes out, and Edward could only say that it must be a lesson to me!’ ‘That’s Edward all over,’ nodded Rupert. ‘Don’t I know it!’ ‘No, you do not, tiresome boy! He will give me […]

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#WhatImReadingNow : A Gentleman in Moscow

Five days later, the Count was pleased to accept a formal invitation to tea from his new acquaintance, Nina Kulikova. The engagement was for three o’clock in the hotel’s coffeehouse at the northwest corner of the ground floor. Arriving at a quarter till, the Count claimed a table for two near the window. When at […]

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Let Us Now Quote Famous Men

Your Editor spends a lot of time checking facts. Particularly the sorts of facts that can be stated in the form of a question: Really? Are you sure? Did Abraham Lincoln really say that? Because yes, I spend a lot of time researching (ahem) famous quotes. More than I’d like. For example, an author whose […]

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Short Saturday: Watch Those Quotes!

I recently pushed an author to do better with the epigraphs he was using at the beginning of his chapters. Some I couldn’t verify—although I have a sixth sense about veracity, I’ll give any quote the benefit of the doubt until I prove it false—but a few of them were, in fact, well-known fakes. How […]

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Don’t Date Yourself: Writing About and For Your Audience

A few nights ago over dinner the Boy’s girlfriend told me she was “an original Harry Potter kid. I grew up with Harry.” Golly, that stopped me in my tracks. (The first book—Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone—released in the United Stated on 1 September 1998.) I truly enjoyed those books, but I’ve spent many […]

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The “Romantic” Regency

The true Regency lasted only nine years. It began on 5 February 1811 when George, Prince of Wales, was officially sworn in as Regent and ended on 31 January 1820 when he was proclaimed King George IV. Yet the term ‘Regency’ is frequently used to describe the period of English history between the years 1780 […]

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Short Saturday: Errors in Logic

I grew up arguing … er, discussing … politics (and history, and all sorts of things, really) at the dinner table. And both my parents had gone to big-city high schools in the era when courses like Latin and (more importantly for this discussion) philosophy (logic, critical thinking) were taught* as a matter of course—were […]

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Short Saturday: Good-Bye to “Hello”

You know I love to talk about getting the details right in your novel, so when I read A. A. Gill’s lovely essay in Vanity Fair, I knew I had to share. “We are coming to the end of the age of the telephone call,” he says, “and that may be a good thing or […]

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Short Saturday: Things You Should Know When Writing About Guns

This is probably not a post you would expect from me. I’m not a fan of guns in real life. (And that’s enough said; this column isn’t about politics.) However, I am a fan of learning, a fan of research, and a fan of veracity in fiction so I found this post from author Chuck […]

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