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1877 first edition cover.

Black Beauty, a novel by English author Anna Sewell, was first published on the 24th of November, 1877. Considered to be a story about animal rights, the book is about t…

Source: On this day: the publication of Black Beauty | In Times Gone By…


Jane Austen died aged forty-one in Winchester, Hampshire on the 18th of July, 1817. Signature from…

Source: On this day: the death of Jane Austen | In Times Gone By…


While I was in New York City for the New York Antiquarian Book Fair last week, I took the opportunity to visit the Met to see Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France. This exhibition ha…

Source: Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun at the Met | A Scholarly Skater


‘To ask freedom for women is not a crime. Suffrage prisoners should not be treated as criminals.’

Source: Happy International Women’s Day | In Times Gone By…


More delights from Pippa Rathborne to make up for an inability to create my own posts with the current connection within any decent time frame; I think the Dark Angels post took me three days! Plus ca change!

Pippa Rathborne's SCRATCH POST

or To love and be loved

marieadelaidereadingMadame Marie-Adelaide in Turkish costume, by Étienne Liotard, 1753, oil on canvas, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. Image source: WGA
The book is not a mere prop. This was a princess who loved reading and collecting books for their own sake. She ended up with 5000 volumes in her library. Marie-Adelaide was the favourite daughter of Louis XV. She never married and spent fifty-seven years of her life at Versailles. Unfortunately for her she was intelligent, and ambitious, so being denied a fulfilling role at court embittered her. She survived the Revolution, and all her brothers and sisters, and her nephew Louis XVI and his queen, and died in exile in Trieste in 1800, aged 67.

The majority of female readers, whether they were intellectually curious or just wanted to be trendy, were brainwashed by the best-selling novels of Rousseau. He extolled female education in…

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