Philobiblon: History for today

Friday, January 14, 2005

History for today

Having come home after less than a week away, cleaned out the spam, and been left with more than 700 email messages (yes I do belong to too many lists), blog reading has been a bit slow, but I have to point to an excellent post from Sharon at Early Modern Notes about the history of attempts to use the law to repress women's "deviant" sexuality. She was spurred on by the grotesque proposed legislation in the US state of Virginia that has been widely discussed on Feminist Blogs, but really it is a piece of history that all women should know, and remember when confronted with restrictions on their reproductive rights.

She's also put up History Carnival No 1, a broad and fascinating roundup in which (declaration of interest) yours truly has a modest part. I haven't had time to follow all the links yet, but it looks great.

Items particularly relevant to women's history include War, women and waffle (on a subject very close to my heart, and I hope one day wallet), Happy Birthday, Zora Neale Hurston and An English lady in 19th-century Wales.

On literary history, Today in Literature's person of the day is Emily Hahn, an unfairly forgotten early proponent of "new journalism", who started life with a degree in mining, became the concubine of a Chinese poet in Shanghai, worked with the Red Cross in the Congo, was an environmental pioneer, and wrote more than 50 books. There's lots more even; she really has a CV. (That link will only work for a couple of days - don't miss it!)

On another note altogether, I had to laugh at a headline on UK politics in yesterday's Libération Brown-Blair : deux hommes et un seul fauteuil (two men, one armchair - a perfect summary). I pause, however, to think of its missing correspondent in Iraq, Florence Aubenas.


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