Category Archives: History

Prophecies and Penalties Chapter 18, and a short vacation

Emily Fisher’s investigation of the murder of High Council member Stephen Nash has taken a giant leap forward, which makes her happy. On the other hand, that leap implicates her sister Elsie, and Elsie’s lover, the so-called Prophesied One, Alex … Continue reading

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Visiting where Shakers conducted businesses sacred and secular

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while know about my interest in the Shakers, a religious group that worshiped a godhead with male and female aspects, and practiced celibacy and communal living while awaiting the … Continue reading

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Is it the birthday of Cagliostro, definitely a man of mystery?

Wikipedia claims today is the anniversary of the 1743 birthday of Count Allesandro di Cagliostro, and who would disagree with Wikipedia? Well, actually I have, several times, but that’s irrelevant, because Cagliostro’s birthday is only the MacGuffin for this post … Continue reading

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Memorial Day and the shifting grounds of commemoration

Yesterday was Memorial Day in the United States. For those of you who don’t live here, it’s the day we honor our military veterans, as opposed to Veterans’ Day, which is the day we honor our military veterans. Confused? So … Continue reading

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Chapter 13 of Prophecies and Penalties

Emily Fisher may have a clue that points to Alex Bancroft, the Prophesied One, as the killer of High Councilor Stephen Nash. So she’s less that thrilled to run into Alex before she’s had a chance to investigate further. It turns … Continue reading

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Misadventures while nearsighted

I’m nearsighted. Been that way for a long time. Don’t always have my eyes checked until I notice the prescription is off. So I tend to be cautious around things I haven’t really looked at. The cartoonist James Thurber (1894 … Continue reading

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Alchemists of alchemy: Principe and Jonson

Everything you know about alchemy is wrong. Well, not everything. Yes, some alchemists tried to discover the Philosophers’ Stone, which could turn base metal into gold and guarantee long life and health. Sort of like going to Vegas. In his … Continue reading

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Traveling in imagination to Viking Iceland

I’ve recently been reading books on medieval Iceland. It’s a fascinating period in a curious land. The island was settled by Vikings fleeing from the rule of the first major Norwegian king, Harald Finehair (c. 850 – c. 932), or … Continue reading

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Chapter 4 of Prophecies and Penalties, and charismatic Instruments

Ethan Knowles may be married to Emily’s former babysitter, but he’s got a history, a history that makes Emily not sure she can trust him. Still, for the moment, he’s the best source she has for what’s going on with … Continue reading

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Review: Leigh Eric Schmidt, Heaven’s Bride

Seeing that today, March 3, is the anniversary of the passing of the Comstock Act in 1873, I thought it appropriate to review a book about one of the victims of the Comstock Act, Ida C. Craddock (1857-1902). First, a … Continue reading

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