Archive for August, 2021

agrippina, by emma southon

Being a woman near power is lose-lose most of the time.

a room made of leaves, by kate grenville

Sydney Town was a dusty ugly angry place, a sad blighted bit of ground on which too many souls tramped out their days dreaming of somewhere else.

esther, by jessica north

When the Pilgrim Fathers had sailed in the Mayflower to establish the first European colony in North America, there had been only about a hundred colonists—all of them free settlers—and half of them had died during their first winter. Captain Phillip was taking more than a thousand people—most of them already weak, unhealthy convicts—on an eight-month voyage to the other side of the world.

the indifferent stars above, by daniel james brown

What they remembered for the rest of their lives was not the cabin itself but rather the warm, yellow lamplight that shone out through loose chinking—light coming to them through the black night as if miraculously, beckoning them to come back in out of the cold, to the hearth of humanity.

the day that went missing, by richard beard

The dividend for shutting down emotions as a routine response is invincibility at moments of stress. This is a psychological gamble, in England embraced as a gift. The English don’t fall apart, our most prized national characteristic. Look at history and see how economically productive this quality can be.

jigsaw, by sybille bedford

Everybody believed in the Guide Michelin.

a fatal thing happened on the way to the forum, by emma southon

It was an outrageous moment in Roman history and not one person complained because everyone suddenly knew the consequences of complaining. Everyone knew that there was no power balance between the Senate and the people of Rome. Democracy was a charade. There was just the Senate and they would kill to keep it that way. And there would be no consequences when they did.

the last of the wine, by mary stewart

They have passed a law forbidding logic to be taught.