Angelica and Alexander

Their relationship as siblings-in-law also allowed for more fulsome language, since such in-laws were treated in many ways like blood relations—who often expressed love for one another without generating any suspicions. Angelica wrote Alexander affectionate letters and joked with Eliza that she should share her husband. “I love him very much and if you were as generous as the Old Romans,” she wrote Eliza in 1794, “you would lend him to me for a while.” In the musical, Miranda riffs on this line by having Angelica sing to Eliza, “I’m just sayin’, if you really loved me, you would share him.” While Angelica’s letters to Alexander are not any more affectionate than other letters between sisters and brothers-in-law, it’s possible that Angelica had romantic feelings for him. Miranda imagines this to be the case, and Angelica sings that “when I fantasize at night/It’s Alexander’s eyes…

Alexander’s letters to Angelica are clearly flirtatious, but whether this was playful or a sign of romance is impossible to know. He wrote to her in 1787 that “I seldom write to a lady without fancying the relation of lover and mistress,” which was not standard fare in letters between friends or siblings. In one song, “Take a Break,” Miranda plays with this uncertainty as Angelica asks Alexander whether he had romantic intent behind a phrase in letter. While Angelica and Alexander may not have had this precise conversation, many friends of the opposite sex were confused about their feelings for one another.


The final musical, however, likely comes very close to the historical reality: Angelica and Alexander were dear friends and may well have been in love. It’s unlikely, given Eliza and Angelica’s lifelong closeness, that Angelica and Alexander had an affair. We can never know for sure: either way, sexual intimacy was not the defining characteristic of their relationship.

The flirtatious friendship of Alexander Hamilton and Angelica Church hits Broadway (OUPblog)


There were several important records released in 1959, but no event or recording matches the importance of the release of the new Miles Davis album Kind of Blue on 17 August 1959. There were people waiting in line at record stores to buy it on the day it appeared. It sold very well from its first day, and it has sold increasingly well ever since. It is the best-selling jazz album in the Columbia Records catalogue, and at the end of the twentieth century it was voted one of the ten best albums ever produced.

Jeremy Yudkin writes about the classic album over on the OUPblog. Above, you find his bibliography and a great selection of books about the great American jazz musician. 

  • Chambers, Jack. Milestones: The Music and Times of Miles Davis.  Reprint: 2 vols. in one. New York: Da Capo, 1998.
  • Davis, Miles with Quincy Troupe. Miles: The Autobiography. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989.
  • Gridley, Mark. Jazz Styles: History and Analysis. 7th edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2000.
  • Szwed, John. So What: The Life of Miles Davis.  New York: Simon and Schuster, 2002.
  • Yudkin, Jeremy. Miles Davis, Miles Smiles, and the Birth of Postbop. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2007.
Ways to be Autism aware

Today is World Autism Awareness Day, and over on the OUPblog, Alice Hammel and Ryan Hourigan, authors of Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Label-Free Approach and the forthcoming Teaching Music to Students with Autism, have shared their ways to be Autism aware.

  1. Be aware that people with autism can usually understand more than they can express.
  2. Be aware that people with autism can be sensitive.
  3. Be aware that people with autism think differently.
  4. Be aware that people with autism probably have a specific interest or topic that may help with communication.
  5. Be aware that people with autism tend to focus on the trees rather than the forest.
  6. Be aware that a child (or adult) with autism may be having a moment in public that seems confusing to you.
  7. Be aware that people with autism may need help with social circumstances.
  8. Be aware that a family that includes a person with autism may be tired and stressed.
  9. Be aware that a child with autism may have siblings that get less attention than they do.
  10. Be aware that a person with autism is a person and not a label.

Read the full blog post for the complete listing.

10 crisp facts about money during Shakespeare's time | OUPblog
Would you like to pay a halfpenny for a small beer, 1 shilling for a liter of wine, or less than 2 pounds for a horse in 17th century England?

3. Shakespeare was Karl Marx’s favorite author, and when Marx moved to England in 1849, he read Shakespeare every day. Timon of Athens proved to be an influential source in Marx’s critique of capitalist money economy, as seen in his Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 and in Capital, Volume 1. 

4. The corn riots in the opening scenes of Coriolanus are meant to echo the actual Midland Uprising in England in 1607-1608. During this uprising, Shakespeare was a wealthy landowner from Stratford. He consistently protected his land, which was his source of income, rather than the townspeople’s rights.

Today is World Autism Awareness Day, raising public awareness of the condition and ensuring everyone living with autism gets the support they need. Get a better understanding of the condition with a selection of OUPblog articles.

  1. From art to autism: a Q&A with Uta Frith
  2. The new DSM-5: changes in the diagnosis of autism and intellectual disability
  3. Way to be autism aware
  4. ASD is now the approved new diagnostic category for autism
  5. Autism is many diseases
  6. Autism: a Q&A with Uta Frith
  7. Can a child with autism recover?
  8. Is there an epidemic of autism?
  9. Finding and classifying autism for effective intervention

What are you doing for World Autism Awareness Day?

Image credit: Hand writing the word Autism on a chalkboard under colorful puzzle piece drawings. Image by sdominick, iStockphoto.

Solo adventurers face loneliness and the risk of psychological breakdown, while those whose mission involves long-term confinement with a small group may experience stressful interpersonal conflict. All of that is on top of the physical hardships like sleep deprivation, pain, hunger, and squalor. What can the rest of us learn from those hardy individuals who survive and thrive in extreme places?
Five astonishing facts about women in Shakespeare | OUPblog
What would Macbeth be without Lady Macbeth? Or Romeo and Juliet with only Romeo? Yet there's an enormous disparity between female and male representation in Shakespeare's play. Few, great female characters deliver as many lines or impressive speeches as their male counterparts. While this may not be surprising considering 16th century society, literature, and theater, data can reveal a wider disparity than previously thought.

There are seven times as many roles for men as there are for women in Shakespeare’s plays. Of the total 981 characters, 826 are men while only 155 are women; that means that women account for less than 16% of all Shakespearean characters. 

Did you get a chance to meet the new social media team at Oxford University Press?

Meet J.G. Mallard, J.K. Fowling, William Ducksworth, Philip K. Duck, and Alexander - the brand new social media team at OUP. Hear why they steer clear of the canteen, what their favorite social media channel is, and why you have to be “quackers” to work here…

(This may or may not have anything to do with April Fools’ Day).

Image courtesy of Jack Campbell-Smith for Oxford University Press.

Why have historians paid so little attention to the substantial ‘black’ presence in Liverpool in the decades before the fabled arrival of the Empire Windrush in June 1948, regarded as ‘year zero for mass black immigration?’  I began to realise that my research was not just an exercise in local history recovery. Properly understood, the ‘black struggle for historical recognition in Liverpool’ serves as foundation narrative in the making of the black British, an identity obscured by post-Windrush concentration on immigration.
—  How did Liverpool transform from one of the most multi-racial cities in the British Empire to one of the least ethnically diverse? John Belchem seeks to examine this change, which occurred over a short century, and how institutional racism and race relations may have played a significant role.
Worldwide, the number of infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria is increasing. According to the CDC, there are 23,000 deaths and two million hospitalizations attributable to drug-resistant bacteria each year in the United States.
What is Positive Education?
What is Positive Education? This is a question I am asked on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. Whenever I am asked this question, what immediately comes to mind is a visit to Bostock House, one of Geelong Grammar School’s junior campuses.

The statistics on depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health concerns in adolescents and adults are frighteningly high. It is estimated that one quarter of young people in Australia live with a mental illness. Positive Education is a proactive and preventative approach to building well-being and health in schools and communities and aims to reduce the worrisome prevalence of mental illness across the lifespan.

Santa Claus breaks the law every year
Each year when the nights start growing longer, everyone’s favourite rotund old man emerges from his wintry hideaway in the fastness of the North Pole and dashes around the globe in a red and white blur, delivering presents and generally spreading goodwill to the people of the world.

Illegal surveillance, drink driving, airspace violations, movement of livestock… and that’s just getting started.

A Decade of Blogging

Our faithful Tumblrites are well aware that Oxford University Press is old school, whether its the establishment of the first printing press in Oxford in 1478, or that the person in charge of social media here is over the age of 30.

Well, you may not be aware that we’ve been in the social media game for the equivalent of 500 years too. Today, we’re celebrating the tenth anniversary of the OUPblog. That’s right, we’ve been blogging longer than Tumblr has existed.

To mark this special occasion, we’ve created a free e-book with 34 of the best blog articles, hand-picked by Oxford University Press editors and regular OUPblog contributors. Selections range from an essay by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author to an interview with a history graduate student. You can download it in PDF, Scribd, Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Google Play, or Kobo.

And now we begin our countdown to ten years on Tumblr (2023)…

Alice Northover, OUPblog editor, Social Media Marketing Manager, Boss of Dan (your Tumblr editor)

We have great news: the OUPblog has been re-designed!

The OUPblog is now easier to navigate, has a responsive design, and we have streamlined the links and widgets on the site. The design we have been using since 2010 has now been retired but some things will never change: we will continue to publish the same quality scholarship from authors, editors, and academics around the globe. We can’t wait to hear what you think about the new design on the OUPblog.

The good news doesn’t stop there either, oh no! We are pleased to announce the launch of Oxford Australia Blog, bringing you the best  content from our office “down under”. Also, the recently launched Oxford Southern Africa Blog will bring you the latest in education from that region.

Other recently launched channels include an Oxford Dictionaries YouTube channel and an Oxford Dictionaries Google Plus page. And the newly launched Oxford Medicine Facebook page. We hope you enjoy checking out all of our new channels… happy exploring!

Gifs all via giphy.com