seventeenth century england

Appalachian writer, poet and artist Emma Bell Miles’ Some Real American Music is required reading for any dedicated country, bluegrass or folk fan.

Born in Evansville, Ind., Miles moved to Red Bank, Tenn. as a child. She and her family later relocated to what is known today as Signal Mountain, Tenn. She studied art in St. Louis before returning to her beloved Appalachia, where she fell in love and married Frank Miles.

A primary source of income for the Miles’ was often short stories and poems Emma sold to magazines like Harper’s Weekly. She is best known for her 1905 book, “The Spirit of the Mountain.” Emma died in 1919, and her prose piece on country music was long forgotten until journalist Nick Tosches’ “Country: The Twisted Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll” was released in 1977. Tosches calls Some Real American Music “the most beautiful prose written of country music.”

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In sixteenth-century England, as in our own culture, women’s clothing was clearly distinguished from men’s. Until the late Middle Ages, however, men and women had worn similar long, loose robes. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, clothing had been increasingly differentiated to emphasize and produce embodied sexual difference. Men’s robes were shortened to reveal their legs, and the codpiece was invented. Women acquired tight bodices that altered the shape of their breasts and low-cut gowns to display them, and their skirts, which remained long, were widened. In addition to producing visible signs of sexual difference, changes in clothing also produced differences in daily behavior. It was during this same period, for instance, that European women began using sidesaddles, a fashion that was brought to England near the end of the fourteenth century by Anne of Bohemia when she married the English king Richard II. However, gender was not the only or even the most important distinction that early modern English clothing enforced. In fact, although sumptuary laws contained elaborate regulations of male attire to ensure that men’s clothing would express their exact place in the social hierarchy, there was no legislation against cross-dressing. In late sixteenth and early seventeenth-century England, some women adopted the fashion of masculine attire, and although moralists strenuously condemned the practice, it was never made illegal. Moreover, male and female children were dressed in the same attire—in skirts—until they reached the age of seven. Apparently, the physical difference that separated boys from girls was not considered sufficiently significant to be marked by clothing, but the difference in social rank that separated one man from another was so important that clothing which obscured it was forbidden by law. Another indication that both age and status were at least as important as gender in determining an individual’s identity is the fact that medical casebooks referred to children of both sexes as ‘it’ until they reached puberty. In our own culture, by contrast, clothing is gendered from birth, but it is less reliable as an indicator of status and rank.
—  Phyllis Rackin, Shakespeare and Women

self-professed-nerd said to quoted-books: Hey quoted-books, do you know any romantic books that would be like the movie About Time in book form?

I have not seen this movie, but I did see the trailer…and know the basic plot, so I am taking away from the idea of “Time Travel Romances?”- if that is way off than let me know and I can redo this list based on what genre or plot line you like better J!

Summaries are taken from Goodreads!

1. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger- Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, have known each other since Clare was 6 and Henry was 36, married when Clare 23 and Henry 31. Impossible but true. Because Henry unintentionally jumps in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity, past and future. His experiences can be harrowing or amusing.

2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743. Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

3. Somewhere in Time by Richard Matheson- Matheson’s classic novel tells the moving, romantic story of a modern man whose love for a woman he has never met draws him back in time to a luxury hotel in San Diego in 1896, where he finds his soul mate in the form of a celebrated actress of the previous century.

4. Mariana by Susanna Kearsley - The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew that it was her house. And now that she’s at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason. As if Greywethers were a portal between worlds, she finds herself transported into seventeenth-century England, becoming Mariana, a young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love. Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past…until she realizes Mariana’s life is threatening to eclipse her own, and she must find a way to lay the past to rest or lose the chance for happiness in her own time.

5. Timeless by Alexandra Monir - When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s family, she is forced to move from Los Angeles to New York City to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she has never met. In their historic Fifth Avenue mansion, filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers the biggest family secret of all - an ancestor’s diary that, amazingly, has the power to send her back in time to 1910, the year it was written. There, at a glamorous high-society masquerade ball, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life. And she finds herself falling for him, and into an otherworldly romance. Soon Michele is leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves - and to complete a quest that will determine their fate.

6. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier - Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust. 

Happy reading!

Lauren