The Provocative 15th Century

Until recently, the literature of 15th-century England had a poor reputation, being characterized as lacking talent and literary imagination. Coming after Chaucer’s death in 1400 and before the well-known works of the Elizabethan period, the period’s literature struck many readers as being overly decorous, didactic, and dull. “The Provocative 15th … Continue reading

Turbulent End to Civil War

By the spring of 1865, when surrenders at Appomattox, Durham Station, and elsewhere had finally delivered an end to four years of bloody battle, the American Civil War had killed a staggering 750,000 soldiers and 50,000 civilians—about two and a half percent of the U.S. population—and wounded hundreds of thousands … Continue reading

Shakespeare Takes the Stage

“All the world’s a stage,” declares Jaques in William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It. While that may be true, there’s something to be said for an auditorium with a beautiful stage, state-of-the-art acoustics, raked seating, and clear sight lines. With the opening earlier this month of the Steven S. … Continue reading

Thirty-Three Ways of Looking at the American Revolution

This publishing season, books on the American Revolution and Founding Fathers have garnered tough reviews and a little controversy, but one book stands out as a once-in-a-generation reassessment of scholarship on that subject: The Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution. The volume, which came out in late November, features essays … Continue reading

CONFERENCES | Things I’d Like to Know About Los Angeles

Huntington conferences often bring together scholars who present research in progress and then go on to gather the material into a volume of essays for a new book. On Sat., Sept. 8, The Huntington hosts a conference that acts as a kind of afterword to a book published in 2010. … Continue reading

CONFERENCES | Woody Guthrie’s “Great and Crowded City”

CONFERENCES | Woody Guthrie’s “Great and Crowded City”

Folk singer Woody Guthrie famously roamed and rambled the country in the 1930s and ’40s, writing and singing about the downtrodden caught between the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. He also found inspiration in Los Angeles. On Sat., April 14, a group of scholars and musicians will gather at … Continue reading