24 Hours in Witch Country

Investigating the witches of Lancashire

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The wind is howling on Pendle Hill on Halloween. It lies in Northern England, and has been described to me as a seductive hill with a macabre, dark past. My friend Rachel and I are climbing the hill – it’s only 4pm, but the sun sets in less than hour. We can see the small villages of Sabden,Read On >>

How to Throw a Georgian-Era Christmas Party

previously published in the Hairpin

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Georgian era (1714-1830) English Christmas begins early. Inspired by Sarah Beeny’s A Very British Christmas program, this list will make sure your hair is properly coiffed, your guests are satiated and your knickers aren’t in a wad. 1. Procure a stately home. This one looks nice. 2. Employ at least 15 servants so everything runs smoothly. 3. Gift-giving officiallyRead On >>

A Talk with Helen Fielding, of Bridget Jones

Writing Tips, Jane Austen Tidbits and Why She Killed Mark Darcy

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Okay, I didn’t actually get to sit down and talk to Helen Fielding one-on-one, just us, just two ladies discussing Bridget Jones, one of the best fictional characters ever. Instead I attended her book talk in London for the third Bridget Jones book, Mad About The Boy. However, I did get to meet her andRead On >>

Dead Man Poet Wisdom

an excerpt cut from the book

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This is from one of our original emails, but due to copyright issues, it didn’t make it into the book. But the poems are so simple and perfect, that we decided to post it here. Dear Rachel, Some food for thought. This poem recently which made me think of your situation with Paolo. It’s byRead On >>

A Rule is a Rule: A Day at Royal Ascot

Fancy hats, horse races, and Pimms cup

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After six Pimms, 20 squandered pounds, two purchased hats, and one final race at Royal Ascot, the five-day premier horse racing event in England, Rachel and I board the crowded train back to London and end up sitting in the First Class car. We’d somehow found ourselves, two Americans, returning from a day at the races.Read On >>

The Five People You Meet at a Talk Called “The Making of a Madam”

LISTS, previously published in The Hairpin

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1. A male who spent 31 years as a railroad worker before switching professions nine years ago. 2. A 60-something Turkish woman who tells you she’s there because “I thought I should know something about everything.” 3. An accountant who helps independent sex workers looking for guidance on how to pay their taxes and nationalRead On >>