October Potpourri: Ghosts, Gags, Galleries and More Unexpected Distractions

Lego de Triomphe

Throughout the month I come across a fair number of articles, blogs, images, exhibits, or videos that I’d like to share with readers, but they don’t necessarily work into my typical format. So, I’ve decided to create a monthly post that briefly highlights some of the Internet gems that have…

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Juliette Drouet; The Lonely Life of Hugo’s Devoted Mistress

Juliette Drouet, circa 1850

Two weeks ago, I wrote about a love letter that Victor Hugo wrote to his mistress, Juliette Drouet, shortly after fleeing France to live in exile. In that post, I remarked that over the course of their impressive 50-year relationship, Juliette penned roughly 20,000 letters to the storied author. It’s…

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A Love Letter from Exile, Victor Hugo to Juliette Drouet

Victor Hugo and Juliette Drouet

I recently came upon a list of the ten most beautiful love letters. In general, I find such lists rather pointless. In this case, however, most of the letters had been written by great French authors so it piqued my interest. Near the top was one that Victor Hugo wrote…

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Valentine, a Killer Debut Novel, and Banned Books

Sunset in Big Bend National Park

Last week, I finished reading Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore. I previously thought that American Dirt would be my favorite book of 2020 but unexpectedly, Valentine bumped it out of the running by a significant margin. What each of us finds praiseworthy about a book is entirely personal and while I…

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