Friday, September 23, 2005

Colonial fascination

Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness has got me interested in the Colonial/Revolutionary period of US history so in an uncharacteristic mode, I am reading non-fiction for pleasure. I picked up David McCullough's John Adams at the library this week; he's one of the most accessible historians for those of us who are challenged by dry history writing. And since John and Abigail had such a lively correspondence, much of the book reads like an epistolary novel.

I'm still amazed at the big gaps in my knowledge after so damn much schooling. I wrote my first master's thesis while at UC Davis on some women writers in late 18th C England (Wollstonecraft, early Jane Austin, Sarah Scott, Charlotte Lennox, etc.) but it is amazing how little I know about the history and literature of the same period on the other side of the Atlantic. That's a pretty big gap since the American Revolution and ideas of liberty clearly had an impact on concepts of feminism for the period. I studied French writings and British reactions to the French revolution but not the American stuff. Geographical proximity bias? Genetic bias (with my Brit of a mum)? I can't quite believe my advisors let me get away with such a big gap of knowledge, but I guess that is the difference between an MA and a PhD.

Anyway, so far John Adams is proving to be a very good read and hopefully will tide me over till my copy of the next in the Donati/Wilderness series, Dawn on a Distant Shore, arrives from Amazon.

And since I can't just buy one book at a time (gotta get that super saver shipping, right?), I also decided to splurge and get David Maine's Fallen (in hardback!) and another Dan Zanes CD, Rocket Ship Beach, for my kids (ok, ok, and for me too. I confess that I love his kid music more than a lot of music intended for grown ups.)


Denise said...

Kate! Email me and I'll send you pictures of those robot stamps (let me know in my comments if my email is impossible to sidebar keeps dropping out of sight...)

If you can pick up 2 or 3 skeins of the Regia "tie dye" sock yarn I've been looking for (while you're overseas?), we could call it an even trade...!

jillian said...

I've got all of Dan Zanes AND Ralph Covert (the Chicago version of Dan),
as well as a great disc called, The Bottle Let Me Down:Songs for Bumpy Wagon rides - if you want to borrow.

Anonymous said...

That's a wonderful compliment. Thank you.