I have not been to Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA since I was six or seven, which is going on 15 or 16 years ago. Today, it was open for free as part of the state’s “Free Fridays” program, so my mom and I went there to meet Ruth, an old friend of her’s. The drive from Gloucester was about an hour and 40 minutes.
A summer-like heat wave hit Paris at the beginning of May: a week of dry, heavy, and sultry days. At the height of this hot spell, Charles and Adèle opened up their swimming pool. With a pitcher of bee’s knees, the afternoon passed pleasantly. Charles was bringing Adèle, who was sitting on the diving board, another cocktail when Benoît came outside and announced that Madame Brady was there to see them.
It is often said that a good story is timeless, but the best literature can also provide an insight into the time and place in which it was created, specifically its values and attitudes. The period spanning the Dark Ages, Middle Ages, and Early Modern Period, in which some of the most important works of British Literature were written, has often been characterized in later periods as misogynistic, with women being seen as irrelevant or looked upon with loathing. But a closer examination of works from the first thousand years of British Literature shows that the position of women in the past was more complex than that. Seemingly insignificant characters, such as Queen Wealhtheow in Beowulf, can tell us a lot about the important role royal women played in Anglo-Saxon society, and mother monsters can tear that society apart. Depictions of sexualized women in High Medieval poetry can challenge the Madonna-Whore dichotomy and complicated female figures can be forces of creation or destructions in the works of some of England's greatest poets, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton.
Gabriel checked over the time table at St. Lazare station; his train would not be boarding for another two hours. He could go and call upon his sister in the meantime, but the walk was too far. The time it would take to get there and back would not allow for much of a visit and he had imposed on Gillian’s hospitality too much of late.
The first few days of April gave a balmy taste of the summer to come. Marianne opened her bay window to let in some of the cooler evening air. She sat down in the window seat and stroked Johnny’s back. The little dog was sleeping and snored and grunted. A box was placed on Marianne’s lap, upon which she began to write a note.
Easter Sunday, 1934, fell up the first of April, which also happened to be a feast day known as April Fish. Mimi’s mail was filled with the usual Easter themed greeting cards depicting crosses, chickens, rabbits, eggs, and lilies, as well as humorous images of fish: children playing with them, pretty girls kissing them, them wearing human clothes. The cards were neatly arranged in a row on her mantlepiece.