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For today’s entry, I experimented with reading through the chapter, then dictating the summary directly. It probably shows a little in the flow of the blog, even with some editorial clean-up. But it means I’m better able to condense the notes down to the highlights rather than going off into the weeds of details as I’m reading. We’ll see how it continues.

It’s always tricky to figure out what level of summary to create for a publication. Some works are so dense I throw up my hands and give only a cursory outline. Some are so scanty I can summarize the whole. In the middle, I find the structure of a book influences my approach—if only because I have an idea of a maximum blog length that people are likely to read. (Not sure what it is exactly, but I have a vague idea.)

OK, maybe that isn't the nicest tag line for this chapter in Rizzo's book, but Elizabeth Chudleigh wasn't a very nice person. And yet, as I summed up this chapter, I couldn't help but dwell on how very gendered our impressions of people's behavior can be. Someone who is strong-willed, knows what they want and goes after it in clever and single-minded ways, knows how--and when--to be charming, and when they don't have to bother with it. These are all things that can either be admirable or hateful depending on our relation to the person and our expectations for their behavior.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 176 (previously 50c) - Book Appreciation: 17-18th century Stories in England and France - transcript

(Originally aired 2020/09/19 - listen here)

As I read through Rizzo's book, a number of thoughts have been coalescing with respect to plotting out historical f/f romances. Those thoughts aren't necessarily tied directly to the subject of the chapter, but are building as the various threads weave together.

The introduction to this book uses various characters in Jane Austen's Emma to illustrate the social dynamics of companions. But once you start looking for companionate relationships in Austen, you see them all over the place. And that variety helps illustrate the function and dynamics of what's going on. Let's take a little tour.

Both Wahl's study that I just finished covering, and Rizzo's, which will take up the next couple weeks, have very practical applications for authors of f/f historical romance. They explore the spaces in society where women came into close and intimate social contact in ways that were publicly established and accepted.

Complexity and ambiguity is a hard thing to depict in overviews of history. People have an uncomfortable desire to get "the real story" with the implication that there's a single story.

I'm experimenting with some new tech in the context of this blog. Not "new" as such, but applied in new ways. Writing up long entries like this one has traditionally meant taking notes on post-its as I read, then transcribing them into electronic format. (Plus cleaning up my typing and reviewing for sense, given that the post-its are often disjointed and repetitive.) I've been meaning to take another look at speech-to-text systems that could eliminate at least one of those processes and experimented on this entry.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 175 - Interview with Nyri Bakkalian- transcript

(Originally aired 2020/09/12 - listen here)

A transcript of this episode is pending.

Show Notes

An interview with Dr. Nyri Bakkalian about her historical research and her cross-time novel.

In this episode we talk about:


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