Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This Months' (and I do mean plural possessive) Acquisitions

Tracy Borman, Elizabeth's Women: Friends, Rivals and Foes Who Shaped the Virgin Queen (New York: Bantam Books, 2009).
Although I confess to a shameful vice for novels about the Tudor era, I actually know nothing about the study of the period and therefore cannot judge this as particularly good or bad scholarship. It's an easy read, almost like reading a novel, but then I am reading it without the rigor that I would apply to a book for serious research. This book sits half in and half out of the research category. The contents themselves won't help the Douglass book, but the way she crafts her narrative does.

Marla Miller, Betsy Ross and the Making of America (New York: Harold Holt, 2010).
How could I not? I still have my children's chapter book biography of Ross that I got back in grade school when my interest in women's history was obvious. Again, nothing to do with Douglass, but I am interested in the way she uses both biography and women's history to explain the American Revolution. I also like books that investigate mythical figures in order to find the historical person. membership.
Yes, it was expensive. Nonetheless, I now have online access to all sorts of public records used by genealogists, including those in the UK.

Permission to research in a private collection of Douglass documents.
Dr. Walter O. Evans of Savannah, Georgia, is allowing me to conduct research in his collection of Douglass documents next month. Stan Deaton of the Georgia Historical Society kindly vouched for my scholarship. Stan directed the amazing NEH Summer Workshop, African American History and Culture in the Georgia Lowcountry, that I attended last year. If you can, you should apply for it next year.

NEH Summer Stipend
The NEH will fund my research in western New York for two months this summer. Your tax dollars at work, so many thanks for filing.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chapter 2 Has Left the Building!

The "shitty first draft" of my first completed chapter of Frederick Douglass's Women is now finished!

Yes, the title of this post says "Chapter 2," and it is the second chapter of the overall manuscript. No one says you have to write the thing in order, right?

When I wrote the public talk that I gave at Le Moyne and Montgomery Colleges, I had envisioned the first near half of it as being "Chapter 2: Anna Murray, Mrs. Frederick Douglass." Then I agreed to submit the paper for a workshop at SUNY-Binghamton. As I revised the colloquial language out and added more detail in, I found that the first chunk grew longer and longer and longer. "This is becoming a chapter as I write," I thought. So, I lopped off the last part, and committed to the chapter. 

Now, it's done and ready to enter the workshop ring this Friday!

Even better, parts of other chapters are written, as well.