Christmas in Maine, 1858

Posted by Sherry on 12/4/2015 in --December, Birthdays, Celebrations, Christmas, General, Nonfiction |

Earmuffs for Everyone! How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs by Meghan McCarthy. Chester Greenwood was born on December 4, 1858. He allegedly had large, cold ears and invented earmuffs to protect those ears at the age of 15. Well, according to author Meghan McCarthy, Chester at least improved the idea of […]


Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken

Posted by Sherry on 4/20/2015 in --September, Birthdays, Children's Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, General |

Before there were “steampunk” and “alternate history” and multiple volume fantasy series in children’s books, there was Joan Aiken’s The Wolves of Willoughby Chase sequence, made up of twelve middle grade novels “set in an imaginary period of English history which never took place: the reign of King James III, in the earlier part of […]


The Silver Pencil by Alice Dalgliesh

Posted by Sherry on 4/19/2015 in --October, Birthdays, General, Romance, Young Adult Fiction |

A 1945 Newbery Honor book, The Silver Pencil really isn’t a children’s book at all. It’s more of a young adult fiction book in the tradition of L.M. Montgomery’s sequels to Anne of Green Gables or her Emily of New Moon books, or maybe more like Little Women, the book that The Silver Pencil alludes […]


Happy Birthday Mr. Houseman and Mr. Frost

Posted by Sherry on 3/26/2015 in --March, Birthdays, Poets and poetry |

I am taking a blog break for Lent, but I thought I’d share some of my old posts from years gone by. I’ve been blogging at Semicolon since October, 2003, more than eleven years. This post is copied and edited from March 26, 2010. A.E. Houseman, b.1859. Loveliest of trees, the cherry Robert Frost, b.1874. […]


Happy Birthday, Monsieur Montaigne

Posted by Sherry on 2/28/2015 in --February, Around the World, Birthdays, France |

Michel de Montaigne, b. 1533. Advice for bloggers from Montaigne: Don’t discuss yourself, for you are bound to lose; if you belittle yourself, you are believed; if you praise yourself, you are disbelieved. When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and […]


Happy Birthday, HWL

Posted by Sherry on 2/27/2015 in --February, Birthdays, General, Poetry Project, Poets and poetry |

“The student has his Rome, his Florence, his whole glowing Italy, within the four walls of his library. He has in his books the ruins of an antique world and the glories of a modern one.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, b. 1807. It Is Not Always May: “Maiden, that read’st this simple rhyme, […]


Happy Birthday, Mr. Grimm

Posted by Sherry on 2/24/2015 in --February, Birthdays, Fantasy Fiction, Folktales, General |

Wilhelm Carl Grimm, b. 1786. While he and his brother Jacob were in law school, they began to collect folk tales. They collected, after many years, over 200 folk tales, including such famous ones as Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, The Bremen Town Musicians, and Rumpelstiltskin. Both Wilhelm and Jacob were librarians. […]


Happy Birthday, Mr. Dickens

Posted by Sherry on 2/7/2015 in --February, Birthdays, General |

Born on this date in 1812, Mr. Dickens has been delighting readers for over 150 years. Dickens Novels I’ve Read: David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol, Pickwick Papers, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend Dickens Novels I Have Yet to Enjoy: Hard Times, Dombey and Son, Bleak House, […]


October 25th

Posted by Sherry on 10/25/2014 in --October, Autumn, Birthdays, Celebrations, General, History |

1154: Henry II becomes King of England. Henry was married to the much older (nine to eleven years older) Eleanor of Aquitaine, who had been previously married to the King of France, Louis VII, until she managed to get her marriage annulled. Henry himself was nineteen years when he married Eleanor and only twenty-one when […]


Oscar Wilde, b.October 16, 1854, d.November 30, 1900

Posted by Sherry on 10/15/2014 in --October, Adult Fiction, Birthdays, General, Literary fiction |

Facts about Oscar Wilde that you may not have known: Oscar’s father, Sir William Wilde, was an ear and eye doctor, and his mother, Lady Jane Francesca Agnes Elgee Wilde, was a writer, poet, and translator. Oscar was profoundly affected by the death of his younger sister when she was ten years old, and for […]

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