Mary Ambree and Female Warriors

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of writers of fantasy talk about historical female warriors—the historicity of women marching into battle alongside men—and there’s obviously value in looking at history, because there are plenty of dumbasses out there who will be quick to say something stupid like, “But women didn’t march into battle! That’s dumb!” There will […]

Bruno Overload

This post deals with some recent readings I’ve done on the subject of Giordano Bruno. It’s divided into three parts: Recent Readings covers the books I read, and my reaction to them, with a special emphasis on the system of artificial memory (that is, how Bruno modified the classical art of memory/memory palace system) that was one of […]

Mr. Turner

It’s rare I see a film as full of human ugliness as Mr. Turner, and rarer still when it’s a biopic. It’s also rare to see a film as beautiful as Mr. Turner… and rarer still when it’s a biopic. But most of all, it’s rare to see a film as astute about history—inaccuracies and all— […]

Itaewon and the Imjin War (異胎圓 or 梨泰院?)

Update (11 Feb. 2015): Commentary on Facebook has been helpful, especially this comment by Heyjin Jeon: In 1457, King SeJo (Son of King Sejong) said to the Minister of Finance, “Make workhouses for poor people at Bojewon, Hongjewon, Itaewon.”It’s before Imjin War. I think “梨泰院” listens like “梨泰院” and people made new meaning about the name. […]

Tallow, The Baltic Trade and Filthy, Shadowy Georgian London

I was surprised, a while back, to discover that all isinglass in Georgian England was imported from the Baltic. But wouldn’t know you, that’s where they got tallow, too. Tallow, of course, was used to make cheap candles and soap. In the Georgian Era, tallow candles were the ones that got everyday use, while wax […]