The Family Poopes—and Other Delightful Things.
Greetings from historic Williamsburg, Virginia. Last night, I was interviewed by the great Christy S. Coleman at the Jamestown Settlement. It was wonderful to wander around town before the event (someone yelled at me, “hey, the Washington woman!”), chat with her creative, diverse staff (👀 Mount Vernon), and answer thoughtful questions from the audience. And a night alone in a cute hotel is always fun. (Not Dyer fun, but still fun.)
I’m headed home for just one night and then I’m off to a conference in the city. It’s a peripatectic stretch, but you can expect a “Behind the Book Review” newsletter this weekend; I think the Washington Post is running my essay in print and online this Sunday. In the meantime, here’s a random list of delightful little things!
MY MILL IS BETTER THAN YOURS
“THIS IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THE WORST WRITING I EVER LAID EYES ON.”
In 2016, Megan Mayhew-Bergman wrote about a bedridden, drunk Marlene Dietrich's marginalia.
Much was made of the lists, charts, and graphs that I included in my Washington biography. I’ve long suspected that other historians have a similar research process—I made them for myself!—but I’ve never met a kindred spirit quite like Isabella Rosner, a textile historian working on her Ph.D. at Kings College, London.
Along with the many Poopes, my favorites: Rich Whale, Job Bland, Love Beer, Peace Love, Charity Kill, Comfort Gripes, Plant Fry, Temperance Poor, Wilde Wilde, and…Jesus Christ.
WEIRDLY OPTIMISTIC HAMILTON
When I was fact-checking my forthcoming essay for Smithsonian Magazine, I noticed something new in a 1796 letter from Alexander Hamilton to George Washington:
“I rejoice that certain clouds have not lately thickened & that there is a prospect of a brighter horizon.”
FROM MY ARCHIVES
I didn’t know about the latest Rudy Giuliani scandal when I left New York on Tuesday night, but this shirt always sparks joy, so I was prepared when I landed in Virginia!
UPCOMING PUBLIC EVENTS
June 8th: In conversation with Cassandra Good. Avon Free Public Library. (Virtual)
June 14th: In conversation with Mattie Kahn. The Strand. NYC.
July 5th: In Conversation with Kate Storey. Off-site talk for New York Historical Society. Bryant Park, NYC.