Shena Mcauliffe

The Wonderland Awaits: Researching The Good Echo

Author Shena McAuliffe describes how she used JSTOR to research her debut novel, The Good Echo.
Charlotte Bronte

Sorry, but Jane Eyre Isn’t the Romance You Want It to Be

Charlotte Brontë, a woman whose life was steeped in stifled near-romance, refused to write love as ruly, predictable, or safe.
An empty bottle for opium tincture

When Doctors Took Opiates To Gain Credibility

Long before today's opioid epidemic, doctors shared stories of their own experiments with the drugs they prescribed their patients.
James Joyce in front of a flowery background

James Joyce’s NSFW Love Letters

The often explicit letters James Joyce wrote to Nora Barnacle contain the same mass of contradictions as his famous literary works, like Ulysses.
An illustration from an 1897 edition of Persuasion

The Physical Pleasures of Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Smoldering glances? Romantic letters? Forbidden love? Why Persuasion may be the most seductive of Jane Austen's novels.
A collection of romance novels

The Business of the Romance Novel

How romance novels—despite their decided lack of cultural clout—became big business for the publishing industry.
Silhouette de château illuminé par un orage, by Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo: Surrealist Artist

Victor Hugo created visual art that was intuitive, experimental, and inspired by Spiritualism. In other words, nothing like his novel Les Misérables.
Nancy Drew: The Clue of the Dancing Puppet

The Secret Syndicate behind Nancy Drew

If you remember your grade-school reading log, the Nancy Drew mysteries are by Carolyn Keene. Only she never existed.
An X-Men comic book cover

The Assimilationist Mythology of the X-Men

Stan Lee's X-Men comics explored themes of prejudice and bigotry. So why weren't the original comics that diverse?

A Book of Divination for the End of the World

The Falnama, or Book of Omens, combined apocalyptic representations from many sources. Say a prayer, ask your question, and flip to a random page.