Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

Sor Juana, Founding Mother of Mexican Literature

How a 17th-century nun wrote poetry, dramas, and comedies that took on the inequities and double standards women faced in society.
Algonquin Round Table

The Lonely Hearts of the Algonquin Round Table

The "Vicious Circle" of the Algonquin Round Table included sharp-tongued wits like Dorothy Parker and Alexander Woollcott. But it wasn't always vicious.
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.
Front cover of "The Boys of New York" v.11 no.561

The Periodicals That Shaped American Boyhood

19th-century "story papers" gave boys stories they liked, while also encouraging readers to contribute their own material and tell their own stories.
An illustration from War of the Worlds

What The War of the Worlds Had to Do with Tasmania

H.G. Wells's famous science fiction novel imagines what would happen if Martians did to Great Britain what Europeans did to Tasmania.
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.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Percy Bysshe Shelley

Mary Shelley’s Obsession with the Cemetery

The author of Frankenstein always saw love and death as connected. She visited the cemetery to commune with her dead mother. And with her lover.
Truman Capote

How Truman Capote Advanced the New Journalism

In Cold Blood changed the face of journalism. And yet years after its publication, we are still asking: how much of it was factually true?
Charles Dickens in 1858 writing at a desk

Charles Dickens and Fame vs. Celebrity

Many of our current celebrities are famous for being famous. Charles Dickens, the first self-made global media star, would've had a lot to say about this.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“The Yellow Wallpaper” and Women’s Pain

Charlotte Gilman wrote her famous short story in response to her own experience having her pain belittled and misunderstood by a male physician.