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velkommen

Welcome. This is my blog, and you're my most coveted guest. If I seem a bit too intense, it's only because I have so much that I want to share with you, and I can see that you're eager to begin as well. So, please...make yourself at home, sip an East India cocktail (I blended the pomegranate juice myself), and sample some of my domestic and imported Arcana: useless, but fascinating information about Victoriana, Steampunk and other favoured topics; music which evokes that dark, lost Lenore sensibility; and other pleasant or, perhaps, unsettling non sequiters whispered in a darkened room. Linger long or short, leave a comment or refrain, but remember to come back soon to play a (shhhh) parlour game.
Velkommen. Dette er min blog, og du er min mest eftertragtedegæst. Hvis jeg synes en smule for intenst, det er kunfordi jeg har så meget at jeg vil dele med jer, og jeg kanse, at du er ivrig efter at begynde så godt. kan du ...føl dig hjemme, sip et East India cocktail (jeg blandetden granatæble juice mig selv), og prøve nogle af mine indenlandske o importerede Arcana: ubrugelig, menfascinerende oplysninger om Victoriana, Steampunkog andre begunstigede emner; musik der fremkalderdenne mørke, mistede Lenore sensibilitet, og andrebehagelige eller måske foruroligende, ikke sequitershviskede i et mørkelagt rum. Linger lang eller kort,efterlade en kommentar eller afstå, men husk at komme tilbage snart til at spille en (Shhhh) selskabsleg.

ABOUT ME

My photo

I love my grown children, miss all the dogs I ever had, and I cry at the drop of a hat, I believe in true love, destiny, fairness, and compassion. If I could be anywhere right now, it would be the ocean. My favorite city is New York, but I am always longing for London and craving more time in Copenhagen. I'm drawn to desolate places, deserted buildings, and unknown byways. I don't care how society perceives me as long as my gut tells me that what I'm doing is right. I am interested in paranormal things, spiritual things, historical things, and things that glow at night. I like to drink, I smoke when I write, I can't stand small talk, and despite my quick temper, I would rather kiss than fight. I'm selfish with my writing time, a spendthrift with my love. My heart has been broken so many times that it's held together with super glue and duct tape. The upside is that, next time, I won't be tempted to give away what I no longer have to give. But I will let you buy me a Pink Squirrel.

Fuldmane

Fuldmane
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Helvede's så Nocturne

Helvede's så Nocturne
The raw, aching sadness with which the following words were typed has been reformatted to fit your screen. No need to adjust it. All names have been expunged to protect the innocent and the willfully insane.

Nocturne in G Flat major

Chopin, darkness, light, sand and wind, starlight tread. Beethoven, love, fear, madness, redemption in the night. Liszt, waltzing widows, desperate bargains, pleasure's secret plight. Now, then, before, always, forever. Promises made on lonely beaches, celestial summer's perfect kiss, passions quenched in salty breezes, the lure of distant mist-draped heights. Bitter interlude. Final, private nocturne. Burned down like a candle. Doomed bleeding beauty. Fated sacrificial night.
To be continued...

Gentle Visitor

Gentle Visitor
And now, Gentle Visitor, won't you please lend an eye (we've worked so hard)...
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
We love all things dark and mysterious, macabre and obscure, odd and unfathomable. Nothing is too strange or bizarre for our little blog. And although we would never presume to offer definitive answers to the great questions of life, we shall do our best to enlighten, inform and delight our visitors with our whimsical potpurri of facts, anecdotes, trivia and informational outpourings. We strive not to offend, but to edify those who wish to reach beyond their comfort zone and touch the fabric of another time and place, and of distant, but genuine worlds and lives. As Victorian-themed blogs go, ours may not be the most austere, nor the most comprehensive, but we know what we like, and if our readers like it as well, then all is as it should be in this ramshackle corner of our own personal Victorian empire.

A Musical Note

A Musical Note: We feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by one or more of the following musical selections. Then again, we also feel that our blog is best viewed when accompanied by a glass of absinthe, a bite of lemon cake, and a foot massage (preferably by someone you know). So, to paraphrase the otherwise completely irrelevant-to-our-blog Mr. Aleister Crowley, "Do what thou wilt...but be open to Chopin."
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And now we begin

And now we begin
"One must strive to show decorum even when scrolling." Queen Victoria, Buckingham Palace Blog, August 11,1879

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

THADDEUS STEVENS UPDATE



THADDEUS STEVENS

Yes, the title of this post is actually what is says...a Thaddeus Stevens update...and we take great pleasure in it since it's a safe bet that this is the only "Thaddeus Stevens Update" you'll be reading anytime soon. But we just want to be clear. In our last post, in which we waxed eloquent about "Lincoln", the new movie by Steven Speilberg, we spent a fair amount of time praising Tommy Lee Jones' portrayal of Thaddeus Stevens, the liberal politician whose commitment to the abolishment of slavery had a great deal to do with the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment, sometimes known as The Emancipation Proclamation, which occupied the last four months of Abraham Lincoln's life...and which is also the focus of the movie. But while praising Jones, we referred to a scene in the movie in which, as Thaddeus Stevens, we see him in bed with his housekeeper, a black woman called Lydia Hamilton Smith, played by S. Epatha Merkerson (Law And Order). We wrote that, since there is no historical evidence that Stevens and Smith were actually romantically involved, it appeared that the scene was included in the movie to bolster Stevens' image as a man not only committed to establishing equality between blacks and whites, but whose personal life also reflected his public stance. Well, there is still no historical evidence that Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton Smith shared a bed, but we were so enamored of the character as portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones that we have done some additional research...and we want to tell you what we've learned.


LYDIA HAMILTON SMITH

As it turns out, Stevens and Smith enjoyed a long and multi-tiered partnership that began in 1847 when Stevens hired Smith, a widow with two sons, to manage his household and businesses in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Because Stevens never married, rumors regarding the nature of his relationship with Smith were always an issue for the pair, especially after she accompanied him to Washington D.C. where she not only continued overseeing the managment of his household, but assumed the role of hostess during social events as well. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Smith was the product of a union between a white Irish mother and a Black father, and, prior to her relationship with Stevens, had been married to a free black man. However, Smith and her husband separated after the birth of their sons, and she raised them alone, as members of Stevens' household, which also included his two orphaned nephews. Smith was keenly interested in business matters and had a natural aptitude for dealing with finances. This was apparently a strong connection between her and Stevens, who encouraged her to embark on a career of her own. Using the business contacts, as well as the business management skill she had acquired through her association with Stevens, Smith eventually became the owner of several properties in Lancaster and Washington D.C., as well as the proprietor of a well-known boarding house which frequently played host to powerful members of the U.S. legislature and even a number of foreign dignitaries.


THADDEUS STEVENS HOUSE IN WASHINGTON D.C.

Although Stevens and Smith never responded to the rumors that they were more than just business partners and good friends, there is some historical evidence that both were involved in the Underground Railroad, helping slaves to escape to the North before and during the Civil War. Regardless of whether that was the case, it's at least clear that Thaddeus Stevens and Lydia Hamilton Smith were two extraordinary individuals who deserve to be rememembered for their joint role in altering the way that their contemporaries viewed relations between blacks and whites.

And so there you have it...your one and only Thaddeus Stevens update for this and most likely any other day. If you want to know more, we encourage you to visit http://www.stevensandsmith.org/ for more details and links.

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