Best of the Season to You!

Posted by ractrose on 25 Dec 2019 in Nonfiction

    And, for today, I have a small historical anecdote, from the American Civil War, with a certain lesson to be derived.      Respect the Flag   A day or two after we established headquarters at the City Hall, the national flag was hanging over the street, when one of the principal ladies […]

Assorted Opinions: They

Posted by ractrose on 16 Nov 2019 in Nonfiction

  Assorted Opinions They                   2020 seems a bad time for the Democrats to become the party of pronouns. History shows, of course, that they can pull it off, this snatching of defeat from the jaws of victory… And liberal forces appear to be gathering towards a […]

Frédéric Boutet: The Ghost of M. Imberger (part four)

Frédéric Boutet The Ghost of M. Imberger (part four)                             “They say to me that you are an intelligent man, sure and adept, and I believe it,” he said, when we were alone. “Listen to me. I returned yesterday from a long […]

Of Cats and Birds (non-fiction)

Posted by ractrose on 12 Oct 2019 in Nonfiction

  Readers, I wrote the essay below a couple of years ago, in response to the thinly supported “science” that is routinely trotted out when the subject of bird losses comes back into the news. Recently we’ve been hearing that 1/4 of the bird population is gone, which didn’t happen overnight. We haven’t been paying […]

Baron Haussmann’s story about George Sand (conclusion)

From Mémoires de baron Haussmann, 1890 (conclusion)           I had taken care to forewarn the Lieutenant of the Gendarmerie, and upon our return to the Sous-Préfecture, we found him ready to leave with a brigade. The expedition was put in motion without delay, and in good order, thanks to the post-chaise […]

Baron Haussmann’s story about George Sand (part one)

From Mémoires de baron Haussmann, 1890                 George Sand at Nérac   Before I speak of what came next, I must tell a rather curious episode that arose during the last days of my life as a youth. I had been presented by M. le Marquis de Lusignan, […]

Assorted Opinions: Parity (non-fiction)

Posted by ractrose on 28 Sep 2019 in Nonfiction

  Assorted Opinions Parity                   In the novel I’m currently writing, All Bedlam Courses Past (Bedlam for short), one of the characters is a sometime actress. Being not attached to a company, she finds far fewer opportunities on the stage than her husband. He can play the […]

La Catastrophe de la Martinique: seventy-five

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (seventy-five)                       Readers, this post ends the book (!), and so next week a new Translation Thursday project begins. This time, stories from the Golden Age of mystery, by the author Frédéric Boutet.       XLVII Fear […]

La Catastrophe de la Martinique: seventy-four

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (seventy-four)                   The rest of the night passed in great anxiety. We saw flames coursing over the hills, illumination enough to see the flight of numerous persons, while others were passing on the main road, announcing they would go to […]

La Catastrophe de la Martinique: seventy-three

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (seventy-three)             Among the establishments worth calling attention to, we cite again the Government House, the Town Hall, the Bank, the Bishop’s Palace, certain rum factories, the Perinelle sugar refinery, the Bethlehem Asylum, the Customs Warehouse, the Navy Barracks, and the Colonial Hospital […]