Words matter. These are the best Amanda Foreman Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
Political correctness may make for smooth edges, but it does little for the imagination and nothing for the arts. Writers work best when they are exploring at the outer limits of what is traditional, acceptable, or conventional.
I would like to say a few things about that photo in ‘Tatler’. I have no regrets. The article was about the 20 cleverest people in England, covered up only by the thing that makes them clever. A saxophonist, for example, had only his saxophone, and an artist, his easel. So I was covered by books.
For America, 1812 became the war in which it had finally gained its independence. For Britain, 1812 became the skirmish it had contained, while winning the real war against its greatest nemesis, Napoleon.
We moved around so much when I was young. I was very shy, so shy that I would walk across the street if I saw someone I knew rather than deal with talking to them.
What makes ‘The Marriage of Souls’ such a wonderful book is Collins’s intricate reconstruction of the late eighteenth-century world. Simplicity and philosophy are the hallmarks of eighteenth-century art and architecture. The classically pure lines look deceptively simple and unburdened by heavy symbolism or imagery.
The historian Linda Colley has analysed how and why George III transformed himself from being a figure of ‘perfect hatred’ to the father of the country.
Teach her story to future generations, and at least the moral debt owed to Jean McConville can be repaid. Jean McConville. Jean McConville. Jean McConville.
When I read ‘The Master’, I felt that I had read a true classic. It’s so rare nowadays that you have that feeling: it was a privilege to read it.
As her life became more unhappy, acting attracted Marie-Antoinette because it fulfilled unmet emotional needs. By all accounts, she was quite good in her little private theatricals. But her desire to be a heroine, both literally and figuratively, was shocking to the French.
Politics is my second passion, but as a historian, you have to be genuinely neutral. You have failed in your primary duty as a historian if you are one side or the other.
With every generation comes a new wave of hopefuls: small-town escapees, European refugees, disaffected Londoners.
Contrary to popular belief, Henry VIII did not divorce any of his wives. He had sought an annulment from Catherine of Aragon – which he finally awarded to himself after the pope’s continued refusal. When it came to Anne’s turn, Henry took the easy route by having her found guilty of treason.
In 1861, Bachofen published his radical thesis that the Amazons were not a myth but a fact. In his view, humanity started out under the rule of womankind and only switched to patriarchy at the dawn of civilization.
For a country that makes such a fuss about love on the 14th of February, America has a funny way of showing it on the other 364 days of the year.
The photograph of the Queen sitting stiffly across the table from Glasgow resident Susan McCarron is so natural and expressive that it looks utterly fake. It looks like an artist’s portrait, complete with symbolism, humour and poignancy. No wonder the palace and the press have interpreted it in such different ways.
Every now and then, a writer emerges who just gets better and better. These are the really exciting ones to encounter. Their novels carry the promise of so much more to come. Warwick Collins is one such writer.
In New York, appearance is a form of currency or, at the very least, a calling card. One must look wealthy in order to be recognised as a person of worth.
I want my children to see what all my work leads to.
From Lady Carlisle’s trip to Moscow in 1663 to Veronica Atkinson’s tour of duty during the 1989 Romanian revolution, it is clear that very little has changed. Four hundred years of innovation, liberation, and improvement clearly bypassed the Foreign Office while making its rounds through Westminster.
It isn’t enough for a book to be transporting or entertaining; it must also come from a place of knowledge and an understanding of aesthetics. Even where a longlisted book wears its craftsmanship lightly, the power of the writing shines through.
When I was in my twenties, I strongly identified with Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ – her human failings mixed with a desire to do good.
What if everything you were told about the female was wrong?
As a working mother, wife, daughter, and daughter-in-law, I have to make constant moral choices. Every choice I make results in someone else suffering.
One of the reasons it is considered such a privilege to sit on a Man Booker jury is because it is famously rigorous. The judging is not a gig for lightweights. Not only are all five judges expected to have read all 155 books from beginning to end, but they have to be able to talk fluently about every book at length.
Almost the first thing Obama did in the White House was to return the bust of Winston Churchill to the British embassy. That suggests a major re-ordering of things. It’ll be fascinating to see what happens from now on. It was a genuine break with the recent past – perhaps to re-connect with the past past.
Over the years, the writers at DC Comics softened Wonder Woman’s powers in ways that would have infuriated Marston. During the 1960s, she was hardly wondrous at all, less a heroic warrior than the tomboyish girl next door. It was no longer clear whether she was meant to empower the girls or captivate the boys.
American histories were the same; they had these mad ideas about how Parliament worked, or what people really meant when they said A, B, or C. All my life, I felt simultaneously deracinated and rooted in both places, and now it’s my greatest strength: I’m culturally bilingual.
Despite the ever-increasing financial pressures experienced by writers and the ever-decreasing space afforded by the media to books, writers are still willing to aim for quality and to take risks.
There may be fewer women historians writing on traditionally ‘male’ subjects, but they are outstanding in the field – like Margaret MacMillan.
Today, we are fortunate that the historical novel has reached such extraordinary heights of technical mastery. The ability of society to connect with the past holds out the greatest hope for it being able to embrace the future.
The one cheering aspect of ‘Daughters of Britannia’ is the extraordinary tenacity and resilience of Hickman’s women.
I was a graduate student at Oxford when I discovered Georgiana.
We need to feminise history because we are 50 per cent of the population, and our story is just as interesting.
Foot-binding is said to have been inspired by a tenth-century court dancer named Yao Niang who bound her feet into the shape of a new moon. She entranced Emperor Li Yu by dancing on her toes inside a six-foot golden lotus festooned with ribbons and precious stones.
For centuries, divorce in the West was a male tool of control – a legislative chastity belt designed to ensure that a wife had one master, while a husband could enjoy many mistresses. It is as though, having denied women their cake for so long, the makers have no wish to see them enjoy it.
It might sound strange to describe New Yorkers as insecure when they delight so much in the cult of success. The display of wealth here, especially new wealth, is indeed wonderfully frank, from the super-long limousines which clog up the roads to the voluptuous fur coats that adorn both men and women.
The narrative of ‘man the hunter’ presupposes that men provided the nutrition, invented the tools, and established social organization and communication through the hunt, and that women were just sitting by the fire waiting for evolution to drag them out by the hair in the 1960s in order to participate.
For America, Britain has never been more than a strategic player, and when it suits them to use us, then there’s been a rapprochement. But if it doesn’t suit them, you’re kicked out the door. In 1860, America was like a big, spoilt teenager trying to get away from its parent.
Faro is a game of chance, essentially, with no skill involved. You bet against the bank, and the bank almost always wins.
I think that once you become a parent, you cease to think of yourself as a hero or heroine.