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Let Us Go Then

This begins the seven-episode Kindle Serial "An Experience Definitely Worth Allegedly Having: Travel Stories From The Hairpin." (Episode Two, by Maria Bustillos, is excerpted here.) READ MORE

Marvelous Spinster Barbara Pym At 100

A note in Barbara Pym's diary instructs: "Read some of Jane Austen's last chapters and find out how she manages all the loose ends." Next entry, a fairly typical one: "The Riviera Cafe, St. Austell is decorated in shades of chocolate brown. Very tasteless, as are the cakes." This was written in 1952. She was 38, had published two novels, Some Tame Gazelle and the resplendent Excellent Women, and was at work on the next. It had taken 15 years of dutiful revising and circulating it around for Some Tame Gazelle to find a publisher. During the rewrites she had tried to heed her agent's advice to "be more wicked, if necessary." READ MORE

How To Be Old: Two Women, Their Husbands, Their Cats, Their Alchemy

"Beauty is a responsibility like anything else, beautiful women have special lives like prime ministers but I don't want that." READ MORE

How To Be A Monster: Life Lessons From Lord Byron

In 1816, a young doctor named John Polidori was offered the position as traveling physician to George Gordon, Lord Byron. Polidori was saturnine, caustic, ambitious, well-educated and handsome. He had graduated from medical school at 19 (as unusual then as now) and this offer came not a year later. Over the objections of his family, he accepted. Polidori had literary ambitions; here was an amazingly famous poet asking him to join him on a tour of the Continent. It must have felt like fate was tugging him along. In confirmation of how well things were going, a publisher offered him 500 pounds to keep a diary of his travels with the poet (500 pounds... in 1816). READ MORE

My Attempt To Make Elderflower Cordial

A series about foods we miss and our quests to recreate them. READ MORE

How To Give Birth To A Rabbit

Mary Toft was 23 when she gave birth to her first rabbit. Other rabbits—six, seven, eight of them—followed. It was 1726. Toft lived in Godalming, a small rural town in Surrey; news of the births skipped its way to London, and the king's anatomist was dispatched to investigate. He was unimpressed with Mary, describing her as "of a very stupid and sullen Temper." Nevertheless, after witnessing a rabbit birth himself—the 15th!—he returned to London convinced of the extraordinary, preternatural nature of the births. (And why not, amazing things happen to stupid country people all the time: they're sold magic beans, they haul talking fish out of the water, they give birth to rabbits.) This was in November. By the end of December, the entire thing was revealed as a hoax. Mary was charged as a "Notorious and Vile Cheat" and sent to Bridewell. READ MORE

Victoria Grayson's Unfortunate History As A Hamptons Hostess, In Chronological Order

• Last night's Charity Wine Auction: Two guests kidnapped from elevator as they're leaving the party. READ MORE

On Advice To Kids

When my friends started having children, as much as I thought about what role I'd play in their kids' lives, it was as the sort of friend of the family who, when you're teetering through teenagerdom and your early 20s, takes you out to lunch or dinner (often arriving, fortuitously, when you're most off course and down-at-heel), gives you Rilke and Asimov and the Brontes at the junctures when they can do their most good, takes your ambitions seriously, lets you be yourself while providing some calibrating sense of what the world at large will eventually expect from your conversation, etc. I had a couple such 'aunts' myself, my mom's best friends; they were essential to me. Not that I considered any of this too closely (I spent as much concentrated time guessing at the number of jelly beans in the jar during the baby showers); there was only a hazy assumption of future lunches and dinners, future me, breezy and perfumed and self-contained, like an older Colette character, the future kid at some gawky, giraffed stage of impending adulthood. If I had turned out prosperous, I would get to say extravagant things like: "Here's plane fare for Andalusia!" And if I had not: "Here is a copy of Steppenwolf. When you're older the memory of how much you loved this book will make you cackle but never mind that now." READ MORE

11 Liz Taylor Things It Was Fun To Watch & Read While "Liz And Dick" Was On

1. Elizabeth Taylor as Helen Burns in the 1943 version of Jane Eyre. READ MORE

How To Get Your Lion Back When It Runs Away: Life Lessons From Tippi Hedren

Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith on the set of Roar.
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