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Jean Ritchie and the dulcimer revival — and much more; your pet peeves about English

This newsletter was sent to those on Jim’s email list (4,189) on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. Hi, Last week’s entry about America’s first published poet, Anne Bradstreet, brought this from one of our newsletter readers, Robin K., who has done a good bit of genealogical research on her family: I thought that name looked familiar – I’m […]

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Jean Ritchie (watercolor 2017)

Jean Ritchie: 60-plus years of contributions to American music and culture

If you play the dulcimer, you owe Jean Ritchie a debt of thanks. If you have heard a dulcimer, seen one — or even know what one is, Jean Ritchie is the person responsible. Ritchie died in 2015 at the age of 92 (her birthday is Dec. 8, 1922), and she is known to many […]

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The Puritan woman who was America’s first published poet; another true crime podcast recommendation; expensive misspellings

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,228) on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. Hi,  In America, we have just celebrated Thanksgiving Day with a big meal, maybe a football game or a nap, and (I hope) a thankful thought or two. I am, of course, thankful for all you readers to this newsletter. It’s […]

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Anne Bradstreet, Puritan wife and mother and America’s first published poet

Nay Masculines, you have thus taxt us long, But she, though dead, will vindicate our wrong, Let such as say our Sex is void of Reason, Know ‘tis a Slander now, but once was Treason. Those lines, written in Massachusetts Bay colony before 1650 and referring to Queen Elizabeth I, are a gentle but firm response […]

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