Archives: Samuel Johnson

Fanny Burney: paving the way for Jane Austen and the Brontes

October 31, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, Women writers and journalists, writers.

Before there was Jane Austen, before there was George Eliot, before there were Charlotte and Emily Bronte — before even women were supposed to be able to write in this new developing form called a novel — there was Fanny Burney (1752-1840). Burney, daughter of Dr. Charles Burney, a well-known scholar and music teacher of the second half • Read More »

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Shakespeare’s appearance, Eleanor’s mastery, and Cronkite’s broadcast – plus a new book giveaway: newsletter, March 2, 2018

March 5, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | 2 Comments | Filed in: journalism, newsletter, watercolor, writing.

One of the seminal events in America’s long involvement in Vietnam occurred 50 years ago this past week. CBS newscaster Walter Cronkite — often called “the most trusted man in America” — narrated a prime-time documentary that called into question the American government’s rosy predictions about the war’s progress. Cronkite did not come out against the war. Rather, he said:

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Inside the making of a dictionary

March 1, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | 3 Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, writers, writing.

Dictionaries are marvels of any language. But English has resisted the orderly cataloguing that has been routine for many other tongues. Early lexicographers believed they could impose some necessary order on the language by setting down spellings and definitions and making them permanent. But the language quickly showed them who was boss.

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