Author Archives: Vanessa Wilkie

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Posted on Dec. 3, 2018 by Vanessa Wilkie
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The family feud between England's Queen Elizabeth I (1533–1603) and her cousin, the Scottish Queen Mary (1542–1587)—not "Bloody" Mary, Elizabeth's half-sister—has fascinated people since the 16th...
Posted on Dec. 13, 2017 by Vanessa Wilkie
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In April 1917, the Cambria set sail from London for New York. Most of the passengers had no idea that one of the world’s great libraries...
Posted on Dec. 19, 2016 by Vanessa Wilkie
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I wrote my first serious history paper in 7th grade on the Battle of Hastings—the epic scene in 1066 when Duke William II of Normandy invaded England defeating the Saxon King Harold. After the battle...
Posted on May. 31, 2016 by Vanessa Wilkie
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In the early 1980s, Mary Robertson, then chief curator of manuscripts, had an unusual meeting with a film production designer. Robertson was...
Posted on Aug. 28, 2015 by Vanessa Wilkie
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We love to hate villains. Harry Potter’s Lord Voldemort horrifies us with his flagrant use of the Unforgivable Curses. Before him, Darth Vader of Star Wars fame was the true embodiment of evil as he...
Posted on Aug. 4, 2015 by Vanessa Wilkie
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The Huntington’s Ellesmere Chaucer, an illuminated manuscript produced around the year 1400, is the most handsome extant...
Posted on Jul. 21, 2015 by Vanessa Wilkie
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A popular rule of etiquette recommends avoiding two topics in polite conversation: politics and religion. I would add a third—grammar. No discussion becomes more heated than a debate over whether it...

Recent Posts

Oct. 16, 2019 by Bill Brown
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In the summer of 1919, from the pages of the Oakland Tribune, Professor Albert Porta predicted a "terrific weather cataclysm" for December 17—an event that would end the world ...
Oct. 9, 2019 by Usha Lee McFarling
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The Huntington has joined an ambitious effort to collect and preserve the biodiversity of all species on Earth ...
Oct. 2, 2019 by Lauren Rodriguez
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With his back turned to us, a mechanic is the focal point of Hugo Gellert's painting Worker and Machine (1928), currently on view in the Virginia Steele Scott Gallery of American Art ...

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