A Thoroughly Dislikable Character

Undine Spragg was one of the most dislikable heroines Edith Wharton ever created. This social “swell,” star of the novel, The Custom of the Country, ruthlessly trampled over family, friends, and enemies alike in her quest to rise as far as possible above her humble Apex, Kansas roots. There was hardly a redeeming word to… [Read More]

Wicked Jack, a Classic Halloween Tale – Presented Live Friday, October 31st at 1:00p.m.

Being a native of North Carolina, I love the colorful folktales of Appalachia that have been passed on from generation to generation. “Meaner than a rattlesnake” Wicked Jack was one of my favorites. Some say this folktale explains the origin of Halloween jack-o-lanterns!  I “dug around’ to find as many retellings of this folktale as… [Read More]

A Quiet Rebel

Edith Wharton was my kind of rebel:  A quiet, well-behaved one.  She tended to take practices that were rigidly defined by the Victorian society in which she grew up (entertaining, decorating, traveling, learning, gardening) and “rewrite”them according to her own specifications. In a recent issue of Slate Magazine, Kate Bolick takes a close look at… [Read More]

Questions From Kids #1: How Long Did It Take You to Finish Your First Book, Wicked Jack?

It took me three weeks plus 10 years. I first heard the story when I was in Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago in 1975 and it made me laugh. Ten years later (and by that time I was married with four children!) it popped into my mind and I started wondering if… [Read More]

Edith Wharton Scorned

The 2002 book Hell Hath No Fury, edited by Anna Holmes, is a collection of letters written by women at that excruciating, pathetic, heartbreaking, spent, disgusted, disillusioned moment when an affair is ending. Included in the contents, under the heading “The Silent Treatment,”is a 1910 letter from Edith Wharton to her lover, Morton Fullerton, who… [Read More]

Monitor by James Tertius deKay Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Monitor; The Story of the Legendary Civil War Ironclad and the Man Whose Invention Changed the Course of History by James Tertius deKay. Ballantine Books, 1997.  247 pages; $11.95 (paperback). Reading level: high school/adult. Building on the premise that it was not the more famous land battles that determined the outcome of the Civil War… [Read More]

Ladies and Not-So Gentle Women by Alfred Allan Lewis Reviewed by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge

Ladies and Not-So-Gentle Women;Elisabeth Marbury,Anne Morgan, Elsie de Wolfe, Anne Vanderbilt, and Their Times by Alfred Allan Lewis.  Penguin, 2000.  540 pages; $18.00 (paperback).  Reading level:  adult. Four big-spending Gilded Age women would seem to have nothing to contribute to the rough and tumble politics of women’s rights near the turn of the 20th century. … [Read More]

Connie is Committed to Providing Great Resources for Educators, Librarians, and Writers. See Connie’s List…

Lesson plans for Just Fine the Way They Are Two education instructors from Earlham College created these 3 lesson plans in Comprehension, Social Studies-Transportation, and Writing to accompany my book about the National Road. >> View/Download lesson plans & resources Just Fine the Way They Are is available as a Book, CD, or Cassette Two education instructors from Earlham College created these… [Read More]

The National Road Yard Sale Happens May 29th – June 2nd, 2013

The National Road Yard sale (in the Richmond, IN area) begins on Wednesday, June 29th.  Click here for information on other Yard Sales along The Road. About the National Road President Thomas Jefferson signed legislation for the first federally funded highway in 1803 – and the rest is history! The Road is commonly known as US… [Read More]

USS Monitor Crewmembers Buried

The year 2012 marked the 150th anniversary of both the launch and the sinking of USS Monitor. The news continues in 2013. On Friday, March 8, 151 years after they went down with the Monitor, two unknown sailors were buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. In case you missed it, you can… [Read More]