Review: Caroline Lawrence’s The Roman Mysteries

Last year I became a graduate with a degree in Ancient History and History. I loved it, and the main reason I decided to study the degree was because it included the ancient world. However, I was not exposed to the world of Classics or Ancient History whilst I was at school. So why would I become so interested in the subject? The answer to this question is the work of Caroline Lawrence and her Roman Mysteries. I’m not a bookworm, but Lawrence’s books appealed to my love of solving mysteries and history. The series consist of seventeen books that follow the life and adventures of Flavia...

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Film Review: The Brand New Testament

When I go to YouTube, I watch any film trailer that shows a girl in the screengrab, especially if I’ve never heard of the film. This can lead to a few enjoyable hours researching films, stars and directors I have never heard of. Yet even for a lifelong film buff, it can be hard to commit to watching an entire film, rather than just reading about it. But when I saw the trailer for Jaco Van Dormael’s religious fantasy/comedy film The Brand New Testament, I knew I had to watch it right away. The Brand New Testament begins with God living in Brussels with his silent wife and ten-year-old...

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Book Review: The Nightingale

For me, 2016 has been a year of historical fiction, diving into the depths of true events told through the lives of made-up characters and their imaginary relationships. To me, historical fiction brings to life the events in a way that is more relatable than reading about it in terms of dates and numbers. This all remains true for the novel The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah, which tells the story of two sisters coming of age in France during WWII as it is remembered by one of the girls decades after the war. Both girls take a different approach in how they react to the onset and fallout of...

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Girls Undercover: Rosemary and Thyme

Name: Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme Occupation: Gardeners, amateur sleuths Location: England, and occasionally continental Europe As seen in: British television series Rosemary and Thyme Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme are accidental sleuths. Rosemary is an experienced botanist and plant pathologist, who meets Laura Thyme at a bed and breakfast near the home of a friend with diseased trees in their garden. Laura is staying at the B&B because her husband left her for a younger woman, and the two become fast friends when a murder occurs on the property where Rosemary is working and...

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Review: Ofelia, from Pan’s Labyrinth

Warning: This post contains spoilers! My favourite film of all time is Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t ruin it for you – but needless to say, watch it! I wanted to write something about the main character of the film, a girl named Ofelia, a character equally tragic as her namesake, Shakespeare’s Ophelia, because for me she is a brilliant young female hero. In short, Ofelia is a child who comes to believe she is the reincarnation of Princess Moanna of the Underworld through meeting a mysterious faun in a labyrinth, all set against the backdrop of brutal...

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Review: Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear exhibition

I recently visited the Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London where corsets of different sizes, colours, and materials were on display. All were beautifully crafted with incredible details sewn onto the bodices. The corset that caught my attention, however, was the one you see to the left. It is made from a densely woven fabric called ‘coutille’ that was able to stand up to the tension caused when the corset was being tightened. The corset itself is light brown with the whalebone strips running from top to bottom of the bodice being...

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Girls Undercover: Veronica Mars

Name: Veronica Mars Occupation: High school student and part-time private investigator Location: Neptune, CA As seen in: Veronica Mars (TV series, 2004-2007), Veronica Mars (2014 film), and the Veronica Mars book series, published as a continuation of the film in 2014 by Rob Thomas Veronica Mars is a high school student and private investigator living in Neptune, California in the mid-2000s. She works under her father, the former sheriff of Neptune, who lost his job in a blunder over an unsolved murder case that put the city’s most famous family under scrutiny. Veronica is increbdily...

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Girls Undercover: Harriet the Spy

Name: Harriet M. Welsch Occupation: Fictional spy and fifth grader Location: New York City’s Upper East Side, 1960s As seen in: Louise Fitzhugh’s 1964 novel; Nickolodeon’s 1996 film adaptation of the novel; Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars, a 2010 Disney Channel TV adaptation Harriet M. Welsch, a fictional character created by Louise Fitzhugh in her famous 1964 novel and known the world over as Harriet the Spy, is an eleven-year-old aspiring journalist living on the Upper East Side of New York in the 1960s. Largely ignored by her parents and raised by her nanny Ole Golly, Harriet...

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Girls in Video Games: Lara Croft

Lara Croft is the iconic English female archaeologist character from the Square Enix franchise Tomb Raider, who first appeared in the 1996 video game of the same name. She’s known for being both smart and beautiful but also willing to wade through dangerous situations in order to explore ancient ruins and tombs in countries around the world. Toby Gard and Core Design are responsible for the initial creation of the character, who was reportedly inspired by singer Neneh Cherry and the comic book character Tank Girl. I have a really strong interest in ancient sites and the cultures that they...

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Girl Soldiers: Mulan

Mulan is a Disney movie which was released in 1998 and tells the story of Fa Mulan – a woman who impersonates her father in order to take his place when a general conscription is brought in by the Han Dynasty to battle against the Hun invasion. This movie is based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan who was a warrior from the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420 – 589) who was trained in martial arts and took her father’s place in the army. She ended up fighting for 12 years. Mulan was a different type of Disney movie – instead of the female being rescued by the male hero she was the hero...

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