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Vaguely prompted by [personal profile] skygiants's post on Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's race around the world, I've been thinking about badass women of the late 19th century, and remembered Hertha Ayrton, who I think should be used in steampunk way more than she is.

"Who is Hertha Ayrton?" you are probably asking. I actually didn't know about her until I went to a museum exhibit fairly recently.

Zombie Marie Curie wants you to be one of today's lucky ten thousand! )

And yet, despite all this, I've never seen her represented in fiction, even though she seems a natural fit for steampunk. She got a Google doodle, and there are a couple steampunk-themed games that have her as a character, but really, that's it. But there are so many possibilities: arc lamp pyrotechnics! action scenes in the air/water where she harnesses the power of vortices! alternate history where Ayrton fans were in widespread use! And to be honest, I'm getting a little tired of Ada Lovelace being the one female historical character in Victorian-set fantasy, and would like to see more representation of women who grew up in humbler backgrounds.

Though, actually, when researching this I learned that there is actually *one* novel based on Hertha Ayrton's life: The Call by her stepdaughter Edith Ayrton Zangwill about a woman scientist and suffragist. I should read it and see if it's any good!
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Hi everyone! I'd been thinking for a while that I might want to use DW as a place to publicly post my reactions/reviews of various media and similar -- and now there are people coming in from tumblr, might not be a bad time to start.

Recently I heard Grieg's Holberg suite and remembered that I really like it, so I went to look up a version on YouTube, and found the Camerata Nordica performance, which I highly recommend. It's worth watching the video and not just listening:, with the performers playing standing up with no sheet music, Baroque-style, with great body language. I'm reminded of the string quartet bits in Fire and Hemlock.

I then went and looked for other YouTube videos by Camerata Nordica, but unfortunately there are only a handful on Youtube: also, the group dissolved in 2016 due to serious issues with management, though it seems to have recently revived as the Aurora Chamber Orchestra. However, one of the things I did find was a clip from an open rehearsal which features audience reactions from some truly adorable kids.
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A year or two ago at Milk and Cookies [personal profile] dr_whom read aloud The Pirate Princess, a fairy tale written by Rabbi Nachman in 1815 with an impressively empowered female protagonist. I was recently reminded of this by discussion elsewhere on DW, and found the wikisource version of the story which calles it The King and the Emperor. I decided I would write a Good Parts retelling of the story, which I am now posting here:

In which the Princess outsmarts everybody in sight )

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Alison

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