Out of Control

Mary Shelley’s original three-volume novel Frankenstein was published quietly and anonymously in 1818 to little acclaim. The Quarterly Review stonily observed: “Our taste and our judgment alike revolt at this kind of writing.... The author leaves us in doubt whether he is not as mad as his hero.” If they had guessed the author was in reality a young woman, only eighteen when she began her first draft, no doubt the critical chorus of disapproval would have been even more thunderous. It is astonishing that the book ever got written at all.
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Rome on the Hudson

The apparently hedonistic culture that emerged before World War I was a muddle of flagrant gestures toward personal liberation and subtle new forms of social coercion. Early-twentieth-century American society was on the verge of a reshuffling of values and power relations in which the rich would come out just fine. And New York City was where that new synthesis would be worked out, in all its messy and contradictory details.
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Outing the Inside
Louise Bourgeois called attention to emotions that most people prefer to keep hidden: shame, disgust, fear of abandonment, jealousy, anger.

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An Icy Conquest
“We are starved!” cried the sixty skeletal members of the English colony of Jamestown as provisions arrived in 1610.

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