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Below are the 4 most recent journal entries recorded in sonetka's LiveJournal:

    Monday, October 27th, 2014
    11:01 pm
    Gone Girl
    Before starting, let it be known that today is the ninety-second anniversary of W.W. Sterrett's unsolved murder by arsenical wedding cake, which I wrote a post about here. As I recently edited it to include what happened to his wife, which I didn't know at the time I wrote it last year, I think this justifies linking to it again. Short version of the wife's fate: there's little documentation, but what there is doesn't contain much that's dramatic. After her husband's bizarre poisoning death, she moved in with her mother for a while, but was gone from her mother's house by 1930, going by census reports. At some point before 1935, and probably earlier, she took the in-context dramatic step of actually leaving the state (going by the records I had found earlier, every single family member of both of these people was in Pennsylvania and always had been) and moved to Chautauqua, New York. OK, so Chautauqua is about as close as you can get to Pennsylvania without actually crossing the state line, but it still seems like a symbolic break. Or, more realistically, since Mrs. Sterrett was a nurse and Chautauqua was the sort of place people liked to retire to, she may have gone there for a job. Regardless of her motive, she seems to have stayed there the rest of her life. She died in 1965.

    And now from a real mystery to a fictional one. By last weekend, A. and I had heard so much about Gone Girl that it was clear that waiting for the DVD would be impossible if we wanted to avoid knowing the whole story ahead of time. So off we went and settled in for a nice, dramatic rendition of Who's The Real Psychopath Here? Which, for the first three-quarters of the movie, it was. If it had ended about two hours in, it would have been grim but really good. After two and half hours, though ... well, I'll put it this way. I was talking about it with a friend and she said that ultimately, the point of the movie wasn't realism, it was to make us examine our perception of gender roles. I didn't agree: first of all, there's no reason you can't examine gender roles and have a coherent story at the same time, and second, it actually achieved the opposite with me -- the pileon of WTFery at the end drove away all other thoughts except "How did that happen? There's no way that would happen!" and gender roles remained tragically unexamined. Spoilers ahead, of course.

    Earn Your Unhappy EndingCollapse )
    Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
    10:23 pm
    Arsenic And Old Cake
    While taking a breather from the sixteenth century (my God, the Anne Boleyn books NEVER END, I really had no idea what I was taking on there) I wrote this post -- the story of a Pennsylvania accountant poisoned by an anonymously-sent slice of arsenical wedding cake. This happened in 1922, and what with the ironclad alibis, all-too-talkative neighbours, and bizarre, overly noticeable conveyance for the poison -- not to mention the fact that the poison was arsenic -- it's made me wonder if the Golden Age detective writers were more into gritty realism than we think.

    Happy Halloween!
    Friday, June 1st, 2012
    11:12 pm
    Here And There
    I've always enjoyed reading Tudor novels (yes, even before Philippa Gregory made it big). As time has gone by and I've filled my spare moments with one fictional Anne Boleyn after another, my inner student's urge to Compare And Contrast finally became too much. This LJ didn't really seem like the place for it, so if you want, you can get your fill at The Head That Launched A Thousand Books.

    I'm planning on doing a book a week, and with the current state of publishing, that could easily keep me going as long as Pepys's Diary, so drop by any time!

    Current Mood: crazy
    Thursday, June 3rd, 2004
    11:26 pm
    La Vita Nuova
    Quick note: due to various reasons (most of them stemming from my own depressed brain, I'll freely admit) I've decided that I'll be more comfortable with this journal being friends-only. I don't think that affects too many people, but if you've been lurking and want to be added, leave a comment and I can fix that for you.
    I'm deleting comments to this entry after you've been added to my friends list, but rest assured it's nothing personal; just trying to keep the place looking neat, that's all :).

    Current Mood: uncomfortable
The Head That Launched A Thousand Books (Anne Boleyn in Fiction)   About