Stephanie Cowell

The Cloisters New York City: An enchanted medieval world

by stephaniecowell March 1, 2014
The Cloisters New York City: An enchanted medieval world

by Stephanie Cowell If you are willing to take a long bus ride, you can catch the New York City bus to the Cloisters. It bumps along Fifth Avenue and then eventually turns north on upper Broadway. After a very long time, you turn into the enormous open gates of a park which sits high […]

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Building and rebuilding a dream in 17th century London: Shakespeare’s Globe

by stephaniecowell January 31, 2014
Building and rebuilding a dream in 17th century London:  Shakespeare’s Globe

by Stephanie Cowell Shakespeare’s Globe has been actually built three times…in 1599, in 1613 and after decades of struggle and huge architectural research, again on the south side of the Thames in 1995. But in 1599, it wasn’t really new because the actors salvaged the boards and galleries and perhaps even the hand-made nails from […]

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Searching for the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe in New York City

by stephaniecowell October 29, 2013
Searching for the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe in New York City

by Stephanie Cowell He died in poverty and was found in clothes not his own. He was only forty years old. Two years before he had lost his wife/cousin whom he had married when she was thirteen. 164 years after his death, we are still searching for him. This month and through January 26th the […]

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The very individual journey of novelists

by stephaniecowell August 16, 2013
The very individual journey of novelists

by Stephanie Cowell It strikes me what great individual journeys each and every novelist has had…different joys, different frustrations. As a writer you start off wanting to tell stories; somewhere along the way some of us add the desire to win a Pulitzer, make the New York Times best seller list, receive several million dollars […]

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When three hundred historical novelists met together in one room….

by stephaniecowell June 30, 2013
When three hundred historical novelists met together in one room….

Well, it seemed nearly five hundred and it happened at the grand banquet of the semi-annual Historical Novel Society Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. Writers who are fairly famous and those in the middle and those unknown to this point met together for two glorious days at the historical Renaissance Vinoy hotel whose veranda overlooks […]

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Imagine a world without the arts

by stephaniecowell April 6, 2013
Imagine a world without the arts

by Stephanie Cowell “The world will be saved by beauty,” Dostoevsky once said. I try to remember that when I find the life of a professional writer difficult. Before writing I was a classical singer and for a brief time an actress and I have spent many hours (likely weeks if you add up a […]

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A historical novelist’s search for the secrets behind Shakespeare’s Sonnets

by stephaniecowell March 11, 2013
A historical novelist’s search for the secrets behind Shakespeare’s Sonnets

by Stephanie Cowell It is fortunate we have these miraculous sonnets at all, as only thirteen copies remain of their original publication in 1609. The writing of them, the subject of them and the unexpected bisexuality of them (incomprehensible to some) remain much disputed more than four hundred years after that date.  Here is something […]

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Poetry, pain, and opium in Victorian England: Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s use of laudanum

by stephaniecowell February 4, 2013
Poetry, pain, and opium in Victorian England: Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s use of laudanum

by Stephanie Cowell Elizabeth Barrett began to take laudanum, a tincture of opium, for what is thought to have been a spinal injury at the age of fifteen. It is believed she continued to take it through two more serious illnesses in her early 30s (hemorrhaging of the lungs and some extended unspecified illness). It […]

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Mastermind of a Ten-Year-Old – How does one explain the child prodigy Mozart?

by stephaniecowell December 30, 2012
Mastermind of a Ten-Year-Old - How does one explain the child prodigy Mozart?

by Stephanie Cowell At the age of ten he was catching flies, making up silly songs for his music teacher father, performing before kings, stealing his older sister’s diary, and composing symphonies. He was expert on violin and piano. What made the boy Mozart such a phenomenal prodigy as well as such a human kid? […]

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12 Days of Books – Memories of Monet

by stephaniecowell December 9, 2012
12 Days of Books - Memories of Monet

By Stephanie Cowell (W&M Regular Contributor) I’m giving away a copy of CLAUDE & CAMILLE: A NOVEL OF MONET. The novel grew from my childhood; both my parents were artists. The easel, the drawing tale, the precious brushes and pens and curled tubes of oil paint were a natural part of my life. One day […]

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SALIERI and MOZART…who were they really? And how did Peter Shaffer write AMADEUS?

by stephaniecowell November 30, 2012
SALIERI and MOZART…who were they really? And how did Peter Shaffer write AMADEUS?

by Stephanie Cowell I have read a huge amount about Mozart: his letters, biographies, etc. I own cds of all the music he ever wrote and I wrote a novel called MARRYING MOZART (Viking Penguin) about the young Mozart and the four young musical Weber sisters, one of whom he married (eventually). But the shadow […]

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Dinner at Oxford with the World’s Greatest Elizabethan Scholar

by stephaniecowell October 30, 2012
Dinner at Oxford with the World's Greatest Elizabethan Scholar

by Stephanie Cowell He came up the stairs of the community room in Jesus College Oxford one July afternoon asking for me by name for we had been corresponding for a time. He was Dr. A.L. Rowse, then in his mid-eighties and generally acknowledged to be the greatest Elizabethan scholar in the world. He was […]

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17th-century medicine and me: a novelist’s unlikely tale

by stephaniecowell September 29, 2012
17th-century medicine and me: a novelist’s unlikely tale

by Stephanie Cowell Novelists sometimes find themselves writing about areas of which they know little and believe me, I was the last person in the world to write about medicine or science. I had walked out of biology in eighth-grade when my teacher had encouraged us to stick our fingers in a cow’s heart. My […]

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Why we love to read (and write!) novels about queens: Part II

by stephaniecowell June 30, 2012
Why we love to read (and write!) novels about queens: Part II

by Stephanie Cowell There are powerful queens (Elizabeth I, Cleopatra, Catherine de Medici, Isabelle of Castile, Eleanor of Aquitaine) or queen victims of kings and ministers (Mad Joana, Caroline, Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard). They often have a great deal of money, fantastic dresses and jewels, and the adoration of the multitudes. Imagine never having to […]

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Historical novels: that marvelous blend of fact and fiction

by stephaniecowell March 30, 2012
Historical novels:  that marvelous blend of fact and fiction

by Stephanie Cowell It was a rather terrifying moment in my writing life. I had been asked to read from my novel about Mozart at a scholarly conference: the Mozart Society of America Even a prominent scholar from the Mozarteum in Salzburg was attending. Here were a group of people who had dedicated their lives […]

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