Literary Musings

Celebrating the Centenary of The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie 

2020 marks one hundred years since Christie’s debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was first published. As the inaugural Hercule Poirot mystery, the story was serialized in The Times (London) weekly edition from February to June 1920 and later published as a complete novel in the U.S. in October, 1920.

The book was written as the result of a challenge between Agatha and her older sister, who bet that Agatha couldn’t write a detective novel. While she was working in a dispensary during World War I, Agatha came up with the idea for the story using her knowledge of poisons. Read More→


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10 Classic Cuban Women Authors to Discover

With its rich history, Cuban literature is considered among the most influential in the Spanish-speaking world, and women have long been an intrinsic part of its development. Here, we’ll take a look at ten inspirational classic Cuban women authors that deserve to be discovered and read. 

Cuban literature started its emergence at the start of the 19th century. Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, the earliest of the writers listed here, focused on abolitionist characters. After the abolition of slavery in Cuba in 1886, the focus of Cuban literature shifted to themes of independence, freedom, social protest, and personal as well as universal issues.

Poetry was a widely practiced genre for Cuban women writers, and they also produced many short stories, essays, novels, autobiographies, ethnographical studies, and testimonial literature. Read More→


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Madeleine B. Stern’s Brilliant Analysis of Little Women

Louisa May Alcott: A Biography by Madeleine B. Stern (1999) is considered the definitive biography of the famous author of Little Women (1868). Presented here is Stern’s brilliant analysis of Little Women.

Tracing the life of Louisa May Alcott (1832 – 1888) the writer, Stern gives penetrating insight not only into Alcott’s life, but her very essence as a writer.

As a writer myself, I have found much wisdom in these pages and have marveled at Alcott’s ability to “simmer a story” in her head while fulfilling duties around the house, and then later sitting down to spill it out on paper to submit without editing.

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10 Fascinating Facts About Louisa May Alcott, Author of Little Women

Louisa May Alcott (1832 – 1888) may be best known as the author of Little Women and its sequels, but there was more to her than these genteel (yet gently subversive) domestic tales. The fascinating facts about Louisa May Alcott that follow might surprise those who don’t know a lot about the woman behind Little Women.

From her teen years on, Louisa was determined to make a living as a writer. She became the Alcott family’s primary breadwinner at a young age, mostly by writing and selling anonymous thrillers, or what she called “blood and thunder” tales.

And from there her writing life unfolded, often in unexpected ways. She was a complex woman whose views were reflected in her literary output.  Read More→


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10 Interesting Facts about the Brontë Sisters

It would be easy enough to compile interesting facts about the Brontë sisters each in her own right, but here we’ll look at the three together, since their lives were so intertwined. CharlotteEmily, and Anne Brontë, acknowledged literary geniuses, were close in age and with few exceptions, preferred one another’s company above anyone else’s.

The three Brontë sisters all cherished literary ambitions from an early age, and despite lives that were cut short by illness, secured a prominent place in the English literary canon.

The children of Maria Branwell Brontë and Reverend Patrick Brontë, the sisters were born in the West Yorkshire village of Thornton, England. They subsequently moved to Haworth, where they grew up along with their brother Branwell. Their mother died while the children were still very young, and their aunt Branwell moved in to help take care of them. Read More→


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