violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
In Progress

Further poking at Cotillion, another Lackey, and a Regency romance, with limited focus on anything.


Read On Being Ill and Street Haunting by Virginia Woolf, and then spent a few hours with her narrating my interior monologue. (And then at the library read Hermione Lee's introduction to the former, which was helpful, at least in terms of "No, I did not hallucinate the end while half-asleep." (That's certainly not a criticism of the essay.)) I don't know what to say about Woolf, except that I want to read more and kind of wish I had at University; her outlook and voice are so unique and also infinitely relatable, at least for me.


Read the first half (late Victorian and Edwardian) of Sex, Gender and Social Change in Britain Since 1880 by Lesley A. Hall - what struck me was the sheer number of people with different goals involved in the various movements covered, and also that despite technical dates of publication major books on sexuality (eg Havelock Ellis) might have basically no circulation whatsoever for years afterwards. And also the focus on the difference the courts and other organizations had between "acceptable for a specialized audience" and "acceptable for the general public." Also there seems to have been a lot going on in the BMJ and the Lancet at the time.

Also flipped through Birth Control, Sex and Marriage in Britain, 1918-1960 by Kate Fisher, and even that much gave a wildly unexpected view of the matter - specifically that, in terms of actual practice among working class couples, the husband was expected to be in charge of birth control and family planning decisions. This seems to have been because of a combination of ideas of headship in marriage, valuing of sexual ignorance in women, and the fact that the easiest forms of contraception to access (withdrawal, abstinence, and condoms) required some degree of male participation anyway.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)

Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont: More worldwide and modern view than I had previously, lots of help with practicals.

Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800 by Khaled El-Rouayheb: Very good as a general overview of mindsets. Also I like that he kept specifying exactly what he and his sources were talking about. Other notes here

From a High Tower by Mercedes Lackey: It's a Mercedes Lackey book. Although I feel like I keep getting poked in the ethical sensibilities by my comfort-reading right now, which is annoying.

In Progress

Cotillion by Georgette Heyer and Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho: Have actually been reading these this week.


As well as Before Homosexuality, read an article on determining prehistoric TFRs from skeletal remains and ethnography.
violsva: The words "Oh, Sandy!"; a reference to The Comfortable Courtesan (Oh Sandy)
Title: The Burning Castle
Rating: T
Universe: [personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan
Character(s): Madame C-, Mr MacD-
Summary: For reasons we shall leave unspecified, Mr. MacD- and Lady B- are pretending to be both married and middle class at an extremely unpleasant house party.
Warnings/Enticements: Platonic Bed Sharing, Gothick Novels
Word Count: 775

A.N.: For song_of_staying for Yuletide NYR, who mentioned "platonic bedsharing, in a delightful nobody-knows-what-we're-doing-under-the-covers and-we're-discussing-gothic-horror kind of way" in their letter.

I hoped that at some point this scene would grow a plot, but it never did, and now that we're getting a similar situation in canon (!!) I thought I might as well post it.

On AO3
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Not actually much to say - did not finish anything, did not go to the academic library, did make significant progress on Cotillion and Persuasion, and also went to the public library and picked up some Mercedes Lackey because clearly this downswing is not going anywhere soon.

Also a lot of Randall Munroe's What If. Speaking of which, I find the end of this article kind of weird - for me, contributing to an archaeology research paper is basically the best possible thing that could happen to my corpse.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)

Two novel length fanfics; one I've reread a few dozen times and enjoyed again; the other by an author whose short works I've liked but which was an utter failure as a novel: the romance plot wasn't fully developed and the action plot completely failed at suspense or ever feeling like anything was truly at stake.

In Progress

Cotillion by Georgette Heyer and Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho: You will note I am going much faster on fanfic than original fiction.

Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont: Still enjoying, still slow.


Listened to several chapters of Persuasion by Jane Austen while spinning.

Mentors to the Romans: The Search for the Etruscans by Richard M. Bongiovanni: Got this out of the library because Etruscans, neat!; after reading the first couple chapters it looks a lot like a vanity project and I don't think I'd trust the author. (Also the bibliography wasn't alphabetized.) Oh well.


Read half of Before Homosexuality in the Arab-Islamic World, 1500-1800 by Khaled El-Rouayheb and will read the rest next week. Looked through Female Masculinities by Judith Halberstam. Read four or so chapters of Room With a View by E. M. Forster and flipped through a few books on Virginia Woolf looking for information about the Hogarth Press.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)

Winter in London by Waid: nth reread. I was depressed and this is comfort reading (though read the warnings before you try it).

The Cat Who Knew Shakespeare by Lilian Jackson Braun: more comfort reading; earlier in the series than the ones I read as a teenager; about as fluffy as serial arson can get.

In Process

After the Ice by Steven Mithen: aka The Brick. I've been working on this one for two or three months and am very nearly done.

Cotillion by Georgette Heyer: Anonymous rec for non-alpha-male hero. I've only read one Heyer before, when I was a teenager, and I forgot or didn't notice that she's funny. Seriously, this is hilarious.

Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont: Background reading.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho: I don't have nearly as much time waiting alone with my purse here, so I've kind of left this, despite it being very good.

Also I reread about half of Women's Work by Elizabeth Wayland Barber and read an article on Algonquin archaeology (mostly stone points, very dry) and bits of a book on Iroquois women (justifiably very angry) at the university library on Monday.
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
Title: There Falls Thy Light
Rating: G
Universe: Raffles - E. W. Hornung
Character(s): Bunny Manders
Summary: The feast is finished and the lamps expired.
Warnings/Enticements: Angst angst angst
Word Count: 600

On AO3
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Written in 24 hours for the [ profile] come_at_once challenge on LJ:

Title: I Have No Time for Trifles
Rating: E
Universe: ACD Canon
Character(s): John Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Prompt/Summary: This wasn't on the list.
Warnings/Enticements: Slash, Watson's sense of humour
Word Count: 1481

On AO3

Written in a lot more than 24 hours and posted a month ago:

Title: Inward Trembling
Rating: E
Universe: ACD Canon
Character(s): John Watson, Mary Morstan, Sherlock Holmes
Summary: Holmes gets to watch.
Warnings/Enticements: Het, Voyeurism, Polyamory
Word Count: 1728
A.N.: Sequel to In Your Patience Possess

On AO3
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
So I was thinking about how you don’t really see recs for very short fic, which is a shame because short fics are amazing, and one of the things I love about fandom is that it has an accepted place for really really short fiction.

And it’s International Fanworks Day. And I started putting together a list. And then I realized that a lot of these shared a theme.

Holmes fandom has multiple - numerous -

Excellent Epistolary Fics Under 1000 Words

Songs of Spring by Waid
“At this period of my life the good Watson had passed almost beyond my ken. An occasional week-end visit was the most that I ever saw of him. Thus I must act as my own chronicler. Ah! had he but been with me, how much he might have made of so wonderful a happening and of my eventual triumph against every difficulty!”

Holmes sends the manuscript of The Lion’s Mane to the absent Watson. But perhaps his absence isn’t as longterm as all that.

[Retirement fix-it fic. Holmes writes a love letter. It’s not exactly his area of expertise.]

A Less Than Final Stop by JaneTurenne
Shortly after The Waterfall, John Watson begins sending telegrams.

[Hiatus fix-it fic. I’ve spent most of the past week in LJ Holmes fandom nostalgia. Things like this are why.]

Unsent by hardboiledbaby
Epistolary ficlet set during the hiatus.

[Holmes wants to express sympathy. And something else.]

Chimera by stardust_made
Holmes writes a predestined letter.

[Self awareness is what I look for in a Holmes, maybe more than anything else.]

A very short exploration of phone (actually telegraphic) sex and orgasm control, in which this title is several times longer than the fic itself. by Skud

[Your reccer regrets nothing.]

And one Sherlock fic:

Half Midnight In The Arse-Crack Of Winter by faerymorstan
A brief interlude in a roller skating bar. Yknow. Like ya do.

[Probably better in context, but I couldn’t leave it out when it’s for me. <3]
violsva: The words "Oh, Sandy!"; a reference to The Comfortable Courtesan (Oh Sandy)
Comments on most recent Comfortable Courtesan entries. (Jan 10th to 12th)
Read more... )
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Bidding on all the auctions at Fandom Trumps Hate has opened (including mine). There is an index of participants here.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
I am participating in a fandom auction to raise money for various charities, primarily in the United States. You can find more information here. Bidding begins on January 12th and ends on the 20th.

I am offering one fic under 10k words in ACD Canon Sherlock Holmes, open to any rating. (I would also be willing to write Comfortable Courtesan fic, though the fandom's so small I didn't put it on the form.) You can find examples of my writing here.

There are also literally hundreds of other fans offering fic, art, betaing, etc., and you can find more information at

Come see!
violsva: The words "Oh, Sandy!"; a reference to The Comfortable Courtesan (Oh Sandy)
Comments on The Comfortable Courtesan Jan 5th to Jan 9th in no particular order, because dammit, I’m sick and I’m going to talk about things that make me happy. (And also because I was for a while too sick to write anything, ugh.)
Read more... )
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This is the copyright page of my copy of Dorothy L. Sayers’ The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club:

Read more... )

The relevant information is “First published in Great Britain by Victor Gollancz Ltd. in 1921.”

The problem is, afaict this book was first published in 1928, by Ernest Benn Ltd. Cursory investigation indicates that Gollancz split off from Benn in 1927, so it may have had something to do with the publication; but it didn’t exist at all in 1921, and Sayers didn’t publish her first novel until 1923.

Does anyone know why this is in the New English Library edition?

(My copy was purchased in a used book store in Ontario in the 2010s, so that's not much help.)


Jan. 1st, 2017 01:24 pm
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
So my Yuletide gift was The Spirit of Enquiry, and it is by [personal profile] breathedout, who I already knew was amazing but this further confirms it.

[incomprehensible fangirling deleted]

I wrote Les Femmes Acharnées, which is based on this painting (that’s all you need to know, that’s the canon). It is a spy AU, you will like it.

And The Adventure of the Speaking Spectre, which is Great Mouse Detective casefic, with ghosts! Well, maybe ghosts.

Which in terms of wordcount is actually the most I've ever done for Yuletide.

And I have basically been doing nothing but reading Yuletide fic and seeing family this week, so that’s been pretty good.
violsva: Mulan squinting at a bowl of food (morning mulan)
Well, it's a good thing I finished my Yuletide assignment early, because this depression is not making things look good for finishing the treat I've got half done.

(Or even yumadrin. Oh dear.)

ETA 27th: finished treat, no drabbles, go me.
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Watson reading, with the caption "Winner, JWP 2016" (watson's woes)
Title: Clipped Whispers
Rating: G
Universe: ACD Canon
Character(s): John Watson, Mary Morstan
Summary: "We have received the strangest telegram, John. I think it must be intended for someone else."
Warnings/Enticements: Hiatus Angst
Word Count: 508
A.N.: For WAdvent 2016.

On AO3
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
It's very weird reading someone earnestly arguing for a principle which is the basic foundation of nearly all modern ethics. Or at least my own ethics. It's very hard to look at it from the point of view of someone who isn't convinced.

Mill mentions the various popular meanings of the words utilitarian and utility in his time; an interesting point is that something which is in the modern sense "utilitarian" - something which does nothing except perform a function - is less utilitarian in the philosophical sense than something which performs that function and is also beautiful - because the latter produces happiness in someone looking at it. Usefullness comes in various forms.

He also mentions Epicurius, and Epicurius said that artistic enjoyment was one of the only pleasures which had no associated pain. (The argument Mill's making is that Epicurianism/utility/happiness is not just about physical pleasure and excess, and that intellectual pleasures are, in fact, more fun. Or at least promote more happiness in general, especially to others.)

However, I'm reminded of Virginia Woolf saying "A good dinner is of great importance to good talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well," in A Room of One's Own. In order to be able to enjoy intellectual pleasures you need to have a relatively enjoyable physical baseline. Which ties in with Mill's point that (in utilitarianism) asceticism and sacrifice have no moral value unless they are for the sake of someone else's happiness.

I wrote that first paragraph when a bit more than halfway through; in the last chapter, however, talking about justice, he uses taxation as an example: "This doctrine [a poll tax], as applied to taxation, finds no advocates because it conflicts so strongly with man's feelings of humanity and social expediency." Tell that to Margaret Thatcher.

And of course it may or may not be considered an example of "modern ethics," but the recent election has indicated that there are lots of people who don't actually give a shit about the common good. Humans are complicated.

And that's a sort of general pessimism brought on by the circumstances, not actually my considered position. Mill points out that in fact we know that most people do mostly behave justly, because if they didn't we couldn't have a society at all: if people couldn't be trusted not to harm each other then we would all consider everyone potential enemies and guard against them (which I've just realized is how cats treat each other). I don't know if this is an argument that human nature is inherently good or that humans will usually live up to social expectations.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (books)
Hi! Thanks so much for writing for me, and congratulations on your evident good taste!

If you want to benignly internet-stalk me to get an idea of my interests, Tumblr and AO3 (both linked in the sidebar) are probably a better idea than DW. However, my previous Yuletide-related posts are tagged here.

This year I requested The Comfortable Courtesan, Pride, and Carmilla. These are three very different fandoms and I love them all in different ways. I am happy with absolutely any fic rating or length.

A large and random list of things I like in general: worldbuilding, adventure, lesbians, alternate universes, ethical dilemmas, people being clever, twisty plots, gender, sibling or sibling-like relationships, epistolary fic, punks, backstory, hurt/comfort, pining, physical affection, queerness, philosophy, romance, feminism, UST, found families, mythological allusions, polyamory, slash, het, femslash, hidden worlds, cities, banter, complicated plans, beautiful landscapes, angst, puns, magical realism, history, creepy supernatural beings, passionate platonic friendships, case fic, period accuracy, gen, smut, pwp, diversity, fairy tales... Feel free to use any of these.

Dislikes: I have a major embarrassment squick, I don't like incest, and I'm not interested in graphic depictions of rape or gore or torture. However, I can be sold on most consensual kinks.

Fandom specific thoughts and optional details, to be taken more as suggestions and jumping-off points than requests:Read more... )

Mostly though, write what makes you happy. Thanks again for writing for me!


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