The Trials of a Scold: Book Review


The Incredible True Story of Writer Anne Royall
I first became interested in Anne Royall while researching the story about her ambushing a skinny-dipping John Quincy Adams for an interview. At first I was disappointed there was absolutely no truth to the tale (see my debunking here) but I soon found out the actual story of Royall’s life and her infamous trial for being a “common scold” far more interesting.

In a new book The Trials of a Scold: The Incredible True Story of Writer Anne Royall out this month, Jeff Biggers tells Anne Royall’s story in a compelling narrative that helps restore her place in history.

John Adams and Hamilton's Superabundance of Secretions


And What Makes Men Terrible
In one letter from 1806, John Adams manages to level his greatest insult at Alexander Hamilton at the same time he shares a bizarre medical theory about why men like Hamilton go mad with power.

My Uncomfortable Night With "Thomas and Sally"


A provocative, but not thought-provoking, play.
When I first heard about Thomas Bradshaw’s play Thomas and Sally opening at Marin Theatre Company, I was intrigued.

John Quincy Adams And The Preacher Who Banned Dancing


JQA's Footloose Winter

Hoofing in Haverhill

More than fifty years before he became an outspoken crusader against slavery, 18-year-old John Quincy Adams was an unlikely champion for the right to boogie.
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