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About My Research Trip to France

I give up all the goods in this article here on Literary Hub. And here are a few pictures of the things I describe.

Lafayette We Are Here

The Marquis de Lafayette was not only instrumental in helping the United States to win independence; his memory also played a role in America embracing her destiny as a world power. On July 4, 1917, General Pershing and his staff visited Lafayette's tomb at Picpus...

Saved by the Spirit of Lafayette

One of the inspirations behind The Women of Chateau Lafayette, was a touching memoir by a Holocaust survivor by the name of Gisele Feldman, who was one of the Hidden Children of the Holocaust. Her memoir is entitled Saved by the Spirit of Lafayette and it served as an...

Research on Beatrice Chanler

While writing The Women of Chateau Lafayette, the research kept shifting under my feet, in part due to what I discovered in Beatrice's private letters, provided to me by her grandson William A. Chanler, partly due to what I found in her papers at the New York...

The Musical World of Minnie Ashley

Those of you who have read The Women of Chateau Lafayette will know why I'm so interested in the world of the stage of the late 19th and early 20th century. For everyone else it will be a spoiler, so let me just say that a fabulous reader who has requested to remain...

Some Pictures of Chavaniac-Lafayette

I had the great fortune to visit Chavaniac in the autumn of 2017.

James Madison on Alexander Hamilton

I'll be putting quotes here from one Founding Father about the other. These particular ones are written after Hamilton's untimely death in 1804 at the hands of Vice President Aaron Burr. On Hamilton's Honor and Integrity "Of Mr. Hamilton I ought perhaps to speak with...

The Women Behind Thomas Jefferson

Cross-posted from DrayKamoie.com Thomas Jefferson was the voice of the American Revolution, the author of the Declaration of Independence, the founder of the University of Virginia, and the third president of the United States. But he was also a man famously ruled as...

Research on America’s First Daughter

Research While we included a partial list of our sources in the acknowledgments of America’s First Daughter, we couldn’t include everything. If you’re looking to learn more about Martha Patsy Jefferson Randolph, her father, their family, their friends and their...

Letter from Marie Jacinthe de Botidoux

Laura Kamoie and I get a lot of questions about the basis of William Short's character in America's First Daughter. The wonderful Megan Brett did me and my co-author a solid last weekend and went to UVA to help us find a letter in which one of Patsy Jefferson's...

About The Lafayettes

Chocolate in the 18th & 19th Centuries and Other Bloopers

Here's one for the blooper file. As I understand it, the chocolate we know it today was not invented until 1847. Until then, chocolate was known and enjoyed as a drink. So why, then, do edible chocolates appear at the end of the 18th century in both America's First...

Tasting History with Max Miller & The Women of Chateau Lafayette

My fabulously talented friend Max Miller and I were talking about his popular food show, "Tasting History" when I suggested that he do an episode featuring some food from Lafayette's day. I provided him with a wedding menu that was posted to the wall at the Chateau de...

Lafayette We Are Here

The Marquis de Lafayette was not only instrumental in helping the United States to win independence; his memory also played a role in America embracing her destiny as a world power. On July 4, 1917, General Pershing and his staff visited Lafayette's tomb at Picpus...

About Beatrice Chanler & Her World

Lafayette We Are Here

The Marquis de Lafayette was not only instrumental in helping the United States to win independence; his memory also played a role in America embracing her destiny as a world power. On July 4, 1917, General Pershing and his staff visited Lafayette's tomb at Picpus...

Research on Beatrice Chanler

While writing The Women of Chateau Lafayette, the research kept shifting under my feet, in part due to what I discovered in Beatrice's private letters, provided to me by her grandson William A. Chanler, partly due to what I found in her papers at the New York...

The Musical World of Minnie Ashley

Those of you who have read The Women of Chateau Lafayette will know why I'm so interested in the world of the stage of the late 19th and early 20th century. For everyone else it will be a spoiler, so let me just say that a fabulous reader who has requested to remain...

About The Jeffersons & Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph

Martha Jefferson Randolph

Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph’s relationship with her father, the third president of the United States, not only defined her life but also shaped the identity of our nation. For everything we know of the author of our independence was shaped by what she let pass...

The Women Behind Thomas Jefferson

Cross-posted from DrayKamoie.com Thomas Jefferson was the voice of the American Revolution, the author of the Declaration of Independence, the founder of the University of Virginia, and the third president of the United States. But he was also a man famously ruled as...

About Eliza Schuyler Hamilton and Her World

A Tour of the Schuyler Mansion in Albany

My co-author Laura Kamoie and I had the pleasure of visiting this historic site early in our research process to get a feel for the place in which Eliza Schuyler Hamilton grew up and where she spent her early marriage. Where her family lived. And the place that was to...

James Madison on Alexander Hamilton

I'll be putting quotes here from one Founding Father about the other. These particular ones are written after Hamilton's untimely death in 1804 at the hands of Vice President Aaron Burr. On Hamilton's Honor and Integrity "Of Mr. Hamilton I ought perhaps to speak with...

About Arsinoe II

Arsinoe II of Egypt

Queen Arsinoë II was born into the Greek-Macedonian Ptolemaic Dynasty that ruled Egypt. Because I was invited to write The Princess of Egypt Must Die for an anthology, it gave me the opportunity to imagine a condensed origin story for the ruthless woman who would...

About Cleopatra Selene

Cleopatra Selene, Queen of Mauretania

Cleopatra Selene is primarily remembered for being the daughter of Cleopatra VII of Egypt and the Roman Triumvir, Marcus Antonius. But as the Queen of Mauretania, Cleopatra Selene should be remembered for more than this if only because she was the last Ptolemaic...

Would Cleopatra Selene Really Have Considered Herself Egyptian?

One of the criticisms sometimes leveled at my Nile series is that because the Ptolemaic Dynasty considered itself Macedonian, the emphasis I place on Egyptian culture--and Cleopatra Selene's awareness of it--is somehow historically inaccurate or anachronistic. I...

Who Were Cleopatra’s Grandchildren?

I’ve spent the past few years writing about Cleopatra’s daughter--a fascinating young woman that most people don't even know existed. Today I want to talk about the next generation, the children that the infamous Queen of the Nile may have bounced on her knee if she’d...

Keeping it in the (Ptolemaic) Family

There are a whole slew of fantastically good reasons why incest is illegal and taboo, including the lasting psychological damage it does, and the dysfunctional family dynamics it creates. That said, there’s a good chance that the Ptolemaic Dynasty would have been...

Photos of Cleopatra Selene’s Lost World

The ancient kingdom of Mauretania, once ruled by Juba II and Cleopatra Selene, is lost to the sands of time. But there are the ruins. I've posted photos of the area near Selene's capital city, Iol-Caesaria, modern-day Cherchell Algeria. Now, thanks to Aaron Sakulich,...

How Rain, Grain & Cleopatra’s Daughter fed the Roman Empire

For much of its history, Rome depended upon Egypt for grain. While the Romans considered themselves an agricultural nation, and paid great homage to farming in literature, poetry, and art, the simple truth was that they couldn’t feed themselves. By the time Cleopatra...
World of Juba II & Kleopatra Selene Map

The World as Cleopatra Selene & Juba II Would Have Known It

Many thanks to the Ancient World Mapping Center for giving me permission to post this map in anticipation of the release of Song of the Nile, my forthcoming novel about Cleopatra's daughter. I'm delighted to be able to share it with readers.

The Fashion World of Cleopatra Selene and the Augustan Age

Cleopatra VII of Egypt was the most fashionable woman in the ancient world. Like a modern day celebrity, she set the trends. During her visit to Rome, she made such a sensation that Roman matrons imitated her hairstyles. It’s hard to believe that her daughter didn’t...

Pictures of Juba II & Cleopatra Selene’s Capital City

The capital city of ancient Mauretania was Iol-Caesaria, which is located in modern day Cherchell, Algeria. It often helps me, when I'm writing, to have visual reminders of where my characters lived--to make the setting come alive. Frankly, very little of Selene and...

The Lamentable Embassy of Royal Orphans

The heroine of my debut novel, Lily of the Nile, is Cleopatra’s daughter, the young Princess of Egypt who would be marched as a chained prisoner through the streets of Rome. At the end of a Roman triumph--that military parade during which generals celebrated their...