Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

A History of Britain in 21 Women by Jenni Murray

Sometimes it feels like we are going backwards. In the introduction of her “personal selection” of the 21 women who shaped the history of Britain, Jenni Murray reminds us that … Continue reading

February 6, 2017 · 1 Comment

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Most of the poems I’ve done for this week in the past have been thoses I’ve liked for decades. Though I’ve enjoyed Maya Angelou’s work for years, I had never … Continue reading

May 25, 2016 · 1 Comment

Who is Gillian Flynn and why does she hate women so much?

It takes a while sometimes to work out what you like and what you don’t like about a book. It took me a while to work out what I didn’t … Continue reading

April 29, 2016 · 11 Comments

The History Chicks podcasts and website

Sometime last year I was browsing a list of historical websites when one called “The History Chicks” leapt out. Appreciating its 1960s name, I clicked on the link, and wasn’t … Continue reading

September 7, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Convert by Elizabeth Robins, ed. by Emelyne Godfrey

Vida Levering is a society beauty who finds herself at dinner party after social function where one of the hot topics of conversation is the rise of the Suffragettes. Perhaps … Continue reading

May 19, 2015 · 3 Comments

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

  Guest poster Susan brings a great women’s history book into the Den, and tells us about shoes, feminism, and tough American women.  If books were like shoes I suspect … Continue reading

June 4, 2014 · 3 Comments

Coming Up as June Begins

The beginning of June is considered the start of summer, so it’s appropriate that we have a post on the very summery sport of surfing, as Book Fox Lisa launches … Continue reading

May 31, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Princess by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

When we were planning this week, Bookfox Kate suggested this poem to me and I thought it was a great idea. I’ve read lots of Tennyson’s works, but to my … Continue reading

March 19, 2014 · 4 Comments

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud

The Woman Upstairs has an amazing first page. One of those proper, WOW openers: “How angry am I? You don’t want to know. Nobody wants to know about that. I’m … Continue reading

October 28, 2013 · 3 Comments

The Meaning of Names in Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

Some regular readers may think this is just a post where I can witter on about my favorite story. You may be partly right, but it’s also an essay about … Continue reading

January 22, 2013 · 5 Comments

Where are the women in Tolkien? (Part 1)

In which Kate discourses on the mystery of why there are so few women in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. Part 1 At the age of 13 I carefully wrote myself into The … Continue reading

December 11, 2012 · 12 Comments

How could I have ignored this Charlotte Bronte novel for so long?

For years, I’ve vaguely been aware that Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley (1849) is the one novel of hers that I never read properly. Jane Eyre and Villette jostle for the position … Continue reading

July 2, 2012 · 15 Comments

The Romantics weren’t all boys

Imagine a conventional literary scene: men and women writing, arguing, publishing, in ‘creative dialogue’ with each other, as the textbooks have it, and selling well, or less well, or struggling. … Continue reading

June 21, 2012 · 12 Comments

The Liberation of Celia Kahn by J. David Simons + GIVEAWAY

Glasgow 1915. Set against the background of rent strikes, anti-war sentiment and a revolution brewing in Russia, a young Jewish woman from the Gorbals gains her first taste for protest … Continue reading

February 16, 2011 · 13 Comments



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  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)