New Beginnings

Brewster Maverick 2A historian might envy the cat’s nine lives. Few of us have so many opportunities to begin our work lives anew. To research, write, and publish a single book can take a decade or even more. So I find it very exciting to have arrived at a moment of new beginnings. With my most recent book, Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America, in the safe hands of my publisher, I am free to start a new project. This moment arrives at the same time as a yearlong sabbatical from my teaching job at the University of Victoria. Taking advantage of this fortuitous timing, I have chosen to spend the year in Paris researching Americans’ centuries-long love affair with the food of that famous gastronomic destination. And to complete the theme of new beginnings, I am launching this blog to share the results of my research. I will be posting stories and photos from the archives, recipes and the results of cooking experiments, and reflections on moving to an unfamiliar city with kids and a spouse whose only words of French are “Je suis un rock-star” (he’s not).  Bon appetit!

Author: Rachel Hope Cleves

Professor of history at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. Author of Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America (2014), and The Reign of Terror in America (2009). My new book about the notorious writer, Norman Douglas, will be out in October 2020. Now working on a project titled "Good Food, Bad Sex."

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