The Women Who Mapped the Universe…

...and Still Couldn’t Get Any Respect

In 1881, Edward Charles Pickering, director of the Harvard Observatory…fired his male assistant and replaced him with his maid, Williamina Fleming.

So began an era where women—more than 80 during Pickering’s tenure — worked for the Harvard Observatory. The majority are remembered only by the moniker Pickering’s Harem. Education for women was uncommon and work outside the home almost unheard of. Contemporary science actually warned against women and education, in the belief that women were too frail to handle the stress.

History with all the interesting bits left in

31-Day Blog Challenge, #27

An old photo of me

alma cutty sark 1978When I was 15, I went aboard the Cutty Sark, one of the last clipper ships ever built. No, I didn’t take her to sea. The ship was in permanent drydock in Greenwich, England.

The 50 Books Everyone Needs to Read     

There are more good books than can be read by any mortal in a lifetime, Emily Temple notes in Flavorwire. It’s hard to choose, but choose she does. Here you will find a single must-read book from each of the last 50 years.


50 books from 50 years

I don’t want books telling me how long it should take to read a book.

“I haven’t received a copy of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s forthcoming book, Without Their Permission, just yet,” Michelle Dean says, “so I can’t tell you if it’s any good. What I can say is that …it bears a small mark, pictured here, which indicates that the book is a “5-hour read.”
Reddit cover

Time to read

Reading novels makes us better thinkers

New research says reading literary fiction helps people embrace ambiguous ideas and avoid snap judgments.

“There’s no antidote to black-or-white thinking like reading ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’.”

Reading fiction


— Alma Alexander

Sign up for my newsletter, Tea with the Duchess, here

Email me: 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.