Thursday, April 27, 2017

Guest Post! Deborah Harkness’ 2017 Dale Somers Memorial Lecture at Georgia State University

Photo from Georgia State University website
Hey fellow fans! We have a treat for those of you who didn't get the chance to see Deb at this lecture held back on the 7th of April. No fear! We have the experience chronicled by someone who has! We'd like to thank Dorimar Rosado for agreeing to share her experience with all of us!
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By Dorimar Rosado

I have been fortunate in that I have attended several of Deb’s chats and readings. These opportunities to see Deb in person are not only remarkable, but one always manages to leave her with a new nugget of information or interesting fact about the early modern period. This one lecture — and I call it lecture intentionally — stood out for me because it seemed to be geared towards the likely attendants, history majors and faculty from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. Deb even had some inspirational words for these future historians.

Before I share the more prominent points, I would like to let you know that I did not take many notes, and I am relying on my memory. In most instances I am paraphrasing Deb. I trust that the information I am sharing here is as accurate as my fuzzy memory will allow.

If you have attended one of Deb’s readings you have probably heard about her inspiration for A Discovery of Witches. Deb was on holiday in Mexico, and it happened to be raining a lot so Deb and family were browsing a bookstore. Deb was floored by the number of books featuring wolves, vampires, witches, and other paranormal characters. In discussing this phenomena with her teenage niece, she thought to herself, what do these creatures do for a living, how do they date, what do they eat?

This thought stayed with her for about a week and then she decided to write what was originally going to be an Op-Ed piece. She would write first thing every morning for an hour day after day for an entire year. After the 10th or 11th chapter she realized that Op-Ed piece was a novel in which she combined not only modern science but early science, alchemy, and magic--themes that feature prominently in her non fiction book The Jewel House. It is worth mentioning that Deb still writes for an hour first thing in the morning, schedule permitting. Another one of my favorite authors, Isabel Allende (House of Spirits) starts a new book always on January 8th, the date she sat down to write, what turned out to be The House of Spirits, about her family’s life after the passing of her grandfather. You see, we all have rituals; you don’t have to be a witch. Deb also told me that she writes in the morning because is the time where she is less tired. She dedicates the best time of her day to us, her fans.

A Discovery of Witches, the first book in her All Souls Trilogy, is a chivalric romance, and a nod to her love of archives and research. She also mentioned that she had to stick it (paraphrasing big time here) to Matthew Hopkins the Witchfinder General, and author of a guide to hunting witches by the same name as the first book in the trilogy.

The second book, Shadow of Night, (and here I need help from other attendees because I only caught a fraction of Deb’s statement, and now I don’t have a context!) limits of historical fiction. Its title is a based on George Chapman’s philosophical poems The Shadow of Night (1594) where he compares Queen Elizabeth I to the goddess Diana.

The last book in the trilogy, The Book of Life, part Sci-Fi, part intellectual thriller is where genetics, timeless magic, and the skills of a modern historian are combined. Its title is a nod to Marsilio Ficino’s Three Books on Life.

Deb briefly mentioned that a little history, like tarragon in cooking, goes a long way in fiction. The fact that she is writing fiction, instead of a scholarly article, allows her to take actual historical events and items and spin them into the story without the requirement of having three sources of evidence to support these facts.

According to Deb, historians should allow everyone in, instead of keeping to themselves in their ivory towers and libraries researching history. She even gave us two examples. The first where a group of 10 year olds were at the library on a field trip and approached her while she was doing research. Their teacher was very nervous that the kids would damage anything or get too rowdy but it turned out the children were enthralled by the book Deb was working with (I believe it was Bestiary, The Book of Beasts: Compendiums of Medieval Monsters and Moral Lessons but not 100% certain. Other attendees may be able to confirm or correct this).

In another instance, an alarm guarding the Voynich manuscript went off and the police showed up to investigate. It turned out to be a false alarm and the officers left but not before scrutinizing the manuscript.

Deb mentioned that she likes to treat her writing of fiction with the same rigor that she applies to her academic work. For this reason she will visit sites mentioned in the books or live in a stone cottage for a month to see how life in the 16c would have been for someone living in Oxfordshire. Often, all of this research ends up in a line or two in her books, but the dedication to her fiction is as thorough as to her academic work.

The mysteries of history are often the foundation of one of her story arcs; for instance, Ashmole 782 is an actual manuscript that happens to be missing. When, in Shadow of Night, Matthew and Diana end up in Prague was because, as she kept writing, time kept moving and she knew that Matthew Roydon had been in Prague in the Spring of 1591. So Prague had to be incorporated to the story and that is how we get to meet Rudolph II and Edward Kelly. Part of the story in Shadow of Night takes place in the Blackfriars, which was a time and location near and dear to Deb’s heart and which she knew very well due to her academic work, The Jewel House.

Another very interesting point was that the clothes that women wore in Elizabethan times provided a narrative since women wore their status and knowledge in their garments.

Deb then read from Shadow of Night, the passage where Diana is getting ready to meet Queen Elizabeth I in Hampton Court.

Deb said that if we were to read a book on Renaissance self-fashioning (I believe the book was written by Stephen Greenblatt who introduced the term in 1980) we would see Matthew in that description.

Before the lecture was opened to questions, Deb shared the following nuggets of inspiration not only for the students of history but also applicable to us, the fans:
  • “History, like fiction, helps us develop empathy."
  • "The life of the mind has power.”
  • “Don’t cling to orthodoxy. Let your freak flag fly.”
Deb’s goal is to have the readers of her fiction think more deeply and critically about the world around them.

Q&A:
  • Is there any person from history that is calling at you at the moment? A: 17c woman who was a farmer in Virginia and cultivated silkworm fascinates Deb as of late. This woman’s husband dies and she takes over the farming operations and eventually goes back to England.
  • Deb also mentioned Eileen Power1, I don’t recall exact details, but my notes have the following words: telescope, Sheffield, botany and astronomy.
  • She was asked for updates on the TV series. Deb said that she cannot comment about when, what, where, or anything else about the series.
  • Someone asked or commented on Matthew and Diana’s relationship and Deb said that she wanted to write about a couple that was not high school age or was having a midlife crisis. She intentionally wrote them in their 30s, an age not frequently written about and one where she had some experience.
  • Someone mentioned the Voynich manuscript and her introduction for a reproduction that was released late last year. Deb mentioned that no one has been able to translate or decipher the manuscript and she thinks that someone with lots of money commissioned it with the intent of deceiving people.
  • Someone asked Deb what inspired her to write such a sensory narrative -- the smells, colors, and descriptive passages. Deb said that her grandmother was sight impaired and that probably influenced her. She was very close to her grandmother, who was an avid gardener, and would describe things in detail to her to make up for the visual impairment.
  • Deb is currently working on two books, one about Matthew and the other about Marcus. The twins are in both books.
  • Deb was asked if there was a character that she really enjoy writing about. She first mentioned Rudolph II, because ... you know, Rudolph.๐Ÿ˜Š But she also mentioned Jacqueline Vautrollier Field, the wife of the printer (Thomas Vautrollier), in Shadow of Night. Madame Vautrollier actually ran the print shop, which was something not very common in that day and age. It was only a few lines in the book but served as homage to the very capable women of the time.

Some photos used in the presentation:

Ten year olds looking at the Book of Beasts, beast from book.
The following are examples of embroidery worn in women’s dresses; the embroidery transmitted the wearer's knowledge and status.

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3 - Lady Arabella Stuart by Marcus Gheeraerts.
Her skirt is embroidered with spider webs.
Example 4
1 Eileen Power's literary works can be found listed on Goodreads
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We are thankful to Dorimar for taking the time to write/share this post!

Photos for this piece are © 2017 Dorimar Rosado.

Til next time, folks!

xo, ~The Daemons

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Daemons Discuss - Podcast: Take 15! | Chapter Discussion about the All Souls Trilogy; Ch 6-10 of A Discovery of Witches

This time we start our adventure at Chapter 6, and conclude at the end of Chapter 10

Take 15 - The One With Hamish in the Middle

Description: Onward! We travel a little further in this adventure called A Discovery of Witches. This take is named "Hamish in the Middle" because his chapter is in the middle of this batch of chapters!  We learn a little more about Matthew and Diana and the world they live in, including the people they consider co-workers, best friends and family members. Angela, Jean and Valerie pick out scenes they've noted as turning points in the main character's lives. Feel free to pick up your copy of ADOW and read before/after listening. Every reader is different, and we only represent 3 reader's POV; you may see and note something totally different! If you do, don't hesitate to contact us with your opinion and interpretations. Chapters 6-10, let's go!

SPOILER ALERT! We (The Daemons) approach this podcast with an assumption that the listener has read The All Souls Trilogy, including A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life.  If you haven't, and you don't mind, we certainly don't mind!  ๐Ÿ˜Š  Let's do this.

Listen:


1. Show notes:

For newcomers to the series:
- We'll start with the basics: The books in discussion are A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night and The Book of Life. Together they make The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. 
- Our Daemon Guides to the All Souls Trilogy are available for download: ADOW, SON, TBOL
- If you'd like a ready-reference from the author herself, be sure to download the All Souls Real-Time Reading companion (free e-book at online booksellers via Penguin and Headline books).
- Deborah Harkness usually conducts a real-time reading on her Facebook Page (starting in September), and shares her posts across social media.  Check out her website for all of her social media links, and of course all that she has to offer her readers!
- To see what's available on the web as far as the All Souls universe fandom, check our links page.

In this episode:
a. Chapter 6

* (01:06) – Miriam, the charmer!
The female vampire rapped a stack of papers sharply against the top of the desk.
Clairmont smiled. “May I introduce my research colleague, Dr. Miriam Shephard. Miriam, this is Dr. Diana Bishop.”
“Dr. Bishop,” Miriam said coolly, extending her hand in my direction. I took it and felt a shock at the contrast between her tiny, cold hand and my own larger, warmer one. I began to draw back, but her grip grew firmer, crushing the bones together. When she finally let go, I had to resist the urge to shake out my hand
* (03:20) – Miriam, time for lunch! Diana goes to lunch at Blackwells, and we meet Agatha Wilson.

Blackwells, Oxford UK
* (04:18) – Daemons tearing up the microfilm:
[...] I passed by, the two female vampires from yesterday drove icicles into my skin, and the daemon from the music reference room had picked up two other daemons. The three of them were dismantling a microfilm reader, the parts scattered all around them and a roll of film unspooling, unnoticed, on the floor at their feet.
* (04:31) – The "Vampire Murders"
“There is no evidence that these are ritual murders,” Knox told reporters at a news conference. “Nor does it seem that this is the work of a serial killer,” he concluded, in spite of the similar murders of Christiana Nilsson in Copenhagen last summer and Sergei Morozov in St Petersburg in the fall of 2007. When pressed, Knox conceded that the London case may involve a copycat killer or killers.
* (05:05) – Daemons as visionaries:
Daemons could be visionaries. No one knew if their visions were reliable, like the visions that witches had.
* (05:53) – Diana’s vampire (according to Agatha):
“Vampires and witches don’t share their thoughts with us. Not even your vampire tells us what he knows, though he’s fonder of daemons than most of his kind. So many secrets, and so many clever humans these days. They’ll figure it out if we’re not careful. Humans like power—secrets, too.”
* (06:45) – Classical definition of Daemons (according to Agatha):
Nobody knows,” she said wistfully. “Every day we wonder. Humans thought daemons were guardian angels at first. Then they believed we were gods, bound to the earth and victims of our own passions. Humans hated us because we were different and abandoned their children if they turned out to be daemons. They accused us of possessing their souls and making them insane. Daemons are brilliant, but we’re not vicious—not like the vampires.” Her voice was clearly angry now, though it never lifted above a murmur. “We would never make someone insane. Even more than witches, we’re victims of human fear and envy.”
* (07:17) – The first name basis thing!
~ “Perhaps you should call me Diana,” I said quickly, before I lost my nerve.
Matthew Clairmont smiled


~ “All right,” he said softly, “but then you must call me Matthew.”
* (09:05) – The “Smize,” and BTW, Matthew does sparkle.  ๐Ÿ˜
My heart stopped beating for a fraction of a second. This was not the small, polite smile with which I was now familiar. His lips curved toward his eyes, making his whole face sparkle. God, he was beautiful, I thought again, slightly dazzled.
b. Chapter 7

* (10:04) – Diana’s continuing restless days and nights.
Back in my rooms, I flipped on the bathroom light and saw that the past two days had taken a toll. The circles that had appeared under my eyes yesterday had now blossomed into something resembling bruises. I checked my arm for bruises, too, and was surprised not to find any. The vampire’s grip had been so strong that I was sure Clairmont had broken the blood vessels under the skin.
* (10:22) – Diana’s habit of walking with her eyes closed.
“No”—his voice held a touch of acid—“although that’s an excellent question. I was going to ask why you walk with your eyes closed.”
I laughed. “What—you don’t?”
Matthew shook his head. “Vampires have only five senses. We find it best to use all of them,” he said sardonically.
* (11:08) – Going to breakfast with Matthew, his nervousness, his building a literal wall (while building a figurative one). We were surprised by her appetite.
 ~“I suppose I need to know why I’m here,” he said, looking fixedly at the table. He was building a moated castle from the sugar jar and a ring of blue artificial-sweetener packets.

~ “Thank you!” I said. Mary’s critique of my appearance did nothing to diminish my appreciation for the extra food.
* (12:46) – Matthew is a practicing physician among all of the other things he happens to be.
“Mary saved him the first time, but after he was admitted into hospital he had a terrible reaction to his medication. I told you she’s observant. When she took her concerns to one of the physicians, he brushed them aside. I . . . overheard—and intervened.”
“Do you often see patients?” I poured each of us a steaming mug of tea so strong you could stand a spoon up in it. My hands trembled slightly at the idea of a vampire prowling the wards at the John Radcliffe among the sick and injured.
“No,” he said, toying with the sugar jar, “only when they have an emergency.”
* (14:02) – Diana being curious a to what Matthew actually consumes:
“Tea’s not really my drink,” he said, his voicing dropping slightly.
“What is your drink?” The minute the question was out of my mouth, I wished I could call it back. His mood went from amusement to tight-lipped fury.
“You have to ask?” he said scathingly. “Even humans know the answer to that question.”
* (14:36) – Diana’s tea ritual:
Pushing one of the mugs toward him, I fixed my eyes on the sugar. He handed it to me. I put precisely half a teaspoon of sugar and half a cup of milk into my tea. This was just how I liked it—black as tar, a hint of sugar to cut the edge off the bitterness, then enough milk to make it look less like stew. This done, I stirred the concoction clockwise. As soon as experience told me it wouldn’t burn my tongue, I took a sip. Perfect.
* (14:56) – Diana during this breakfast takes on the role of the interviewer:
Clairmont snorted. “Not the good scientists.” The people behind him got up to leave, and he tensed, ready if they decided to rush the table.
“And you’re a good scientist.”
He let my assessment pass without comment.
“Someday you’ll have to explain to me the relationship between neuroscience, DNA research, animal behavior, and evolution. They don’t obviously fit together.” I took another bite of toast.
c. Chapter 8

* (15:46) – Yoga and chill?! We did learn a lot about Matthew in this scene. We learned he does mix with other creatures, we see his house and learn that he’s at least 500 years old.  Angela mentions Aly’s yoga piece: Yoga and the All Souls Trilogy. Matthew’s impossible pose (performed by Aly):

Fallen Angel pose (photo © Aly Davis)
 * (17:59) – The Gatehouse. Matthew will make Diana some tea.
He picked up his keys. “Can I interest you in some tea before we head back to Oxford?”
“Where?”
“We’ll go to the gatehouse,” Matthew said matter-of-factly.
“There’s a cafรฉ there?”
“No, but there’s a kitchen. A place to sit down, too. I can make tea,” he teased.
* (18:29) – Louisa.  Matthew’s description of Louisa reminded Jean of Angelique in Dark Shadows
“The death was only as terrible as the woman who suffered it. I loved my sister, but she didn’t make that easy. She absorbed every vice of every age she lived through. If there was excess to be had, Louisa found it.”
* (18:59) – The chimneys . . .
We got back into the car and drove the short distance to the gatehouse. As the manor’s onetime public face, it had slightly more frills and embellishments than the main house. I studied the twisted chimneys and the elaborate patterns in the brick.
Matthew groaned. “I know. The chimneys were a mistake. The stonemason was dying to try his hand at them. His cousin worked for Wolsey at Hampton Court, and the man simply wouldn’t take no for an answer.”
Some examples of the ornate twisted chimneys that Matthew described.
* (19:32) – It's Matthew’s turn to interview Diana.
“You can’t feel it when I look at you?” I asked.
“No. Can you?” His eyes were guileless and caused the familiar reaction on my skin.
I nodded.
“Tell me what it feels like.” He leaned forward. Everything seemed perfectly ordinary, but I felt that a trap was being set.
* (20:20) – Pushing your magic aside…
“You’re trying to push your magic aside, just as you believe your scientists did hundreds of years ago. The problem is,” he continued quietly, “it didn’t work. Not even the humans among them could push the magic out of their world entirely. You said so yourself. It kept returning.”
* (20:43) – End of pseudo date: “Goodnight, then!”… ๐Ÿ˜‚! The actual quote:
The ride back to Oxford was quiet. Humans had it all wrong when it came to vampires, I reflected. To make them frightening, humans imagined vampires as bloodthirsty. But it was Matthew’s remoteness, combined with his flashes of anger and abrupt mood swings, that scared me.
When we arrived at the New College lodge, Matthew retrieved my mat from the trunk.
“Have a good weekend,” he said without emotion.
d. Chapter 9

* (21:13) – Hamish in Scotland! We didn’t even talk about the location here. Let’s remedy that!
"Matthew crossed the river Avon, driving over the bridge’s high, arched spans. He found the familiar Lanarkshire landscape of craggy hills, dark sky, and stark contrasts soothing. Little about this part of Scotland was soft or inviting, and its forbidding beauty suited his present mood."
Duke's Bridge in Scotland - it's the bridge that leads to the inspiration of Hamish's house (crosses the River Avon)
Chรขtelherault South Lanarkshire, Scotland - Deb's inspiration for Hamish's lodge
* (22:14) – Unconditional love through friendship; the quote:
“I can’t conceive of what you would have to do to make me hate you, Matthew. I love you like a brother, and I will until I draw my last breath.”
* (24:52) – Hamish’s diagnosis of Matthew:
The daemon glanced at his watch. The day was young, but he already knew why his friend was in Scotland.
Matthew Clairmont was falling in love.
* (25:53) – Matthew killed someone! Her name was Eleanor.
 “Her name was Eleanor.” Matthew stumbled over the name. He dashed the back of his hand across his eyes, a fruitless attempt to wipe the image of her face from his mind. “My brother and I were fighting. Now I can’t even remember what the argument was about. Back then I wanted to destroy him with my bare hands. Eleanor tried to make me see reason. She got between us and—” The vampire’s voice broke. He cradled his head without bothering to clean the bloody residue from his already healed fingers. “I loved her so much, and I killed her.”
* (26:01) – Cecilia: parallel between stalking Cecelia and now Diana.
“I saw her at the opera and became infatuated. Everyone in Paris was infatuated with someone else’s wife at the time.” His finger traced the outline of a woman’s face  on the pane of glass before him. “It didn’t strike me as a challenge. I only wanted a taste of her, that night I went to her house. But once I started, I couldn’t stop. And yet I couldn’t let her die either—she was mine, and I wouldn’t give her up. I barely stopped feeding in time. Dieu, she hated being a vampire. Cecilia walked into a burning house before I could stop her.”
* (27:00) – Liberace!  Jean talked about Hamish having all of the accoutrements of a stereotypical gay man, however not necessarily carrying himself that way.  We did say something about this in our daemon episode, too!  Anyway, she went on to describe what she imagined Hamish’s home dress ensemble would consist of, and the word “smoking jacket” triggered a vision of Liberace in Val’s head.  A very “dialed-down” version of the gentleman pictured below! Liberace fell on the explosive end of the stereotype spectrum that Jean described.  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Liberace
* (29:00) – Hamish is not cowed by Matthew at all. He’s a good equal for a wing-man.
“Matthew snarled.
“Very impressive,” Hamish said in a bored tone.”
* (30:07) – End scene.
“But is she lucky, Hamish? Is she fortunate to have a creature like me in pursuit?”
“That’s entirely up to you. Just remember—no secrets. Not if you love her.”
Matthew looked into his queen’s serene face, his fingers closing protectively around the small carved figure.
He was still holding it when the sun rose, long after Hamish had gone to sleep.”
e. Chapter 10

* (31:43) – Where’s Matthew? Miriam is over Diana’s damsel-in-distress act.  Diana is over Miriam’s judgement of her.  We see Diana’s hands spark for the first time.
 “You should be more careful with your things,” Miriam muttered. “You’re a witch, Dr. Bishop. Take care of yourself and stop putting Matthew in this impossible situation.”
I turned on my heel without comment and went to pick up my manuscripts from Sean.
“Everything all right?” he asked, eyeing Miriam with a frown.
“Perfectly.” I gave him my usual seat number and, when he still looked concerned, a warm smile.
How dare Miriam speak to me like that? I fumed while settling into my workspace.
* (32:33) – Diana has to step up and deal with all of these wayward creatures.
 The room was full to bursting with creatures. They had segregated themselves. One long table held nothing but daemons, conspicuous because not a single book—open or closed—sat in front of them. Vampires sat at another table, their bodies perfectly still and their eyes never blinking. The witches appeared studious, but their frowns were signs of irritation rather than concentration, since the daemons and vampires had staked out the tables closest to the staircase.
* (33:38) – Diana has to face the music with Sarah and Emily. She’s hanging out with a vampire.
 “I never thought I’d see the day when a Bishop relied on a vampire for protection, rather than her own power,” she said. “My mother must be turning in her grave. This is what comes from avoiding who you are, Diana. You’ve got a mess on your hands, and it’s all because you thought you could ignore your heritage. It doesn’t work that way.”
* (36:24) – GILLIAN! She’s not so nice. . .
 “There was nothing the Cambridge coven could do to prevent my parents’ murder. They were killed on another continent by fearful humans.” I gripped the arms of my chair, hoping that she wouldn’t see my white knuckles.
Gillian gave an unpleasant laugh. “It wasn’t humans, Diana. If it had  been, their killers would have been caught and dealt with.” She crouched down, her face close to mine. “Rebecca Bishop and Stephen Proctor were keeping secrets from other witches. We needed to discover them. Their deaths were unfortunate, but necessary. Your father had more power than we ever dreamed.”
* (36:47) – Gillian does NOT live up to her namesake ('Gillian Holroyd' played by Kim Novak) in Bell Book & Candle. This makes Jean sad. ๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿ˜‚

* (37:08) – Professor Marsh – The meeting with the warden.  Surprise! Peter Knox.
 “Then you have forgiven me for neglecting you for so long,” he said. “I hope to make it up to you by introducing you to an old friend of mine who is in Oxford for a few days. He’s a well-known author and writes about subjects that might interest you.”
Marsh stood aside, giving me a glimpse of a thick head of brown hair peppered with gray and the sleeve of a brown tweed jacket. I froze in confusion.
“Come and meet Peter Knox,” the warden said, taking my elbow gently. “He’s acquainted with your work.”
* (37:57) – We learn what’s possible with witch's powers in the All Souls world with Peter Knox
 “Missing students?” I said blandly. Surely Knox had magically engineered both the crisis and the phone call that had drawn Marsh away.
* (38:48) – A takeaway from this chapter: infighting within the witch community.

* (39:43) – End scene (Diana gives in and leaves a message on Matthew's answering service. Her reasoning):
I’d assured Sarah and Em that no vampire would meddle in my life. Gillian Chamberlain and Peter Knox had changed my mind. With shaking hands I lowered the shades and locked the door, wishing I’d never heard of Ashmole 782.
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* (41:43) – Promo break.  See how to support & get a hold of us below! Scroll down, or click here.

* (43:07) – Jean would love to have a dinner date at Matthew’s gate house.

* (43:29) – We’ve just named the next chapter discussion “The One With the Dates” ... er ... scratch that.  We actually just recorded that one with a different name! But the method remains the same – you just witnessed the madness behind our method (HA!)

* (44:02) – Angela thinks this chapter (10) set us up perfectly for the next ones.

* (44:40) – Valerie is invested, finally.  She has a crush on Matthew and now fears for Diana's future.

* (45:32) – The Living and the Dead production on BBC America (done by Ashley Pharoah writer of ADOW TV series)! It's gone through it's one and only season, and Angela cannot let go of the cliffhanger.  She’d like the show to come back in a different form so she can see the conclusion to satisfaction.

* (46:25) – Which book is coming next?  Matthew’s or Marcus’? Stuff like this sets the Daemons off into “speculation mode”

* (47:45) – There is a tweet re: Deb’s writing. Angela posed a Daemon question, Deb answered (kind of…):
To which we posed the question, and she replied...
* (48:40) – Val thinks the TV show must be close … dormant ends of the fandom are waking up.  She jokingly parallels the state of the fandom to the shrimp ๐Ÿฆ that live in the Mojave desert lake beds at Edwards AFB. You can read about that phenomenon here: NASA - From Shrimp to Shore

Aerial view of the vast dry lakebed at Edwards AFB

* (50:20) – ALL SOULS CON IS COMING!
Passes: $79, virtual passes: $0 (! --> thanks goes to Penguin Books for sponsoring the live stream)  All early bird prices end the 15th of June, 2017 -- Virtual passes will remain absolutely free!  Regular passes will go up to $99. 

* (51:15) – RECORD SCRATCH!  "Domain" ... "Discuss" – meh, whatever! ๐Ÿ˜œ

Previous Episode
Take 14, The One With the X's and the Y's
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Until next time...



Credits/Copyright Information 
* Intro music: "Ghost Dance" (edited down to second chorus) by Kevin Macleod, licensed for use by Creative Commons.
* News intro: by AwesomeMusicVideos21; provided for fair-use/royalty-free.
*  Outro music: Rimsky-Korsakov - "Scheherazade Symphonic Suite for Orchestra Op.35 - IV. Allegro molto," Public       

domain/copyright-free.
* Cover art (+ all variations associated w/ it): © Daemons Domain 

* The term "unofficial" is explained in our disclaimer located in Terms of Use - item 14.
* The Daemons Discuss podcast is hosted and produced by the owners (Angela, Jean and Valerie) of Daemons Domain and can also be found by entering the url http://www.DaemonsDiscuss.com in your browser, (listed on the various podcast syndicates like iTunes, Stitcher, etc.) which will redirect you back to the parent site, Daemons Domain.
* This podcast is intended for personal download/consumption.  Please see our Terms of Use; item 3.

* Our episode titles are a loving tribute to the show "Friends" just 'cause we love Friends and - let's face it - it's easier! Here's how one of the show creators explains their reasoning:
Jeff Greenstein: "When Marta & David & Jeff & I did 'Dream On', we used to spend a lot of time thinking about titles, because they were on-screen at the top of each episode. On "Friends", we decided that was a waste of time. We figured, why not name each episode after the thing that people will ostensibly be talking about around the water-cooler the next day?"
This was a Daemon Production

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

The "Just Because It's Spring" Giveaway!

Prizes pictured above (among the Spring accoutrements! See below for the additional prize)
It's time! The sun has come out, and we are feeling the season! It's time for a lovely Spring giveaway! We've dug in our prize closets and have put together a pretty nice package that could be yours! A lot of things have cropped up in the fandom. First and foremost: All Souls Con 2017 is COMING! Yay! In an effort to support this convention for fans organized by fans, we will have some social media follows as entries. Oh, and make sure you register to attend virtually if you cannot actually attend September 23rd, 2017 in New Orleans (psst! It's free!) Also, we've started going over the chapters in our Daemons Discuss! podcast episode (Take 13, The One With the First Five).  We'll have a trivia question from that episode. Ok, so here are the prizes . . .

Up for grabs:
The Book of Life (US paperback), signed by Deborah Harkness.
A glass cabochon necklace or key-ring (winner's choice), featuring the image of Sarah's witchball
Jo Malone London Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne, Deluxe Travel Size, .05 oz - Deb says it smells like Gallowglass  -- see tweet above! Val says it smells like heaven. To get a peek, click ---> here

Update, 5/12/17! Prize received: Congratulations, Rute!


 xo, ~The Daemons
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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Daemons Discuss - Podcast: Take 14! | Gender Roles in the All Souls Trilogy - Do They Exist?

 

Take 14 - The One With the X's and the Y's

Description: Well, this discussion sure threw us for a loop!  Gender roles in the All Souls Trilogy tend to challenge what the reader may consider 'the norm'. We found a few instances of traditional gender roles, but with closer inspection we wound up questioning what 'normal' actually is.  Follow us on this perplexing journey and form your own opinions.  A short-ish episode -- letting you know so you can plan for commutes/gym time/tasks accordingly (these are the times when most listen to us๐Ÿ˜‰!)

SPOILER ALERT! We (The Daemons) approach this podcast with an assumption that the listener has read The All Souls Trilogy, including A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life.  If you haven't, and you don't mind, we certainly don't mind!  ๐Ÿ˜Š  Let's do this.

Listen:


1. Show notes:

For newcomers to the series:
- We'll start with the basics: The books in discussion are A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night and The Book of Life.  Together they make The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. 
- Our Daemon Guides to the All Souls Trilogy are available for download: ADOW, SON, TBOL
- If you'd like a ready-reference from the author herself, be sure to download the All Souls Real-Time Reading companion (free e-book at online booksellers via Penguin and Headline books).
- Deborah Harkness usually conducts a real-time reading on her Facebook Page (starting in September), and shares her posts across social media.  Check out her website for all of her social media links, and of course all that she has to offer her readers!
- To see what's available on the web as far as the All Souls universe fandom, check our links page.

In this episode:
* (00:01) ALL SOULS CON IS COMING!
Passes: $79, virtual passes: $0 (! --> thanks goes to Penguin Books for sponsoring the live stream)  All early bird prices end the 15th of June, 2017 -- Virtual passes will remain absolutely free!  Regular passes will go up to $99. 

* (02:33) Sarah and Emily’s relationship – the gender roles displayed in their relationship perhaps falls into a stereotypical male/female assignment, however, we aren’t patrons of the stereotypes in same-sex relationships -- or in any relationship for that matter ...

* (03:56) With vampires, or at least in the de Clermonts, gender roles seemed to be more dictated by the times vs. by the family’s attitude.  Tasks were dictated by the needs of the clan.

* (04:40) Reddit Q/A with Deborah Harkness - also available on .pdf

* (05:07) Gender roles and how they related to assignments within the family (Verin):
“We all have a role in this family, Verin.” Matthew’s voice dripped with bitterness. “Does Ernst know yours—how it begins between soft sheets and a man’s thighs?”
* (06:37) Gerbert/Domenico as vampire heads - what we know.  We asked Deb in Seattle!  Read the entire post: Our Fan Girl Experience At the Seattle Tour Stop
In response to a question regarding other vampire families and whether Deb has "become acquainted" with them, she indicated we had "met" several of them, specifically identifying Domenico and Gerbert as the head of prominent vampire families.
* (07:25) Marcus is "talking Deb’s ear off"…we’ll see how that goes.  Our author has revealed that lately it's been Marcus that's been talking to her for the purpose of writing.  We'll see which book we get first!  Surprise!

* (08:33) Ysabeau collected broken children -- we think it could be because of her background. From The Book of Life:
“All of that was the truth—just not the whole truth.” Ysabeau met Marcus’s eyes squarely. “Philippe did find me in a fortress and rescued me from that terrible place. But I was no beauty then, no matter what romantic stories your grandfather told later. I’d shorn my head with a broken shell that a bird had dropped on the window ledge, so that they couldn’t use my hair to hold me down. I still have the scars, though they are hidden now. One of my legs was broken. An arm, too, I think,” Ysabeau said vaguely. “Marthe will remember.”
* (09:07) Witches: it seemed like lineage played a huge role in gender roles.
From A Discovery of Witches:
"To my aunt this only compounded their already marginal position in the hierarchy of beings. She valued a witch’s family traditions and bloodlines, and she didn’t approve of daemonic unpredictability."
From The Book of Life:
“Hello, Mrs. Harrison.” The Harrisons were an old Hamilton family. They’d come from Connecticut, and, like the Bishops, the women kept the family name regardless of marriage. Vivian’s husband, Roger, had taken the radical step of changing his last name from Barker to Harrison when the two wed, earning him a revered spot in the coven annals for his willingness to honor tradition and a fair amount of ribbing from the other husbands."
* (09:38) Susanna Norman seemed to be the head of the household in 1591.  She ran her business out of the house.  We concluded that it was matriarchal for the time, however she deferred to her husband when she had to.

* (12:19) Witches (the women) in history appear more prominent possibly because they tended to be easy scapegoats: Salem Witch Trials

* (13:51) We didn’t see a lot of gender norms within the daemon community – Sophie and Nathanial seemed to have a traditional relationship(?) Again, what does that even mean? ๐Ÿ˜

* (14:00) We own the assumption that Agatha wound up with Sarah … only because this quote kind of pointed us there.  They could be really good friends?  We are guessing yes, and then some.  Imagination mileage may vary . . .  read this passage from The Book of Life, and you decide:
“There’s a picture from Sarah and Agatha,” I called out. The two women were on a beach somewhere in Australia. “Come and see.”
“They look happy,” Matthew said, looking over my shoulder with Rebecca in his arms. Rebecca made sounds of delight at the sight of her grandmother.
            “It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a year since Em’s death,” I said. “It’s good to see Sarah smiling again.”
* (15:46) Angela makes the point that she pictures daemon gender roles blended, only because the interests among daemons are pretty unisex, and have been considered so throughout history (art, theater, music, and yes economics).

* (16:41) WHAT THE HECK IS A ‘PROPER’ VAMPIRE WIFE?! We’ve seen no conclusive model of one, but it was alluded to a couple of times by a couple of de Clermonts.  No one actually explained what it meant (besides being able to obey?!)

From Shadow of Night:
“And His Holiness proclaimed the age of miracles had passed,” Hancock crowed. “Matthew de Clermont is mated at last. But no ordinary, placid human or properly schooled female wearh who knows her place would do. Not for our Matthew. Now that he’s decided at last to settle down with one woman, it had to be a witch. We have more to worry about than the good people of Woodstock, then.”
From The Book of Life:
“Matthew told you to go to his tower.” Verin’s eyes narrowed. “He is your mate, and you’re supposed to obey him like a proper vampire wife.” Her accent was softly Germanic—not quite German, or Austrian, or Swiss, but something that borrowed from all three.
* (19:22) What is considered a vampire “head of house”?  Does it have to be male?  Originally we assumed it was a male.  However, what if the strongest vampire were female?  One might recall the riddle about the surgeon!  Anyway, here’s the quote (it should muddle things up properly for you); from A Discovery of Witches:
“Spit it out, Ysabeau. Why must I do what Matthew says?”
“Because he is the strongest vampire in the chรขteau. He is the head of the house.”
I stared at her in astonishment. “Are you saying I have to listen to him because he’s the alpha dog?”
“You think you are?” Ysabeau chortled.
* (21:45) We've concluded the term “proper vampire wife” is a myth propagated by male vampires to make themselves feel better. ๐Ÿ˜ The end.

* (22:47) Identities of some of the vampires we found – mentioned: Melisande & Labana the mathematician.

* (26:16) Jean wins the internet!  She shares a personality type with Justin Trudeau ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ. See The One With Personality.
* (26:43) Lilith and the All Souls Trilogy?  Hmmm … We wonder because Marcus has been talking to Deb; he's a fan of the Pre-Raphaelites (who purportedly loved Lilith).  We were wondering about the seeds planted in A Discovery of Witches:
“Damn,” Sarah breathed again. “Who’s Lilith?”
“The first witch.” I drew Matthew’s diagrams closer, remembering his cryptic response in Oxford to my asking if he was searching for the first vampire. “Or at least the first witch from whom present-day witches can claim matrilineal descent.”
“Marcus is fond of the Pre-Raphaelites, and Miriam knows a lot of mythology. They picked the name,” Matthew said by way of explanation.
“The Pre-Raphaelites loved Lilith. Dante Gabriel Rossetti described her as the witch Adam loved before Eve.” Marcus’s eyes turned dreamy. “‘So went / Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent / And round his heart one strangling golden hair.’”
* (29:03) Angela has never got over the fact that Pierre is not around in The Book of Life.  Val mentioned Franรงoise, however Angela described her as a “clucker” (as in hen).  Also she mentions the word “pie-face” as a word she frequently uses.  She goes on to say that she has a language of her own, and that we, as Daemons, sometimes have "twin triplet speak" syndrome.  Yeah, we do.

* (30:09) We forgot to mention in the blood rage episode/Take 11 that Philippe indeed used Matthew as a weapon! There, we’ve righted that wrong!

* (31:03) The word “mothership” – what we mean by the term.  The term comes from Valerie’s dependency on Apple devices.  The current “Mothership” in her digital arsenal is a 27” iMac 5K retina display intel core i7.  If you are interested – it handles video, audio, web publishing, and Photoshop simultaneously without breaking a sweat.  She replaced another that looked just like it, but didn’t have the same intestinal fortitude. The original was purchased to handle email, do some Photoshop dabbling, and to maybe play The Sims occasionally.  We then started our online life with Armitage4Clairmont.  Oh dear!   The elder mothership’s hard drive crashed hard while using a RAM-resource hogging program to make --> this video … it was down for almost 2 weeks!  She was fixed, but still slowed down during intense Daemon pressure, and couldn’t handle the stress!  Enter Mothership 2.0 – it dictates everything all of the other gadgets do. She’s the mama. BTW, Mothership 1.0 is currently enjoying her sunset years in a peaceful retirement.  Her new activities consist of fantasy football, bill paying, and probably porn! ๐Ÿ˜œ  In the picture below, you may be wondering where Val’s iPhone was?  It was taking the picture.  Note the bright colors on her keyboards and headphones!  Tech doesn’t have to be boring!  Yes, she's also got the watch ๐Ÿ˜ณ.  Yes, we are aware that Valerie may have a serious addiction.  Intervention, you say?  Good luck with that.  Some ladies like their pricey shoes, Val likes her Apple devices.


We’ve adopted the term for Daemons DomainDaemons Domain is the Mothership.  Daemons Discuss! & Armitage4Clairmont are the kids.  It works for us -- 2 websites and three platforms later.  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Discussers!  We're sorry!
P.S. ๐Ÿ˜ž  Dear, Discussers!  We apologize!  We didn’t get emails out for this recording (covers this episode & the one coming in two weeks) because we had to plan a last minute session to allow us to function in our lives (major ‘adulting’ happening right now).  Jean is still getting her home optimized for sale, Angela has been busy with her kid’s activities and traveling for work, and Valerie is in the midst of multiple home improvement projects.  We had to fit this recording in early so that we wouldn’t be stressed out trying to record in the madness we currently call our lives.  Our priority is to keep a regular publishing schedule and deliver quality episodes to you on time.   Luckily, we were able to find a pocket of time, but didn’t have enough lead time to send an email that would allow for punctual responses.  We will do better! In the meantime, feel free to comment in the form below, or call and leave a voice mail: 1 (360) 529 -7836!  You can comment on this episode, and send us your thoughts.  You don't have to wait for our emails, you can reach out to us!

Previous Episode
Take 13, The One With The First Five
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Thanks for listening!
Until next time...



Credits/Copyright Information 
* Intro music: "Ghost Dance" (edited down to second chorus) by Kevin Macleod, licensed for use by Creative Commons.
* News intro: by AwesomeMusicVideos21; provided for fair-use/royalty-free.
*  Outro music: Rimsky-Korsakov - "Scheherazade Symphonic Suite for Orchestra Op.35 - IV. Allegro molto," Public       

domain/copyright-free.
* Cover art (+ all variations associated w/ it): © Daemons Domain 

* The term "unofficial" is explained in our disclaimer located in Terms of Use - item 14.
* The Daemons Discuss podcast is hosted and produced by the owners (Angela, Jean and Valerie) of Daemons Domain and can also be found by entering the url http://www.DaemonsDiscuss.com in your browser, (listed on the various podcast syndicates like iTunes, Stitcher, etc.) which will redirect you back to the parent site, Daemons Domain.
* This podcast is intended for personal download/consumption.  Please see our Terms of Use; item 3.

* Our episode titles are a loving tribute to the show "Friends" just 'cause we love Friends and - let's face it - it's easier! Here's how one of the show creators explains their reasoning:
Jeff Greenstein: "When Marta & David & Jeff & I did 'Dream On', we used to spend a lot of time thinking about titles, because they were on-screen at the top of each episode. On "Friends", we decided that was a waste of time. We figured, why not name each episode after the thing that people will ostensibly be talking about around the water-cooler the next day?"
This was a Daemon Production

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