Strange Flowers bloom anew in spring

It’s spring!

OK, it isn’t spring everywhere but it’s just turned spring where I am, and my solipsism is really playing up.

To celebrate, I’ve been spring cleaning. The blog was well overdue for a zhoosh-up and hopefully the new look gives a better overall idea of what I’m going on about. I also donned a gas mask and hair net and went back through the soot-caked posts of yesteryear, to fix up broken links and mysteriously vanished pictures and such. People, it was ugly back there.

I’ll be adding some new categories which will take inspiration from our Strange Flowers’ pearls of wisdom, map their points of intersection, explore their fictional counterparts…all will become apparent in the next few weeks. There will also be more visuals to evoke their worlds and highlight their creations.

And up top you’ll see there are some new permanent pages. In my research I often come across texts, videos and what have you in German and French, so speakers of those languages will hopefully find some inspiration there (and that’s about as polyglot as I get). There’s also the Strange Flowers Atlas, which collects all of the locations in the ‘Places’ category, soon to expand and lose its Eurocentric focus.

As I haven’t had a chance to try out the new format on other browsers/platforms/resolution sizes, please let me know if anything looks weird/requires excessive scrolling/takes forever to load. I will be tinkering for a few days so please excuse the mess. Of course you may be seeing this post in a reader or email and wondering what I’m babbling about, as the changes are most apparent on the home page; have a look here.

I hope you like the changes, and thanks for dropping in and/or sticking around.


  1. butterscotchclouds

    It looks wonderful. The new section of French texts makes me want to dust off my foreign language comprehension skills (which are nil, because I am lazy). A 300-page book about Mathilde de Morny! And Philippe Jullian is someone I’ve been wanting to know more about since I read something he wrote about Olga de Meyer… I’ve fallen into a Strange Flowers vortex!

    • My French is pretty dire these days, but it’s worth the struggle to read up on Mathilde. I kept wondering why she wasn’t better known, why no-one has made a film about her…but that’s true of many of the people I write about.

      Enjoy the vortex!

  2. Linda Hollander

    Well, well someone has been busy! To tell you the truth, I don’t actually remember ever being at your home page…but this is pretty impressive.

    Thank you, thank you for all your hard work. I’ve just read a book you (and the rest of you who are reading this) may enjoy: “Fall of Giants”: Ken Follett’s fictional version of events leading up to and through WWI…warning! do not drop this book on your foot; you will never be the same. I loved it, I thought it explained a lot, thought it was unique for historical fiction in that it presents a sympathetic view of Germany, AND it reconfirms my personal belief that the big events of the west in the 20th century can be traced back to Mayerling!! We do not learn about this in American schools, I can tell you that!

    Which brings me to Sissi…what fabulous pictures! I especially love the photos, because I’ve seen so few images of her and I wondered what she looked like, really. The famous portrait…well, you know. Wow, is all I can say. Don’t stop now, baby! You are on a big roll!

    • Thanks for dropping in Linda, and for your kind comments! I’m intrigued by the idea of Mayerling as the root of all 20th century evil, though even if Rudolf had lived and his reformist zeal had remained intact by the time he got to the throne, he would still have been in charge of a dying empire and may well have led it down a similar path of complete extinction, taking half of Europe with it. And of course Franz Joseph lived until 1916, so Rudolf might have been petulantly, powerlessly drumming his fingers until then. So who knows? But at this safe historical distance the latter Habsburgs are an engrossingly bizarre bunch.

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