Shelved Dolls You Should Probably Still Read About


So, I will no longer be here to tell you about historical women you can read about, but historical women still exist!

Eleanor of Aquitaine. SHIT HOW DID I NOT GET AROUND TO THIS? Look, she was portrayed excellently (if not completely, 100% factually) by Katharine Hepburn, my all time favorite movie star, in The Lion in Winter. Here’s the trailer, you’ll probably like it:

And this is a good biography on her. You can’t go wrong with Marion Meade. 

Also, my friend Molly Crabapple will be furious if I do not mention Marie Duplessis. She was the inspiration for La Dame Aux Camelias, which was, in turn the inspiration for Traviata. So, obviously, if you love music about courtesans being beautiful and despairing, this is the lady for you. Rest assured Julie Kavanagh has you covered.

And then there’s Bette Davis, who I kept, continually, meaning to do something on. Bette Davis, who said awesome things like, “I’d marry again if I found a man who had fifteen million dollars, would sign over half to me, and guarantee that he’d be dead within a year.” And “Basically, I believe the world is a jungle, and if it’s not a bit of a jungle in the home, a child cannot possibly be fit to enter the outside world.” She was sort of a jungle cat, Bette Davis. The book dark Victory: The Life Of Bette Davis is very good if you’re interested in vaguely scandalous ladies.

And those were my next three.

Hopefully Shelved Dolls will still exist somewhere. Follow me on Twitter to look out for it.

Picture via Getty

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    • Madame Dakar

      Best of luck! Please keep going with shelved dolls! I look forward to it every week

    • ascholarsparrot

      Sad :-( Shelved Dolls is one of my all-time favorite features on this (or any) site. It will be missed!

    • Eileen

      Did Catherine de Medicis ever get a Shelved Dolls? I can’t remember. Also, if not, why did she not? She is my favorite.

    • Cee

      Oh whaaat? You’re leaving?! I wish you the best of luck and I really really REALLY hope you write a sort of Shelved Dolls book. No one made me research so much history since I majored in it. I loved those posts the best!

      • Jennifer Wright

        It’s off at a few publishing houses right now, and I’m hopeful someone else will love it. The premise is “Life Lessons From Horrible Women.”

    • Nicole René Matson

      I have a profound and undying love for Eleanor of Aquitaine, thus I also love The Lion in Winter (I always wished that you would write about her!). However, I should mention that I also love your Shelved Dolls features – I do hope that you are able to continue doing them in the future! Best of luck and congratulations – I will be looking out for your byline!

    • Cally

      Where will all my random facts about historical women come from anymore without this feature? I learned about women who I did not even know existed!
      Seriously, loved these posts and hope you continue to do them in some form or another, will be on the lookout for them!

    • Mark Beaulieu

      Eleanor of Aquitaine is thankful for Katharine, but read her deeper. She was a femme of depth who actually made a difference for women and men. Good luck finding your next perch.

    • sweetfrancaise

      Actually heartbroken to read this. Good luck in the future and I’ll watch for your name elsewhere!!

    • footnotegirl

      What? Wait? What? Whyyyyyyyyy?!?!?!

    • Liz Grierson

      Nooo! Shelved Dolls totally raised the tone around here – I was excited to read them whenever a new one came out. Really interesting stuff and humorously written. V SAD! I guess I will be here a bit less in future…. :( Thanks so much for doing these.

    • Winona

      I’m simply heartbroken that this is going away. It was what brought me to the site.

    • Wyette Urp

      This was the only reason I came to this site. :-(

      • SapphireCitrine

        Me too.

    • marilyn mora

      this is the only reason i came here! I just found the shelved dolls like 3 weeks ago and have been reading all your post feriously. this makes me very sad :(

    • Sarah Anaïs

      Is this some kind of horrible joke? I looked forward to this column distracting me from my work every week. I really hope you continue writing it somewhere else…preferably in an amazing book.

    • Suzie

      Oh noes! How shall I procrastinate now? SD has been my absolutely favourite thing to read on the internet, sometimes for hours on end – nothing else holds my attention for so long. It is the only reason I even visit the Gloss. I came here today to check to see if you’d written about Mata Hari… I wonder if she’ll be in the book(s).

      Best of luck for the future. I hope it will involve writing stuff that I can read.

      • Suzie

        PS I can’t believe they f*cking shot Mata Hari

    • Heather H

      nooooooooo!! Please don’t stop shelved dolls!

    • Alex

      Whaaat? Aw. Shelved Dolls is the only internet column whose every entry I make sure to read. I’ll miss it. I hope it gets that book deal.