Diana Parsell Writer

Diana Parsell Writer

Diana Parsell Writer

History & Culture

I Saw Glacier Bay Through 19th-Century Eyes

Caitlin Campbell Glacier Bay

An email out of the blue from U.S. park ranger Caitlin Campbell sparked my first trip to Alaska last summer, capped by a special experience at Glacier Bay. Caiti first contacted me a year ago after stumbling across the website and blog I started to chronicle my progress on a biography of Eliza Scidmore. (Formerly…

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Book Features Writing by Women in WWI

Book "In Their Own Words" on Women in WWI

Note: This blog item was first posted on October 14, 2015. Eliza Scidmore, the subject of my biography in progress, appears in a new book of writings by American women in World War I. Author Elizabeth Foxwell took a very different turn in compiling the anthology. Foxwell has spent much of her career immersed in…

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For Veterans Day, an “All Quiet on Western Front” Sequel

To mark the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I, the Library of Congress is previewing a newly restored film sequel to the classic war movie “All Quiet on the Western Front.” The 1937 film sequel, titled “The Road Back,” follows German soldiers from the Armistice through their return home. The film is…

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John Muir Website Adds Page on Eliza Scidmore

Eliza Scidmore now has her own page on the John Muir website, hosted by the Sierra Club. The website, established in 1994, features a huge amount of information on all things Muir, with new material added regularly. After learning about Scidmore’s connection to Muir, the webmaster of the site, Harold Wood, invited me to post…

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Eliza Scidmore on Stage at National Geographic

Woman in kimono with Mt. Fuji backdrop

Eliza Scidmore got top billing on stage Thursday night, March 29, in Washington. National Geographic Live! featured a staged presentation of her writings during the city’s cherry blossom season. I was there, and National Geographic VP Greg McGruder kindly introduced me to the audience as Scidmore’s biographer. I had served as an informal adviser to…

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D.C. Cherry Trees and Girl Scouts Turn 106

Washington celebrates the birthday of its famous cherry trees later this month. The city got the first of those trees on March 27, 1912. Two weeks earlier, on March 12, a resident of Savannah, Georgia, founded the Girl Scouts. So, Girl Scouting and Washington’s cherry trees have both been going strong for 106 years. (Many…

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Scidmore as National Geographic Female Explorer

Tourists at Muir Glacier, 1880s

Eliza Scidmore is known largely for her role as the earliest visionary of Washington’s cherry trees. She was also an intrepid traveler. And the National Geographic Society considers her its first female explorer. The Geographic recently spotlighted some of its pioneering women on its blog. I kicked off the series with an article on Eliza…

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In St. Louis, Intrepid Women on the Frontier

Brochure Women Writers of Frotier

I had never been to St. Louis until this fall. Funny I should have missed it, as I attended grad school in journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Mizzou classmates and I used to pile into a car and go eat catfish at a tin-ceiling hotel in Booneville. We drove to Kansas City…

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Pilgrims at Japan’s Koyasan, Long After Scidmore

  Today, Buddhists and other pilgrims flock to the sacred site of Koyasan, a mountainous area of temples in southeastern Japan. The New York Times ran an article about it in the Oct. 22 travel section. Eliza Scidmore wrote about Koyasan in 1907 for National Geographic. It’s interesting to see the different takes on the same place…

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‘Railway Man’ a Contrast to Scidmore POW Book

My husband and I recently watched “The Railway Man,” starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. It’s emotionally powerful, and interesting as well in light of my biography of Eliza Scidmore. Her last book was As the Hague Ordains. Written as a thinly disguised novel, it looked at POW conditions in Japan in 1905 during the Russo-Japanese…

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