Diana Parsell Writer

Diana Parsell Writer

Diana Parsell Writer

Women

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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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 this past 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.…

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Eliza Scidmore Takes the 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 Both 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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National Geographic Honors Scidmore as 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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My Book Proposal Wins Hazel Rowley Prize

BIO Hazel Rowley Award winner 2017

I’m grateful to the International Biographers Organization (BIO) for giving me its 2017 Hazel Rowley Prize. I received the award, for the best proposal for a first biography, on May 20 at BIO’s conference in Boston. BIO began around the time I started my book project. The group has been a terrific resource, especially to a…

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‘She Persisted’ Includes Eliza Scidmore’s Cherry Tree Idea

Hand-colored photo Eliza Scidmore from "Eliza's Cherry Trees"

Thanks, Andrea Zimmerman, for giving a nod to Eliza Scidmore as a woman who “persisted.” The Internet meme “she persisted” caught fire this month after a remark on the floor of the U.S. Congress. Sen. Elizabeth Warren opposed the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general by attempting to read a letter from…

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Eliza Scidmore, ‘Downton Abbey’ and a D.C. Debutante

OK, fellow “Downtown Abbey” addicts. I managed to find a connection between the TV series and Eliza Scidmore, the subject of my book. The line runs through Cora Grantham, the American-born mistress of Downton Abbey. Julian Fellowes, the show’s writer, has said Cora represents American heiresses of the late 19th century who married into the…

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Off to Japan, in Eliza Scidmore’s Footsteps

Diana Parsell with Miki Ebara of NHK TV

A busy Saturday. I just spent five hours with a film crew from the New York bureau of Japan’s NHK television, talking about my research on Eliza Scidmore. Miki Ebara, the chief correspondent in New York,  first contacted me a year ago not long after I launched this blog (previously as “A Great Blooming”). She…

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