Sarah Johnson

About me

Librarian, HNS book review editor, readers’ advisor, author of Historical Fiction: A Guide to the Genre and Historical Fiction II. I first joined the HNS in 1998 after seeing Richard Lee’s post about the Society on a Usenet group. Shortly thereafter I signed on as a US-based reviews editor and got the word out about the magazine to American readers and publishers. Now, 15 years later, I serve as the overall book review editor for the Historical Novels Review. I’ve been reading and collecting historical novels for many years and also review for Booklist and Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. I’ve also written for Bookmarks Magazine and Canada’s Globe & Mail. For my full-time job, I work as a reference and electronic resources librarian at Eastern Illinois University, which means I answer research questions, teach workshops, and work with electronic journals and e-books. My husband and I share our home in rural Illinois with too many cats and about 10,000 books.

From my website

What’s in a Name? Prostitution in Shakespeare’s England, a guest post by Sam Thomas

Sam Thomas is back with a yet another entertaining post marking the paperback release of The Harlot’s Tale, the second book in the Midwife Mystery series. This essay, the second of two, deals with prostitutes in Shakespearean times; his first post, from Tuesday, detailed how he researched their trade in…

Brothels and Bawds in Shakespeare’s England: A guest post by Sam Thomas

Sam Thomas is visiting Reading the Past with two linked guest posts to celebrate the paperback release of The Harlot’s Tale, the second book in the Midwife Mysteries series. This essay covers brothels in Shakespearean England, and on Thursday, Sam will have a second post about the women who worked…

Dinner with Jane, Charlotte, and Will: A guest post by Syrie James

In today's guest post, Syrie James, a longtime fan of British literature and the author of many historical novels set in the 19th century, reflects on an imaginary dinner conversation with three of her favorite authors.  There's a Jane Austen-themed giveaway, too, open internationally to anyone who leaves a comment. …

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