On August 22, 1911 the Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris. It took a couple of years to recover the painting. It had been taken by an Italian nationalist who hoped to repatriate the painting back to Italy.
Juana the Mad has been depicted by some historians as a 16th century Spanish queen who was insane. She was the daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Juana was so far down the chain of succession that she was never expected to ascend to the throne.
But she did. Then she spent most of her long life as a virtual prisoner while a succession of men, her husband, her father, then her son, ruled Juana's empire while she languished in seclusion. Lynn Cullen was intrigued by the rather mythical aspects of Juana's reign. She decided to write a historical novel about it.
Wayne Koestenbaum has written widely on a variety of subjects. While he is probably known best as a poet, he is also a distinguished professor of English at the City University of New York. In this interview he describes the process of creating an unusual new course of study for his students.
The last time Jan Burke appeared on this program she came out to Yellow Springs to talk about her novel "Bones." The year was 2000 and "Bones" went on to win the prestigious Edgar Allen Poe Award that year for Best Novel.