This may not count as literature, per se, but Victorian lit fans can now peruse Queen Victoria's diaries online, thanks to the current Queen Elizabeth. In a statement, Queen Elizabeth says, "It seems fitting that the subject of the first major public release of material from the Royal Archives is Queen Victoria, who was the first Monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee." (Elizabeth is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee today.)

Though the journals are hardly confessionals—they were written knowing they might someday be made public—there are some personal comments about the monarch's joy in her family and love for her consort, Prince Albert. And of course, we can all take a turn analyzing the Queen's handwriting.


The Awl adds to the reader ruminations on Joan Didion with an intriguing piece on her early work—and the not-entirely positive reaction to it.

 A Kirkus reviewer noted that though she was a “talented scene surveyor,” “Miss Didion is no female Tom Wolfe.” (One can only admire the restraint that must have prevented some editor along the way from adding a comma and “thank god.”)


Yesterday was Walt Whitman's 193rd birthday, and Melville House has a nice tribute post to the American poet—including an 1890-ish wax recording of Whitman reading four lines from "America."


What links have you discovered this week?

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