Family & Friends

Dust and Gossip:  What would Elizabeth von Arnim say to a meddling busybody?

Dust and Gossip: What would Elizabeth von Arnim say to a meddling busybody?

Dear Erica, My husband’s widowed aunt is staying with us for the next two weeks, and she is driving me mad. Although she never had children of her own, she’s constantly commenting on my children’s ter...

How do you deal with toxic relatives and frenemies?  Forget Taylor Swift. George Eliot had the answers all along...

How do you deal with toxic relatives and frenemies? Forget Taylor Swift. George Eliot had the answers all along...

Dear Erica, I just went to see my cousin, who always manages to say something that makes me feel worse about my hair or my clothes or my job. But I can’t just avoid her completely, she’s family, after...

Why does revisiting our old haunts never feel quite right? What insights can Elizabeth Gaskell give us about the impact of change?

Why does revisiting our old haunts never feel quite right? What insights can Elizabeth Gaskell give us about the impact of change?

Dear Erica, I recently went back to my old home in Gloucestershire.  My parents sold the house when I was in Uni, and I’ve not been back in nearly fifteen years but we were driving through and I decid...

The 19th century Frenemy - Jane Austen's Lucy Steele found in Florida

The 19th century Frenemy - Jane Austen's Lucy Steele found in Florida

Dear Erica, I am a Freshman at FIU and I’m beginning to be suspicious of my roommate(let’s call her Nikki).  I started dating a guy six months ago, and Nikki always manages to flirt with him when we g...

College Reunions and Jane Austen's Emma - Lessons in Friendship

College Reunions and Jane Austen's Emma - Lessons in Friendship

Dear Erica, I’ve just spent time with an old college friend at a reunion weekend and we just didn’t connect in the way we once did.  It’s so sad.  We used to be really close but we just don’t have muc...