Notorious RBG Is Now Available in a Young Readers' Edition

Getty Images
Getty Images

"Supreme Court Justice" and "pop culture icon" aren’t two titles that necessarily go together, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg's story has never followed a script. As the second female Justice to ever be confirmed to the Supreme Court, Ginsburg has crafted a unique resume as a sharp legal mind and a champion for gender equality on a bench that has historically lacked a woman’s perspective.

In recent years, her story found its way to Tumblr, courtesy of a law student named Shana Knizhnik. Her Notorious RBG tribute page showcased Ginsburg’s career and accomplishments in a light that any young adult could appreciate, no matter how much they knew about current events. It distilled her career down into meme-able chunks, comparing the iconic Justice to rap legend Notorious BIG. This page was eventually turned into a biography published by Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.

Now, the Notorious RBG is looking to inspire an even younger generation, as HarperCollins has released a Young Readers’ Edition of the biography aimed at kids ages eight to 12. Filled with anecdotes about Ginsburg’s life, illustrations of her accomplishments, a pictorial timeline, and facts about the Supreme Court's history, this version of Notorious RBG “mixes pop culture, humor, and expert analysis for a remarkable account of the indomitable Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Heroine. Trailblazer. Pioneer,” according to the publisher.

In addition to her highly publicized triumphs behind the bench, the book also examines her adolescence in the 1930 and ‘40s, when professional opportunities for women were virtually nonexistent in many fields. Written by Shana Knizhnik and Irin Carmon, the Notorious RBG charts Ginsburg’s path from a precocious young student into one of the most influential legal minds of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The Young Readers’ Edition of Notorious RBG is available now from HarperCollins. You can also purchase it via Amazon.

Newly Discovered Documents Reveal Details of William Shakespeare's Early Years, Based on His Father's Financial Fall

Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Newly discovered documents found in the UK's National Archives reveal that William Shakespeare's father was in deep legal and financial trouble for most of the Bard's childhood, according to The Guardian. The 21 documents, previously unknown to scholars, were discovered in the archives by University of Roehampton Shakespeare historian Glyn Parry during the course of his research for a book about the playwright's early life.

Records had previously shown that William Shakespeare's father, John, an entrepreneur, landlord, and occasional politician, was in trouble with the law during the playwright's youth. He was accused of illegal money lending and wool trading without a license (wool was highly taxed at the time, making it a valuable smuggled good) between 1569 and 1572, when the young William was between around 5 and 8 years old. Scholars assumed that John settled the cases out of court, but these new documents show that his legal woes lasted much longer—up until at least 1583—which no doubt contributed to William's worldview and the topics he wrote about in his plays.

Parry discovered the documents by poring over the National Archives' trove of historical material related to Britain's Exchequer, or royal treasury. He found record of John Shakespeare's debts and writs against him, including ones authorizing sheriffs to arrest him and seize his property for the Queen as punishment for his crimes. He owed a sizable sum to the Crown, according to these documents, including a debt of £132, or in 2018 dollars, about $26,300 (£20,000).


Writ of capias to Sheriff of Warwickshire to seize John ‘Shackispere’ of Stratford upon Avon
Crown Copyright, courtesy of The National Archives, UK

John Shakespeare's crimes against the Crown were reported by professional informants, known as "common informers," who, within the Exchequer system, were entitled to half of the goods seized from the person they helped convict. The system, unsurprisingly, was riddled with corruption, and informers would often attempt to extort bribes from their victims in exchange for not taking them to court.

John's legal jeopardy damaged his financial standing within the community where he had served as a constable, an alderman, and a high bailiff (a position similar to town mayor). The government could seize his property at any time, including wool he bought on credit or money he had loaned to other people, making him a risky person for people to do business with.

"So John Shakespeare fell victim to a perfectly legal kind of persecution, which ruined his business through the 1570s, and William grew to adulthood in a household where his father had fallen in social and economic rank," Parry explained to The Guardian. This no doubt influenced his view of power, social standing, and money, all subjects he would explore in detail in his plays.

[h/t The Guardian]

George R.R. Martin Says Game of Thrones Could've Gone on Much Longer

Rich Polk, Getty Images for IMDb
Rich Polk, Getty Images for IMDb

by Natalie Zamora

Despite the excitement every Game of Thrones fan had last night when the HBO series won the biggest Emmy award of the night for Outstanding Drama Series, there are still two major things we just can't ignore. The first is that the final season is still ​months away, and the second is the fact that it's all about to end.

George R.R. Martin, the genius behind the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, is clearly feeling our pain. While on the Emmys' Red Carpet last night, the famed author revealed he doesn't actually know why the TV series is ending.

"I dunno. Ask David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] when they come through," Martin replied when Variety asked him why the show was ending. "We could have gone to 11, 12, 13 seasons, but I guess they wanted a life."

"If you've read my novels, you know there was enough material for more seasons," the author elaborated. "They made certain cuts, but that's fine." It's not really fine for the diehard fans who aren't going to know what to do with themselves when it's over!

Thankfully, Martin did give us hope as to ​what's to come after Thrones. "We have five other shows, five prequels, in development, that are based on other periods in the history of Westeros, some of them just 100 years before Game of Thrones, some of them 5000 years before Game of Thrones," he shared.

Westeros Forever. No? Fine.

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