Catharine Macaulay

Literary Tattoos: The History of England Portraits Catharine Macaulay

This is Rachel’s tattoo.

I got this tattoo the summer after I graduated from college. I wrote my senior thesis in history on Catharine Macaulay, the woman in my tattoo.  Macaulay was a historian, political pamphleteer, and a philosopher in 18th century England.  After spending a year writing, reading, thinking, and dreaming about her, I came to understand her as a woman of strength and spirit. I admire her–the fact that despite societal expectations and pressures she wrote what she believed in, and that independence seeps through into her very words. She was considered scandalous–but didn’t seem to mind. I have always struggled to find my own independence: from socially prescribed roles, from my fear of “what will people think?,” and from family and even friends. I took the image from the frontpiece of the first volume of her The History of England, and had it placed on my left shoulder to give my heart strength and to always remind me to be strong and true to myself.

Anthony Trollope

Literary Tattoos: Portraits Anthony Trollope

This is Sunday‘s tattoo.

This is a portrait of Anthony Trollope done by Sean Gillespie at Flagship Tattoo in Palm Desert, CA. He is, without a doubt, the most marvelous wonderful glorious dearest author to my heart. Victorian he-devil genius, disguised as a humble British postman by day. I recommend any one of his 47 published works, but most particularly “The Eustace Diamonds” or “The Way We Live Now.” This tattoo didn’t hurt either because I was in love or I’m just fat under my armpit.