Meet Rachael

Rachael Miles has always loved a good romance, especially one with a bit of suspense and preferably a ghost. 

A former university professor, she specialized in book history and nineteenth-century literature and culture. In her literature courses, Rachael's students frequently found themselves reading the novels of Ann Radcliffe and other gothic tales. A native Texan, Rachael lives with her indulgent husband, three rescued dogs, and an ancient cat.


Invite Rachael to talk!

Rachael welcomes the opportunity to talk to classes, book groups, historical societies, and community/social groups.

She has given more than 60 presentations to groups of all sizes and ages. Audiences from college students to life-long learners to professionals have found her presentations engaging, informative, and lively.

Depending on the interests of your group, Rachael can design a talk for 5 to 45 minutes. (Note: when Rachael is promoting her books, she waives her standard speaker's fee.)

The following list of possible topics provide a sense of the range of talks / workshops Rachael can give:



History of Books and Printing

  • Unknown bestsellers of the 19th Century
  • Shakespeare in the 19th Century
  • 19thC Illustrated Books
  • 19thC Decorative Book Bindings
  • What's in a book? An illustrated discussion of how to identify and understand features like colophons, printer's marks, binder's tags, gathering marks, etc. A basic primer for those who love books or who collect them.
  • Books and Book Collecting 

Depending on the size of the group, Rachael is happy to provide an assessment (not an appraisal) of print and manuscript documents (books, papers, etc) brought by audience members.


19th Century Literature and Culture

  • Uppity Women from History 
  • Celebrity in the 19thC
  • Beautiful Women, Beautiful Books: The 19thC Giftbook Market
  • The Language of Flowers, from Science to Sentiment
  • 19thC Women Science Writers
  • 19thC Landscape Gardening
  • 19thC Games 
  • 'Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know': The Life and Works of Byron (George Gordon, Lord Byron)
  • Lucrative and Lovely: 19thC Women Writers and their books
  • Selected Individual Authors


Community and / or family history (Rachael can provide either talks or workshops):

  • Writing your family (or community) history
  • Preserving your family heritage (papers, documents, and other ephemera)
  • Beyond the family tree: tools for deepening historical research



  • Getting your ideas on paper: strategies for avoiding writer's block
  • How to write lean, effective prose
  • How to write history in the popular novel
  • How to research your historical period
  • How to deepen your historical research


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