News

Baltimore Cop Training Now Includes Plato, Baldwin

James Baldwin, photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Editor's Note:

Also in today’s news roundup: A new Laura Ingalls Wilder biography arrives, and Mr. Darcy’s house lands on the market. It’s your Daily Blunt!

Baltimore police force brushing up on their training will be better prepared to protect and serve everyone in their community thanks to Detective Ed Gillespie’s ministrations, which includes perspectives from authors such as Plato, James Baldwin, John Steinbeck, and others. In this profile by The Atlantic, Gillespie explains what books can offer a civil servant: “A safe way to look at circumstances and ask yourself, ‘What does this tell us about us? … What does this tell me about myself? What does this tell me about the human condition?’”

Over at Remezcla, we find out what happens when there’s more than just one Latina writer in a TV writing room. “Superstore” scribes Sierra Ornelas and Vanessa Ramos recount their experiences working together on the show, a unique experience since diversity hiring quotas usually ensure that there’s never more than one non-white person at the table. While this has inspired writers to begin networking privately (“We have to go to brunch, because we’ll never be in the same room together,” Ornelas says), working together on this show has given these women a chance to create material that might never have been possible otherwise.

Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books will have a lot to chew on this winter thanks to Caroline Fraser’s new biography Prairie Fires. The book examines the impact of these world famous mother/daughter writing collaborations on the mythos of the American pioneer era, and also on the lives of the authors themselves, exploring the strange and cumbersome legacy. The New York Times’ review provides some of the basic historical facts for those who may not have returned to these titles since childhood — what you learn about this quintessentially American family may really surprise you.

For many Pride and Prejudice fans, the 1995 BBC miniseries adaptation (memorably starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy) remains the definitive version. That means a bidding war is sure to ensue now that the house showcased in the series is on the market. The residence in question is actually called Luckington Court, and you’ll need all the luck you can get in order to raise the $10 million that the estate is expected to sell for. Even without the luster of Austen fandom it’s still a desirable asset, “an 11th Century dwelling with original Tudor features and 16th Century remodelling.” Firth come, Firth served!