the making of "My Rita Novel Idea"
James A. Williams, Franziska the Baroness von Ow, Eva Stotesbury, King Ludwig II of Bavaria, Napoleon, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Peter Paul Rubens, Maria the first wife of Honorius, Eutropia, and Heilige Helena are the main characters.
Rubens tells us about all the research he did after receiving his first public commission of three altarpieces for the crypt chapel of St. Helena in Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. Plus he thoroughly discusses his designs of the Life of Constantine tapestries that presently hang in the Great Hall of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Ludwig II tells us a lot about his schizophrenic brother Otto.
Napoleon won't stop talking about playing double-deck solitaire while exiled on St. Helena.
Eva still enjoys the company of Cardinal Dougherty, and Franziska hasn't forgotten the delicious cookies baked by the last cook she had before the end of World War II.
We (surprisingly) find out that Eutropia personally knew all the important Roman Empire architecture of late antiquity, and Helena rarely stops talking about Eutropia, that is, when she's not talking about being excluded from history.
Maria tells us about the symbolic role played by her sarcophagus and sepulcher within Piranesi's Il Campo Marzio, and Piranesi outlines all the mistakes made by Fasolo, Tafuri, Allen, Bloomer, and Eisenman in their respective interpretations of the Ichnographia Campus Martius.
Jim explains the letters he wrote while in Savannah jail circa 1983/4, and fondly remembers his last trip to Philadelphia.