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The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Posted by R. Berg on July 03, 2001

In Reply to: The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress posted by ESC on July 02, 2001

: : : This tilte is both a book: The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein and a song: music and lyrics: Jimmy Webb (1974; White Oak Songs/ASCAP). Does anyone know the origin of the title?

: : Heinlein seems to have invented it. I couldn't find any older reference. Anybody else?

: I'll check my references. But I think that's a really looney title.

Would that be a LUNAR title? Heinlein's novel takes place on the moon, a difficult place to live. One can call the moon a harsh mistress in the same way that a sailor might say the sea is a harsh mistress. Mistress instead of master because the moon is traditionally classified as feminine.