Friday, December 24, 2010

Coach travel

(I posted this in response to a question on my Malloren World Wiki about how travel worked in the 18th and early 19th centuries.)

It's a bit complicated, but some people used their own horses for the whole journey. In that case they would travel more slowly as the horses would need rest, food, and water.

A few very rich people would either keep their own horses along routes they traveled frequently -- ie Rothgar Abbey to London.

An alternative for the rich planning a journey in advance would be to send out teams of horses to await along the route. But that would be extraordinary.

Mostly those with money would hire both chaise and horses right from the start and travel at speed because the chaise was a light vehicle and they'd change the team every 10 miles or so.

Most people who traveled did so by a public coach or by wagon, as Petra does in A Lady's Secret. Or walked.

BTW, if traveling by chaise, there were connection options.
1. If they were a long way from the post roads someone from home could drive them to the inn, or a plain coach from the posting inn could come to collect them.
2. If they were nearby and the road not too rough, the chaise would come to the door.



Sunday, December 19, 2010

A template for a Regency ball?

The following is from Thomas Peacock's novel Headlong Hall. Though it's satirical, we can assume that the details of the ball are accurate. I've given the main points below in italics and made bold the text evidence that comes after. I've also cut out chunks that were irrelevant to this. The text is available on line if you want to read it all. Some of the text below is garbled.

A "set" was two dances. So the "first set" is two dances, but a lady would take one partner for the two. Thus, a set. Each set lasts half an hour. That would be a pretty good workout, I think. In this case supper was served after the third set, and included musical performances by the guests. They then returned to the ballroom for more sets.

Balls started late and went on till dawn. Guests didn't sleep at the house. They took breakfast and went home.

After having danced a set with a lady, a gentleman may not dance the next, but he can reclaim her, if she's willing, for the one after.

I have cut this from below this, which was a commonly held position on the benefits of a dance.

"It has the advantage of bringing young persons of both sexes together, in a manner which its publicity renders perfectly unexceptionable, enabling them to see and know each other better than, perhaps, any other mode of general association. Tete-atetes are dangerous things. Small family parties are too much under mutual observation. A ball-room appears to me almost the only scene uniting that degree of rational and innocent liberty of intercourse, which it is desirable to promote as much as possible between young persons, with that scrupulous attention to the delicacy and propriety of female conduct, which I consider the fundamental basis of all our most valuable social relations."

Another passage. "As to the men, the case is very nearly the same with them. To be sure, they have the privilege of making the first advances, and are, therefore, less liable to have an odious partner forced upon them: though this sometimes happens, as I know by woeful experience : but it is seldom they can procure the very partner they prefer, and when they do, the absurd necessity of changing every two dances forces them away, and leaves them only the miserable alternative of taking up with Boiiieiiuiig, uiaagrecabls perhaps in itself, and at all events rendered so by contrast, or of retreating into some solitary corner, to vent their spleen on the first idle coxcomb they can find."

The following is the original text, cut about a bit.

The ball-room was adorned with great taste and elegance, under the direction of Miss Caprioletta and her friend Miss Cephalis, who were themselves its most beautiful ornaments, even though romantic Meirion, the pre-eminent in loveliness, sent many of its loveliest daughters to grace the festive scene.

Numberless were the solicitations of the dazzled swains of Cambria for the honour of the two first dances with the one or the other of these fascinating friends: but little availed, on this occasion, the pedigree lineally traced from Caractacus or King Arthur: their two philosophical lovers, neither of whom could have given the least account of his great-great-grandfather, had engaged them many days before.

Mr. Panoscope chafed and fretted like Conwy in his bed of rocks, when the object of his adoration stood up with his rival: but he consoled himself with a lively damsel from the vale of Llwyd, having first compelled Miss Cephalis to promise him her hand for the fourth set.

The ball was accordingly opened by Miss Caprioletta and Mr. Foster...

When the two first dances wore ended, Mr. Escot, who did not choose to dance with any one but his adorable Cephalis, looking round for a convenient seat, discovered Mr. Jenkison in a corner by the side of the Reverend Doctor, who was keeping excellent time with his nose to the lively melody of the harp and fiddle. Mr. Escot seated himself by the side of Mr. Jenkison, and inquired if he took no part in the amusement of the night ?


No. The universal cheerfulness of the company induces me to rise: the trouble of such violent exercise induces me to sit still. Did I see a young lady in want of a partner, gallantry would incite me to offer myself as her devoted knight for half an hour: hut as I perceive there are enough without me, that motive is null. I have been weighing these points pro and con, and remain in statu quo.



...Then suddenly place before him a chandelier, a fiddler, and a magnificent beau in silk stockings and pumps, bounding, skipping, swinging, capering, and throwing himself into ten thousand attitudes, till his face glows with fever, and distils with perspiration: the first impulse excited in his mind by such an apparition, will be that of violent fear, which, by the reiterated perception of its harmlessness, will subside into simple astonishment. Then let any genius, sufficiently werful to impress on his mind all the terms of the communication, impart to him, that, after a long process of ages, when his race shall have attained what some people think proper to denominate a very advanced stage of perfectibility, the most favoured and distinguished of the community shall meet by hundreds, to grin, and labour, and gesticulate, like the phantasma before him, from sunset to sunrise, while all nature is at rest, and that they shall consider this a happy and pleasurable mode of existence, and furnishing the most delightful of all possible contrasts to what they will call his vegetative state—would he not groan from his inmost soul for the lamentable condition of his posterity ?

The spcond set of dances was now terminated, and Mr. Escot flew off to reclaim the hand of the beautiful Cephalis, with whom he figured away with surprising alacrity, and probably felt at least as happy among the chandeliers and silk stockings, at which he had just been railing, as he would have been in an American forest, making one in an In

Squire Headlong was now beset by his maiden aunt, Miss Brindle-mew Grimalkin Phoebe Tabitha Ap-Headlong, on one side, and Sir Patrick OTrism on the other: the former insisting that he should immediately procure her a partner; the latter earnestly requesting the same interference in behalf of Miss Philomela Poppyseed. The Squire thought to emancipate himself from his two petitioners by making them dance with each other; but Sir Patrick vehemently pleading a prior engagement, the Squire threw his eyes around till they alighted on Mr. Jenkison and the Reverend Doctor Gaster; both of whom, after waking the latter, he pressed into the service. The Doctor, arising with a strange kind of guttural sound, which was half a yawn and half a groan, was handed by the officious Squire to Miss Philomela, who received him with sullen dignity: she had not yet forgotten his falling asleep during the first chapter of her novel, while she was condescending to detail to him the outline of four superlative volumes. The Doctor, on his part, had most completely forgotten it; and though he thought there was something in her physiognomy rather more forbidding than usual, he gave himself no concern about the cause, and had not the least suspicion that it was at all connected with himself. Miss Grimalkin was very well contented with Mr. Jenkison, and gave him two or three ogles, accompanied by a most risible distortion of countenance, which she intended for a captivating smile. As to Mr. Jenkison, it was all one to him with whom he danced, or whether lie danced or not: he was, therefore, just as well pleased as if he had been left alone in his corner : which is probably more than could have been said of any other human being under similar circumstances.

At the end of the third set, supper was announced, and the party, pairing off like turtles, adjourned to the supper-room. The Squire was now the happiest of mortal men, and the little butler the most laborious. The centre of the largest table was decorated with a model of Snowdon, surmounted with an enormous artificial leek, the leaves of angelica, and the bulb of blanc-mange. A little way from the summit was a tarn, or mountain-pool, supplied through concealed tubes with an inexhaustible flow of milkpunch, which, dashing in cascades down the miniature rocks, fell into the more capacious lake below, washing the mimic foundations of Headlong Hall. The Reverend Doctor handed Miss Philomela to the chair most conveniently situated for enjoying this interesting scene, protesting he had never before been sufficiently impressed with the magnificence of that mountain, which he now perceived to be well worthy of all the fame it had obtained.

Now when they had eaten and were satisfied," Squire Headlong called on Mr. Chromatic for a song: who, with the assistance of his two accomplished daughters, regaled the ears of the

Squire Headlong returned thanks with an appropriate libation, and the company returned to the ball-room, where they kept it up till sun-rise, when the little butler summoned them to breakfast.

My next book featuring a Regency ball is the reissue of Forbidden Magic. Read an excerpt here.



Friday, November 19, 2010

A faery curse in Georgian England.

"My favorites include Neil Gaiman’s The Thing About Cassandra, Jo Beverley’s The Marrying Maid..."

That's from a review here of Songs of Love and Death, an SF anthology edited by Gardner Dozois and George RR Martin.

And then I'm linked with Diana Gabaldon.
"Two of my top picks along with Diana Gabaldon would be Jo Beverley with her inventive tale "The Marrying Maid" inspired by Titania and Oberon's continual toying with humankind..."

Read more here.

The stories range from contemporary to historical, from horror to romance. You can guess where my story fits! It's Georgian and completely a romance, but tangled up with an ancient faery curse that could kill my hero and all his family.

Available now in hardcover, Kindle, and other e-book forms.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

World War I ships

Have a bit of spare time? Old Weather is looking for people to transcribe the logs of Royal Navy ships during the First World War. They're primarily gathering weather data to add to what we know about weather trends in the 20th century, but historians and others are also hoping to glean a bit of extra information from the notes added to the logs. Mostly they're boring day-to-day, but every now and then there are names, which could be useful -- for example to people doing genealogy -- and sometimes dramas such as sickness and death.

This can't be computerized as computers are bad at reading handwriting.

You don't have to commit to any amount of time and could just do a little now and then, but it could be both useful and interesting. I did a bit, and I'll go back now and then, and it's easy once you've done a couple.

Click here to see more.

Let me know if you try it, and how it goes!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

A self-made Georgian gentleman

I've blogged about the Aske Hall in Yorkshire, and the man who built it.

Come and read the story.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

more travel

I'm adding more about travel because in addition to sharing this stuff with interested readers, it's a way to file it on line in case I need it on he road!

In the days of machinery, however, the magnates generally travelled to London by other means. One mode was the procession of nine or ten days in all the solemn state of lonely grandeur; (as related in the previous blog) the other by obtaining a partner in the lighter expense of a chaise.* " Wanted," says a Darlinijton Mercury of 1773, " a partner in a post chaise to London, on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday next. Enquire of the Post Master in Darlington."
In the Ettrick Diary there is a curious and painful account of a journey to London, performed by the squire and his lady on horseback ; of their misery and consternation when their horse "Dragon" fell lame ; and of tlie frightful expenses of the journey, which are partly accounted for by the dolorous husband, " because his wife would have all her own way.'
In days of old, there was a discreet decree among travellers on horseback, and even by stage coach, that when Sunday came, it should be a day of rest for both man and beast in the slow progress on the road.
About 80 years ago, there was but one post chaise in Darlington, and it had only three wheels. When another innkeeper set up an opposition chaise to it, the rival hosts adopted the practice which prevailed up to a recent period at bathing places, of watching the approach of chaises into the town, and handing cards to the travellers, soliciting their favours.
Here's the account of a journey. The book scan isn't great. I've corrected where I'm sure, but left the rest. The money is in pounds, shillings, and pence. l for pound, which is easily missed. s or / for shillings. d for pence. So 21. 3s. 5d should be 2l 3s 5d -- two pounds, three shillings, and five pence.
1762, Jan. 29. Paid bill at Darlington for chaise and horses. II. 1s. 1d.:
at Northallerton, 2l. Is.
Boroughbridge, all night, 2l. 3s. 5d. .
Wetherby, breakfast, 10d. Id.: (this seems cheap as elsewhere it's a number of shillings)
Aberforth, dinner, II. &s. OtI. :
Ferrybridge, all night, 3l. Is. Id.:
Doncaster, dinner, II. 13s.5d.:B
arnbymocr, all night, 11. 14*. Urf. :
Tuxford, breakfast,6s.:
Carleton, dinner, II. 9s. Sd.:
Newark, all night, '21. 18?. 7.W.:
Grantham, dinner, II. 13». .Wrf. :
Cotesworth, all night, 21. 14s. OJrf.:
Stamford, dinner, 21.10s. Rd.:
Stilton, all night, 21." IBs. id. :
Bngden, dinner, 21. 6*. 5Ad. :
Biggleswade, all night, 31. 2s. 4d.:
Stevenage, breakfast, II. Is. flrf.:
Hatfield, dinner, II. 18s. 5d.:
Barnett, all nipht, 31. 4s. Od. :

It gets more expensive as he goes south, but a night seems to be 2-3 pounds, dinner 1-2 pounds, which probably included wine.

Another account. fifteen days hire of six coach horses, coachman, and postillion, from York to Darlington and from thence to London, and return to York, at II. 15s. Od. a day, 26. 5s. Od.
: said coachman, extra present, 21. 2s. 0d: paid postillion do., II. Is. (tips?)
: May 17, conch and six horses, from London to Grange, 201. 14s. Od.: road expenses from London to Grange, 511. 6». 3J(i Total cost of journey, 1601. Is. 9-W

Rough, I know, but I don't have time to do better. Make of it what you will!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

costs of travel in the past.

This travel budget is from 1762 from Darlington in the north of England to London for one lady. This is an 18th century account, and they take knowledge for granted, so interpreting can be tricky. However, it's clear this was seen as a vast amount of money for a trip to Town.

"Miss Ann Allan's journey up (London is always up) consumed nine days. Six coach-horses, a coachman and postillion, came from York for her (it was common for the hired post chaise to pick up at the door. The option was for someone to take the traveler to the nearest posting inn), and in the service were occupied fifteen days. (That implies that she had the same coachman and postilion for the whole journey, which is interesting, because it also implies that she used the same horses. However, the roads were so bad at times, that speed might not have been possible, and the lady might have wanted long breaks, in which case the horses could be rested, watered, and fed.)

The accounts next says "for which they were charged 261. 5s. Od., besides coachman and postillion's fees."
This sounds like nearly 270 pounds for the carriage and horses alone, almost 30 pounds a day. A poor labourer might have to try to live on 30 pounds a year!

On the return journey, the coach and six horses cost 280 pounds.

Then it adds that the road expenses back to Darlington were 611. 6s. 3. That must be the costs for stops, including overnight plus tolls, but it still seems an enormous amount. I assume the lady was traveling with some servants, but perhaps she took a retinue!

It concludes, "The total cost of the journey up and down was 1500 pounds,; and some 700 pounds were spent by the lady in town."

On Ann Allan, the Allan family were one of the most important in Darlington, and i found this note about the church. "The Church Plate consists of two large silver flaggons, two plates, and a chalice with a cover, given by Mrs. Hannah Eden and Mrs. Ann Allan: “Vasa sacra Deo et EcclesiÅ“ S. Cuthberti in Darlington humillime offerunt Hannah Eden et AnnaAllan, Anno Domini 1772.”
Also George Allan Esq. (who married Thomasine Prescott,) built Blackwell-Grange. His last surviving daughter, Ann Allan who died in 1787"

For a later Ann Allan, who bears some resemblance to Miss Haversham of Great Expectations, read here.


Friday, May 28, 2010


Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of Dunkirk, and I thought it worth acknowledging. There's a series of pictures here.

It and the Battle of Britain are iconic events of WWII for Britain, but especially Dunkirk, because of the participation of ordinary people. It forms the background for an episode in the excellent Foyle's War, and also Paul Gallico's novel, The Snow Goose.

BBC recently did a play of this book. You can hear it here.


Friday, May 21, 2010

More on fabrics

My posts here are forwarded to my Facebook page, and I received these interesting comments there from Jo Koster.

"There's an exhibit on quilts currently at the V&A that shows lots of small bits of these fabrics. Interesting to see the smaller prints evolve as textile machinery grew more sophisticated but also as demands for smaller-scale pieces grew.

Here's the V&A link. People who are interested: try the "textiles resources" link on the left-hand bar. Lots of photos (download for free) and many other resources."

Thanks, Jo.


Friday, May 14, 2010

wild weather in the past

A timely reminder that wild weather isn't new, and nor is nasty winter weather in England.

From the letters of Horace Walpole.
"Arlington Street, Feb. 22, 1762. (PAGE 173)

"As we have never had a rainbow to assure us that the world shall
not be snowed to death, I thought last night was the general
connixation. We had a tempest of wind and snow for two hours
beyond any thing I remember: *chairs were blown to pieces, the
streets covered with tassels and glasses and tiles, and coaches
and chariots were filled like reservoirs. Lady Raymond's house
in Berkeley-square is totally unroofed; and Lord Robert Bertie,
who is going to marry her, may descend into it like a Jupiter

*chairs here means sedan chairs.

If you want to read his letters, and many other interesting old books, they're available on line in a number of places including Fullbooks

Jo :)

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Pictures of old Darlington

There's a great collection of old postcards and photos of the Darlington area on this website.

There are pictures here of Thirsk, which features in Secrets of the Night. At left is a photo of mine of The Three Tuns, in which some scenes are set.

There are some more in the middle of this page, though I note that the picture of The Three Tuns isn't working. Have to fix that.

This page is particularly interesting. It compares modern pictures with old photographs.

Darlington isn't that far from here, and my husband's family lived in Middlesbrough, not far away, after moving from rural Yorkshire in the Beverley area to get jobs in industry. Part of my MIP, An Unlikely Countess, is set in Darlington, which is how I found this site in the first place.



Sunday, May 02, 2010

Title usage

As a reminder, I have a page on my web site giving a simple overview of peerage titles for the romance writer.

There are a number of other articles. Click here for the menu.

The picture is of a backboard, if you've ever wondered what they were. It has a heart-shaped flat piece at the back, and by holding it on this way, the posture was perfected, in theory at least.



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ships Accounts

As the name of this blog suggests, I like to mine the past for information, and this is worth a dig.

Ships accounts/stores from the 18th century.

Some of it might take some interpretation, though. The transcript of one sheet is:
Account of Stores for the Brigg Saley

logg Real & lines Doppy lad & line
long & short mesures Lantorns & funels
3 hand pumps Hamer & Nales & lether
granes & Harpons fishing hooks & lines pames
Nedles & twine glases minuet and 1/2 Dozen Half
our glases Spike Nales of Defront Sises
gimblets lades & tormanters one or too hatchets
a Sarwing malet woding Boles Knifes
forkes & Spunes a Cabine table Candles
& oyl Pots for the Long Bots Padlocks
Scales & wates a pare of Small Stilards
Corking iorns and Serapors hand Spikes
Seedor Pales Lime for the Cumboos

Minuet I assume is minute, and the glasses for measuring time. Tormanters? Serapors?

Cumboos? We could people a fantasy novel with them. "Tho Tormanters are coming! Invoke the serapors. Arm the cumboos!"

Another document is the articles, ie the agreement before sailing, which lists the men and the money they're paid before sailing, and the pay per month. It seems pretty good for the time. The carpenter, for example, Abraham Hawkins, is paid 148 pounds advance, then 50 pounds a month if I read it right. Or perhaps it was an either or.

Jo :)

Read an excerpt from The Secret Duke here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

An 18th century account book.

Genealogy web sites can be great sources of historical data. I came across The Account Book of Thomas Morgan of Carmarthen from the 18th century.

(Also came across this interesting chronology of events, which mostly seem to be industrial.

This is an article on the book, and I wish the book itself were available on line as it would be a wonderful resource for daily cost of living. I'm currently gathering data on cost of living for the poorer folk in the mid 18th century for my MIP, An Unlikely Countess.The article is from the '50s. Where is the book now?

(The cover is of the UK edition of Tempting Fortune, out on March 22nd, and shows Portia about to be auctioned off in a brothel for a great deal of money. It's unavailable in the US at the moment, but if you want a copy you can get it from The Book Depository in the UK, which ships free around the world. Great de

Items of interest.
"In the same year Morgan rents a tenement called Gwaintre beddau [Laugharne ?] for £9 from Anne Parry whose receipt is a very shaky 'A'. " Was this an annual rent? It seems low for that, but without more detail it's hard to tell.

There's more clarity on the cost of a maidservant. "In 1761 he paid his servant maid Susan Hanmer £1.15s.0d per annum, had her shoes mended for a shilling and bought a silk hat for 4s.4d. Other purchases included a cotton gown, handkerchiefs, whale bone and even a pair of garters." So the wage was truly on top of all expenses.

Unless there's something else going on here. That silk hat is suspect. But we'll probably never know.

There are some clear lists, such as this.
  • Seven cane chairs £0.17s.6d
  • One Brass Pan £1.6s.7d
  • Five Pewter Dishes £0.8s.4d
  • Twelve Pewter Plates £0.11s.0d
  • Two brass candlesticks £0.3s.9d
  • Two Iron Pots £0.6s.0d
  • Two small casks £0.2s.0d

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Sinecures et al

A sinecure is a job that provides income without requiring much if any work, and they were a common source of income for the upper classes in the past. Usually, someone else was hired to do any necessary work at a much lower income.

There were also court appointments which did require some work, at the least attendance, but still paid very well as well as giving access to royalty with all the benefits that can bring. I came across this list of the household of Princess Augusta in the mid 18th century.

Princess Augusta was King George III's mother, so her household is grand. Why is she not queen? Because her husband, the Prince of Wales, died before becoming king.

Among the grand, we have:

Groom of Stole and Mistress of Robes

Hamilton had £500 as Groom of Stole and £400 as Mistress of Robes and possibly also £400 as Lady of Bedchamber. Middlesex was apparently only Mistress of Robes.

Hamilton, Lady Jane WS 12 July 1736 (Add. MS 24397 f. 90v). Res. offices of Groom of Stole and Mistress of Robes by 6 June 1745 when granted pension of £1200

Middlesex, Grace Countess of WS as Mistress of Robes 24 June 1747

900 pounds a year was a lot of money back then.


The new edition of Tempting Fortune will be out in the UK in a few weeks.

Read my latest newsletter here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Not a new thing at all. Apparently the first English one was in the time of Good Queen Bess, and they only ceased in the 1820s, to be begun again in one form with the Premium Bonds, and in the 1990s by a straight lottery.

And linked to gambling, at least, in March the UK edition of Tempting Fortune, book 2 of the Mallorens, available in trade paperback, postage free from The Book Depository. You can order your copy now.

From sunny but nippy Whitby,


Saturday, February 06, 2010

A gift for a Wenchly guest

My guest at Word Wenches last Wednesday was the wonderful author Stephanie Laurens, whose latest book is Elusive Bride, in her Black Cobra series.

We Wenches like to give our guests virtual gifts as that allows us unstinting generosity.

As Stephanie loves to write about military men I thought of this, and the easiest place to display in on the web is here. It's a little bit out of her time frame, but it would look wonderful in her Australian home.

A magnificent suit of 16th century armour.

I hope you never need to don it, Stephanie!


Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Egyptian Hall

This was mentioned in To Rescue a Rogue and BBC Radio 4 has a series on it. They're mini dramas, really.

There are so many interesting programmes on BBC 4.

You can listen here.

They call it Victorian, but it isn't. It was built in the Regency.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Causes of death

Another interesting little detail about causes of death. Industrial accidents and drowning, mainly, but note that all these are men except for the baby. Of course women were less likely to have such "violent" deaths that triggered inquests, but it wasn't just women dying off.

Title Abstract of Inquests delivered at York Lent Assizes (Aug 1755-Mar 1756)
Date c.1756
Description Contains details of places taken at, times when, dead bodies and verdicts as follows:
1) Latham, 2 Aug 1755, Henry Stubbins, accidently killed by a fall from a waggon
2) Cottonworth [Cottingwith], 2 Aug 1755, Peter Wilson, killed by a waggon wheel
3) Broomfleet, 16 Sep 1755, a person unknown, cast up by the River Humber
4) Routon, 23 Sep 1755, Thomas Dails, killed by a wain wheel
5) Hotham, William Akester, killed by a fall from a waggon by accidents
6) Bridlington, 10 Sep 1755, John Webster, killed by the stroke of a horse
7) Everingham, 2 Nov 1755, Francis Rushton, by accidents fell into the boyling copper
8) Loftsam Firry, 7 Nov 1755, Peter Sergison, drowned by accidents
9) Winteringham, 8 Dec 1755, Richard Hardy, found dead in a hemp pitt
10) Water, 11 Dec 1755, William Smith, killed by a fall from a waggon
11) Scampston, 23 Dec 1755, Jo'n Beilby found dead by the Act of Providence
12) Wellwick, 29 Dec 1755, Robert Hunter, shot himself
13) Muston, 13 Jan 1756, a female bastard child, murdered and buried
14) Bridlington, 26 Jan 1755, Mathew Griffin, drowned by accidents
15) Milestone house from Hull, 8 Mar 1756, William Abblett, infant, drowned
16) South Cave, 25 Mar 1756, Robert Story, killed by accidents

soul traveling and other folklore

Yes, it's active writing and research time, so there'll probably be more posts coming through here. Today it's Yorkshire dialect, which led me to this page, which has lots of good material. It also cites this song by Steel Eye Span, which I remember fondly.

The image is from Wikipedia here.

I'm quoting the first two verses. The rest are on the site with a link to them singing it. I can't find the true URL on this computer, so you'll have to click on examples and scroll down a bit. It's wake song, that is, one sung at a funeral, and about the soul's journey over the moors, which will be hard or easy depending on their actions in life.

This ean night, this ean night

Every night and awle

Fire and Fleet and candle-leet

And Christ receive thy Sawle

When thou from hence dost pass away

Every night and awle

To Whinney-moor thou comest at last

And Christ receive thy Sawle

I love this not only for the song and the dialect, but for the folklore and the philosophy behind it.


Saturday, January 09, 2010

People in the past weren't always stupid!

Safety through eye make-up?

Yes, it seems that heavy Egyptian eye-liner might have guarded against eye disease.

The image is from this page about Neferiti

Perhaps that's why the lady on Chalice of Roses is wearing eye-liner, too. Back in the 12th century? Assuming she's Gledys of Rosewell, from my story.

Check out our page for Chalice of Roses. It's on sale now.

Four engaging novellas bring romance to the legend of the Holy Grail....” Publishers Weekly

“...four formidable authors stretch their imaginations...each unique voice
calls upon historical incidents and paranormal elements to contribute to an anthology
that lifts the human spirit.” 4 1/4 stars, Top Pick! Kathe Robins Romantic Times Book Club

VERDICT: This beautifully crafted anthology by some of the genre's best is graced with flawless writing, touches of humor, and magical, creative plots." Library Journal

Jo :)