Category Archives: History

Let’s Have a Frost Fair!

Let’s Have a Frost Fair!

Here in Calgary, Canada, we’ve been pretty lucky this winter. Though we had some snow and cold in November and early December, since then it’s been largely mild temperatures and very little snow. That’s certainly welcome if you hate shoveling the white stuff off your driveway! Unfortunately, winter has caught up with us, leading to… more goodness …

Setting and Social Status in Austen’s Novels

Setting and Social Status in Austen’s Novels

We all are aware that Austen wrote what she knew. Most authors do, except perchance those who write paranormal or science fiction or fantasy (although I would argue that these made-up worlds have similarities to the present day) and to an extent, historical fiction, but even with historical fiction, I often include something that occurred… more goodness …

Using Austen as an Historical Resource

Using Austen as an Historical Resource

One of my favorite books is Natalie Zemon Davis’ The Return of Martin Guerre (1983) which heralded the advent of a new historical school: that of subaltern history—essentially the history of sergeants not generals. Davis used court records and other documents to reconstruct a mid-16th Century narrative that was all but lost to history. Davis’… more goodness …

Networking in the Age of Sail

Networking in the Age of Sail

Unlike Army officers, members of the Royal Navy could obtain commissions without purchasing them. This difference created opportunities for the penurious sons of gentlemen like Jane Austen’s father, the Rev. George Austen. Two of his younger sons, Frank and Charles, joined the Navy when they were barely into their teens. Getting ahead in the Navy… more goodness …

Fascinating Objects From the Past

Fascinating Objects From the Past

I love weird stuff! Especially those weird things from the past. I also greatly appreciate the beauty and artistry of even the simplest object from long ago. Our modern, fast-paced, factory produced industries — while wonderful in so many ways (lower cost being a big bonus) — typically do not create with the skill and attention to aesthetics… more goodness …

Top 10 Goofs in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Top 10 Goofs in Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay for this 1995 Jane Austen adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. It is one of my favorite Austen film productions, so please don’t take this list to be proof of anything other than my love of all things Austen. I will concede that a few of the items in this list… more goodness …

Was Jane Austen (Gasp!) Wrong About Entails?

Was Jane Austen (Gasp!) Wrong About Entails?

There are certain historical inaccuracies which often pop up in Pride and Prejudice variations which catch my eye when I come across them, mostly because I tend to find them annoying. No one is perfect—I certainly do not get everything right. But with the awesome power of the internet, we, as authors, should be able… more goodness …

Snow in Hertfordshire and a Giveaway

Snow in Hertfordshire and a Giveaway

Many of you will remember that last year, I shared how difficult Christmas has been for me for many years. I wrote a Christmas book last year, and it was the first one I had done, though I had written a short story a couple of years earlier that became part of Promises Kept. I’m… more goodness …

New Year’s Eve, First-Footing and The Tradition of Singing “Auld Lang Syne”

New Year’s Eve, First-Footing and The Tradition of Singing “Auld Lang Syne”

  New Year’s Day was not always celebrated on January 1. In the time of the Anglo-Saxons, December 25 was the first day of the new year. The Gregorian calendar set December 31 as the last day of the year, but that did not keep people throughout history from celebrating March 1, March 25, and… more goodness …