Literary Links

January/February 2000


Good News and Announcements

Chicago-North RWA--Fire & Ice Contest--Chicago-North RWA is pleased to announce its 2nd Annual Fire & Ice contest. Send your first chapter where the hero and heroine meet. Enter one of three categories--Contemporary, Historical or Specialty. There's a $50 1st place prize, $25 2nd place prize and $15 3rd place prize for each category, and editors will judge the final round. Check out the contest rules at the chapter web site: http// The winners will be announced at the RWA National Conference in Washington D.C. this year.

RWA Favorite Book of the Year--Did you vote for 1999 Favorite Book of the Year? If so, check out the results on the RWA National web site. Click Here.


New On Literary Liaisons

There are many new additions to Literary Liaisons. After reading about them below, check them out on the web site.


The Crystal Palace Exhibition Illustrated Catalogue by Art-Journal

A Dictionary of Nineteenth Century History, edited by J. Belchem and R. Price

The English Fair by David Kerr Cameron

Growing Up In Medieval London: The Experience of Childhood in History by Barbara A. Hanawalt

The Mauve Decade: American Life at the End of the Nineteenth Century by Thomas Beer



Various Titles by R.F. Delderfield

Featured Title

The Writer's Legal Companion by Brad Bunnin and Peter Beren

RWA Chapters On-line

Capital Heart Throbs (Olympia, WA)

Central Ohio Fiction Writers

Florida Romance Writers

Kansas Fiction Writers

Researching the Romance

The Crystal Palace Exhibition Illustrated Catalogue by Art-Journal

A Dictionary of Nineteenth Century History, edited by J. Belchem and R. Price

The English Fair by David Kerr Cameron

Growing Up In Medieval London: The Experience of Childhood in History by Barbara A. Hanawalt

The Mauve Decade: American Life at the End of the Nineteenth Century by Thomas Beer


Writers' Resources


Absolute Authority

Awe-Struck E-Books

Book Promotion Checklist

The British Monarchy

eBook News

Medieval English Towns

A Regency Repository

The Royal Navy

Spartacus Educational

Starlight Writers Publications


Feature Article 

1900 And Beyond

by Michelle Jean Hoppe

It is hard for us to conjecture what people hoped for or looked forward to when the century turned from 1899 to 1900. And yet, we are living what some of those dreams may have been. We are flying in their imaginary planes, using their computers, and communicating without miles and miles of wires connecting us. They had dreams. But more important, they believed, and thus their dreams became reality.

Here is a look back at the turn of the century from 1899 to1900. Some of these memories will make you smile. Others will make you sit up and take notice. To say we have progressed is an understatement. Yet in reading about life 100 years ago, we have to wonder if we haven't also regressed. For one person's dreams can cause another's sufferings. Perhaps Queen Victoria summed it up best in her journal on December 31, 1899--"[it was a] very eventful, and in many ways sad, year."

Britain began the year 1900 in the midst of the Boer War. On New Year's Day, Queen Victoria telegraphed good wishes to Sir Redvers Buller in Cape Town. Celebrations were much quieter politically for them on Jan 1, 2000, but not quiet in terms of noise. Queen Elizabeth II rang in the new century with 10,000 guests at the Millennium Dome in North Greenwich, an event broadcast worldwide.

The year 1900 continued to be politically unstable for many, with the Boxer Rebellion in China and the murder of King Umberto I of Italy by an anarchist. The United States celebrated the election of William McKinley as President. However, his term would be short-lived. He, too, was assassinated by an anarchist in--1901.

To prove that good can rise out of the ashes, though, the Boer War oddly saw the beginning of the Boy Scouts. Colonel Robert Baden-Powell, in need of resources, mobilized all the young boys of Mafeking and turned them into scouts, spies and liaison officers. These boys proved instrumental in holding the town during a 211-day siege. After the war was over, Colonel Baden-Powell decided to organize the Boy Scout movement, to bring back the idealism of those brave young men. The Boy Scouts continue their good work still today.

Peace and War, Life and Death--a continuous cycle. Queen Victoria, like all, witnessed both in her family in 1900. She lost her son, Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh & Saxe-Coburg Gotha, as well as her grandson, Christian Victor, by daughter Princess Helena. But 1900 also brought the birth of Queen Victoria's great-grandson, Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas, by granddaughter Victoria. It was the last christening the Queen would attend, and she insisted upon holding the baby throughout the entire ceremony. Did she perhaps sense the beginning of the end for herself?

A scientific achievement with us to this day, was the maiden flight of the Zeppelin on July 2, 1900. Who would have guessed during that first flight from Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen in Germany that the zeppelin would become a mainstay of today's sporting events?

The year 1900 also brought many cultural achievements. Joseph Conrad published Lord Jim, Toulouse-Lautrec painted "La Modiste", and Puccini's opera, "Tosca" premiered in Rome, all still with us today. Will we be able to say the same about books published in 2000? But perhaps the most coincidental publication was Sigmund Freud's Interpretation of Dreams. Did he perhaps realize the significance of dreaming back then? Or even the significance of daydreaming?

Dreams have been a part of life from the beginning of time. It is only in dreaming that we believe. It is only in believing in our dreams that we achieve. So my advice to you as we embark on this new century, is:

Dare to daydream. Dare to believe.


Victoria and Her Times by Jean-Loup Chiflet and Alain Beaulet, New York, Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1996.

Victoria: An Intimate Biography by Stanley Weintraub, New York, Penguin Books, 1987.

The Timetables of History by Bernard Grun, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1991.


Some of these books are available for purchase in our on-line bookstore in the non-fiction section.

Also see the Researching the Romance page of Literary Liaisons for more suggestions.


Editor's Note

I promised myself that after all this New Year hoopla I would never utter the "M" word, either during the celebrations or afterward.  So far, I haven't.  But I am going to address the smaller "C" word--Century.  Why?  Because the very essence of the word evokes a lifetime of changing and evolving.  If you think about it, our 1900 counterparts would never have anticipated living for an entire century.  That's not to say it didn't happen.  But it was a rare occurrence, indeed.  We, however, living a mere century later, can have every expectation of living for a century.  Perhaps even more than one hundred years.  Which is why it is even more important to take a look back to simpler times and simpler days.  In our fast-paced, high-tech carpool world, we often forget to appreciate the sunsets and fragrant blossoms of life.  So my advice to you as we start this new century, is to sit back, relax and take time to savor that ice cream cone, or feel the soft fur of your dog's coat, or listen to the cicadas chant their song.  You have one hundred years to live.  What's the rush to get to the end?

FAQ Column

Q: Hi, I have a book of poetry that I want published, would you guys be able to help me?

A: I must admit I know little about the poetry market.  Historical romances of novel length are my specialty.  Have you tried reading the magazine 'Writer's Digest'?  It's a monthly publication that most libraries and bookstores carry.  They have a poetry section every month.  They have also published books on where/how to sell your poetry.  Every year they publish 'Poet's Market'.  The 2000 edition is out already.  Try the library, your local bookstore or through our web site. 
Writer's Digest also has a web site you can check

Historical Calendar of Events


Cecil John Rhodes, British adventurer and statesman
Hall Caine, English novelist
Herbert Beerbohm Tree, English actor
Carl Larsson, Swedish painter
Vincent Van Gogh, Dutch painter

July 23--Japan's Tokugawa shogun Ieyoshi
November 15--Maria II of Portugal, aged 34
December 8-- Jonas Chickering, Boston piano maker
Ludwig Tieck, German poet

January 9--Napoleon III marries Eugenie de Montijo of Spain at the Tuileries Palace.
August 8--A Russian fleet arrives at Nagasaki aiming to open trade relations and resolve boundaries in the Kuriles and Sakhalin.
September 7--Shanghai falls to rebel forces as the Taiping Rebellion continues.
December 30--The Gadsden Purchase treaty signed with Mexico permits the United States to annex a tract of land south of the Gila River.
Franklin Pierce is inaugurated as the 14th President of the United States.
Turkey declares war on Russia, beginning the Crimean War.
Peace is declared between Britain and Burma.
Britain annexes Mahratta State of Nagpur.
Brunswick, Hanover, and Oldenburg join the German Zollverein, bringing all non-Austrian states into the customs union founded in 1833.
Transportation of British convicts to Van Dieman's Land ends after a half-century in which some 67,000 convicts have landed on the island now renamed Tasmania.
The Massachusetts Constitution Convention receives a petition to permit woman suffrage. The appeal comes from the wife of educator and social reformer Amos B. Alcott and 73 other women.

The Arts

Le Tepidarium by Théodore Chassériau
The Stones of Venice by English art and social critic John Ruskin
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
Tanglewood Tales for Girls and Boys by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Peg Woffington by Charles Reade
Ruth and Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
Hypatia by Charles Kingsley
The Heir of Redclyffe by C.M. Yonge
Poems by English poet-critic Matthew Arnold, includes "Sohrab and Rustum," "Scholar Gypsy," and "Requiescat"
Il Trovatore by Verdi in Rome
La Traviata by Verdi in Venice
January 10--Gold by Charles Reade at London's Drury Lane Theatre
Die Journalisten, a German comedy by Gustav Freytag
Popular songs:
"My Old Kentucky Home," "Good Night" and "Old Dog Tray" by Stephen C. Foster

Daily Life
July 14--The first U.S world's fair opens at New York in a Crystal Palace Exposition modeled on the 1851 London Great Exhibition.
October 11--The New York Clearing House that opens at 14 Wall Street is the first U.S. bank clearing house.
Henry Steinway and his three sons begin the New York firm of piano manufacturers.
Melbourne University is founded in Australia.
Washington University is founded at St. Louis, Missouri.
The University of Florida is founded at Gainesville.
The German family magazine, Die Gartenlaube, is founded in Leipzig.
Extreme drought parches the Southwest, lowering prices of land and cattle.
Concord, Mass., horticulturist Ephraim Wales Bull, exhibits the first Concord grapes to the Massachusetts Horticulture Society.
The word 'maverick' comes into use as a term for unbranded cattle when rancher Samuel Maverick rounds up his unbranded cattle for sale before retiring from ranching.
The Mount Vernon Hotel that opens at Cape May, N.J., is the world's first hotel with private baths.
Charleston's 125-room Mills House opens at the corner of Meeting and Queen streets.
London bankers Samuel Montagu and his brother and brother-in-law found a firm and foreign exchange that will become the world's leading gold trader.
New York's state legislature authorizes the city to purchase land for a public park, and some 624 acres are acquired from 59th Street north to 106th Street between Fifth and Eighth Avenues.
Potato chips are invented at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. by chef George Crum of Moon's Lake House.
Keebler biscuits are introduced at Philadelphia by baker Godfrey Keebler whose Steam Cracker Bakery will become a leading U.S. producer of cookies and crackers.
Gail Borden succeeds in his efforts to produce condensed milk.
A yellow fever epidemic at New Orleans kills 7,848.
Freehold Raceway opens at Freehold, N.J., with harness races.

Samuel Colt revolutionizes the manufacture of small arms.
The rebuilding of Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, begins under the direction of P.C. Albert.
Georges Haussmann begins reconstruction of Paris--Boulevards and Bois de Boulogne.
Alexander Wood uses a hypodermic syringe for subcutaneous injections.
The first international Statistical Congress is held in Brussels.
The first railroad is completed through the Alps, running from Vienna to Trieste.
A railroad from Philadelphia reaches the shore of Absecon, N.J., which will become famous as Atlantic City
India's first railway line opens to link Bombay with Thana 20 miles away. English engineer James John Berkley has built the line.
Queen Victoria allows chloroform to be administered to her during the birth of her seventh child, thus ensuring its place as an anesthetic in Britain.
The vaccination against smallpox is made compulsory in Britain.
London physician John Snow traces a local cholera epidemic to a busy public pump in Broad Street whose water supply is contaminated by the cesspool of a tenement in which a cholera patient resides.
A telegraph system is established in India.
Wellingtonia gigantea, the largest tree in the world, is discovered in California.
The safety match is patented by Swedish inventor J. E. Lundstrom.
Pocket watches are produced in quantity for the first time by the American Waltham Watch Co. of Waltham, Mass.
The Boston-built clipper ship Northern Light makes a record 76-day 6-hour voyage from San Francisco to Boston.
The first manned heavier-than-air flying machine soars 500 yards across a valley carrying the coachman of English engineer Sir George Cayley in a large glider.

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