Literary Links

March/April 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.

2000 RWA National Conference--The annual Romance Writers of America conference will take place Wednesday, July 26, 2000 to Saturday July 29, 2000 at the Marriott Wardman Park, Washington D.C. For more information and registration forms, see the RWA National web site at

Michelle Hoppe appears in this month's feature title, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Your Romance Published by best-selling historical author, Julie Beard.  Check out page 318 for her quote.  Also check out this invaluable guide to writing, selling and promoting your romance novel.

New On Literary Liaisons

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


Affirmations for Artists by Eric Maisel, Ph.D.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Your Romance Published by Julie Beard

Keepers of the Kingdom by Alastair Bruce, Julian Calder and Mark Cator

Living the Writer's Life by Eric Maisel, Ph.D.

The Polite Tourist: Four Centuries of Country House Visiting by Adrian Tinniswood

The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-line Pioneers by Tom Standage

Featured Title

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Your Romance Published by Julie Beard

RWA Chapters On-line

Alaska Chapter of RWA

Eastside RWA (Washington)

Love Designers Writer's Club

Mid-America Romance Writers (MARA)

North Louisiana Story Tellers and Authors of Romance (NOLA STARS)

Northwest Houston RWA

Prairie Hearts

Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada

Southern Idaho RWA, Inc.

Southern Magic (Birmingham)

Southwest Florida Romance Writers

Tacoma Chapter of RWA

Vancouver Island Chapter

Researching the Romance

Affirmations for Artists by Eric Maisel, Ph.D.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Your Romance Published by Julie Beard

Keepers of the Kingdom by Alastair Bruce, Julian Calder and Mark Cator

Living the Writer's Life by Eric Maisel, Ph.D.

The Polite Tourist: Four Centuries of Country House Visiting by Adrian Tinniswood

The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-line Pioneers by Tom Standage


Writers' Resources


Art Deadlines List


The Costumer's Manifesto


Preditors & Editors

Prints George

Rana's World of Books

Society for Creative Anachronism

Feature Article 

The London Season

By Michelle Jean Hoppe

The London Season coincided with the sitting of Parliament. This could begin any time after Christmas, depending upon the success of the hunting season in the country. The season usually began in earnest after Easter session break, since many families remained in country until midwinter or even as late as March.

May signified the 'official' start of the season with an annual exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art. Thus began a whirlwind of court balls and concerts, private balls and dances, parties and sporting events.

The Derby, an event for the masses, was held in May or June. Parliament adjourned for this race. Ascot was more exclusive, and attended by the upper classes. The season peaked in the June fortnight between Derby and Ascot. July hosted the Henley Regatta and cricket contests, with particular attention given to school rivals Oxford and Cambridge, and Eton and Harrow.

Parliament always adjourned on August 12, the opening of the grouse season. Everyone went north and the fashionable deserted London come August.

On a typical day in the season, families would rise early to go riding in Hyde Park. Rotten Row, a sandy track, was the preferable place to be seen, or the Ladies' Mile for the gentler set. Ladies trained throughout their girlhood to become experts in mounting, riding gracefully while still in command of the horse, shaking hands with friends from the saddle, and dismounting. They also learned to control their horse so as to avoid accidents in crowds.

After riding came breakfast. Ladies then went shopping or took care of household chores like paying bills. They would only make morning calls on those they knew extremely well. A well-bred person never called on casual acquaintances in the morning. After lunch, men would go to Parliament or the club. Ladies paid more calls, thus filling the hours between 12p.m. and 5p.m. Calls did not exceed 1/2 hour in length, and from 10 to 20 minutes was considered adequate. If others arrived while paying a call, the first caller would politely leave.

No low-necked dresses nor short sleeves should be seen at day receptions, nor white ties or dress coats. Elegant jewelry and laces were also reserved for the evening.

Dinner was at 6p.m. or 7p.m., followed by a soiree or opera. At the opera, a gentleman always escorted his lady in, walking side by side with her unless the aisle was too narrow. She took the inner seat, he the outer. A gentleman would never leave his lady's side from the beginning to the end of the performance. If she did not wish to join the promenade at intermission, he remained with her in their seats.

Balls and dances started at 10p.m. and went as late as 3 a.m. The ensemble played an equal number of waltzes and quadrilles, with one or two other dances. Programmes listed the schedule of dances. Balls normally opened with a waltz, followed by a quadrille. Gentleman could be introduced to ladies at a ball solely for the purpose of dancing, but could not presume to further the acquaintance afterward.

At a ball, the hostess provided dressing rooms for ladies and gentlemen, with at least one servant in each to handle guests' needs. A complete set of toilet articles was supplied in the dressing rooms for emergencies.

London became a virtual marriage market during the season. Never were so many people in so small a place looking for a spouse, and all within a few month's time. Girls had to be presented to the Queen before being able to enter society. She had to be presented by a lady of higher rank, whether family member or friend. A young lady was not considered approved for the marriage market until she was presented at court. All titled ladies were eligible to be presented to the Queen, along with the wives and daughters of these professions: clergy, military and naval officers, physicians and barristers, (which were considered aristocratic professions,) but not the wives or daughters of General Practitioners or solicitors.

Once presented, a prospective bride could reasonably attend 50 balls, 60 parties, 30 dinners and 25 breakfasts all in one season. If she didn't marry within two or three seasons, she was considered a failure, and at 30 a hopeless spinster.


Etiquette: Rules & Usages of the Best Society, reprinted by the Promotional Reprint Company, Ltd., Leicester, 1995.

To Marry an English Lord, Or How Anglomania Really Got Started by Gail McColl and Carol McD. Wallace, New York, Workman Publishing, 1989.

The Model Wife Nineteenth-century Style by Rona Randall, London, The Herbert Press, 1989.

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1993.

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England From 1811-1901 by Kristine Hughes, Cincinnati, Writer's Digest Books, 1998.

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

This issue has a varied assortment of topics, thanks to readers.  We cover music in the FAQ column.  And our Feature Article is on The London Season, per request of Missy Z..  I welcome suggestions as well as submissions for articles, so please keep those questions coming.  This newsletter is for you, the reader and writer.  I am also happy to announce the release of a new writer's handbook.  Award-winning author, Julie Beard, has just published The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Your Romance Published.  Check it out on our Featured Book page.  It's a great source for beginners and experienced alike.  Which leads me to a final topic--inspiration.  As a writer myself, I understand the frustrations and disappointments that too often accompany the successes and wins.  This is a difficult business, as we often take criticism too personally.   How can we not with laying our hearts open for others to judge?  I have found invaluable support in my local RWA chapter.  I am very fortunate to have Chicago-North.  I have also found help through several books, namely those by Eric Maisel, PhD.  I've listed two of his titles in this month's issue--Affirmations for Artists and Living the Writer's Life.  Friends and family don't always understand the life of a writer.  These books have helped me tremendously, along with his now out-of-print Staying Sane in the Arts.  We can't stay sane.  It's the nature of the business.  But we can cope.  So here's to continued successes, interspersed with those failures we can always learn by.  

FAQ Column

Q: I am a published writer at work on my third historical novel set in England. The year is 1868 and I am interested in British piano music (hymns, ballads, theater tunes etc.) published on or before January 1868. Would you point me toward resources, published texts or online archives, that catalog music by era/date and include British pieces? 

A:  I don't know of any Internet sites off hand, but I have several books on European music. The first is One Hundred English Folksongs edited by Cecil Sharp. ISBN#0486231925  It includes the music scores for 100 folk songs, with a brief intro for each piece, including the town where it originated and the date it was written. Some songs date back to the middle ages, others are newer, into the 19th Century.

The second book: Nineteenth Century European Piano Music by John Gillespie. ISBN# 0486234479 It includes the scores of less-known works of composers such as Heller, Strauss and Czerny. The dates of each piece are listed, along with a brief bio of the composer. The bulk of the book is the music itself, but it is useful for getting dates.

Both of these books are Dover publications and easy to get either through Dover or  But there is very little text in these.

The best resource I have for music is: From the Ballroom to Hell: Grace and Folly in the Nineteenth-Century by Elizabeth Aldrich. ISBN#0810109131 This book covers the history of dance in the 19th century, complete with how fashions influenced the dances, and manners on the dance floor. There is very little music in this book. It's mainly text, much of it reprints from 19th Century contemporary dance manuals.

If you want classical music, check The New York Public Library Book of Chronologies which lists composers by date of birth, and gives a few of their major works with publication dates.  Victorian Things by Asa Briggs is a hefty volume, and rather daunting, but there's a few references to popular songs in the index under 'music'.  There's also a few references in Victorian Delights by John Hadfield. There is a chapter on music covers, which were of popular songs of the day. Not many, but fun.

Historical Calendar of Events


Arthur Rimbaud, French poet

Henri Poincare, French matehmatician and philosopher

Karl Begas, German painter

Englebert Humperdinck, German composer

George Eastman, American photography pioneer

Paul Ehrlich, German biochemist


Abbas I, Viceroy of Egypt assassinated

Jeremias Gotthelf, Swiss author


Britain and France conclude an alliance with Turkey and declare war on Russia.  Turkey agrees to Austrian occupation of Danubian principalities until the end of the war.

The British withdraw from territory north of South Africa's Orange River in accordance with the Convention of Bloemfontein signed February 17 with the Boers.

Commodore M.C. Perry negotiates the first American-Japanese treaty.

The Elgin Treaty signed June 5 establishes reciprocity between Canada and the United States.

The Republican Part is formed in the United States.

Lawrence, Kansas is founded by two parties sent out by the New England Emigrant Aid Society.  The city is named after the society's patron, Boston merchant Amos Lawrence.

Omaha is formally founded in Nebraska Territory.

Francis Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, marries the Bavarian Princess Elizabeth.

The U.S. Senate ratifies the Gadsden Purchase for acquisition of parts of southern New Mexico and Arizona.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act signed into law by president Franklin Pierce May 30 opens to white settlement western lands that have been reserved by sacred treaty for the Indians.

A Boston mob attacks a federal courthouse May 26 in an attempt to rescue the fugitive slave Anthony Burns.


The Arts

Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet by GustaveCourbet

Ramsgate Sands by William Frith

The Reaper by Jean Francois Millet

The Light of the World by Holman Hunt

Vienna Woods Landscape by Waldmuller
Walden, or Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau
Hard Times by Charles Dickens

Ten Nights in a Barroom and What I Saw There by Timothy Shay Arthur

"Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Poverty is No Crime by Aleksandr Nikolayevich Ostrovsky at Moscow's Maly Theater

The Courier of Lyons by Charles Reade and Tom Taylor at the Princess's Theatre, London

One Must Not Live as One Likes by Aleksandr Nikolayevich Ostrovsky at Moscow's Maly Theater
Popular songs:
Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair by Stephen C. Foster


Daily Life
University College in Dublin is founded.

Working Men's College, London, is founded by F.D. Maurice.

Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute is founded in Brooklyn, New York.

A Jewish seminary is established at Breslau.

New York's Astor Library opens February 1st  just below Astor Place in Lafayette Street.

The New York Academy of Music opens at the northeast corner of 14th Street and Irving Place.

Le Figaro begins weekly publication in Paris.

The Age begins publication in Melbourne, Australia.

A disposable paper collar is patented by sewing machine pioneer Walter Hunt.

The Juvenile Offenders Act is passed in Britain.

Pope Pius IX declares the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be an article of faith.

The first street-poster pillars are erected in Berlin by Ernst Litfass.

A typhus epidemic in the Russian army spreads to the British and French in the Crimea.

Florence Nightingale takes 34 London nurses to Scutari and organizes a barracks hospital.

German composer Robert Schumann attempts suicide February 27 in a fit of depression.

The first Texas longhorns to reach New York arrive after a long trek that has made their meat tough and stringy.

The side-wheeler S.S. Arctic sinks September 27 off Cape Race, Newfoundland after colliding with the 250-ton French iron propeller ship, S.S. Vesta.


S.S. Brandon is built, the first ship with compound expansion engines

Heinrich Goebel, invents the first form of the electric light bulb.

Manuel Garcia, singing teacher, invents the laryngoscope.

The Turin-Genoa railroad is opened.

The Pennsylvania Railroad opens its line between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

The B&O opens its line between Baltimore and Wheeling.

The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad is created by a merger of four small lines.

Railroads reach the Mississippi River.

A paper mill at Roger's Ford in Chester County, Pa., produces paper from wood pulp at low cost. 

The U.S. Mint opens a San Francisco branch and pays miners the official rate of $16 per ounce of gold.

Philadelphia dentist Mahlon Loomis patents a kaolin process for making false teeth.


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