Literary Links

September/October 2001


Good News and Announcements

NEW CONTEST for Historical Writers--The Hearts Through History chapter of RWA proudly announces its first contest--Romance Through The Ages.  Exclusively for historical writers, this contest has categories divided by eras.  The top prize in each category will receive a critique.  The Legend is a special award that will be given for the most memorable hero.  For more information, see the Hearts Through History web site.

Favorite Book of the Year--Don't forget to vote for your favorite romance book of 2001. See the RWA National web site for details.

New On Literary Liaisons

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



Becoming Victoria by Lynne Vallone

The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy by David Cannadine

Dictionary of the American West: Over 5,000 Terms from Aarigaa! to Zopilote by Winfred Blevins

Everyday Life Among the American Indians 1800 to 1900 by Candy Moulton

Grammatically Correct by Anne Stilman

Roget's Thesaurus of Phrases by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD

Featured Title

The History of Underclothes by C. Willett and Phillis Cunnington

The Video Library

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

RWA Chapters On-line

Yellow Rose Romance Writers


Researching the Romance

Becoming Victoria by Lynne Vallone

The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy by David Cannadine

Dictionary of the American West: Over 5,000 Terms from Aarigaa! to Zopilote by Winfred Blevins

Everyday Life Among the American Indians 1800 to 1900 by Candy Moulton

Grammatically Correct by Anne Stilman

Roget's Thesaurus of Phrases by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD



Writers' Resources Online


dMarie Time Capsule

Down the Drain--Chicago's Sewers: A History

Earthly Charms

English slang and colloquialisms used in the United Kingdom

Historic Pittsburgh

The Historical New York Times Project

Railways in the 19th Century

Wings Press


Feature Article 

Transportation in the 19th Century

by Michelle Hoppe

In the beginning of the19th century, the main mode of transportation was the horse and carriage.  It wasn't until the latter part of the century that railways changed people's lives and habits.  But even after the advent of the railway, remote areas still relied on the horse for local transport.  Following is a brief summary of the types of vehicles used to get around.

Carts, drays, vans and wagons were generally used for carrying goods in England.  They could also be used to carry people, but generally people of the lower orders.

Carriages carried people in England.  Barouches, landaus, victorias, curricles and broughams were all carriages.  They varied in body shape and number of horses pulling them.

Open carriages:

Barouche--a four-wheel fancy carriage with a fold-up hood at the back and with two inside seats facing each other.  It was the fancy carriage of the first half of the 19th century.

Berlin--A big four-wheel carriage with a hood.

Curricle--A two-wheel carriage that was fashionable in the early 1800s.  It was pulled by two horses and deemed sporty by the younger set.

Gig--A two-wheel vehicle intended for single-horse driving by an owner.

Landau--Open, fancy carriage with four wheels with a hood at each end and two seats opposite each other.  It was popular in the first half of the 19th century.  Two horses pulled the landau.

Phaeton--A light four-wheel carriage with open sides and drawn by one or two horses. 

Victoria--A low, open carriage with four wheels, which sat only one or two people.  It was in use from about mid-century and very popular with ladies' driving.

Closed carriages:

Brougham--All-purpose everyday vehicle for the quality in the latter part of the century.  Originally a two-wheel vehicle, by the latter part of the 19th century, they were most often four-wheel carriages.

For Hire vehicles:

Hackney--For hire, hackneys were often discarded carriages of the wealthy.  They served as taxis in the 19th century.

Cabriolet--(cab)--These were introduced into England in the 1820s from France.  They quickly replaced hackney coaches.

Hansom--Invented in the 1830s, it had two wheels and the driver sat in back, so the passengers could get a clear view of where they were going.  They eventually replaced the cabs.  It was introduced into the United States later in the century.  By the 1890s, tires were rubber, making the ride smoother.

Omnibus--The first one appeared in London in 1829 and carried about 22 passengers.  By the 1880s, a circular staircase leading to the roof added more seating on top.  They carried 12 passengers inside and 14 on top.  They ran fixed routes and were pulled by horses.

Country vehicles:

Waggon--long, heavy vehicle used in the English countryside for carrying heavy goods and people who didn't have the money to travel fast.

Dray--a cart with no sides used for hauling heavy loads.

Van--A covered-over, lightweight version of the waggons used for hauling goods, and sometimes for people.


Coaches were enclosed, four-wheel vehicles used for long-distance travel.

Stagecoach--coaches which stopped at various pre-appointed stages in order to pick up and drop off passengers.  They were the only way to visit people not on the mail coach routes.  They were built to carry the same passengers as the mail coaches.

Mail coaches--subsidized or owned by the post office and painted uniformly.  They carried four inside passengers and up to eight outside passengers.  Mailbags were piled on the roof and luggage was carried in receptacles called boots.

Carriages of American origin:

Road Wagon, Dog-cart, and Surrey--Were most useful for country work and for fast trotting.

Rockaway--Usually relegated to country use, as it was difficult for the coachman to drive in crowded streets on a low seat.  They were either closed or open.

Runabout--The most generally used light wagon for two passengers.

Wagonette--lightweight and led by two horses, it was useful in the country because it carried a large number of passengers with the least effort to the horses. 


G. & D. Cook & Co.'s Illustrated Catalogue of Carriages and Special Business Advertiser foreward by Paul H. Downing (Dover Publications)

Driving Horse-Drawn Carriages for Pleasure by Francis T. Underhill (Dover Publications)

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool (Simon & Schuster)

The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England by Kristine Hughes (Writer's Digest Books)

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

Hardly a moment goes by that I am not thinking about the horrible tragedy which paralyzed our country on September 11, 2001.  Many innocent people lost their lives in the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  Please take a moment of your time to remember those victims and their friends and families.  While we cannot change what has happened, we can open our hearts to them.  And we can try to help in whatever way is best for each of us.  To find out how you can help, click on this MSN link.

---Michelle Hoppe

President, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.

Q&A Column

Q:  Hi - I came to your website via a search engine looking for information on trousseaux.  I am a writer working on an article on table linens as part of a bride's trousseau. However, most of the information I find discusses lingerie and dresses. Are you familiar with the other components of a Victorian trousseau such as sheets, table linens etc. or do you have any ideas of where I could search for such information? 

---Melissa P.

A: Here's what I've found:

From: Wedded Bliss--A Victorian Bride's Handbook by Molly Dolan Blayney
Abbeville Press, New York, 1992, ISBN# 1558593322

p. 46 "The household linen should also be supplied by a bride's parents. Six sheets, six pillow and bolster cases, two pairs of pillow shams and four spreads should be allowed for each bed. An ornamental coverlet of colored silk or embroidered linen is a charming possession. Four dozen towels would be a moderate supply. Six tablecloths and four or six dozen napkins, large and small, would be needed, and one handsome tablecloth, with napkins to match, for dinner parties. A few embroidered centerpieces and a dozen or two dainty doilies are attractive additions."

FROM: Romantic Victorian Weddings; Then and Now by Satenig St. Marie and Carolyn Flaherty, Dutton Studio Books, New York, 1992, ISBN# 0525933077

p. 26 "Of equal importance to her clothing was the bridal trousseau of household linens. She was to have enough of various grades from kitchen to garret to last for ten years. Many were hemstitched and most were embroidered with her maiden initials. Those brides who chose to make the flower of their wedding their special flower for life might also embroider that motif on some of their linens. If a couple was not to have a household of their own to begin with, the bride was advised to put aside some of her money so that she could buy the linens they would need after they settled. Custom decreed that this was her responsibility."

Both these books have extensive lists of resources for recreating Victorian weddings. Some of these places or organizations may have more information. Also, have you tried your local historical societies? Perhaps there is a local chapter of the Victorian Society of America near you.

Michelle Hoppe
President, Literary Liaisons

Historical Calendar of Events


Austen Chamberlain, British statesman

David Lloyd George, British statesman

Gabriele D'Annunzio, Italian poet

Hermann Bahr, Austrian author

Richard Dehmel, German poet

Anthony Hope, English novelist

Constantin Stanislavsky, Russian theatrical producer

Lucien Pissarro, French painter

Henry Ford, American automobile manufacturer

William Randolph Hearst, American newspaper publisher

Henry Royce, English automotive engineer and industrialist



Jakob Grimm, German writer

Friedrich Hebbel, German dramatist

William Makepeace Thackeray, English novelist

Alfred de Vigny, French poet

Ferdinand Victor Eugene Delacroix, French painter



Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation takes effect January 1, freeing nearly 4 million U.S. slaves but not those in Union-held areas.

Abraham Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the military cemetery.

President Lincoln relieves Gen. Burnside of command January 25 and puts Gen. Hooker in charge of the Army of the Potomac. Then on June 28, Lincoln replaces Gen. Hooker  with Gen. George Gordon Meade, who triumphs a few days later at Gettysburg.

July 11--Conscription for the Union Army begins under legislation passed March 3 giving exemption to any man who pays $300 to hire a substitute.

Draft riots break out in Northern cities with the worst occurring at New York. 

Confederate troops are defeated at Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Arizona is created as a new territory cut from the New Mexico territory.

Idaho organize as a U.S. territory from parts of Dakota, Nebraska, Utah and Washington.

West Virginia becomes the 35th state of the Union

July 20--Kit Carson reaches Fort Defiance in Arizona Territory with federal troops that have been joined by a band of Ute tribesmen. He begins to resettle Navajo and Apache tribespeople on a reservation at Fort Sumner in New Mexico. 

The Nez Perce in the Northwest are forced to sign a treaty agreeing to vacate lands coveted by the whites.

The Ruby Valley Treaty signed with the Shoshone, Washoe, and other tribes in the Nevada Territory gives more than 23 million acres to the tribes but most of it is desert. 

The Greek Assembly chooses Britain’s Prince Alfred to succeed the deposed Otto I.  London rejects the election, and the Greeks choose William of Denmark to reign as George I until 1913 . 

Mohammed Said, Khedive of Egypt dies and is succeeded by Ismail.

Civil War breaks out in Afghanistan after the death of Dost Mohammed.

Frederick VII, King of Denmark dies and is succeeded by Christian IX.

The French capture Mexico City and proclaim Archduke Maximilian of Austria emperor.

China’s Taiping rebels lose Soochow to Manchus led by Zeng Kuofan and the British Gen. Charles G. Gordon.

Britain and France sign commercial treaties with Belgium to begin a period of free trade. The River Scheldt reopens to free navigation for the first time since 1648.



The Arts

Gustave Dore does illustrations for Don Quichotte

'Le dejeuner sur l'herbe' and 'Olympia' by Edouard Manet

'Beata Beatrix' by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

'Little White Girl' by James Whistler

'Man With Hoe" by Jean Millet

'Icebergs' by Frederic Church


History of England 1603-1642 by S. R. Gardiner

The Antiquity of Man by Charles Lyell


The Man Without a Country by Edward Everett Hale

Romola by George Eliot

Five Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne

"Tales of a Wayside Inn" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"The Water-Babies" by Charles Kingsley


Missa Solemnis in A Flat major by Franz Schubert


Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz

Les Pecheurs de Perles by Georges Bizet

Popular songs:

"When Johnny Comes Marching Home" by Louis Lambert

"Clementine" by H.S. Thompson

"The Battle Cry of Freedom by Frederick Root



Daily Life

Edward, Prince of Wales, marries Princess Alexandra of Denmark.

The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is founded as Massachusetts Agricultural College.

Boston College is founded by Roman Catholics.

The National Academy of Sciences is founded in Washington, D.C.

The Football Association is founded in London.

The Grand Prix de Paris is run for the first time at Longchamp.

The first major U.S. racetrack for flat racing opens at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., which will become the center of American horse racing.

French photographer A.F. Nadar makes an ascent in his balloon.

U.S. Congress abolishes free city mail delivery.

Roller skating is introduced into America.

The Travelers Insurance Company is founded in Hartford, Connecticut.

The first stolen base in baseball is done by Eddie Cuthbert of the Philadelphia Keystones against the Brooklyn Atlantics.

Joe Coburn wins the American boxing championship from Mike McCoole in a 63-round match.

Widescale rustling begins on the Texas plains as cattle there are hit by the worst winter in years. 

An epidemic of cattle disease in Britain over the next 4 years will boost meat prices and cause a boom in imports of tinned meats from Australia.

Disruption of sugar plantations in the South sends U.S. sugar prices soaring and brings a vigorous increase in sugar planting in the Hawaiian Islands.

Union forces cut the South off from its salt deposits on the Louisiana Gulf Coast and destroy all its salt works in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. Salt from wells in the area of Syracuse, N.Y., and Saginaw, Mich., keep the North well supplied. 

Sutlers provide Union troops with canned meat, oysters, condensed milk, pork and beans, and vegetables. 

Confederate troops eat the meat-and-vegetable stew “burgoo” created by Lexington, Ky., chef Gus Jaubert but there is widespread hunger in the South. 

Richmond has bread riots in April and Mobile has riots in September as the Union starves the South. Vicksburg, Miss., is starved out July 4.

The Winged Victory of Samothrace turns up in excavations at the Greek city of Samothrace. The Louvre at Paris will exhibit the statue for well over a century.

Le Petit Parisien begins publication under the name Le Petit Presse; it will be France’s largest paper by 1910 with 1.5 million circulation.

Advertising will not develop in France as in Britain and America; French newspapers will be obliged to support themselves by offering favorable publicity to any political group that will pay.

February 10--General Tom Thumb is married at New York’s Grace Church on Broadway and 10th Street to Lavinia Warren who stands 2 feet 8 inches in height. Heavily promoted by showman P.T. Barnum, the wedding attracts huge crowds that jam the streets.  

Granula is introduced by Dansville, N.Y., sanatorium operator James Caleb Jackson, who has baked graham flour dough into oven-dried bread crumbs to create the first cold breakfast food.

Perrier Water is introduced commercially by Source Perrier which bottles the French spring water that bubbles up from a spring near Nîmes. The water contains calcium and sparkles because of its natural carbon dioxide content.

The Great American Tea Co. founded in 1859 grows to have six stores and begins selling a line of groceries in addition to tea.

A scarlet fever epidemic in England takes more than 30,000 lives.  

A 12-year worldwide cholera epidemic begins

The fundamental principles of an international Red Cross movement to aid wounded soldiers and other victims of war are established at Geneva’s Palais de I’Athenée where 36 experts and government delegates meet in response to Henri Dunant’s appeal.

The pen name “Mark Twain” is adopted by former Mississippi riverboat pilot Samuel Langhorne Clemens, who failed as a prospector in Nevada and has gone to work as a Virginia City newspaper reporter using as his nom de plume the cry used by Mississippi riverboat leadsmen to indicate a 12-foot depth of water. 

The Cunard Line enters the immigrant trade with low rates for passengers aboard its new screw-propeller transatlantic ships as potato rot hits Ireland once again, restimulating the exodus to America.

December 8--President Lincoln asks Congress  to establish a system for encouraging immigration.

President Lincoln proclaims the first national Thanksgiving Day October 3 and sets aside the last Thursday of November to commemorate the feast given by the Pilgrims in 1621 for their Wampanoag benefactors.


January 10--The world’s first underground railway system opens in London . The London Underground carries 9.5 million passengers in its first year.

Ebenezer Butterick develops the first paper dress patterns.

Henry Clifton Sorby discovers the microstructure of steel leading to development of the science of metallurgy.

John Speke and James Grant descend the Nile to Gondokoro.

An open-hearth steel furnace is developed by the Martin brothers in France.

A new U.S. gold rush begins in May as prospectors discover gold at Alder Gulch in the Idaho Territory. 

Congress authorizes creation of a National Academy of Sciences to advise the U.S. government in scientific matters and promote scientific research.

The Capitol dome at Washington is capped December 2 to complete the great structure on which work has been continued through the war by order of President Lincoln.

Singer Manufacturing Co. is incorporated by sewing machine inventor I. M. Singer and Edward Clark who split 4,100 of the 5,000 shares between them. Family incomes in America average only $500 per year and a new Singer sewing machine sells for $100 but Clark’s $5 per month installment plan persuades customers to buy Singer machines which cost perhaps $40 to make including all overhead.

John D. Rockefeller builds a petroleum refinery at Cleveland.

Bay Sugar Refining Co. is founded by German-American entrepreneur Claus Spreckels, who has prospered as a San Francisco grocer and brewer since 1856.

The Solvay process employed in a new plant at Couillet, near Charleroi, is cheaper and more effective than the 1791 Leblanc process for obtaining soda (sodium carbonate) from salt (sodium chloride). 

Bethlehem Steel has its origin in the Saucon Iron Co. founded at South Bethlehem, Pa., to make rails from local iron ores.

Cotton textile production begins in Japan. The Japanese will be the world’s largest exporters of cotton goods by 1932.  

President Lincoln signs a bill passed last year guaranteeing builders of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads $16,000 for every mile of track laid on the plains, $32,000 per mile for tracks laid through intermountain stretches, and $48,000 per mile for track laid through the mountains. The bill also provides for extensive land grants along the railroads’ rights of way.  

February 22--ground is broken at Sacramento, California  for the Central Pacific. 

November 24--The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad is organized by Kansas abolitionist Cyrus K. Holliday of Topeka with State Senator S. C. Pomeroy of Atchison and other promoters. 

December 2--ground is broken at Omaha in Nebraska Territory  for the Union Pacific.

Cornelius van Derbilt gains control of the New York and Harlem Railroad

The Milwaukee Road (Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad) has its origin in the Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad which incorporates the Milwaukee and Mississippi begun in 1851.

The first railroad in New Zealand opens between Christchurch and Ferrymead. 

Twin-screw steamers appear on the high seas but Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sunderland, and other British ports will produce hundreds of iron windjammers in the next two decades while U.S. ships will continue to be made of the wood that North America’s vast forests make cheap and abundant.


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