Literary Links

November/December 2004


Good News and Announcements

A NEW ADDITION!!!!--We're still growing after all these years!  Our purpose is to help you become a better writer, and offer articles and research tips which will authenticate your writing.  So we've opened a Used Book Store!  Here you'll find a selection of used books of good quality for much less than what you'd pay for them new--like English Through the Ages by Wm. Brohaugh for only $5.00, or Victoria by Stanley Weintraub for $6.00. And you can buy on-line through PayPal. Take a look, you may find something you like, and come back often, as we'll be adding to it over the months. 

New Authors added to Family--Our family continues to grow. We've added two new authors to our site.  First is Contemporary author, Beverly Long.  Beverly recently sold her first novel, a paranormal romance, which is due out in January 2005.  Learn more about Beverly at her web site: Also added to our list of authors, is historical and biographical novelist Juliet Waldron.  Juliet contributed our feature article this month, "A Day in the Life Method of Writing Historical Novels," which can be found below.  Learn more about Juliet at

Now Available--Look for this most recent release by Laurie Brown--The Christmas Wedding.

Victorian Research Guide--This 252-page guide, Researching the British Historical--The Victorian Era, is available either in print format or CD-Rom.  You can now order it on-line through PayPal.  For more information, 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 Christmas Wedding by Laurie Brown

Mozart's Wife by Juliet Waldron

Stay With Me by Beverly Long




The Complete Idiot's Guide to Managing Your Time by Jeff Davidson

Dickens's Dictionary of London 1888--Reprint of 1888 edition from Old House Books

Elizabeth's London by Liza Picard

Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders

Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett

Samuel Johnson's Insults edited by Jack Lynch



Feature Title:


Dickens's Dictionary of London 1888--Reprint of 1888 edition from Old House Books


Author Pages:


Beverly Long

Juliet Waldron



The Video Library


The Age of Innocence



RWA Chapters Online


Calgary RWA

Celtic Hearts Romance Writers

RWA Heartbeat



Researching the Romance


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Managing Your Time by Jeff Davidson

Dickens's Dictionary of London 1888--Reprint of 1888 edition from Old House Books

Elizabeth's London by Liza Picard

Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders

Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett

Samuel Johnson's Insults edited by Jack Lynch



Writers' Resources Online


Britain USA--FAQ

British History Online

The Gunpowder Plot Society

Victoria &Albert Museum--Access to Images




Feature Article 

Day in the Life Method of Writing Historical Novels

By Juliet Waldron



One of the things that bothers me about many historical novels I begin to read is that they aren’t.


Plain and simple, if you check a couple of histories and a costume book or two, and you have some talent in story-spinning, you can perhaps write convincingly about a love affair in fancy dress. The fact is, however, you won’t come anywhere close to writing a genuine historical novel, and you’ve probably made a hundred mistakes in detail that tick off people who picked up your book because they “love that period.”


Writing Mozart’s Wife took literally years, as I’d set out to reconstruct the life and experiences of a real person, one married to a famous man.  I’d chosen a subject about whom people already knew a great deal. There was a tremendous amount of information and cultural detail to track down in order to give the story credibility for what I expected to be (mostly) well-informed readers.    


Most writers in the historical field aren’t going to be working on a semi-biographical novel. Many are working on the ever-popular historical romance, where the relationship of the hero and heroine is the whole ball of wax. Even in romance, however, a writer ought to be able to paint broad brush strokes of period. If you learn to do that, you can give your reader the supreme thrill—a time travel experience. Note that I use this phrase. That, I think, sums up the reason people read historicals in the first place—not only for simple escape, but to summon the experience of a long lost world, to breathe another kind of air, to imagine yourself with another set of opportunities—and strictures. The ability to do this can take a reader out of the daily grind, and off to an astonishing Somewhere Else. Life in a medieval city would be as strange to us as any imagined S/F journey to another dimension. 


First, do some old fashioned research:


This includes library, Internet, and utilizing the popular Search Engines. A lot can be learned by lurking on historical specialty lists that you can find and ask to join at Yahoo.


Primary source is good to read, even if you aren’t going to reproduce the language of the times. This means letters, diaries, newspapers, novels, sales material, etc. from your chosen period. Fact is, you won’t have many readers if you do, because most people don’t have the time/patience these days to follow the elliptical writing styles of our ancestors. Still, the sound and phrasing of those long dead voices will begin to reverberate in your mind. Simply by osmosis, you’ll begin to get a feel for the sort of dialogue that is accessible to the modern reader and doesn’t sound inappropriate (or just plain silly) coming out the mouth of your historical character.


Other sources of inspiration and information for writers:


Try finding some music in your period. Find out what they danced. Read the words of songs. As we know, popular music can tell you a great deal about wishes and aspirations. If your characters are upper class Victorians, living in NYC, there would have been opera, plays, charitable organizations to fill their time. Socializing took place on a grand scale. Working on my Mozart story, I had a wonderful time immersing myself in his music. However, his operas are not only beautiful, but a treasure trove of information on manners and morals of the late 18th Century. In dramatic form, you can observe the rules governing interaction between social classes, as well as the many rules governing the relations between the sexes.  


Attention to detail is the new mantra—even in Hollywood. This can be achieved by devoting a day (and some paper) to a simple exercise. This will swiftly show you what you know, what you don’t know—and what needs to be looked up. It will also tell you something about your necessary cast of bit players. 


Get up in the morning—there you are, bed, bathroom, kitchen. Maybe you also have pets, kids, a husband. Get your imagination going. Put a helmet or a suit of mail on hubby.  It’ll help. Engage your senses. Sight, hearing, touch, and please don’t forget your sense of smell.


Take these one by one—holding in mind your chosen time period.


  1. Bed—What’s on it--and what’s in it? Getting dressed in the morning—“pants first, then shoes…” clothing, shoes.
  2. Bathroom—is there such a thing? And if so, where does the water come from? Is it hot? How is the room heated? Plumbed? Do you get a bath every day or is this simply impossible given the standard of living?
  3. Kitchen—who works there? You? Servants?
  4. Servants are a problem to imagine for most modern folks, unless they are sufficiently well off to employ some and have first-hand experience. Do these servants live in the house w/your heroine? Who are they? If they were real, you’d be rubbing up against them all the time, and so would know a lot about their personal lives and idiosyncrasies.
  5. Breakfast—this meal hasn’t always been the same. What would your characters be breakfasting upon? An Irish cottager eats quite differently from an English Regency Lord—or a Viking. Where did this food come from? Do hawkers bring it to the door? Do you buy it in a shop? Do you raise it yourself? How is it cooked—and with what fuel? Wood burning in the kitchen produces odor and soot, as well as that nice cheery flame. Have we got forks yet? China dishes or gourds or wooden trenchers?

And so on, through the day—at work, or at home.


Transportation, vehicles, draft animals, and who takes care of them? Streets—what do they look like/smell?

Work--and who goes to it. 

Occupations for men and women—manners and morals vary in various social classes—

Pastimes and pleasures

Religious practices—this took up a great deal of time in everyone’s daily life since the Christian era—







I am not saying all this is absolutely necessary in preparation, but you should hold it in mind as you write—daily life in this world you’re trying to enter by way of your imagination.



About the Author:


By the time Juliet Waldron was twenty-one, she had lived in twenty-one places, including Cornwall, England and Barbados in the W.I.  As a secretary, she's worked in many environments, from boardrooms to brokerage. After reaching the "Grandma Zone," she decided to indulge a lifelong passion for history, and start researching and writing those novels she'd always wanted to create. She has given talks on Women’s History for writer’s and library groups and will be a panelist at The Historical Novel Society's first American conference in 2005. 


Publishing history: 


Mozart’s Wife was a 2000 Frankfurt nominee. At the 2001 Virginia Festival of the Book, Mozart’s Wife won the First Independent e-Book Award for best e-published fiction. Genesee won the 2003 Epic Award for best historical, as well as succeeding as a romance, receiving five stars from Affaire de Coeur and Romantic Times.  A companion story, Independent Heart, has just been published by Hard Shell Word Factory.


Editor's Note

It's been another busy fall.  The kids are back in school, high school football season is entering the playoffs, we've met the teachers, and now we're raking leaves after the first Halloween in our new house.  But just as the warm weather is ending, there are also beginnings.  We've added two new authors to our growing family.  Beverly Long is a Contemporary author, whose first book is out in January.  For more information on Bev's beginning, take a look at her Literary Liaisons designed web site.  Also new to our family is the author of our feature article--Juliet Waldron.  Juliet writes historical fiction.  Welcome, ladies.  You may also notice that the pages are changing.  While content is staying the same, we're going for a more uniform feel.  So while backgrounds may appear different from the last time you visited, we're still offering the same quality content.  Finally, we now have a USED BOOK STORE.  I'm pleased to announce the unveiling of this new feature.  While selections are limited at the time, we're hoping to expand and give you more selections as the months go on.  And to make ordering even easier, you can order on-line directly through PayPal.  You can order our Research Guide through PayPal now also.  We're trying to make it easier for you to get around, so enjoy the ride, everyone!


--Michelle Prima

President, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.

Q&A Column

Q:  Thank you for a most enjoyable and informative site! I have been researching 19th century England and have a question that perhaps you can answer or can direct me to another source -- how fast and far could carriages travel? For example, in Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and the Lucases visit Charlotte in Kent -- from Hertfordshire, a trip that was said to be 50 miles. How long would such a journey take (assuming a four-wheeled closed coach pulled by four horses?  Also, Pemberley is 5 miles from Lambton. How long would it take to get there?  Thank you!

A Reader


A: Using an 1830 Exeter Stagecoach schedule, I discovered that a trip from London to Basingstoke (51 miles) took 6 hours and 15 minutes.  That comes out to about 8 miles per hour.  So a five-mile trip in a Stagecoach would be about 35-40 minutes.  A private coach might be faster or slower, depending upon the gait of the horses.  An average horse walks four miles per hour, and he trots at six to nine miles per hour. So calculating road and weather conditions, the weight of the carriage, as well as the weight of the passengers, exact travel times will vary.  I hope this information helps.  And thank you for your kind words regarding our web site.

Michelle Prima

President, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.


Historical Calendar of Events



Virginia Woolf--English novelist

John Drinkwater--English dramatist

Eric Gill--English artist

J. B. Hobbs--British cricketer

James Joyce--Irish novelist

Eamon de Valera--Irish statesman

Samuel Goldwyn--Hollywood film producer

Franklin D. Roosevelt--United States President

Igor Stravinsky--Russian composer



Anthony Trollope--English novelist

Dante Gabriel Rosetti--painter

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow--American author

Charles Darwin--naturalist

Ralph Waldo Emerson--American philosopher



Alexandria was bombarded July 11 by the British fleet under Sir Beauchamp Seymour.

The British occupied Cairo after Sir Garnet Wolseley defeated the Egyptians September 13.

Dual Anglo-French control of Egypt was abolished November 9.

Parliament passed The Electric Light Act, empowering local British authorities to take over privately run power stations in their areas after 21 years.

Parliament passed the Married Women's Property Act following efforts by women's rights champion Richard Marsden Pankhurst.

Charles Stewart Parnell was released from Ireland's Kilmainham Prison May 2 after agreeing to stop boycotting landowners.
The United States banned the immigration of Chinese laborers for ten years.

U. S. immigration from Germany reached its peak.

Congress passed the first U.S. act restricting general immigration. It excluded convicts, paupers, and defectives and imposed a head tax.
Canada created the District of Saskatchewan.

The town of Regina was founded on the route of the Canadian Pacific Railway being constructed by W.C. Van Horne. Regina will be headquarters for the 9-year-old Northwest Mounted Police.
A Triple Alliance was formed between Italy, Austria and Germany.

A three-mile limit for territorial waters was agreed upon at the Hague Convention.

The Arts

"Self Portrait" by Paul Cezanne

"Bar aux Folies-Bergere" by Edouard Manet

"Mr. and Mrs. John W. Field" by John Singer Sargent


Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi


All Sorts of Conditions of Men by Besant


"1812 Overture" by Peter Tchaikovsky premiered August 20 in Moscow

"Song of the Fates" by Johannes Brahms premiered December 10 in Basel

"Le Printemps" by Debussy--orchestral suite

Operas and Operettas:

"Iolanthe" by Gilbert and Sullivan


An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen

La Belle Russe by David Belasco on May 8 in New York

Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen May 20 in Chicago

An Unequal Match by Tom Taylor November 6 in New York, introducing Lillie Langtry to the American stage


Daily Life

Queen Victoria gave Epping Forest to the nation.

The London Chamber of Commerce was established.

Viennese physician Joseph Breuer used hypnosis to treat hysteria, pioneering psychoanalysis.
A World Exhibition was held in Moscow.

The American Baseball Association was founded.

John L. Sullivan defeated Paddy Ryan to win the heavyweight boxing crown.

William Renshaw won in singles at Wimbledon, and Richard Sears won at Newport.

The University of South Dakota was  founded.

Charles University in Prague divided into German and Czechoslovakian institutions.

The Bank of Japan was founded.
Edinburgh's Prairie Cattle Co. paid $350,000 to acquire the Quarter Circle T Ranch of Texas Panhandle rancher Thomas Bugbee.
Western Electric won a contract February 6 to produce telephones for the Bell Company.
Van Camp Packing Co.was incorporated, packing 6 million cans of pork and beans per year for shipment to Europe and U.S. markets.

Jesse James, a fugitive since the Northfield, Minnesota bank robbery attempt of 1876 died April 3 at age 34 of a gunshot wound in the back of the head. 
Only 2 percent of New York homes have water connections. Nearly every private house has a backyard privy.
The world's first birth-control clinic opened at Amsterdam under the direction of Aletta Jacobs, the first woman to practice medicine in Holland.
Jumbo, the largest elephant in or out of captivity, appeared April 10 at New York's Madison Square Garden in performances of Barnum & Bailey's Circus.


English engineer Hiram S. Maxim patented a recoil-operated machine gun.

Edison designed the first hydroelectric plant in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Electricity illuminated parts of London beginning January 12 as power from the Edison Electric Light Company at 57 Holburn Viaduct turned on street lights between Holborn Circus and the Old Bailey, and incandescent bulbs went on in at least 30 buildings.

Swan lamps illuminated a draper's shop at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, making it the world's first shop to be lighted by incandescent bulbs.

Electricity illuminated parts of New York beginning September 4 to inaugurate commercial transmission of electric power from the J.P. Morgan-financed Edison Illuminating Co. power plant on Pearl Street.

The world's first electric fan was devised by Schuyler Skaats Wheeler, chief engineer of New York's Crocker and Curtis Electric Motor Company.

The world's first electric flatiron was patented by New York inventor Henry W. Weely.

The world's first electrically lighted Christmas tree was installed in December in the New York house of Thomas Edison's associate Edward H. Johnson.

German bacteriologist Friedrich August Johannes Löffler discovered the bacilli that produce swine fever, swine erysipelas, and glanders, another livestock disease.
German engineer Gottlieb Daimler, working with Eugen Langen, invented an internal combustion engine powered by gasoline.
Robert Koch announced March 24 that he found the tuberculosis bacillus and has a cure for the communicable disease, but his cure proved worthless.
English metallurgist Robert Abbott Hadfield invented manganese steel.
The St. Gothard tunnel opened May 20, the first great railroad tunnel through the Alps.
Union Switch and Signal Company was organized to manufacture railroad signals invented by George Westinghouse.
Electric cable cars were installed in Chicago where they traveled 20 blocks along State Street in 31 minutes, averaging less than two miles per hour.

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