Literary Links

November/December 2007


Good News and Announcements

Announcements--If you read the last newsletters, you already know this. But just in case you missed it...As you have been following the progress of our newsletter, you may have noticed that the calendar of events began in 1837, the year Queen Victoria ascended the throne.  We are now in year 1900, just one years before her death in 1901.  With that date, Literary Links will also be ceasing publication.  It is with much regret that we do so, but time constraints and outside demands require it.  However, we will continue the Literary Liaisons, Ltd. web site.  And we will continue to update the research links, authors, and articles as time provides, and periodically send out announcements about book releases and special additions to the site.  So while we will not be doing regular bi-monthly updates, we will be adding interesting tidbits and links as we run across them.  Please feel free to continue sending in questions, comments and suggestions.  We hope you have enjoyed the past ten years, and will continue to use Literary Liaisons, Ltd., for your research needs.


Now Available!--Look for The Harlot's Daughter by Blythe Gifford, Do You Believe in Magic? by Ann Macela and from Pat White, Saving Destiny.


Coming Soon!--Coming in February, 2008, look for Windswept, a contemporary romance by Ann Macela from Medallion Press. 


Good News--Congratulations to Ann Macela on all her rave reviews for her newest release, Do You Believe in Magic?  Click here to read them.


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 Oldest Kind of Magic by Ann Macela

Do You Believe in Magic by Ann Macela



England's Thousand Best Houses by Simon Jenkins

From a Victorian Garden by Michael Weishan & Cristina Roig

Madmen: A Social History of Madhouses, Mad-Doctors & Lunatics by Roy Porter

This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley

Victorian Cottage Residences by Andrew Jackson Downing

Victorian Painting by Lionel Lambourne



Feature Title:


Victorian Cottage Residences by Andrew Jackson Downing



The Video Library


Amazing Grace



Researching the Romance


England's Thousand Best Houses by Simon Jenkins

From a Victorian Garden by Michael Weishan & Cristina Roig

Madmen: A Social History of Madhouses, Mad-Doctors & Lunatics by Roy Porter

This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley

Victorian Cottage Residences by Andrew Jackson Downing

Victorian Painting by Lionel Lambourne



Writers' Resources Online


Carlyle, Panizzi and the Public Library Ideal

Dr. Johnson's House

Infinity Publishing

Languages of the World

United Kingdom Parliament




Feature Article 

Victorian Fashion for Men

by Michelle Prima


Prior to Victorian times, a man's social standing could be distinguished by his clothing.  A man of noble birth wore rich and extravagant clothes, while his lowlier counterparts wore coarser fabrics and less accessories.  As the industrial revolution created more wealth among the lower classes, the lines began to fade, and it was considered in poor taste to parade one's wealth in his clothing.  Therefore, by mid century, a man who was born into wealth looked very much like a man who had made his wealth.

Men's clothing was much simpler than women's, with dark colors to combat the soot and grime which collected in the cities and towns of England.  Let's look at what the well-dressed gentleman wore from the inside out.


Men's undergarments consisted basically of drawers with button closures.  Buttons made of ivory or pearl were common in upper classes. Drawers were worn long to the ankle, and made of silk.  During cold winter months, they might be made of wool.  The waistband was bound with tape and cut with six holes to secure the braces.  They were light-colored, often ivory or pink. 



Trousers were a dark color with a narrow cut.  They were long enough to cover his shoes.  As the century wore on, lighter colors and patterns became more common in day wear, such as plaids or stripes.  By the end of the century, these plaids and tweeds were carried into the jacket also for a matching suit.  As for evening wear, approaching the middle-to-end of the century, a man's trousers were black to match his coat. 


Shirts were cotton or silk, with tucking in the front.  Again, pearl buttons were common in the upper classes.  Turn-back cuffs were kept secure with cuff-links or buttons. 


This is one area where a gentleman could express his personality with some color.  Waistcoats were often made of silk, and could be of a patterned fabric, such as stripes or plaid, or they might be embroidered.  If a waistcoat was single-breasted, it was worn with a double-breasted coat.  If a waistcoat was double-breasted, it was worn with a single-breasted coat.


What we think of as a suit coat was a London gentleman's frock coat.  This was a dark color, and either double-breasted or single-breasted.  It was worn to the knees, and flared slightly below the waist.  By the 1860's, frocks were becoming less fitted, with the straight cut of today's suit coats.  And by the end of the century, a man's day wear was often a tweed or other patterned suit, with trousers and coat in the same fabric.

For more formal evening wear, a gentleman's wore a short coat with tails, or a frock coat cut back slightly at the waist to reveal elegantly embroidered waistcoats.  By the end of the century, the coats were tails only, and black to match his trousers.


A gentleman's overcoat was a loose, unfitted garment, worn in varying lengths from mid-thigh to just below the knee.  Short capes sometimes covered the shoulders.

For evening, a cape or other loose garment was common.


To complete his outfit, a man wore a tie or cravat. He wore lace-up shoes or button-up ankle boots.  He always wore a top hat and gloves while out in public.  Gloves were fawn or tan for day wear, and white for evening wear.  A gentleman was rarely seen without a walking stick or umbrella--the walking stick being more common in the middle of the century. 


Costume in Context: The Victorians by Jennifer Ruby, 1987.

Men's Fashion: The Complete Sourcebook by John Peacock, Thames & Hudson, 1996.

Similar 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

As I was typing up the Calendar of Events for turn-of-the-century year 1900, I found it fascinating that so many companies and food products came into existence, and books were published.  But what's even more fascinating is that so many have survived the test of time.  Queen Victoria was still alive.  None of us were born yet.  And yet, who of us hasn't seen or read The Wizard of Oz?  Who of us hasn't see the Michelin travel guides sitting on a bookstore shelf?  And who of us hasn't indulged in a Hershey's chocolate bar?  And how many of those were sandwiched between graham crackers and marshmallows?  Did Milton Hershey envision such a creation as the s'more?  Most likely not.  Yet is a campout or bonfire complete without this confection?  How many Kodak cameras have each of us owned in our lifetime?  Some products such as these survived the test of time.  Others, like Pablum, didn't.  And yet others, like coffee, have come full circle.  When Hills Bros. introduced their vacuum coffee tins, coffee roasting shops disappeared off street corners and the coffee mill disappeared off kitchen counters.  Yet 100-plus years later, coffee shops are back in full swing, and people are buying and grinding their own coffee beans again.  Who knew?. This is just one reason I love history--finding little tidbits of information like this in my research.  Little tidbits that I drop into my stories for that extra detail.  And which is why I will never quit learning or researching, even when I'm not actively writing.  And if you are reading this, as an historical writer, you most likely feel the same.

--Michelle Prima

President, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.

Q&A Column

Q:  I've been researching my book for the past six months.  When do I stop? 

Jayne O.

A:   Jayne-

       As a lover of research, I'm tempted to answer--never!  You can never amass too much knowledge.  But in truth, you can only fit so much in one book.  Research should begin in broad categories to cover general topics for your novel, such as fashion, customs, geography, etc.  Once you have narrowed your novel idea, you can begin to narrow your focus.  Was there one historical event that could ultimately affect the lives of your characters?  Maybe there were three or four.  Would one of them work as a starting point?  Or are they better suited somewhere in the middle of the story?  Once you make these sort of decisions, you can fine tune your topics.  Research enough to get all the facts for your story to the extent that you need them.  Then as you write, you may find that you need to find out more about the topic.  That's when you go back and read more.  Or you may find that you read too much on a topic because it doesn't suit the overall theme of the story.  That isn't wasted time, however.  You can put that information away for another idea at another time.  So the answer is--stop when you have enough to create the skeleton of the story and begin to flesh it out.  As you get down to the details, that when you can go back and research more if you need to.


Michelle Prima

President, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.


Historical Calendar of Events



Thomas Wolfe--American author

Aaron Copland--American composer



Oscar Wilde--English author

Stephen Crane--American author

John Ruskin--English art historian

Sir Arthur Sullivan--English composer

Friedrich Nietzche--German philosopher

King Umberto I of Italy




General Roberts was named British Commander-in-chief in South Africa.

Lord Kitchener placed 120,000 Boer women and children in concentration camps, where 20,000 would die of disease and neglect.
Britain annexed the Orange Free State in May.

Ramsay MacDonald was appointed secretary of the British Labour Party.

George Cadbury founded the Bourneville Village trust.

The Commonwealth of Australia was created.

William McKinley was elected as 24th President of the United States.

The International Ladies' Garment Workers Union was founded June 3 by cloakmakers who met on New York's Lower East Side. The union's seven locals represented 2,310 workers in New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.
The National Consumers League had its beginnings in the Consumers League for Fair Labor Standards founded by New York social worker Florence Kelley.
February 5--The Hay-Pauncefote Treaty included a British renunciation of rights to build a Panama canal. Parliament rejected the treaty.

Victor Emmanuel III succeeded his father as King of Italy upon Umberto I's assassination.

The German Civil Law Code came into force.

Russia annexed Manchuria in May.

The "Boxer Rebellion" began in China.

The Arts


Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

Three People by Maxim Gorki

The Living Corpse by Leo Tolstoy

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Claudine at School by Colette (Juevnile)

The Wizard of Oz by Lyman Frank Baum (Juvenile)

Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman (Juvenile)


The English Utilitarians by Leslie Stephen

The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud


Almas de Violeta by Juan Ramon Jiminez


"Le Moulin de la Galette" by Pablo Picasso

"Vain Courtship" by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

"Still Life with Onions" by Paul Cezanne

"Nude in the Sun" by Pierre Auguste Renoir

"The Sitwell Family" by John Singer Sargent

"The Wyndham Sisters" by John Singer Sargent

"La Modiste" by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Popular Songs:

"A Bird in a Gilded Cage" by New York composer Harry von Tilzer with lyrics by Arthur J. Lamb


"Louise" by Gustave Carpenter

"Tosca" by Puccini premiered in Rome


"Fiddle-Dee-Dee" premiered September 16 at the Weber & Fields Music Hall on Broadway

"Cinderella"--a film by Georges Melies



Daily Life

The Wallace Collection opened in London.

The Daily Express was founded in London by Cyril Arthur Pearson.

Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities began publication under the direction of New York financial analyst John Moody.

The Guide Michelin published at Paris was the first systematic evaluation of European restaurants. Financed by tire producers André and Edouard Michelin, the Guide rated restaurants using a system of three stars (worth a special journey), two stars (worth a detour), or one star.

A U.S. College Entrance Examination Board was founded to screen applicants to colleges.

Carnegie Institute of Technology was founded at Pittsburgh with a gift from steel magnate Andrew Carnegie.

England's Birmingham University was founded largely through efforts by colonial secretary Joseph Chamberlain.
The Caisse Populaire founded at Levis across the St. Lawrence from Quebec City was the first American credit union.

The Cake Walk became the most fashionable dance.

One home in 13 in the United States had a telephone.

One U.S. home in seven had a bathtub; showers were even rarer.

D.F. Davis presented the international lawn tennis cup bearing his name.

Ray C. Ewry of the United States won eight Olympic gold medals.

W.G. Grace ended his cricket career after 54,000 runs in his lifetime.

William Muldoon was proclaimed the first professional wrestling champion.

Reginald Doherty won in men's singles at Wimbledon, Mrs. Hillyard in women's singles; Malcolm Whitman won in U.S. men's singles, Myrtle McAteer in women's singles.
The first international championship motorcar race was held June 14 from Paris to Lyons. Five entries from Belgium, France, Germany, and the United States competed for the Gordon Bennett Cup put up by New York publisher James Gordon Bennett. The cars all finish, all run over dogs en route, and the winner was a French Panhard that averaged 38.5 miles per hour.

"The Great Houdini" gained wide publicity by executing an escape from London's Scotland Yard. He became a main attraction at London's Alhambra Theatre, and began a 4-year tour of the Continent and U.S.

The World Exhibition was held in Paris.

Shintoism was reinstated in Japan against Buddhist influence.
Mark Carleton traveled to Russia and returned with hard red Kharkov wheat, a winter variety that withstands winter-kill and gives high yields.

Honeydew melons were introduced into the United States
Grapefruit became an important food in the United States as botanical development made the fruit sweeter. U.S. citrus growers would account for 90 percent of world grapefruit production.

Milk bottles were introduced in England but only for pasteurized milk.
Mead Johnson Co. was founded at Evansville, Indiana, to produce the infant cereal Pablum that would be sold through physicians' recommendations.

Battle Creek, Michigan had 42 breakfast cereal plants.
Milton S. Hershey sold his Lancaster Caramel Co. for $1 million in cash but retained his chocolate manufacturing equipment. He rented a wing of his old plant from its new owners and introduced the first milk chocolate Hershey bars.
Wesson Oil was put on the market by Southern Oil Co.
The hamburger was pioneered at New Haven, Connecticut, where Louis Lassen ground 7¢/lb. lean beef, broiled it, and served it between two slices of toast to customers at his 5-year-old three-seat Louis Lunch.
Some 2.5 horsepower was available to each man working on a U.S. farm, up from 1.5 in 1850.
The average U.S. farm worker produced enough food and fiber for seven people.
The world had 100 million acres of irrigated cropland, up from 20 million in 1880.

Chicago's Everleigh Club opened at 2131-33 Dearborn Street where Minna Everleigh and her sister Ada bought and refurbished a bordello with an inheritance of $40,000 each from their late father, a Kentucky lawyer. Visitors required letters of introduction.  They were entertained by string quartets and other pleasures.

Kansas prohibitionist Carry Moore Nation declared that since the saloon was illegal in Kansas, any citizen has the right to destroy liquor, furniture, and fixtures in any public place selling intoxicants. She began a campaign of hatchet-wielding through Kansas cities and towns.
Infant mortality in the United States is 122 per 1,000 live births, in England and Wales 154, and in India 232.
The average age at death in the United States was 47.

The first U.S. bubonic plague epidemic began at San Francisco. The body of a dead Chinese was discovered March 6 in the basement of Chinatown's Globe Hotel. Local authorities try to hush up the cause of death, but 120 others would be stricken before the plague ends in February of 1904.  All but three will die.

Bubonic plague struck Honolulu in epidemic form. A large section of the city's Chinatown was condemned and burned under fire department supervision to kill the plague-bearing rats, but the fire got out of control and much of the city was destroyed.
John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil bought Pacific Coast Oil.
Earthquakes rocked Ecuador and Peru in mid-August, killing thousands.
A hurricane struck Galveston, Texas, September 8, killing between 6,000 and 8,000 people in the worst recorded natural disaster in North American history.
Some 2 million wild mustangs roamed the U.S. prairie, but the nation had fewer than 30 head of bison, down from 1,090 in 1893. Longhorn cattle were also close to extinction
The Junior League of the New York College Settlement was founded by post-debutante Mary Harriman, daughter of financier Edward Harriman, who organized a group to aid a local settlement house.
Boston's 2,500-seat Symphony Hall designed by McKim, Mead and White of New York opened October 15 at the corner of Massachusetts and Huntington Avenues.
The Philadelphia Orchestra was organized by residents.  German conductor Fritz Scheel directed the first concert November 16 at the city's Academy of Music.
The first U.S. National Automobile Show opened November 10 at New York's Madison Square Garden with 31 exhibitors. Contestants competed in starting and braking, and exhibitors demonstrated hill-climbing ability on a specially built ramp.
Cody, Wyoming was founded by William "Buffalo Bill" Cody in order to have the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy run a spur to the large tracts of land he acquired in the area of the Shoshone River's south fork.
The Pennsylvania Railroad acquired control of the Long Island Rail Road, which would soon be the nation's largest passenger carrier.


The first British gasoline-powered motorbuses went into service in January as single-deck buses began operating in Norfolk.

Only 144 miles of U.S. roads were hard-surfaced, but by year's end there were 13,824 motorcars on the road.
Franklin, Peerless, and Stearns motorcars were introduced. The air-cooled engine Franklin was made by Herbert H. Franklin.
The Packard motorcar was introduced at Warren, Ohio, It had a chain-driven, one-cylinder, 12-horsepower engine and three forward speeds.

White steam cars and trucks were introduced by a Cleveland sewing-machine firm headed by Walter White.
Renault Frères introduced the first glass-enclosed two-passenger motorcar.
Firestone Tire & Rubber was founded August 3 at Akron, Ohio, by U.S. entrepreneur Harvey Samuel Firestone, who patented a method for attaching tires to rims.
The Trans-Siberian Railway opened between Moscow and Irkutsk.
Trolley cars provided transportation in every major U.S. city 12 years after the opening of the first trolley line in Richmond. Some 30,000 cars operated on 15,000 miles of track.
Métro underground rail service began at Paris July 19. It would grow to become the world's third largest subway.
The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal opened to link Lake Michigan with the Des Plaines River. The 33.8-mile canal connects the Great Lakes with the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico
The first Browning revolvers were manufactured.

Hills Bros. in San Francisco begins packing roast ground coffee in vacuum tins to begin a new era in coffee marketing. It is the beginning of the end for the coffee roasting shops common now in every town and the coffee mill seen in almost every U.S. kitchen.
The U.S. Navy purchased the first modern submarine. Invented by Irish-American engineer John Phillip Holland, the Holland used electric motors under water and internal combustion engines on the surface, employing water ballast to submerge.

The Brownie box camera introduced by Eastman Kodak sold at $1, puts photography within reach of everyone, and makes Kodak a household name. The camera's six-exposure film sells for 15¢

Regulations limiting bacteria in U.S. milk to 1 million per cubic centimeter proved difficult to enforce despite growing use of pasteurization.

F.E. Dorn discovered radon.

Max Planck formulated the quantum theory.

American scientist R.A. Fessenden transmitted human speech via radio waves.

The first trial flight of the Zeppelin took place.

U.S. chemist Charles Skeele Palmer invented a new process for cracking petroleum to obtain gasoline.

Steam tractors appeared on wheat fields of the U.S. Pacific Northwest, but their main use was to draw portable threshing machines, many of which are still pulled by 40 horses driven abreast.
The first sluice gate on the Colorado River brought irrigation water from Arizona to California's Imperial Valley.
A U.S. Public Health Commission headed by Major Walter Reed of the Army Medical Corps showed that the yellow fever virus is transmitted by the Aëdes aegypti mosquito.
Genetic laws revealed by Gregor Mendel in 1865 become generally known for the first time.
English archaeologist Arthur John Evans unearthed the palace of Knossos on the Greek island of Crete.



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