Good News and Announcements
November 23, 1997-- Steffie Walker, RWA Bookseller of the year, is hosting a signing at her store from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, November 23, 1997. Meet Eileen Dreyer, Tami Hoag, Kimberly Cates and Elizabeth Grayson, who will be signing copies of their books. Steffie's Super Crown Books is located at 14906 LaGrange Road in Orland Park, IL.
November 30, 1997--This is the new deadline for entering the RWA National Golden Heart and RITA contests. Only your form has to be in by this date. Manuscript copies are not due until January 10, 1998. Visit RWA National for more information regarding these contests.
January 10, 1998--Nomination deadline for RWA National's Favorite Book of 1997. Nominations can be made either by e-mail, fax or regular mail. Visit RWA National for more information.
February 14, 1998--The three local Chicago RWA groups--Chicago-North, Windy City and Love Designers--are sponsoring a used book sale on February 14, 1998 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Arlington Heights Library. The theme for the day is "All For Love." Authors will be speaking every hour, and new books will be available for autographing, also. Proceeds will be donated to a charity to be named at a later date. Contact me for more information.
February 21, 1998--Nomination deadline for several RWA National Awards--Lifetime Achievement, Emma Merritt and RWA Service, Industry, Librarian of the Year, Veritas, and Bookseller of the Year. Visit RWA National for more information regarding qualifications and submissions.
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 Fiction section of the Literary Liaisons bookstore is now open in association with Amazon.com. Please visit the store, and follow the instructions for ordering for any book you wish to purchase. Thank you for your patronage.
RWA Chapters On-line
Aloha Chapter (returns)
New England Chapter
Researching the Romance
1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer, Open Horizons, 1997
Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, The HW Wilson Company, 1997
The Regency Companion by Sharon Laudermilk and Teresa L. Hamlin, Garland Publishing, Inc., 1989
The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Colonial America by Dale Taylor, Writer's Digest Books, 1997
The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in the Middle Ages: The British Isles from A.D. 500 to 1500 by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Writer's Digest Books, 1995
The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life from Prohibition through World War II by Marc McCutcheon, Writer's Digest Books, 1995
The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Renaissance England: From 1485 to 1649 by Kathy Lynn Emerson, Writer's Digest Books, 1996
Biography--Thumbnail sketches of the lives of over 20,000 famous people
Index of Resources for History--A very long list of links to historical sites, subdivided by category
The Regency Page--Includes Fashion, History, Culture, Regency Romance list and links to other Regency sites
American Money Meets British Peerage
By Michelle J. Hoppe
In the mid to late 1800s, a curious phenomenon known as "Anglomania" swept across America. Several factors contributed to this obsession of Americans with England and their quest for a title.
The first was Albert Edward's (The Prince of Wales) visit to America in 1860. He came to New York after visiting Canada--the first British prince to ever do so. He was only nineteen years old at the time, but already enthusiastic about women--American women. New York society held a ball in his honor, inviting 4000 privileged few. It was the lucky socialite the next morning who could claim to have danced with the Prince.
The second factor involved the very New York society that had welcomed Albert. New York was "the" center of society in 19th Century America. It was also where one moved when one became wealthy and where one made "connections." But it was a very closed and chosen society. The old, established families did not want the nouveau riche to travel in the same circles. They did everything in their power to keep them away. This was known as a "cut direct" or a public display of dismissal and refusal of acknowledgement. Society women were skilled at this practice. It was even included in a girl's education and upbringing. After all, she didn't want to encourage inferior associations of any sort.
Mrs. Caroline Astor was the unofficial head of New York society during the late 1800's. She decided who was acceptable and who was not. Every January she held a ball. Since her ballroom could hold only 400 people, these "Four Hundred" were considered the social elite. Inclusion on her list did not guarantee a permanent position in her favor, however. One small slip, and someone could be removed from her list forever.
Mrs. Astor's list included only the old, established "Knickerbocker" families, as they were called after the founding Dutch fathers. Thus, the families who had recently made fortunes on the spoils of war--that is, railways, armaments and canned meats--would never be welcome in New York. They could do business on Wall Street, or build the largest houses in Newport, but arriviste women could never socialize with Knickerbocker women. Thus, the new wealth looked elsewhere for prestige and respect. And they looked elsewhere for revenge. If American society wouldn't accept them, then other and more prestigious cultures would. They looked across the Atlantic to Europe--to titles--to England.
The third and final factor contributing to this phenomenon was happening, coincidentally or not, in England. Like Americans, there was an entirely new class of wealthy citizens in England--the investors and businessmen who made it rich in trade, industry or the such. They too, were shunned by the peers. For in England, a title held more sway with Society than did wealth. Resentment may have been a factor in this also. The money the dukes and earls of old needed for their estates was now in the hands of the working class and tradesmen.
Peers became desperate for cash. Estates were much more expensive to run and England had fallen into an agricultural depression. Income from farms began to slide and there was an influx of imported foodstuffs with the advent of refrigeration. Appearances had to be kept up, no matter what one's financial situation was. So the beleaguered peers looked elsewhere for money. They looked across the Atlantic--to America.
So, add pushy, upstart mamas to a fun-loving Prince, mix in a bit of money desperation, and you have the makings of the phenomenon known as "Anglomania."
The ride was not smooth, however desperate each side was. Americans met with opposition, both in Continental Europe and England. While France welcomed these American heiresses, war did not. The Prussian army invaded France in 1870-1, putting a temporary halt to social events. So the heiresses took themselves off to England. Inroads were tougher there than in Paris. The Empress Eugenie had accepted the charming, rich girls into her circle, yet England's society was like New York's--born of ancient titles and very closed. Prince Albert took to the girls' cause, however. He had a soft spot for a pretty face. He couldn't court them, since he was married, but he danced with them, paid calls on their mothers and openly accepted them into his circle of friends.
And so began the inklings of a solution to the peers' problem. They could marry money and save their estates. The courting game began. But who was courting whom wasn't always clear. Eldest sons looked to the American heiresses for the income they would bring a beleaguered estate. Younger sons who had fallen from grace were willing to make an American match if it involved money. It could mean redemption with their families.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the American heiresses were just as eager to hand over their money if a considerable title or amount of prestige was associated with the match. The pushy mamas would snub their noses at the Old New Yorkers, for their daughters were not merely in the elite social set, they were in the Royal set.
That isn't to say that all marriages were strictly for money. Some love-matches happened as a result of this phenomenon, among them Jennie Jerome and Lord Randolph Churchill, parents of Winston Churchill. Nor were all matches welcomed by the parents of these transatlantic couples. Although these girls had money, they were nobodies by English standards.
The wedding ceremonies were held in any number of places. Whether it was St. Thomas' in New York, the British Embassy in Paris, or an English country estate, they all shared one trait. They were showy affairs, each one meant to out-do the previous. But they couldn't take place until that all-important contract was signed delineating the amount of money the estate would receive, as well as the annual allowances allotted to both husband and wife. Some Englishmen balked at the amount of money their wives would receive as allowance, yet the American fathers had only their daughters' future security in mind should matters turn sour.
Once wed, the American wives had to adapt to the cultures and norms of their new country. They were used to demanding, not commanding. They were used to trains and hotels rather than domestic duties and servants. They were used to fathers and brothers who worked, not men of leisure looking to fill their time with sport or game. They were used to being the center of attention.
This wasn't the case in England. Life revolved around the man of the house. And the English wife was there only to run the household to her husband's pleasure, and to entertain as he deemed necessary, and to stay out of his way. But most important, she was there to produce an heir. And because life was so uncertain, she usually provided her husband with a "spare."
Despite all these obstacles, more than one hundred American heiresses invaded Britannia to swap dollars for titles.
**For more information on this topic, see To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace. This book is available through our on-lineBookstore in the Non-Fiction section.**
With the end of the year and all the celebrations that go with it fast approaching, it is important to stay focused on your writing. It is easy to let that next chapter slide. There's cookies to bake, cards to address, shopping to finish. But writers need to take time for themselves during the holiday rush. Write every day, even if it's only for fifteen minutes. Write every day, even if it's not your book. Pick up that journal before you doze off, or pen a rough draft of your next scene while waiting for the kids to come out of their basketball practice. Whatever you decide, don't forget about you. It will show in your work.
Q: Why have some links I've used in the past disappeared from the site?
A: The Internet changes daily. In order to keep you informed with the most up-to-date links and references, we do monthly maintenance checks on Literary Liaisons. If a link no longer works, we remove it from the site. Contrarily, if a link does become functional again, we place it back on Literary Liaisons. If you ever have problems connecting to a link, please let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to provide you with the most timely and relevant information possible.
Historical Calendar of Events
February 10--Queen Victoria marries her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, wearing only items of British manufacture
June 7--Prussia's Friedrich Wilhelm III dies, and is succeeded by his son, Friedrich Wilhelm IV
October 7--Willem I of the Netherlands abdicates at age 68 in order to marry a Roman Catholic Belgian countess
Lower and Upper Canada united by act of Parliament
Afghan forces surrender to the British army, ending the Afghan War
William Henry Harrison wins election to the U.S. Presidency
Britain declares war on China to start the Opium War which will continue until 1842
The World's Anti-Slavery Conference opens in London
James Fenimore Cooper publishes The Pathfinder
Edgar Allan Poe publishes Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque
Richard Henry Dana publishes Two Years Before the Mast anonymously
The London Library is opened
Belgian instrument maker, Antoine Joseph Sax, invents the brass saxophone
The polka is introduced to the U.S. by Viennese ballet dancer Fanny Eissler
Sir Charles Barry begins the building of the Houses of Parliament in London (completed 1860)
Nelson's Column is erected in Trafalgar Square, London
Botanical Gardens at Kew opened in London
The first U.S. dental school, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, opens
Oyster canning begins at Baltimore using bivalves from Chesapeake Bay
Grapefruit trees are introduced into Florida by Don Philippe, a Spanish nobelman
Afternoon tea is introduced by Anna, the duchess of Bedford
The world's first adhesive postage stamp, the Penny Black, goes on sale in Britain May 1st, for use beginning May 6th
Manufacture of the McCormick reaper begins with improvements added by McCormick to his original 1831 machine
U.S. operating railways cover 2816 miles, versus 1331 in the United Kingdom and fewer than 300 miles in France
A new worldwide cholera epidemic begins, killing millions in the next 22 years
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