Historical Tidbits

Working Women and Latchkey Kids in WWII America by M. Ruth Myers

Posted by on Feb 12, 2018 in 20th Century US, Featured Book, Historical Tidbits, World War Two | 0 comments

Mothers working in factories to support America’s war effort while their children roamed the streets at night provides a minor plot thread and a stroke of historical color in Dames Fight Harder, the sixth Maggie Sullivan mystery. It’s grounded firmly in the reality of 1940s Dayton, Ohio, where the detective series is set, and of the nation in general. The Dayton War Manpower Committee made a multi-pronged effort to recruit women workers. In his book Home Sweet Home Front: Dayton During World War II, local historian Curt Dalton shows one of the billboards used throughout the city to attract...

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The Reign of King Stephen by Sarah Woodbury

Posted by on Jan 29, 2018 in Featured Book, Historical Tidbits, Medieval Great Britain | 0 comments

My Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mysteries are set during King Stephen’s reign, a time full of turmoil because of the conflict between him and King Henry’s daughter, Maud (Matilda).  Both claimed the throne of England and tore the country apart trying to get it.  Maud was supported by her half-brother, Robert of Gloucester, who couldn’t claim the throne himself because he was illegitimate.  Otherwise, he was the richest and most powerful man in England behind Stephen. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle has a very lengthy entry on the time of King Stephen, and oddly, the entire book ends with his death...

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A Few Words about Language and Time by Anna Castle

Posted by on Jan 15, 2018 in Historical Tidbits | 7 comments

Every few months, a newcomer posts a query to the Historical Novel Society’s Facebook page asking about language and historical fiction. Typically, the poster wants to know how “historically accurate” each writer tries to be. Being a linguist, I find these discussions impossible to comprehend. Learning a past version of your native language would be like learning a foreign language you could never hear. You might master the grammatical rules — fairly easily, if your variety comes along after, say, mid-seventeenth century — but the best you can hope for is an...

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Daily Living in the Middle Ages by Sarah Woodbury

Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in Featured Book, Historical Tidbits, Medieval Great Britain | 1 comment

One of my readers asked me the other day about what daily life was like. My books are about the few days of adventure in between daily living—which is of course the point. When a character is time traveling back and forth to a medieval world, the bits in between, where life happens, are far less exciting. The tapestry is The Triumph of Death, or The 3 Fates, a Flemish tapestry (probably Brussels, ca. 1510-1520), located now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Depicted are the three fates: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, who spin, draw out and cut the thread of Life, and in this tapestry...

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Fact Vs. Fiction: Getting It Right (Even When You’re Making It Up) by CiJi Ware

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | 6 comments

For twenty years before I started writing novels, I was a radio and television broadcaster in Los Angeles, having worked for all three national networks and the local PBS station during that “other” career. I find, eleven novels and two nonfiction books later, that the skillset I acquired in that former chapter of my life has stood me in remarkably good stead, whether I write contemporary or historical fiction. Regardless of the genre, nothing annoys readers more than to see a misstatement or outright mistake in a book dealing with a subject that the purchaser knows about. Even worse, is to...

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The Anarchy by Sarah Woodbury

Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Featured Book, Historical Tidbits, Medieval Great Britain | Comments Off on The Anarchy by Sarah Woodbury

Stephen de Blois came to London, and the people received him and hallowed him to king on midwinter day. But in this king’s time was all dissension, and evil, and rapine; for against him rose soon the rich men who were traitors. Then was England very much divided. Some held with the king and some with the empress; for when the king was in prison, the earls and the rich men supposed that he would never more come out, and they settled with the empress, and when the king was out, he heard of this, and took his force, and beset her in the tower. By such things, and more than we can say, we...

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