Fascinating! (and a little disturbing–I’m looking at you, #7!)
The Goddess Born series is set in the eighteenth century, which has allowed me to spend a great deal of time living in the past. Here are some interesting tidbits I’ve picked up along the way.
Ten Things I’ve learned from Writing Historical NA
- European men started wearing high heels in the sixteen hundreds. Women followed suit to masculinize their outfits.
- The English fancied curse words that started with the letter B, e.g., Ballocks, Blast, Bloody and Bugger were four favorites.
- On matters of equality, Quakers were centuries ahead of their time. While slavery plagued much of the known world, they were the first organization to officially ban the practice in the mid seventeen hundreds.
- Europeans in general were very fond of witch-hunts. Between 1450 and 1750, tens of thousands of people were executed for witchcraft, two-thirds of these being women. Torture was a must for the best confessions. Preferred methods of execution included drowning, hanging, and fire, though there was the occasional beheading.
- Europeans were equally fond of dueling. The French mastered the art, conducting approximately 10,000 duels between 1685 and 1716. The art reached new heights in 1808 when two Frenchmen took their quarrel to the Parisian sky and fought a duel from hot air balloons. The loser was shot down and died on impact along with his second.
- Not all women played by the rules. Princess Amelia, second daughter of King George II, is believed to have had an affair with a commoner that resulted in the composer Samuel Arnold.
- For several hundred years, Europeans of all ranks practiced medicinal cannibalism by ingesting remedies that contained bones, blood and fat taken from human corpses. This practice peaked in the seventeen hundreds.
- Flowery language was all the rage. Form and flourish mattered in conversation, as did word count, and one never said in ten words what could be better said in thirty.
- “You sexy beast you…” From the sixteen to eighteen hundreds, high-ranking women used their fans to carry on whole conversations without uttering a single word. A fan held in the left hand indicated a desire for company. A tap to the right cheek signified “yes”, while a tap to the left was a resounding “no”. Drop your fan and it was off to private nook for a clandestine affair.
- Historical people were suspicious of raw fruits and vegetables. That’s right, give them a corpse to gnaw on, but keep the fresh produce away.
Kari Edgren did not dream of becoming a writer. Instead, she dreamed of everything else and was often made to stay inside during kindergarten recess to practice her letters. Despite doting parents and a decent school system, Ms. Edgren managed to make it through elementary school having completed only one book cover to cover – The Box Car Children, which she read approximately forty-seven times. Things improved during high school, but not until she read Gabrielle Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude in college, did she truly understand the power of a book.
Ms. Edgren aspires to be a Vulcan, a world-acclaimed opera singer, and two inches taller. She resides in the Pacific NW where she spends a great deal of time torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts. Ms. Edgren hasn’t stopped dreaming, but has finally mastered her letters enough to put the stories on paper.
A Grave Inheritance Synopsis:
Selah Kilbrid may descend from the goddess Brigid, but her heart beats—and breaks—the same as any human. Yet enduring the scorn of London’s most noble lords and ladies is a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness. Selah would endure much more for love, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan, is prepared to challenge anyone foolish enough to stand in their way—even another goddess born.
But when a captivating young gentleman draws Selah into a world shadowed by secrets, she is forced to confront her darkest fears. What if some differences are too great to overcome and a future with Henry is doomed from the start?
With these doubts threatening her impending marriage and the very last of Brigid’s fire draining from her soul, a violent attack on an innocent child pushes Selah to the very edge of her power. She must find a way to cross into the Otherworld and regain her strength—or forfeit the streets of London to death and disease.