Author Mary Davis is again sharing today – this time related to her latest book, The Daughter’s Predicament. Whether you struggled to listen in history class or if you loved it, you will enjoy her post.
HISTORY: Boring or Spellbinding?
By Mary Davis
That I write historical romance is a mystery to me. That I write at all is a mystery because I’m dyslexic, which always made reading hard and spelling impossible. Reading literally gave me headaches. But the Lord works through our weaknesses. As an adult I learned to love reading, and SpellChecker is helpful . . . most of time.
I think my love of romance started as a young girl with fairy tales like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. I know those stories are unrealistic in how quickly the hero and heroine fall in love, but they did fall in love and, at some point, the heroine wore the most beautiful gowns. They gave hope to shy girls like me, that I too could have love in my future.
But history? Ugh! BORING! Dry and dull. At least the way it was taught in school. “Just the facts, ma’am. Don’t say anything that could be remotely interesting.” How was I supposed to memorize all those facts? And if I managed to memorize enough for the test, it was all dumped once the test was over and a new influx of information was crammed into my brain.
But now, I find history fascinating. There was so much I was never taught in school. The teachers and text books couldn’t. There wasn’t time in the classroom, and text books would have filled the room and then some for just one topic—a sub topic of a topic. History classes needed to just hit the highest of highlights, and only had time to do so in the most boring ways.
I often do hours of research for each book. Though I have a growing knowledge in my head of the historical periods I prefer to write in, there is generally always something that I need to learn about in depth specific to a story. And I enjoy the search!
For The Daughter’s Predicament, I needed to do a lot of research on bicycles because my heroine, Isabelle, rode a bicycle. Until the safety bicycle, which is what Isabelle rode, bicycles weren’t practical for reliable transportation. They were more of a novelty. But the safety bicycle changed all that and gave women an independence they hadn’t had before.
“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and
rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.”
Susan B. Anthony.
I love finding unusual and little known tidbits of history. I find them spellbinding. Here are a few of the fun oddities I’ve learned.
- A twelve-year war between U.S. and England that was started over an English Berkshire boar that was killed by an American. The pig was the only casualty of the war.
- That peacock feathers were thought to be bad luck.
- A doctor who performed digestive experiments on a man shot in the abdomen, lowering pieces of food through the hole into his stomach. He thought the man was going to die anyway, so why not learn something. The man lived and even outlived the doctor by many years.
- Organizations like the Society for the Prevention of Useless Giving and the Anti-Tipping Society felt tipping widened the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” That it demeaned those of a lower income and did more harm than good.
- And I think my favorite of all: A dog who was sent to prison for killing the mayor’s wife’s cat. Rather than having him put down, the mayor opted for prison. The dog learned his prison number and loved jumping on the bus for work detail.
History class would have been so much more interesting had those been taught.
The Daughter's Predicament
by Mary Davis
Series: The Quilting Circle #2
Published by Mountain Brook Ink
Publication Date May 1, 2019
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Washington Gilded Age – US – 1875 – 1900
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 36-60
Written for: Adults
Can a patient love win her heart?
As Isabelle Atwood’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams. While making a quilt for her own hope chest, Isabelle’s half-sister becomes pregnant out of wedlock and Isabelle--always the unfavored daughter--becomes the family sacrifice to save face. Despite gaining the attention of a handsome rancher, her parents are pressuring her to marry a man of their choosing to rescue her sister’s reputation. A third suitor waits silently in the wings, hoping for his own chance at love. Isabelle ends up with three marriage proposals, but this only further confuses her decision.
A handsome rancher, a stranger, and an unseen suitor are all waiting for an answer. Isabelle loves her sister, but will she really allow herself to be manipulated into a marriage without love? Will Isabelle capitulate and marry the man her parents wish her to, or will she rebel and marry the man they don’t approve of? Or will the man leaving her secret love poems sweep her off her feet?
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series: The Widow's Plight, The Damsel's Intent