The Lost Letter: The Story Behind the Story

The Reader by Charles Baugniet, n.d.

I don’t usually blog about my writing process. However, since this is launch week for my debut Victorian romance The Lost Letter, I thought I’d share with you a little bit about how the story came into being. For those of you who have read it, you’ll know that it’s dedicated to my mother.[…]Continue Reading

The Lost Letter Release Day, with Victorian-Themed Gift Giveaways & More!

It’s release day for my debut Victorian romance novel The Lost Letter! To celebrate, I’ll be visiting a different website or blog every day this week. There will be interviews, history articles, exclusive excerpts, and giveaways. I’m also hosting a special Victorian-themed release day giveaway here at my own website, featuring quill pens, stationery, and signed paperback copies of my new book. So, without further ado, let’s get started![…]Continue Reading

A Simple Coiffure: Basic Hairstyles for Victorian Women of Moderate Means

Hair styled with a center parting and plaits.
(An Embroidery Lesson by Gustave Leonard de Jonghe, 1864.)

For balls and other formal events, fashionable women of the early 1860s often arranged their hair in elaborate styles with artificial tufts, pads, and false plaits. On a day-to-day basis, however, Victorian women of more moderate means stuck to more practical styles. These styles included firmly pinned plaits, simple chignons, and rolls bound up in a hair net or secured with a ribbon. In today’s post, we take a brief look at some of these styles, specifically those which feature in my new Victorian romance novel The Lost Letter.[…]Continue Reading

The Etiquette of the Victorian Handshake: Advice on Opposite Sex Greetings

“Among friends the shaking of the hand is the most genuine and cordial expression of good-will.”

The Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Etiquette, 1877.

Yes by John Everett Millais, 1877.

When we think of nineteenth century greetings, many of us naturally picture bows, curtsies, and subtle inclinations of the head. But these were not the only types of gestures with which to greet one’s friends and acquaintances. Fans of Elizabeth Gaskell will know that, in some cases, a handshake was equally appropriate. In her 1855 novel North and South, John Thornton, a northerner, regularly shakes hands with his friends. Southerner Margaret Hale, however, is unfamiliar with the custom. In one of the most memorable scenes from the novel, Gaskell writes:[…]Continue Reading

Winners of My Victorian-Themed Letter Writing Giveaway!

The Reply by Auguste Toulmouche, n.d.
(Musee des Beaux-Arts)

In my last author newsletter, I offered an exclusive, Victorian-themed letter writing giveaway to celebrate the upcoming release of my debut historical romance novel The Lost Letter. This very special giveaway included:[…]Continue Reading