Historical Fiction Writing with Universal Class LESSON 2

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ELEMENTS OF HISTORICAL FICTION

Every genre of fiction has its own special elements. The elements of historical fiction are varied. They include characterisation, setting, plot themes, and specific styles and tones.

Characterization

Let’s start with characters.

Your characters may be real people that have lived in the past.

Oftentimes, these people are famous but, of course, they do not have to be. You may do research on someone who lived in the past and shape your story around them in order to give more notice to that character. They may be someone you feel should be noted for deeds accomplished but so far, is a bit overlooked, historically speaking.



A recent novel titled Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin is a good example of this. This is a historical fiction novel that tells the story of the girl who would later become Alice in Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland. Additionally, it tells a bit of the story behind Lewis Carroll.

The story is historical fiction because we could never be privy to all of these conversations and thoughts, but for all the research the author did, we have an excellent idea of how things were and what happened.

Another option is to create completely original characters who are not based on anyone who has ever lived. If you do this, in order to make it historical fiction, you must set your characters in a historical period. Choose a specific date or event and then do as much research as you can to bring the story to life.



One thing that happens in historical fiction–that happens in all fiction, is that your characters will change over the course of your novel. The difference here is that this usually occurs because the characters are shaped by their settings.

Setting

The setting of your novel is so very important in historical fiction, almost more so than in any other genre of fiction. It is almost a character in itself. Your characters are shaped by it. Because your story is historical and set in the past, your characters will be defined by it.

It means you must also research the moral constraints of the time period.

What were the social constructs of the day?

What was acceptable and unacceptable in terms of behavior?

As your characters are shaped by this, they will change and grow throughout the story based on these morals, constraints, and patterns of behavior.

It is also important to note that you will set your story in a specific geographical place and time. This will require lots of research. Make sure you know everything you need to know about your chosen place and time, and everything your readers will want and need to know to help them through the story.

We will talk more about research in a later lesson, but be prepared. Know that research is your best friend and the most essential tool when writing for this genre.




Plot Elements

The plot elements in an historical fiction novel can be quite unique, especially when compared to the plots of other genres. For example, the problem or problems in your historical fiction novel will usually be a result of the time and place that the story is occurring.

Another way that your conflicts or problems will be a result of time or place may simply be those moral constraints we talked about before. If you are writing a historical fiction romance novel, the courtship rituals were much different back then and this could be your characters’ problem, or it could be some type of familial censuring, such as an arranged marriage, which is causing the difficulties in your story.

Your research will be a great help in showing the reader this problem and allowing them to understand where your characters are coming from.

You want your readers to read along and really feel as if your story happened, the way readers do in Alice I Have Been. You cannot possibly know everything about the characters or the time period, you want your readers to feel that you do. They should be so swept up in your writing that they never stop to question or contradict a point. This is where a good, solid plot line comes in, as does good, solid research.

Theme

The themes of historical fiction are somewhat similar to the themes of any genre, which mostly is good versus evil. However, in historical fiction, we use the people and events from the past to shed light upon some basic truth about the past.

Style and Tone

The style of an historical fiction novel includes a great deal of detail. You want to use as much accuracy as possible. Your reader must feel like they are there, in the story, in that place and time, if you want to be successful.

Style is a very important element when writing for this genre.

If you were to write an historical fiction novel without giving any thought to the style, it might come out a little, well, odd. Because you live today and you are writing about the past, the language, word choice, vocabulary, etc. might not sound quite right. What you need to do is to come up with a style and a tone that fit with your story.

For an assignment I have to choose one historical figure and characterise them, so off I go! There is an assignment to complete for this lesson for that and then an exam to submit.

I think character is important and setting are the main ones you have to start off with as it sets the tone for the rest of your writing.

I have a novel in the works while I write this, and have written three chapters but I may have to learn to be more verbose and include more dialogue in it as I included in my first assignment in the first blog post series I did for this. I mentioned in my Introduction that I am more descriptive rather than putting lots more dialogue but I believe that you have to have a balance.

This next week I will be working on the rest of the Lesson while working at small goals of assignments and exams for each lesson, so I will post each lesson on the blog!

I hope you enjoy!

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What’s in my KENSINGTON PALACE BAG!!!!!!!

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Today I thought I would show you all the things I have kept in my Kensington Palace bag from when I visited in July 2018, I spent so much time in different places it is hard to put it all into one thing as there was numbers of things I did and yet STILL soooooo much to do when it comes to England/London/stately homes and palaces etc….. I have kept this bag from when I visited like a year and a half ago, and it has definitely left its mark on me from collecting so many little things along the way such as brochures, memorabilia, books based on the places you visit when you’re there. The day I went to Kensington Palace it was absolutely surreal! I am sure there was a helicopter flying over and all the tourists were like Its Prince William! haha! I will never know for sure!


I kept the main book as it has a lot of history and information that is just amazing! The history you would be absolutely astounded by! You discover a lot about the duchesses’s, princess’s, Lords, etc. Lets take a closer look at the book, and delve deep as I haven’t fully read it myself, I just got it probably for $5 when I was in Kensington Palace, and I had a Diana book that I showed in Instagram stories a little while ago, but now I can’t find it!!!! I had it and then I find something else that I thought I lost, my BIG London postcards which LITERALLY pop out at me! I will be posting the London postcards at the end of this blog post xx


Here is the Contents page…….. Have a look at the chapter titles for yourself, and then we will look more into the book1

Welcome to Kensington Palace!

Of course that is the introduction to the book, how beautiful is this illustration by John Buckler in 1826!

I love old pictures like this, the settings always grab me and it is very romantic, adjust guides you to a NEW world! Takes you back to those time periods of english historical places where you feel romance, and old english gardens, and this illustration is just REAL ART! It really does pop out at me! Old english art is just beautiful, and this sketch looks like something Amy would have drawn in Little Women or something! It is very beautiful, and really captures the Palace as it is, if you stare at it long enough it is almost like you are there!


According to this introduction, Kensington Palace definitely does have its history through the centuries, from William the THIRD to Mary the SECOND in the 17th century and the showing of secret lives and public lives, lots of secret history involved behind palace walls, but then you only know what is public when it is made public… I have always been fascinated by English history through the years, decades, centuries, from long ago…….. and it gets more and more interesting the more things you collect over time!


To be honest, the only tour I remember was Tour 3 Victoria Revealed, I took pictures on my INSTAGRAM, have a look as you will love the big picture of Queen Victoria when she was YOUNG! Probably when she was 18 I think, I am pretty sure that was when she was 18, I took a photo in that room of a piano, which had my heart ❤ The pink and white and green colours reminded me of a nursery, and it was just AMAZING to be standing right in the room where Queen Victoria was when she was a CHILD! Have you seen the ITV series of Victoria? You have to watch that to get more of a story and interesting factors and you learn more about the history and everything that happened by watching it, I started watching it but lost track of time in the process as I was highly enjoying it BUT stopped watching it when I moved again… I shall add it back to the list, but I think it is off Netflix in Australia for those in Australia. I particularly loved the story and the history as I remember a lot about Victoria and Alberts love story…… Highly recommend if you haven’t watched it yet….


Here starts the History! This book is only showing a short history, but sometimes long history can become boring and mundane that you are going to have to read what is written in the pictures. I won’t write anything or long paragraphs in this section as you probably need to read the photos instead to get a better understanding.







I did visit the Kings apartments but I actually don’t remember it much! It is a very vague memory already!

There were quite a few tours, as it was hard to keep up with everything on the Kensington Palace tour!




I visited this room right here, and it is a memory etched in my mind mostly out of all the rooms, I literally stood right in the heart of this room….And stared right at the pictures knowing this was pure art in its form…. A true delight to look at! Interesting and vivid, and captured the eye! It stood right out at you! This was the most ornate room in Kensington Palace out of my opinion. The gold frames were absolutely elegant and guided. I completely MARVELLED at them!!!!!!!



















GENERATIONS LATER………….

Look at the costumes of the day!



This picture is so beautiful to me, the garden and the English feel of it, its almost like the Secret Garden, and reminds of that poem Lord when I die please let it be in Spring! An English Garden poem I posted a long time ago….. “An Englishman’s Prayer”…….





Here is some further reading for a list of books to get in order to understand more about this topic and the tours involved, these books would elaborate MUCH more on the history and Victoria herself!

I have Victoria: A Life by A. N. Wilson



Today I found THREE London souvenir postcards I bought in the London Eye GIFT shop

I have a brochure of the Tower of London from Historic Royal Palaces, including Banqueting House, a London MAP, Map and information for the Kensington Palace Diana: The Fashion Story exhibition I attended, photos are on my private Instagram account though, hopefully I will post them on my main Instagram page I highlighted before….. ST Georges Chapel book from when I visited there!, Weston Park brochure from visiting somewhere and I collected it somehow maybe at Tatton Parks gift store…. Hampton Court Palace brochure and then a Covent Gardener small book which had a map of Covent Garden, the pictures I took were right where My Fair Lady was filmed! One of my most favourite films of all time with Audrey Hepburn 🙂

Well these are a few of my favourite things that I collected in the Kensington Palace bag when I was there and I have carried it with me on my trip back home!

I hope you enjoyed the history, the book and seeing what I collected as I had a lot of fun collecting brochures whilst on the tour, it was a delight! and as you can see, I have still got my ticket from when I went to PARIS!

Here is a story and pictures of my TOUR ❤

EMMALISA’S TRAVELS IN ENGLAND – JULY 2018

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I have probably raved one about my trip to England just a TAD too many times!!!! As soon as I arrived in London it TOTES felt surreal!!!!! I was there but felt like a million things were going through my mind. I had FINALLLLY reaches my DREAM DESTINATION!!!!!! 😍😍😍😍😍😍

I loved everything about that country and the things we did. As soon as we arrived to Hyde Park Gate Hotel it was ABSOLUTELY relaxing and the mornings were FRESH!!!!

Continue reading “EMMALISA’S TRAVELS IN ENGLAND – JULY 2018”

Historical Fiction Writing with Universal Class – with City of Joondalup – Whitfords Library


INTRODUCTION

What Is Historical Fiction?

I thought I would first show the definition of Historical Fiction to pinpoint what we are looking at exactly.

Historical, adj. 1. Of, relating to, or of the character of history. 2. Based on or concerned with events in history.

Fiction, n. 4.a. A literary work whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact. b. The category of literature comprising works of this kind, including novels, short stories, and plays.

Writing historical fiction is simply writing a story that is set in the past which is usually during a significant time period. For example, the Victorian Period is the period during Queen Victoria’s reign. I find this period particularly interesting and a favourite.

The main thing that I will learn in this course is to do research to come up with the correct setting based on facts. It can also include real people but does not necessarily have to.

When You are writing fiction, it is very important to do your homework so that you can really pinpoint the mannerisms, costumes, conditions,  etc, in order to make the novel authentic. In fact, they also say that historical fiction novels can take years to write because of the amount of research you have to do when writing.

Historical writing includes historical figures placed in imaginary situations

Fictional characters placed in actual, factual historical periods of time or situations

(for example, you can place your fictional character “Alexandra” in Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812); or you can have variations of both.

For example, you could place historical figures in settings they have been proven to have been in or fictional characters in fictional settings in a real period of history.

To recap, historical fiction is writing that is fictional but in which elements from history play the main roles.

When you choose to write historical fiction, you are doing two things at once – you are both the historian AND the storyteller. You are going to tell your readers what happened at the time and what it felt like.

We are going to explore the genre.

We will discuss the various subgenres, the types of characters and settings you may want to explore, character motivations, conflict, plot, plot mapping, editing, and pacing, plus agents, queries, and so much more.

You will walk away at the end of this course feeling as though you know exactly what you want to write and exactly how to write it.

I have submitted my Introduction online and written what book I want to write and then did a multiple choice exam at the end.

You may have to be a member of the City of Joondalup library to access the course.

It is under Online Resources in the Spydus catalogue.

Xx

Emmalisa

Note: 📝 This is through onlineclasses.com

UniversalClass.com

There iare500+ courses to choose from and 6000000 Lessons delivered!

Oh! How I want to do Journalism!

I will possibly do a Book Review of The Governess Game in the near future! As that is the featured photo on my post!

❤️

Royal Love Stories


With Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle’s wedding approaching this May, royal weddings and love stories are on everyone’s mind. This love for the royal family is nothing new though. For decades the public has come to admire what royal weddings embody around the world, especially when it involves an unlikely couple getting together for a fairytale ending.

That’s why I’m loving this visual from Invaluable that shares different and unlikely royal love stories from around the world. No matter their background or social standing, it goes to show just how powerful true love is. From Prince William and Kate Middleton meeting in their college dorm to Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III meeting at a photo shoot, the love stories behind these iconic couples is inspiring to follow, especially during the month of love!

Continue reading “Royal Love Stories”

10 Beautiful Reasons why we can’t help but fall in love with Britain


1. Culture

The most fascinating and interesting country that it is, it is the country with the most richest history. It has a very ethnically mixed population and is influenced by it’s history of Victorian times, Edwardian times, the Regency Period, the middle ages, the Tudor Period, and other periods like the Anglo-Saxona and Roman period.

It’s history is absolutely intriguing and widely looked at. I would love to do an overview of each period but that would take a VERY long time! From the Lancastrian period to the House of York, and House of Windsor, it is full of pomp and circumstance, which is a familiar motto used in the country.

It is defined by the distinct cultural standards of England and the “English” people. I particularly like the culture in London as it is widely believed to be the culture capital of the world, known for its music ( people like Ellie Goulding, Victoria Beckham, Mick Jagger, John Lennon and Paul McCartney just to name a few!), museums (V&A, Natural History, National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery), festivals (Boomtown, Winchester, Bestival, Lulworth Castle – the Green Man Festival full of comedy, theatre, and literary worlds – there is also the Latitude Festival that is held at Hehla, Park which has DJ’s hidden in the woods, colourful sheep roaming, opera on the lake, and actors and dance troupes)

England is known for its traditional music halls, West End theatres, London has it all when it comes to entertainment! It is renowned for its theatre (just like Melbourne!) and an array of tours and attractions and sporting occasions.

2. Charming little towns and villages

There are many gorgeous little villages that hold character and charm, such as Chester (Cheshire in which I have talked about in previous posts) it is a county in the north west of England located on the River Dee with a population of around 300,000 and is one of the best preserved wall cities and full of medieval buildings, some, Victorian Restorations.

There is also Canterbury which has Canterbury Cathedral which is very special and is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury and is the mother church of the Anglican community throughout the world. it is a historical cathedral city and UNESCO world heritage site and a local government district of Kent. it lies on the River Stour. It was also a pilgrimage site in the middle ages. It is a very historic British town.

3. Beautiful Scenery

England has absolutely BEAUTIFUL scenery, and you can see ocean views from places like Eastbourne (a seaside resort), in the country and then you’ve got amazing, picturesque, gorgeous area of natural beauty at the Lake District. It is one of the most beautiful places of England, even though I haven’t been there I have heard so much about this huge area, and know a few people that live there or have been there on holidays. There seem to be incredible views! especially of glistening waters and valleys.

You have also got the South Downs National Park in Sussex

3. Enchanting Georgian Architecture

Apparently one of the most beautiful places in England is the gorgeous and harmonious location of Bath, Somerset. This is DEFINITELY on my “list of Travel Dreams”, and is so elegant-looking. It is known to be the place that Jane Austen used as a setting for her novels, Northanger Abbey and Persusasion, and apparently where Thomas Gainsborough (the painter) did his landscape paintings.

4. The Best Pub Walks

From its spectacular coastline to its mountain peaks, Britains diverse landscapes can also be the best for walking. Britain is known for its unique establishments ‘the pub’ – for example, you have, The Cob and Lobster, The Old Nags Head, Lister Arms, The Boatman, which is nestled below Windsor Castle beside the River Thames, overlooking Eton Bridge.

5. The Peak Disctrict

This is another piece of inspiration for Jane Austen, plus Charlotte Bronte, it has been a charming spot for Brits for centuries, with its billowed hills, desolated cliffs and eye-catching country houses.

6. Romantic Places

My idea of Britain is becoming more and more about having a stroll in the countryside, or munching on some Fortnum and Mason goodies, or reading in the park with some delightful macaroons from Pierre Herme Paris or L’Orchidee.

Also, my idea to take myself back to something evocative even though I haven’t been there is, Tintagel Castle in Cornwall. it is known to be one of the most greatest medieval sites in the entire country, and apparently is the birthplace of King Arthur. It looks simply enchanting. or such as Highclere Castle nestled in the countryside of Hampshire.

When I think of the word ‘romantic’ I think of ‘Derbyshire’, an abundant hinterland, the district of Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ looks absolutely breathtaking. This county is filled with stately homes and looks as green as ever!, and also in Pride and Prejudice the character Fitzwilliam Darcy was situated here as well, plus one of Georgette Heyers books, and quite a few others as well have used it as a novel setting.

7. It’s old castles

One of the most iconic of all fortresses is:

Dover Castle. From the Romans to the Cold War, you can roam through centuries of history here. You can also step into the Great Tower and immerse yourself in a medieval castle. In the 1180’s Henry the second remodelled it.

Kenilworth Castle

It is full of so much history of 900 years, an Elizabethan palace where the Great Hall played hosts to medieval monarchs and early Tudor Kings. You can also have a walk in the 400 year old, Elizabethan Garden, a haven of peace and tranquility, and bursting with full colour! There is also an exhibition, Leicesters Gatehouse a castle entrance built by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester in 1571, as part of his plan to pursue Queen Elizabeth I.

There are so many other castles such as Tintagel, Bolsover, Portchester, Warkworth, Dunstanburgh and Carisbrooke, Middleham and Beeston.

8. The People

Full of friendly inhabitants, British people are citizens of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies. The ‘British’ can be referred to as the Celtic Britons, which were ‘The Celts’ who were an Indo-European people who inhabited Great Britain during the Iron Age right into the Middle Ages, at which point their culture/language diverged. They spoke Common Brittonic Lanaguage.

The British are a diverse, multi-cultural and bilingual society. The British are very polite people and say ‘thank you’ to everything!!! ‘Excuse me’ is used A LOT and are known to keep to themselves, generally ‘quite’ reserved!

9. Quality of Life

The U.K is a good place to live and work and is one of the best developed countries for quality of life.

Why?

Education:

Education is highly-ranked internationally and the U.K has spent billions of dollars on primary and secondary education plus tertiary. $83.4 billio was spent on education.

Income:

The median household income is about 23,556 pounds and the U.K is quite a wealthy country, what would it be without Lords and Ladies??? Income can vary considerably by location and a few of the most expensive suburbs are Chelsea, Kensington and the city of London itself, with median annual income of $58,000 pounds.

10. The BIG cities!!!!

From Manchester to Birmingham-Wolverhampton to Liverpool and Leeds-Bradford, London ranks as the highest in the hierarchy of British cities, and of COURSE I am going to include it!!!!!


There are currently 69 cities in the United Kingdom that have been granted city status by letters patent (which is a legal instrument issued by a monarch or head of state) and royal charter (a formal document granting right and/or power to an individual or an association or society).

There is SOOO much information on London alone and is the most populous city in England. It overlooks the River Thames and can also be known as ‘Londinium’ which came from the Romans as they were the ones that founded the city. It is a metropolis and a leading global city, in the arts particularly, and majorly in fashion, media and entertainment, and also known for its professional services and research and development. It is also the worlds largest financial centre and the worlds most visited city according to international arrivals.

Londons famous landmarks are:

Trafalgar Square

The London Eye

The Shard

Tower Bridge


Picadillly Circus

Buckingham Palace

Westminster Abbey

St Pauls Cathedral

It has a population of 8 million people.

…. and these are the reasons why we can’t help but fall in love with Britain

“How to start writing your novel” – with writer, Gabrielle Emmons


Recently I have been talking and collaborating with my very good friend, (a novelist and history enthusiast), an intelligent, studious and amicable lady who strives for greatness in her writing, Gabrielle Emmons. We have been talking a lot about writing in general and I came up with the idea of her doing a guest post on how she begins to write a novel. This is fantastic for those who are budding authors, ready for a new breathe of fresh air or something to their writing life.
I am proud to introduce her to my blog and with the upmost sincere thanks and gratefulness to have her feature on here.
You will find the full article here on her blog, Gabrielle M Emmons and you will also find that she works and keeps up with her own numerous blogs showcasing her work and authorship.
My absolute favourite blog of hers is Tea, Books and Britain because well, you know me! I have become the bit of an Anglophile! And the title is just Oh so perfect! And sums up my life basically. A cup of tea while watching “Escape to the country” or “60 Minute Makeover” has truly been the highlight of my afternoons.
Before I post her article I totally recommend for you to check out her excellent Book Review on “The Mark of the King”. This description on the back cover definitely makes me want to delve into it.

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

So, even if you haven’t clicked on that review, bookmark it or save it on your internet and make sure you get that little glimpse of a story of great and hopeful history. It truly has made me want to read it very soon!
In her Writing 101 – a new series blog post she states how we specifically have been discussing the idea on HOW to BEGIN writing a novel. It has truly been amazing talking with her about ideas and brainstorming and starting that novel in particular.
Now, let’s get started with her article which was published on September 12th 2017 on her History with Flair website. Grab yourself a drink (tea or water) and a notebook & pen or laptop. There is an activity at the end!

Many people have asked me how do I start the process for writing a novel. They have also asked me how do I find inspiration/ideas. So I thought I would do a blog series featuring writing. This is the first in the series and you can find more about it here.
So pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage (mine is tea), and let’s get started. (Just a heads up there will be an assignment at the end of this post. But it shouldn’t be too bad).
First off, there is no one way to start the process of writing a novel. Each author has their own way of how to start that is unique to them. The key is to find one that works for you.
For example, some have a vague idea right away. Others have pictured a character or characters. Again, others have a couple of scenes already figured out.
It is all up to you.
For me, it varies. For my WWII novel set in England (which I have put on hold for now), I already had a vague understanding the plot.
For my Autumn themed story that is currently in the very early stages, I knew I wanted to have setting of the novel be during the Autumn months in MA because I love the Fall. I also knew who my main characters were.
Okay, homework time.
I want you to grab your favorite notebook and writing utensil. You can use your laptop if you prefer to type. I usually for this stage write it in a notebook and then transfer it to the computer later on.
Now, I want you to write down five ideas that could be potential stories. Don’t feel bad if you can only come up with one and two. It is a start.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun. Writing a novel should be fun.

How did you go with the activity?
I thought I would share one idea I came up with. Here is what I wrote:
Idea 5. Professor Wickman travels to London to start a new job at the City University of London. Committing his time and energy to his work and study is his priority and is all work, but through a period of time he learns to apply his work to excellence and focus on a project with his enchanting partner Lady Grosvenor from the affluent suburb of Mayfair. They eventually fall in love whilst working together and get married at St George Hanover Square.
It is not a complete idea but that is an example of ideas. First off starting with the main character, then a setting, place or particular location, the body and then the minor character fixed in there somewhere.
I skipped a whole part of what “could be” (a long plot) There could be so much more I could add to it and I am excited at the thought of creating a story again!
but I liked the idea of this so much I am thinking I am giving away a good story already! Well, that can be my next project!
Emmalisa

Oh, to be in England!


This title is the first Chapter of “The Way to St. Werburgh’s”, and oh! Is it just the perfect title.

“It was 1819, perhaps a year of destiny. George III’s long reign was drawing to a close; his granddaughter Victoria was born, later to be one of the greatest rulers of the British empire; and soon the self-indulgent, sentimental reign of his son George IV would lower the past prestige of the royal family, despite the fact that he had served as Regent for some years.”

“The Northern spring was fast approaching, to gladden the hearts of all Englishmen Grand old oaks and spreading yew trees, majestic chestnuts and elegant birches vied with shy wood violets and bursting daffodils to greet the new season.

Blackbirds and sky larks, sparrows and finches, swallows and thrush, wrens and nightingales plied the air with ceaseless song, and the whole English landscape breathed new life with the melting snow” Continue reading “Oh, to be in England!”