In Important Dates in Violet’s Victorian World

The Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria’s reign, from June 20, 1837 until her death on January 22, 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, “refined sensibilities,” and national self-confidence for the United Kingdom. In Violet Harper’s world (and soon Florence Nightingale’s), readers of my books have experienced glimpses into some […]

A Collection of Victorian Era Advertisements

The distinctive Victorian style of layout for advertisements showcased extreme variations of type size and weight, all crammed within the page format, was an invention of expedience, allowing the printer to utilize every inch of precious space. Another distinction easily recognized is the use of extravagant embellishments commonly applied to architecture, furniture, clothing, and carried […]

Queen Victoria Quotes

With the recent release of the Queen Victoria miniseries on PBS there has been an increased interest in Her Majesty. The Lady of Ashes fans are familiar from reading about Violet Harper’s acquaintance with Her Majesty that the Queen has many thoughts, spanning many topics. Violet asked that some favorites be shared here:

William Gladstone Becomes Prime Minister (for the First Time), December 9, 1868

Catherine and William Gladstone in later life

William Ewart Gladstone was born December 29, 1809, and became prime minister for the first time on December 9, 1868, just before his 59th birthday. He would enter parliament for the fourth and last time in 1892, at the age of 82!

Prior to his election as […]

Opening of the Suez Canal, November 17, 1869

The entire plot basis for A GRAVE CELEBRATION was the opening of the Suez Canal in Egypt. The canal was the brainchild of Ferdinand de Lesseps (1805—1894), a Frenchman with a varied and distinguished diplomatic career before successfully completing a waterway linking the Mediterranean and Red Seas, effectively linking East and West with dramatically reduced […]