Digging up the Detail – 19th Century burial fees

My current work in progress, The Shackletons of Whitehaven, has a scene where a mother and daughter - Dolly and Becky - discuss the cost of burial in Whitehaven. The customary fee for a four foot grave was a shilling (1/-) because the gravediggers only had to go down four feet. After that it was… Continue reading Digging up the Detail – 19th Century burial fees

D. H. Lawrence, poetry and dialect – The Collier’s Wife.

A few personal thoughts on writing in dialect. The thing I most admire about D. H. Lawrence is his use of langauge, not just the written word but also his spoken dialect. He must have had a very musical ear for his characters always sound "right". Writing historical fiction I struggle over whether to use… Continue reading D. H. Lawrence, poetry and dialect – The Collier’s Wife.

Compulsory Cow Pox Vaccination in 1853

In Whitehaven in 1853, the year before the setting of my novel "New Beginnings on Vancouver Island", the Clerk to the Guardians, Christopher Hodgkin issued a proclamation to parents and their guardians that all children must be vaccinated BY ORDER against Cow Pox. Medical practitioners were authorised to vaccinate all persons resident within the appointed… Continue reading Compulsory Cow Pox Vaccination in 1853

Whitehaven’s Georgian Streets and Modern-Day Seagulls

Arriving in Whitehaven late Tuesday afternoon, via Wensleydale and the Hawes Creamery, nerves became a little bit frayed as we set about negotiating the one-way system for Church Street and The Georgian House Hotel. After being warmly welcomed and more than happy to say goodbye to the car (it's a long way from Lincolnshire), we… Continue reading Whitehaven’s Georgian Streets and Modern-Day Seagulls