The Firstborn’s Hero: Lord Haughton

The Quirks of Quen

Writing heroes is always fun. I never set out with a perfectly formed character in mind. I usually have a scene, or even a scene-let, with a few lines of dialog, maybe a bit of action, and that’s it. But it gives me enough of a springboard that I can start building a story around this guy.

And a lot of the time, he’s definitely not the most likable character. Alexander_Jakesch_-_Old_History

Take Lord Haughton, or Finnian, as he’s more familiarly known. He’s the hero of my next book, The Firstborn, and at first introduction, he’s not exactly someone you’d immediately warm up to. He’s stuffy, he’s stubborn, he’s worried about keeping up appearances.

His younger brother, David, has gone and sired a son out of wedlock. It’s a scandal, or it could be if it’s not kept under wraps. And Finnian, being the oldest son and the one with the weight…

View original post 842 more words

Amusements of London: The Masked Assembly

Susana's Parlour

Amusements of Old London

William B. Boulton, 1901

“… an attempt to survey the amusements of Londoners during a period which began… with the Restoration of King Charles the Second and ended with the accession of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.”

The Ridotto in Venice, Pietro Longhi, 1750's The Ridotto in Venice, Pietro Longhi, 1750’s

The wearing of masks to disguise one’s identity was nothing new when the “quasi heathenish fêtes” of the medieval Venetians spread to 17th century England. After all, inquisitors, executioners, and highwaymen wore them as they completed their odious business. Pagan rites such as Bacchanalia and Saturnalia and the fêtes des innocents or fêtes de fous were masked revels in which participants could, along with their attire, shed their normal scruples and give way to their impulses. While there are accounts of masked events in Henry VIII’s court as well as the some of the Stuarts’, the “true masquerade,” where all guests were…

View original post 1,677 more words

“A Cesspool in the Palace”: Prostitution and the Church in Medieval Southwark

Jessica Cale’s Blog

Dirty, Sexy History

london_bridge_1616_by_claes_van_visscher London Bridge, from Southwark facing north. Southwark Cathedral is in the foreground. Claes Van Visscher, 1616.

Prostitution flourished in medieval London, and in the 12th century, Southwark became the city’s official red light district by order of Henry II. His ‘Ordinances touching the gouerment of the stewhoulders in Southwarke under the direction of the Bishop of Winchester’ (1161) gave control of the Southwark brothels to the ecclesiastical authorities, which would allow the church to draw untold sums of money from them through the sale of licenses. At the time of the ordinance, there were eighteen licensed brothels in Bankside employing about a thousand prostitutes at any one time. As a result of the church taking control, most of London’s churches built during this period were largely financed by prostitution.

Why Southwark? By the 12th century, Southwark had already been a hot spot for prostitution since the Romans built the first…

View original post 1,153 more words