Can anyone get a bit of peace and quiet around here?

Jo here, with a new CBK picture showing off some garden beauties.Cdvenus Well, if carniverous plants count.*G*

I’m off to the RWA national conference in Dallas tomorrow (if you’ll be there, say hi!) and in the usual last minute flurry, so I’m going to ask everyone to join in a cooperative blog. A treasure hunt, in fact. You see, a question here got the Wenches talking about whether there have been any peaceful times in history — times when one of our couples could look forward to a reasonably stable life in which to care for lands etc and raise children, and maybe, just maybe, die old and in their beds. If that’s what they wanted, of course.
Lomhol

One reason I moved on a generation in my medievals was this. Lord of My Heart, my first medieval, was set just after the Norman Conquest, and that was a pretty rough time, as invasion always is. Lomhnewframe
What’s more, I was so tired of the standard Norman night/Saxon maiden plot (and they weren’t Saxons, they were Anglo-Saxons, or more simply, English.) So I did a Norman maiden/Norman-English plot, with the hero’s main problem being his split allegiance. His mother is English, a daughter of Lady Godiva in fact, and his uncle is Hereward the Wake, leader of the English resistance. His father is a Norman lord and William of Normandy is his godfather.

I kind of sorted it all out for them, of course, but their next thirty years or so weren’t going to be easy. So I moved on smartly to the next generation, the Anglo-Normans, who had a simpler situation, largely because they’d rid themselves of most English of importance. Not that c 1100 it was a simple time, what with the Conqueror’s sons squabbling over the throne, but it was middling peaceful as history goes.

But looming ahead, of course, are the Stephen and Matilda wars, starting in 1135 when Henry I dies from an excess of lampreys*. Civil wars are always the worst, and this one carries on until 1153, which means my characters’ later years, and their children’s primes will be embroiled in this mess. Sigh.

*This lamprey business is a strange one. There’s some information here.
About lamprey pie.
There’s an ad to the right about losing 20lbs in 3 weeks. I’d think lampreys would do it. They sound, and look Lamprey
disgusting!

“The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), which evolved some 250 million years ago, belongs to a near-extinct family of jawless fishes. A lamprey is a long scale-less river fish which looks very much like an eel. Its downward slanting mouth consists of a large, tooth-lined sucking disc. Once it has latched onto the side of another fish, the lamprey opens a hole in its host by wiping its raspy tongue across the skin. The parasite then secretes an anticoagulant that keeps this wound open so that the lamprey can feed on the prey’s blood and tissue.”

Perhaps one reason the Regency is popular is that it is fairly tranquil. Sure there was a war going on, but it wasn’t on home soil and it was of the heroic sort, fighting the “Corsican Monster” who had tried to invade. Coming up, the relatively stable and orderly Victorian period.

So, here are the rules of the hunt. Your characters can live in any time or location. Find a stretch of 60 years or so of reasonable political stability and peace at home for happy lovers to look forward to. The peace and stability need only be local, but let’s define that mostly as national. In other words, the fact that the country is waging war elsewhere, or stife exists beyond the borders might not count.Medwarhorse

The three things that really count are: 1) dreadful and widespread disease, like plague or the Black Death, 2) invasion –up to you whether a peaceful one like William of Orange’s arrival in Britain counts, 3) civil war.

Have fun with this!

Jo
PS I always think this picture needs a caption. Something like one of the horses saying, “Can you believe this, Bill? We’re supposed to pretend to fight. Stupid humans.”

100 thoughts on “Can anyone get a bit of peace and quiet around here?”

  1. Uhhh, I don’t think I’ll be making Lamprey Pie for dinner tonight.
    As for peace and prosperity, or at least peace, there’s always England (and most of Europe) from 1815 to 1914. Or ancient Rome from Augustus through Nero, or Nerva through Marcus Aurelius.
    But really, given the difficulties of travel and the absence of mass communications in the past, if you weren’t of a class expected to provide military officers and didn’t have the bad luck to live in the path of clashing armies, most times and places could be safe. Even during civil wars, like the one between Matilda and Stephen, there were places where you could live safely and the war was just something you heard about from passing travelers.
    Of course, romance heroes and heroines generally do belong to the ruling class, giving them more control over their destinies than the poor have ever had but also embroiling them in dangers the poor could escape. And after all, if I’m going to indulge in fantasy, I would just as soon identify with someone who does NOT have to scrub the kitchen floor. But if you want to provide the hero and heroine with safety and security for the next generation, the simplest thing to do would be have them drop out of the social and political whirl and go cultivate their own garden.

    Reply
  2. Uhhh, I don’t think I’ll be making Lamprey Pie for dinner tonight.
    As for peace and prosperity, or at least peace, there’s always England (and most of Europe) from 1815 to 1914. Or ancient Rome from Augustus through Nero, or Nerva through Marcus Aurelius.
    But really, given the difficulties of travel and the absence of mass communications in the past, if you weren’t of a class expected to provide military officers and didn’t have the bad luck to live in the path of clashing armies, most times and places could be safe. Even during civil wars, like the one between Matilda and Stephen, there were places where you could live safely and the war was just something you heard about from passing travelers.
    Of course, romance heroes and heroines generally do belong to the ruling class, giving them more control over their destinies than the poor have ever had but also embroiling them in dangers the poor could escape. And after all, if I’m going to indulge in fantasy, I would just as soon identify with someone who does NOT have to scrub the kitchen floor. But if you want to provide the hero and heroine with safety and security for the next generation, the simplest thing to do would be have them drop out of the social and political whirl and go cultivate their own garden.

    Reply
  3. Uhhh, I don’t think I’ll be making Lamprey Pie for dinner tonight.
    As for peace and prosperity, or at least peace, there’s always England (and most of Europe) from 1815 to 1914. Or ancient Rome from Augustus through Nero, or Nerva through Marcus Aurelius.
    But really, given the difficulties of travel and the absence of mass communications in the past, if you weren’t of a class expected to provide military officers and didn’t have the bad luck to live in the path of clashing armies, most times and places could be safe. Even during civil wars, like the one between Matilda and Stephen, there were places where you could live safely and the war was just something you heard about from passing travelers.
    Of course, romance heroes and heroines generally do belong to the ruling class, giving them more control over their destinies than the poor have ever had but also embroiling them in dangers the poor could escape. And after all, if I’m going to indulge in fantasy, I would just as soon identify with someone who does NOT have to scrub the kitchen floor. But if you want to provide the hero and heroine with safety and security for the next generation, the simplest thing to do would be have them drop out of the social and political whirl and go cultivate their own garden.

    Reply
  4. Uhhh, I don’t think I’ll be making Lamprey Pie for dinner tonight.
    As for peace and prosperity, or at least peace, there’s always England (and most of Europe) from 1815 to 1914. Or ancient Rome from Augustus through Nero, or Nerva through Marcus Aurelius.
    But really, given the difficulties of travel and the absence of mass communications in the past, if you weren’t of a class expected to provide military officers and didn’t have the bad luck to live in the path of clashing armies, most times and places could be safe. Even during civil wars, like the one between Matilda and Stephen, there were places where you could live safely and the war was just something you heard about from passing travelers.
    Of course, romance heroes and heroines generally do belong to the ruling class, giving them more control over their destinies than the poor have ever had but also embroiling them in dangers the poor could escape. And after all, if I’m going to indulge in fantasy, I would just as soon identify with someone who does NOT have to scrub the kitchen floor. But if you want to provide the hero and heroine with safety and security for the next generation, the simplest thing to do would be have them drop out of the social and political whirl and go cultivate their own garden.

    Reply
  5. Uhhh, I don’t think I’ll be making Lamprey Pie for dinner tonight.
    As for peace and prosperity, or at least peace, there’s always England (and most of Europe) from 1815 to 1914. Or ancient Rome from Augustus through Nero, or Nerva through Marcus Aurelius.
    But really, given the difficulties of travel and the absence of mass communications in the past, if you weren’t of a class expected to provide military officers and didn’t have the bad luck to live in the path of clashing armies, most times and places could be safe. Even during civil wars, like the one between Matilda and Stephen, there were places where you could live safely and the war was just something you heard about from passing travelers.
    Of course, romance heroes and heroines generally do belong to the ruling class, giving them more control over their destinies than the poor have ever had but also embroiling them in dangers the poor could escape. And after all, if I’m going to indulge in fantasy, I would just as soon identify with someone who does NOT have to scrub the kitchen floor. But if you want to provide the hero and heroine with safety and security for the next generation, the simplest thing to do would be have them drop out of the social and political whirl and go cultivate their own garden.

    Reply
  6. Great topic. I was thinkng recently about how hard it would be to write about Edwardian characters without the specter of World War I hanging over the ending. I do think it’s one of the appealing things about the Regency–although I sometimes thnk of my characters having to cope with Victorian morality, not to mention fashions :-). A book set in early-mid 18th century England could offer a relatively stable future, couldn’t it? Post the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, pre-Napeonlic Wars?

    Reply
  7. Great topic. I was thinkng recently about how hard it would be to write about Edwardian characters without the specter of World War I hanging over the ending. I do think it’s one of the appealing things about the Regency–although I sometimes thnk of my characters having to cope with Victorian morality, not to mention fashions :-). A book set in early-mid 18th century England could offer a relatively stable future, couldn’t it? Post the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, pre-Napeonlic Wars?

    Reply
  8. Great topic. I was thinkng recently about how hard it would be to write about Edwardian characters without the specter of World War I hanging over the ending. I do think it’s one of the appealing things about the Regency–although I sometimes thnk of my characters having to cope with Victorian morality, not to mention fashions :-). A book set in early-mid 18th century England could offer a relatively stable future, couldn’t it? Post the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, pre-Napeonlic Wars?

    Reply
  9. Great topic. I was thinkng recently about how hard it would be to write about Edwardian characters without the specter of World War I hanging over the ending. I do think it’s one of the appealing things about the Regency–although I sometimes thnk of my characters having to cope with Victorian morality, not to mention fashions :-). A book set in early-mid 18th century England could offer a relatively stable future, couldn’t it? Post the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, pre-Napeonlic Wars?

    Reply
  10. Great topic. I was thinkng recently about how hard it would be to write about Edwardian characters without the specter of World War I hanging over the ending. I do think it’s one of the appealing things about the Regency–although I sometimes thnk of my characters having to cope with Victorian morality, not to mention fashions :-). A book set in early-mid 18th century England could offer a relatively stable future, couldn’t it? Post the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, pre-Napeonlic Wars?

    Reply
  11. Hmm, either Typepad’s broken or this doesn’t interest people. I love cruising over history. 🙂
    The original notion was whether it matters. If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?
    If so, how close and how dire does it have to be to tarnish the glow of the end?
    Or perhaps you like it.
    The end of the Lymond Chronicles gives some people problems. Lymond is going to have trouble dealing with the upcoming Mary Queen of Scots situation. Some reckon he’ll move mostly to England, given the connection to Liz I. But she was notoriously unfriendly to the wives of men she… er… admired, so how does that leave Philippa?
    Me, I’m always projecting the end of any book, thinking about what will happen next, soon, later.
    What about you?
    Jo

    Reply
  12. Hmm, either Typepad’s broken or this doesn’t interest people. I love cruising over history. 🙂
    The original notion was whether it matters. If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?
    If so, how close and how dire does it have to be to tarnish the glow of the end?
    Or perhaps you like it.
    The end of the Lymond Chronicles gives some people problems. Lymond is going to have trouble dealing with the upcoming Mary Queen of Scots situation. Some reckon he’ll move mostly to England, given the connection to Liz I. But she was notoriously unfriendly to the wives of men she… er… admired, so how does that leave Philippa?
    Me, I’m always projecting the end of any book, thinking about what will happen next, soon, later.
    What about you?
    Jo

    Reply
  13. Hmm, either Typepad’s broken or this doesn’t interest people. I love cruising over history. 🙂
    The original notion was whether it matters. If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?
    If so, how close and how dire does it have to be to tarnish the glow of the end?
    Or perhaps you like it.
    The end of the Lymond Chronicles gives some people problems. Lymond is going to have trouble dealing with the upcoming Mary Queen of Scots situation. Some reckon he’ll move mostly to England, given the connection to Liz I. But she was notoriously unfriendly to the wives of men she… er… admired, so how does that leave Philippa?
    Me, I’m always projecting the end of any book, thinking about what will happen next, soon, later.
    What about you?
    Jo

    Reply
  14. Hmm, either Typepad’s broken or this doesn’t interest people. I love cruising over history. 🙂
    The original notion was whether it matters. If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?
    If so, how close and how dire does it have to be to tarnish the glow of the end?
    Or perhaps you like it.
    The end of the Lymond Chronicles gives some people problems. Lymond is going to have trouble dealing with the upcoming Mary Queen of Scots situation. Some reckon he’ll move mostly to England, given the connection to Liz I. But she was notoriously unfriendly to the wives of men she… er… admired, so how does that leave Philippa?
    Me, I’m always projecting the end of any book, thinking about what will happen next, soon, later.
    What about you?
    Jo

    Reply
  15. Hmm, either Typepad’s broken or this doesn’t interest people. I love cruising over history. 🙂
    The original notion was whether it matters. If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?
    If so, how close and how dire does it have to be to tarnish the glow of the end?
    Or perhaps you like it.
    The end of the Lymond Chronicles gives some people problems. Lymond is going to have trouble dealing with the upcoming Mary Queen of Scots situation. Some reckon he’ll move mostly to England, given the connection to Liz I. But she was notoriously unfriendly to the wives of men she… er… admired, so how does that leave Philippa?
    Me, I’m always projecting the end of any book, thinking about what will happen next, soon, later.
    What about you?
    Jo

    Reply
  16. Jane, good point about living out of the limelight, but often such people got trampled by events anyway and had little ability to adjust. As you say, our protagonists are not usually such people anyway.
    Tracy, I have the same problem with the looming Victorians. Ick. The early to mid 18th century in England isn’t too bad, no, though there are the Jacobite risings, which affected the north, the American revolution, which startled people, and the French one, which terrified them.
    Jo

    Reply
  17. Jane, good point about living out of the limelight, but often such people got trampled by events anyway and had little ability to adjust. As you say, our protagonists are not usually such people anyway.
    Tracy, I have the same problem with the looming Victorians. Ick. The early to mid 18th century in England isn’t too bad, no, though there are the Jacobite risings, which affected the north, the American revolution, which startled people, and the French one, which terrified them.
    Jo

    Reply
  18. Jane, good point about living out of the limelight, but often such people got trampled by events anyway and had little ability to adjust. As you say, our protagonists are not usually such people anyway.
    Tracy, I have the same problem with the looming Victorians. Ick. The early to mid 18th century in England isn’t too bad, no, though there are the Jacobite risings, which affected the north, the American revolution, which startled people, and the French one, which terrified them.
    Jo

    Reply
  19. Jane, good point about living out of the limelight, but often such people got trampled by events anyway and had little ability to adjust. As you say, our protagonists are not usually such people anyway.
    Tracy, I have the same problem with the looming Victorians. Ick. The early to mid 18th century in England isn’t too bad, no, though there are the Jacobite risings, which affected the north, the American revolution, which startled people, and the French one, which terrified them.
    Jo

    Reply
  20. Jane, good point about living out of the limelight, but often such people got trampled by events anyway and had little ability to adjust. As you say, our protagonists are not usually such people anyway.
    Tracy, I have the same problem with the looming Victorians. Ick. The early to mid 18th century in England isn’t too bad, no, though there are the Jacobite risings, which affected the north, the American revolution, which startled people, and the French one, which terrified them.
    Jo

    Reply
  21. I was thinking early enough in the 18th century that the American/French revolutions would be well in the misty future. But I convenietly forgot about the Jacobite uprisings. I’m always thnking about the future too, playing out the lives of characters I write or read about and their children. Obviously characters invovled in the political life of their times are going to confront challenges. That doesn’t bother me. I don’t have a problem with the end of the Lymond Chronicles–I think Lymond would be bored without challenges 🙂 (I have to say I can’t see him leaving Scotland, though I can see him working to bring about a rapprochement between England and Scotland).

    Reply
  22. I was thinking early enough in the 18th century that the American/French revolutions would be well in the misty future. But I convenietly forgot about the Jacobite uprisings. I’m always thnking about the future too, playing out the lives of characters I write or read about and their children. Obviously characters invovled in the political life of their times are going to confront challenges. That doesn’t bother me. I don’t have a problem with the end of the Lymond Chronicles–I think Lymond would be bored without challenges 🙂 (I have to say I can’t see him leaving Scotland, though I can see him working to bring about a rapprochement between England and Scotland).

    Reply
  23. I was thinking early enough in the 18th century that the American/French revolutions would be well in the misty future. But I convenietly forgot about the Jacobite uprisings. I’m always thnking about the future too, playing out the lives of characters I write or read about and their children. Obviously characters invovled in the political life of their times are going to confront challenges. That doesn’t bother me. I don’t have a problem with the end of the Lymond Chronicles–I think Lymond would be bored without challenges 🙂 (I have to say I can’t see him leaving Scotland, though I can see him working to bring about a rapprochement between England and Scotland).

    Reply
  24. I was thinking early enough in the 18th century that the American/French revolutions would be well in the misty future. But I convenietly forgot about the Jacobite uprisings. I’m always thnking about the future too, playing out the lives of characters I write or read about and their children. Obviously characters invovled in the political life of their times are going to confront challenges. That doesn’t bother me. I don’t have a problem with the end of the Lymond Chronicles–I think Lymond would be bored without challenges 🙂 (I have to say I can’t see him leaving Scotland, though I can see him working to bring about a rapprochement between England and Scotland).

    Reply
  25. I was thinking early enough in the 18th century that the American/French revolutions would be well in the misty future. But I convenietly forgot about the Jacobite uprisings. I’m always thnking about the future too, playing out the lives of characters I write or read about and their children. Obviously characters invovled in the political life of their times are going to confront challenges. That doesn’t bother me. I don’t have a problem with the end of the Lymond Chronicles–I think Lymond would be bored without challenges 🙂 (I have to say I can’t see him leaving Scotland, though I can see him working to bring about a rapprochement between England and Scotland).

    Reply
  26. Maybe what you want is a country that’s a backwater, like the Italian cities post-Rennaissance. Plenty of infighting and skullduggery, but the real power is elsewhere, and so are the battlefields.
    But the more I think about it, the more I suspect that a background of peace and safety is not really desirable. Maybe the great appeal of the happy ending is its triumph in defiance of the “real” world, even when the real world is fictional.

    Reply
  27. Maybe what you want is a country that’s a backwater, like the Italian cities post-Rennaissance. Plenty of infighting and skullduggery, but the real power is elsewhere, and so are the battlefields.
    But the more I think about it, the more I suspect that a background of peace and safety is not really desirable. Maybe the great appeal of the happy ending is its triumph in defiance of the “real” world, even when the real world is fictional.

    Reply
  28. Maybe what you want is a country that’s a backwater, like the Italian cities post-Rennaissance. Plenty of infighting and skullduggery, but the real power is elsewhere, and so are the battlefields.
    But the more I think about it, the more I suspect that a background of peace and safety is not really desirable. Maybe the great appeal of the happy ending is its triumph in defiance of the “real” world, even when the real world is fictional.

    Reply
  29. Maybe what you want is a country that’s a backwater, like the Italian cities post-Rennaissance. Plenty of infighting and skullduggery, but the real power is elsewhere, and so are the battlefields.
    But the more I think about it, the more I suspect that a background of peace and safety is not really desirable. Maybe the great appeal of the happy ending is its triumph in defiance of the “real” world, even when the real world is fictional.

    Reply
  30. Maybe what you want is a country that’s a backwater, like the Italian cities post-Rennaissance. Plenty of infighting and skullduggery, but the real power is elsewhere, and so are the battlefields.
    But the more I think about it, the more I suspect that a background of peace and safety is not really desirable. Maybe the great appeal of the happy ending is its triumph in defiance of the “real” world, even when the real world is fictional.

    Reply
  31. Jo said: “The original notion was whether it matters. If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?”
    I’ve always had a hard time visualizing history in a linear way. In my mind, history is episodic. I experience a book’s historical period on the same level that the characters do. So looming historical events never impact my reading experience unless they’re built into the book and foreshadowed by an omniscient narrator or a character ruminating about the future.
    I’ve always felt my lack of historical vision to be a defect and planned to eventually find a book that would help me understand history in an integrated way. But maybe I won’t. I’d hate to ruin my historical HEAs. 😀

    Reply
  32. Jo said: “The original notion was whether it matters. If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?”
    I’ve always had a hard time visualizing history in a linear way. In my mind, history is episodic. I experience a book’s historical period on the same level that the characters do. So looming historical events never impact my reading experience unless they’re built into the book and foreshadowed by an omniscient narrator or a character ruminating about the future.
    I’ve always felt my lack of historical vision to be a defect and planned to eventually find a book that would help me understand history in an integrated way. But maybe I won’t. I’d hate to ruin my historical HEAs. 😀

    Reply
  33. Jo said: “The original notion was whether it matters. If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?”
    I’ve always had a hard time visualizing history in a linear way. In my mind, history is episodic. I experience a book’s historical period on the same level that the characters do. So looming historical events never impact my reading experience unless they’re built into the book and foreshadowed by an omniscient narrator or a character ruminating about the future.
    I’ve always felt my lack of historical vision to be a defect and planned to eventually find a book that would help me understand history in an integrated way. But maybe I won’t. I’d hate to ruin my historical HEAs. 😀

    Reply
  34. Jo said: “The original notion was whether it matters. If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?”
    I’ve always had a hard time visualizing history in a linear way. In my mind, history is episodic. I experience a book’s historical period on the same level that the characters do. So looming historical events never impact my reading experience unless they’re built into the book and foreshadowed by an omniscient narrator or a character ruminating about the future.
    I’ve always felt my lack of historical vision to be a defect and planned to eventually find a book that would help me understand history in an integrated way. But maybe I won’t. I’d hate to ruin my historical HEAs. 😀

    Reply
  35. Jo said: “The original notion was whether it matters. If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?”
    I’ve always had a hard time visualizing history in a linear way. In my mind, history is episodic. I experience a book’s historical period on the same level that the characters do. So looming historical events never impact my reading experience unless they’re built into the book and foreshadowed by an omniscient narrator or a character ruminating about the future.
    I’ve always felt my lack of historical vision to be a defect and planned to eventually find a book that would help me understand history in an integrated way. But maybe I won’t. I’d hate to ruin my historical HEAs. 😀

    Reply
  36. Was it the 1200s when the weather was good so crop yields were plentiful and Europe was relatively quiet? Of course, bad weather and the Black Death struck in the 1300s, so at a certain point one just has to close one’s eyes and hope for the best.
    As to the horses, I think they are shown inventing the waltz, but being horses don’t get the credit. Ir was only several hundred years later that someone saw this picture and decided to try it out for people.

    Reply
  37. Was it the 1200s when the weather was good so crop yields were plentiful and Europe was relatively quiet? Of course, bad weather and the Black Death struck in the 1300s, so at a certain point one just has to close one’s eyes and hope for the best.
    As to the horses, I think they are shown inventing the waltz, but being horses don’t get the credit. Ir was only several hundred years later that someone saw this picture and decided to try it out for people.

    Reply
  38. Was it the 1200s when the weather was good so crop yields were plentiful and Europe was relatively quiet? Of course, bad weather and the Black Death struck in the 1300s, so at a certain point one just has to close one’s eyes and hope for the best.
    As to the horses, I think they are shown inventing the waltz, but being horses don’t get the credit. Ir was only several hundred years later that someone saw this picture and decided to try it out for people.

    Reply
  39. Was it the 1200s when the weather was good so crop yields were plentiful and Europe was relatively quiet? Of course, bad weather and the Black Death struck in the 1300s, so at a certain point one just has to close one’s eyes and hope for the best.
    As to the horses, I think they are shown inventing the waltz, but being horses don’t get the credit. Ir was only several hundred years later that someone saw this picture and decided to try it out for people.

    Reply
  40. Was it the 1200s when the weather was good so crop yields were plentiful and Europe was relatively quiet? Of course, bad weather and the Black Death struck in the 1300s, so at a certain point one just has to close one’s eyes and hope for the best.
    As to the horses, I think they are shown inventing the waltz, but being horses don’t get the credit. Ir was only several hundred years later that someone saw this picture and decided to try it out for people.

    Reply
  41. I think it’s a wonderful topic.
    When I write, I try to consider the things that will happen after the book ends and my characters attempt their happily ever after. HOWEVER, most of my characters (and I think many romance heroes and heroines) are pretty tough and can endure (especially after all we put them through). So I don’t worry too much about it. They’ll be fine 😉
    I started digging to see where and when a 60+ year stretch of peace, prosperity and health might have existed, and frankly, in the US, we come up with no real option.
    There are always areas that seem to miss the “big” problems (usually because they have their own issues, it seems), but referring to “History’s Timeline” (authored by Cook and Kramer and published by Barnes and Noble Books)it seems most “civilized” (I use the term loosely)areas and periods don’t easily qualify for 60 or more years of true peace and prosperity. 🙁
    The ones we’d tend to call “backwater” or “out of the loop” usually are just scraping by and suffering insurrection and oppression, aren’t they?
    But those are just my thoughts–Love the topic!
    ~Saoirse

    Reply
  42. I think it’s a wonderful topic.
    When I write, I try to consider the things that will happen after the book ends and my characters attempt their happily ever after. HOWEVER, most of my characters (and I think many romance heroes and heroines) are pretty tough and can endure (especially after all we put them through). So I don’t worry too much about it. They’ll be fine 😉
    I started digging to see where and when a 60+ year stretch of peace, prosperity and health might have existed, and frankly, in the US, we come up with no real option.
    There are always areas that seem to miss the “big” problems (usually because they have their own issues, it seems), but referring to “History’s Timeline” (authored by Cook and Kramer and published by Barnes and Noble Books)it seems most “civilized” (I use the term loosely)areas and periods don’t easily qualify for 60 or more years of true peace and prosperity. 🙁
    The ones we’d tend to call “backwater” or “out of the loop” usually are just scraping by and suffering insurrection and oppression, aren’t they?
    But those are just my thoughts–Love the topic!
    ~Saoirse

    Reply
  43. I think it’s a wonderful topic.
    When I write, I try to consider the things that will happen after the book ends and my characters attempt their happily ever after. HOWEVER, most of my characters (and I think many romance heroes and heroines) are pretty tough and can endure (especially after all we put them through). So I don’t worry too much about it. They’ll be fine 😉
    I started digging to see where and when a 60+ year stretch of peace, prosperity and health might have existed, and frankly, in the US, we come up with no real option.
    There are always areas that seem to miss the “big” problems (usually because they have their own issues, it seems), but referring to “History’s Timeline” (authored by Cook and Kramer and published by Barnes and Noble Books)it seems most “civilized” (I use the term loosely)areas and periods don’t easily qualify for 60 or more years of true peace and prosperity. 🙁
    The ones we’d tend to call “backwater” or “out of the loop” usually are just scraping by and suffering insurrection and oppression, aren’t they?
    But those are just my thoughts–Love the topic!
    ~Saoirse

    Reply
  44. I think it’s a wonderful topic.
    When I write, I try to consider the things that will happen after the book ends and my characters attempt their happily ever after. HOWEVER, most of my characters (and I think many romance heroes and heroines) are pretty tough and can endure (especially after all we put them through). So I don’t worry too much about it. They’ll be fine 😉
    I started digging to see where and when a 60+ year stretch of peace, prosperity and health might have existed, and frankly, in the US, we come up with no real option.
    There are always areas that seem to miss the “big” problems (usually because they have their own issues, it seems), but referring to “History’s Timeline” (authored by Cook and Kramer and published by Barnes and Noble Books)it seems most “civilized” (I use the term loosely)areas and periods don’t easily qualify for 60 or more years of true peace and prosperity. 🙁
    The ones we’d tend to call “backwater” or “out of the loop” usually are just scraping by and suffering insurrection and oppression, aren’t they?
    But those are just my thoughts–Love the topic!
    ~Saoirse

    Reply
  45. I think it’s a wonderful topic.
    When I write, I try to consider the things that will happen after the book ends and my characters attempt their happily ever after. HOWEVER, most of my characters (and I think many romance heroes and heroines) are pretty tough and can endure (especially after all we put them through). So I don’t worry too much about it. They’ll be fine 😉
    I started digging to see where and when a 60+ year stretch of peace, prosperity and health might have existed, and frankly, in the US, we come up with no real option.
    There are always areas that seem to miss the “big” problems (usually because they have their own issues, it seems), but referring to “History’s Timeline” (authored by Cook and Kramer and published by Barnes and Noble Books)it seems most “civilized” (I use the term loosely)areas and periods don’t easily qualify for 60 or more years of true peace and prosperity. 🙁
    The ones we’d tend to call “backwater” or “out of the loop” usually are just scraping by and suffering insurrection and oppression, aren’t they?
    But those are just my thoughts–Love the topic!
    ~Saoirse

    Reply
  46. “If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?”
    Fiction is fiction, and I love my HEAs. So even if I know that historically disaster may be just around the corner for these characters, I like to assume they live through it and retain their HEA, thank you very much. *g*

    Reply
  47. “If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?”
    Fiction is fiction, and I love my HEAs. So even if I know that historically disaster may be just around the corner for these characters, I like to assume they live through it and retain their HEA, thank you very much. *g*

    Reply
  48. “If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?”
    Fiction is fiction, and I love my HEAs. So even if I know that historically disaster may be just around the corner for these characters, I like to assume they live through it and retain their HEA, thank you very much. *g*

    Reply
  49. “If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?”
    Fiction is fiction, and I love my HEAs. So even if I know that historically disaster may be just around the corner for these characters, I like to assume they live through it and retain their HEA, thank you very much. *g*

    Reply
  50. “If we have a happy ending to a book, does it bother you to know that the Black Death, the French Revolution, or WWI is a few years down the road?”
    Fiction is fiction, and I love my HEAs. So even if I know that historically disaster may be just around the corner for these characters, I like to assume they live through it and retain their HEA, thank you very much. *g*

    Reply
  51. Louis and Susan, great caption and idea. Perhaps one day we should have a captioning contest here in Word Wenches. There are so many strange old pictures crying for interpretation.
    1200s. In England, which is where I’m most familiar, we have Bad King John, the baronial movement that led to Magna Carta, and then later, the Barons’ War at the end of Henry III’s reign. Civil wars, but not of the most vicious sort.
    And of course there are always some men who think time without some fighting is hardly bearable.
    Jo

    Reply
  52. Louis and Susan, great caption and idea. Perhaps one day we should have a captioning contest here in Word Wenches. There are so many strange old pictures crying for interpretation.
    1200s. In England, which is where I’m most familiar, we have Bad King John, the baronial movement that led to Magna Carta, and then later, the Barons’ War at the end of Henry III’s reign. Civil wars, but not of the most vicious sort.
    And of course there are always some men who think time without some fighting is hardly bearable.
    Jo

    Reply
  53. Louis and Susan, great caption and idea. Perhaps one day we should have a captioning contest here in Word Wenches. There are so many strange old pictures crying for interpretation.
    1200s. In England, which is where I’m most familiar, we have Bad King John, the baronial movement that led to Magna Carta, and then later, the Barons’ War at the end of Henry III’s reign. Civil wars, but not of the most vicious sort.
    And of course there are always some men who think time without some fighting is hardly bearable.
    Jo

    Reply
  54. Louis and Susan, great caption and idea. Perhaps one day we should have a captioning contest here in Word Wenches. There are so many strange old pictures crying for interpretation.
    1200s. In England, which is where I’m most familiar, we have Bad King John, the baronial movement that led to Magna Carta, and then later, the Barons’ War at the end of Henry III’s reign. Civil wars, but not of the most vicious sort.
    And of course there are always some men who think time without some fighting is hardly bearable.
    Jo

    Reply
  55. Louis and Susan, great caption and idea. Perhaps one day we should have a captioning contest here in Word Wenches. There are so many strange old pictures crying for interpretation.
    1200s. In England, which is where I’m most familiar, we have Bad King John, the baronial movement that led to Magna Carta, and then later, the Barons’ War at the end of Henry III’s reign. Civil wars, but not of the most vicious sort.
    And of course there are always some men who think time without some fighting is hardly bearable.
    Jo

    Reply
  56. Normally it doesn’t bother me if I know some big war or tragedy is looming, though if a romance were set in, say, Europe in 1346 or 1913, I’d probably notice and think that bad times are bearing down on them in a hurry. It wouldn’t spoil my pleasure in the book, though.
    The only impending doom that’s REALLY gotten to me as a reader was the ending of RILLA OF INGLESIDE, where the characters are all planning to build a new and better post-war world in 1918. All I can think is that Rilla and Kenneth’s and Faith and Jem’s children are going to be just old enough to fight when it all starts up again, that “new and better world” thing not having worked out so well. But I think the poignancy there is that LM Montgomery was writing in 1922, so the author presumably shared her characters hope and optimism.

    Reply
  57. Normally it doesn’t bother me if I know some big war or tragedy is looming, though if a romance were set in, say, Europe in 1346 or 1913, I’d probably notice and think that bad times are bearing down on them in a hurry. It wouldn’t spoil my pleasure in the book, though.
    The only impending doom that’s REALLY gotten to me as a reader was the ending of RILLA OF INGLESIDE, where the characters are all planning to build a new and better post-war world in 1918. All I can think is that Rilla and Kenneth’s and Faith and Jem’s children are going to be just old enough to fight when it all starts up again, that “new and better world” thing not having worked out so well. But I think the poignancy there is that LM Montgomery was writing in 1922, so the author presumably shared her characters hope and optimism.

    Reply
  58. Normally it doesn’t bother me if I know some big war or tragedy is looming, though if a romance were set in, say, Europe in 1346 or 1913, I’d probably notice and think that bad times are bearing down on them in a hurry. It wouldn’t spoil my pleasure in the book, though.
    The only impending doom that’s REALLY gotten to me as a reader was the ending of RILLA OF INGLESIDE, where the characters are all planning to build a new and better post-war world in 1918. All I can think is that Rilla and Kenneth’s and Faith and Jem’s children are going to be just old enough to fight when it all starts up again, that “new and better world” thing not having worked out so well. But I think the poignancy there is that LM Montgomery was writing in 1922, so the author presumably shared her characters hope and optimism.

    Reply
  59. Normally it doesn’t bother me if I know some big war or tragedy is looming, though if a romance were set in, say, Europe in 1346 or 1913, I’d probably notice and think that bad times are bearing down on them in a hurry. It wouldn’t spoil my pleasure in the book, though.
    The only impending doom that’s REALLY gotten to me as a reader was the ending of RILLA OF INGLESIDE, where the characters are all planning to build a new and better post-war world in 1918. All I can think is that Rilla and Kenneth’s and Faith and Jem’s children are going to be just old enough to fight when it all starts up again, that “new and better world” thing not having worked out so well. But I think the poignancy there is that LM Montgomery was writing in 1922, so the author presumably shared her characters hope and optimism.

    Reply
  60. Normally it doesn’t bother me if I know some big war or tragedy is looming, though if a romance were set in, say, Europe in 1346 or 1913, I’d probably notice and think that bad times are bearing down on them in a hurry. It wouldn’t spoil my pleasure in the book, though.
    The only impending doom that’s REALLY gotten to me as a reader was the ending of RILLA OF INGLESIDE, where the characters are all planning to build a new and better post-war world in 1918. All I can think is that Rilla and Kenneth’s and Faith and Jem’s children are going to be just old enough to fight when it all starts up again, that “new and better world” thing not having worked out so well. But I think the poignancy there is that LM Montgomery was writing in 1922, so the author presumably shared her characters hope and optimism.

    Reply
  61. I’m a great fan of peace and quiet myself, but like all of us, I don’t know what’s coming, and on the whole, that’s just as well.
    Not all bad times are equal. WWI didn’t take place on British soil, but every church in England has a memorial to the countless young men who died in battle. So early Edwardian stories have a huge dark cloud hanging over them.
    However, when Elizabeth I came to the throne, there was a long stretch of peace ahead, with the worst religious turmoil of Bloody Mary behind them. The transition to James 1 was pretty simple, too. It was with Charles I (the jerk) that things got stressful and slid into the English Civil War.
    The Restoration of Charles II began another peaceful period. He ruled for 25 years (IIRC), and while his brother James II was another jerk, the transition of the GLorious Revolution that brought William and Mary to power was another easy one, so there was peace for a good long time. IF you weren’t a Scot or a Jacobite, it was a -very- long time. In fact, England didn’t suffer greatly until WWI. There were enough little wars to keep the bellicose amused, and most people were able to get on with the busy of life.
    LOL on the waltzing horses!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  62. I’m a great fan of peace and quiet myself, but like all of us, I don’t know what’s coming, and on the whole, that’s just as well.
    Not all bad times are equal. WWI didn’t take place on British soil, but every church in England has a memorial to the countless young men who died in battle. So early Edwardian stories have a huge dark cloud hanging over them.
    However, when Elizabeth I came to the throne, there was a long stretch of peace ahead, with the worst religious turmoil of Bloody Mary behind them. The transition to James 1 was pretty simple, too. It was with Charles I (the jerk) that things got stressful and slid into the English Civil War.
    The Restoration of Charles II began another peaceful period. He ruled for 25 years (IIRC), and while his brother James II was another jerk, the transition of the GLorious Revolution that brought William and Mary to power was another easy one, so there was peace for a good long time. IF you weren’t a Scot or a Jacobite, it was a -very- long time. In fact, England didn’t suffer greatly until WWI. There were enough little wars to keep the bellicose amused, and most people were able to get on with the busy of life.
    LOL on the waltzing horses!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  63. I’m a great fan of peace and quiet myself, but like all of us, I don’t know what’s coming, and on the whole, that’s just as well.
    Not all bad times are equal. WWI didn’t take place on British soil, but every church in England has a memorial to the countless young men who died in battle. So early Edwardian stories have a huge dark cloud hanging over them.
    However, when Elizabeth I came to the throne, there was a long stretch of peace ahead, with the worst religious turmoil of Bloody Mary behind them. The transition to James 1 was pretty simple, too. It was with Charles I (the jerk) that things got stressful and slid into the English Civil War.
    The Restoration of Charles II began another peaceful period. He ruled for 25 years (IIRC), and while his brother James II was another jerk, the transition of the GLorious Revolution that brought William and Mary to power was another easy one, so there was peace for a good long time. IF you weren’t a Scot or a Jacobite, it was a -very- long time. In fact, England didn’t suffer greatly until WWI. There were enough little wars to keep the bellicose amused, and most people were able to get on with the busy of life.
    LOL on the waltzing horses!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  64. I’m a great fan of peace and quiet myself, but like all of us, I don’t know what’s coming, and on the whole, that’s just as well.
    Not all bad times are equal. WWI didn’t take place on British soil, but every church in England has a memorial to the countless young men who died in battle. So early Edwardian stories have a huge dark cloud hanging over them.
    However, when Elizabeth I came to the throne, there was a long stretch of peace ahead, with the worst religious turmoil of Bloody Mary behind them. The transition to James 1 was pretty simple, too. It was with Charles I (the jerk) that things got stressful and slid into the English Civil War.
    The Restoration of Charles II began another peaceful period. He ruled for 25 years (IIRC), and while his brother James II was another jerk, the transition of the GLorious Revolution that brought William and Mary to power was another easy one, so there was peace for a good long time. IF you weren’t a Scot or a Jacobite, it was a -very- long time. In fact, England didn’t suffer greatly until WWI. There were enough little wars to keep the bellicose amused, and most people were able to get on with the busy of life.
    LOL on the waltzing horses!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  65. I’m a great fan of peace and quiet myself, but like all of us, I don’t know what’s coming, and on the whole, that’s just as well.
    Not all bad times are equal. WWI didn’t take place on British soil, but every church in England has a memorial to the countless young men who died in battle. So early Edwardian stories have a huge dark cloud hanging over them.
    However, when Elizabeth I came to the throne, there was a long stretch of peace ahead, with the worst religious turmoil of Bloody Mary behind them. The transition to James 1 was pretty simple, too. It was with Charles I (the jerk) that things got stressful and slid into the English Civil War.
    The Restoration of Charles II began another peaceful period. He ruled for 25 years (IIRC), and while his brother James II was another jerk, the transition of the GLorious Revolution that brought William and Mary to power was another easy one, so there was peace for a good long time. IF you weren’t a Scot or a Jacobite, it was a -very- long time. In fact, England didn’t suffer greatly until WWI. There were enough little wars to keep the bellicose amused, and most people were able to get on with the busy of life.
    LOL on the waltzing horses!
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  66. Sorry, Mary Jo, that stretch of peace under Elizabeth I didn’t apply if you were Catholic. Actually, she “martyred” more Catholics than Mary did Protestants.

    Reply
  67. Sorry, Mary Jo, that stretch of peace under Elizabeth I didn’t apply if you were Catholic. Actually, she “martyred” more Catholics than Mary did Protestants.

    Reply
  68. Sorry, Mary Jo, that stretch of peace under Elizabeth I didn’t apply if you were Catholic. Actually, she “martyred” more Catholics than Mary did Protestants.

    Reply
  69. Sorry, Mary Jo, that stretch of peace under Elizabeth I didn’t apply if you were Catholic. Actually, she “martyred” more Catholics than Mary did Protestants.

    Reply
  70. Sorry, Mary Jo, that stretch of peace under Elizabeth I didn’t apply if you were Catholic. Actually, she “martyred” more Catholics than Mary did Protestants.

    Reply
  71. Bye, everyone. Thanks for the suggestions, and I’m now running out of the door (English usage).
    See you next week!
    Jo

    Reply
  72. Bye, everyone. Thanks for the suggestions, and I’m now running out of the door (English usage).
    See you next week!
    Jo

    Reply
  73. Bye, everyone. Thanks for the suggestions, and I’m now running out of the door (English usage).
    See you next week!
    Jo

    Reply
  74. Bye, everyone. Thanks for the suggestions, and I’m now running out of the door (English usage).
    See you next week!
    Jo

    Reply
  75. Bye, everyone. Thanks for the suggestions, and I’m now running out of the door (English usage).
    See you next week!
    Jo

    Reply
  76. If the war/catastrophe is broad enough or far enough away (i.e., World War II or the American Civil War) I would happily suspend my worrying instincts and assume that the h&h and their children were able to escape serious involvement. They might or might not have had to be a part of the fighting or whatever, but they were one of the ones who came home safely. The problem for me would be if we were talking about characters who by their location and nature would have been right in the thick of the problem and thus could not be expected to escape — French aristocracy right before the Revolution, Jacobite activists in early 18th century Scotland. For them the HEA seems to carry with it a cloud of foreboding.

    Reply
  77. If the war/catastrophe is broad enough or far enough away (i.e., World War II or the American Civil War) I would happily suspend my worrying instincts and assume that the h&h and their children were able to escape serious involvement. They might or might not have had to be a part of the fighting or whatever, but they were one of the ones who came home safely. The problem for me would be if we were talking about characters who by their location and nature would have been right in the thick of the problem and thus could not be expected to escape — French aristocracy right before the Revolution, Jacobite activists in early 18th century Scotland. For them the HEA seems to carry with it a cloud of foreboding.

    Reply
  78. If the war/catastrophe is broad enough or far enough away (i.e., World War II or the American Civil War) I would happily suspend my worrying instincts and assume that the h&h and their children were able to escape serious involvement. They might or might not have had to be a part of the fighting or whatever, but they were one of the ones who came home safely. The problem for me would be if we were talking about characters who by their location and nature would have been right in the thick of the problem and thus could not be expected to escape — French aristocracy right before the Revolution, Jacobite activists in early 18th century Scotland. For them the HEA seems to carry with it a cloud of foreboding.

    Reply
  79. If the war/catastrophe is broad enough or far enough away (i.e., World War II or the American Civil War) I would happily suspend my worrying instincts and assume that the h&h and their children were able to escape serious involvement. They might or might not have had to be a part of the fighting or whatever, but they were one of the ones who came home safely. The problem for me would be if we were talking about characters who by their location and nature would have been right in the thick of the problem and thus could not be expected to escape — French aristocracy right before the Revolution, Jacobite activists in early 18th century Scotland. For them the HEA seems to carry with it a cloud of foreboding.

    Reply
  80. If the war/catastrophe is broad enough or far enough away (i.e., World War II or the American Civil War) I would happily suspend my worrying instincts and assume that the h&h and their children were able to escape serious involvement. They might or might not have had to be a part of the fighting or whatever, but they were one of the ones who came home safely. The problem for me would be if we were talking about characters who by their location and nature would have been right in the thick of the problem and thus could not be expected to escape — French aristocracy right before the Revolution, Jacobite activists in early 18th century Scotland. For them the HEA seems to carry with it a cloud of foreboding.

    Reply
  81. In real life, I can be pessimistic, but in romance, I firmly believe the HEA extends into eternity. “G” I believe my characters will escape the Revolution and set up a nice little business in England, escape the Jacobite warfare by setting up a shipping business in the Caribbean… C’mon, if we’re going to believe in fantasies, why not go all the way?

    Reply
  82. In real life, I can be pessimistic, but in romance, I firmly believe the HEA extends into eternity. “G” I believe my characters will escape the Revolution and set up a nice little business in England, escape the Jacobite warfare by setting up a shipping business in the Caribbean… C’mon, if we’re going to believe in fantasies, why not go all the way?

    Reply
  83. In real life, I can be pessimistic, but in romance, I firmly believe the HEA extends into eternity. “G” I believe my characters will escape the Revolution and set up a nice little business in England, escape the Jacobite warfare by setting up a shipping business in the Caribbean… C’mon, if we’re going to believe in fantasies, why not go all the way?

    Reply
  84. In real life, I can be pessimistic, but in romance, I firmly believe the HEA extends into eternity. “G” I believe my characters will escape the Revolution and set up a nice little business in England, escape the Jacobite warfare by setting up a shipping business in the Caribbean… C’mon, if we’re going to believe in fantasies, why not go all the way?

    Reply
  85. In real life, I can be pessimistic, but in romance, I firmly believe the HEA extends into eternity. “G” I believe my characters will escape the Revolution and set up a nice little business in England, escape the Jacobite warfare by setting up a shipping business in the Caribbean… C’mon, if we’re going to believe in fantasies, why not go all the way?

    Reply

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