Ahem. Forgive me, I’m still practicing opening hooks and high concept. Vampire bunnies probably aren’t my style though.
I’m writing this on St Patrick’s Day because I’ll be leaving to visit family for Easter later this week. Did you know that the last time St Pat’s Day and Easter fell in the same week was in 1940, when they were on the same day, and won’t happen again until 2160? Really, the church ought to make some dispensation for postponing early Easters! Here in Missouri, it’s not even thinking about spring yet. Surely it’s a sin to wear winter black on Easter? Unless you’re a
vampire bunny, I guess.
Since I had to fit writing this column in between finishing proposals due after I return from this week’s family outing, next week’s conference, and planning a blog ad campaign for the summer book, I thought I’d just Google 18th century Church of England to see what turned up about Easter. Ugly, very ugly. I don’t recommend the result for easy reading—vampire bunnies don’t even come close when confronted with true human suffering. The 18th century church was a political instrument, not necessarily a source of
comfort for the soul much less the poor. The division between rich and poor in 18th century England was cataclysmic, and the church helped it to stay that way since it was essentially run by the same families as ran the government. As much as I’d like to take on a political diatribe, this probably isn’t the place. Although, if I turned politicians into the evil demons… Okay, stepping back now, hands up.
So then I Googled Easter to see why rabbits bring eggs for Easter, which was a much more amusing
venture. It seems rabbits make hollow nests in spring, and a type of bird often uses those hollows for its eggs, so some poor misled creature decided rabbits laid eggs. Or so the story goes. (Did you know that rabbits can be pregnant with one litter and then become pregnant with a second litter before the first is born? The phrase “breeds like bunnies” is at least accurate!) The reason for coloring eggs at Easter is much less clear but goes back to Greek times. Most cultures use eggs as a symbol of rebirth, which connects them with spring. And the Catholic religion forbade eating eggs during Lent, so giving Easter eggs became a tradition in later periods. They even had gold leaf added to the paint in medieval times. (has anyone included that nifty bit of information in a medieval romance that anyone remembers?)
All right, just for holiday fun—can anyone name any historical romances that mention Easter or Saint Patrick’s Day? Since I have no intention of checking every entry to see if they’re right, I’ll have Sherrie
pull the name of a commenter from today’s replies, and post the winner as Wench Queen (or King) of the Day tomorrow, where the winner will be showered with many virtual gifts and prizes. All our subjects—er, readers—can join in the royal fun by sending me links to their favorite gifts so I can post a grand display of prizes fitting for a queen or king on Thursday. Just a bit of spring madness to brighten the last gloomy days of winter!