December 24, 2018

Victorian Christmas Cards

One of the most significant seasonal traditions to emerge in the Victorian era was the Christmas card due to the development of the postage system. In 1840 The Penny Black was the first stamp introduced in Britain which paid for the postage of a letter or card which could be mailed anywhere in the country.

Sir Henry Cole, 1st director of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum hired the artist J.C. Horsley to design the first printed Christmas card. One thousand were printed and hand-colored. Those he didn't use were sold to the public for a shilling.

The temperance league disapproved of  the merry tipplers, one of them being a child.

1860’s chromolithography made cards more colorful and less expensive to print. 

Halfpenny postage rate was a result of the efficiencies of railways. By 1880 there was an increase of more than 11 1/2 million letters above the ordinary correspondence and four tons of extra registered letters in Christmas week.
Then Victorians went really crazy with their Christmas cards!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

September 25, 2018

Fort Bend Historical Museum

My exhibit "Anatomy of a Victorian"
Now at the Fort Bend Historical Museum
in Richmond Texas
until Nov. 3, 2018

My books are there for sale there
 as well as in Galveston at Bryan Museum,
Galveston Historical Society
and on Amazon.

June 9, 2018

Between Wind & Water- My Latest Novel!!

When a vessel's hull below the water line is exposed by rolling or wave action, that part of the ship is particularly susceptible to damage. This condition is called being between wind and water.

When a person is in a dangerous situation, whether it's physical or emotional, they too are between wind and water.

My heroine, Abigail, who has led a silent life of desperation in her long and lonely marriage, finds herself in such jeopardy when she leaves her desolate homestead in the Texas panhandle and moves to Galveston.

The island off the coast of Texas is a colorful place to live, especially in the year 1898. This was Galveston's Golden era with its cotton port being one of the largest in the country.

Successful businessmen built their ostentatious homes on Broadway.

Like Walter Gresham's Castle, now known as Bishop's Palace. 

Dozens of seamstresses plied their trade in Galveston, but Abigail was a cut above her competitors. The city's high society was soon knocking at her door. 

Miss Bettie Brown of Ashton Villa became her most loyal patron.

With a thriving business, Abigail was still missing that element of life that is so very important for happiness. Love. Never could she have imagined that elusive treasure would be residing just across the street. Sebastian, a recently widowed English gentleman is as lonely as Abigail. Soon they find themselves in a passionate love affair. Their path to happiness is not an easy one, for Abigail's cruel and boorish husband, Otto, is unwilling to let her go. She quickly learns she has no rights only wrongs.

Reading Between Wind and Water, is like peeking behind a curtain of an old Victorian house. You may see differences in the mores of yesteryear, but the struggles and desires of the heart remain the same as today.

I invite you to go on an island adventure. You'll discover the rich tapestry and colorful characters of Galveston history and find out what measures our dear Abigail takes to finally have her true love.