April 30, 2012

Victorian Playthings

written by Rosa Morgan

With his palms sweaty and his heart racing,
Bernard peered into New York City's largest toy store, F.A.O Schwartz. He was turning eight years old and his father had given him $1 to go and pick out something for his birthday.

"However shall I decide?" Bernard lamented. Perhaps a new spinning top is the ticket. I've heard there's a German humming one made of iron that has harmonica reeds in it. That would no doubt impress the other boys.

"I would dearly love several more dragoons to add to my tin soldier collection, however they would surely be commandeered by father and his friend H. G. Wells."

"A hobby horse is what I really long for. Not the stationary kind I had as an infant in the nursery."

"But rather
the Draisienne which is actually steerable and can reach speeds of 15 kilometers per hour! But alas, my dollar wouldn't even pay for its rubber tires."

"I definitely don't want quoits; that's a game for old folks and sissies. "

Jumping up and down with abandon, Bernard shouted with glee, "By Jove, I'll procure a hoop. They are all the rage in London, so much so that the papers are proclaiming "The Hoop Nuisance" is to blame for injuring pedestrians' shins.

Bernard's mother was quite worried when her son came home with his purchase. She warned him to only play with it in cool weather, lest he overheat and become ill. However, Bernard dearly loved his hoop and trundled it everywhere he went.

April 16, 2012

Lenore & Archibald decorate the Front Parlor

written by Rosa Morgan 
With the newly-wedded couple preparing to hold their first fete, the Sullivan house was turned topsy-turvy, and the two lovebirds were once again at cross-purposes.
Lenore spat the words out, "But Archibald, it will be scandalous if we lack enough seating for our guests."
The young man could not understand how his timid fiance had turned into a shrew of a wife. He shot back, "We must keep rein on our finances. I suggest we utilize the dressing bench from our bedchamber for the front parlor. It will suffice for the one night."
Lenore's eyes rolled back in horror. "That tattered old thing your mother discarded! Nay, I insist we buy two Wingback chairs to front the fireplace. My father detests pesky drafts, and their side arms will keep him comfortably warm."
Having recently accepted a position in his father-in-law's counting house, Archibald could not refuse this argument.

Then throwing caution to the wind, he proclaimed, "What say you to purchasing a gate-leg table? It is a quite versatile piece; either folding up it's drop-leafs to economize on space, or extending it to seat more."

Her husband's words moved her deeply. "My dearest most considerate Archibald, I think that splendid, indeed. And while we are at it, why not acquire a clock for the mantle. Percival's Emporium has an extraordinary shipment of rosewood timepieces from Seth Thomas. The chimes are music to the ear."

They embraced and danced about the room with Archibald proclaiming, "I want only the best for my dear little wife. I dare say, a new teapoy to hold your tea accouterments would make you the most acclaimed hostess, and an invitation to your soiree, the most coveted of the season."
"One with cabriole legs?" Lenore asked hopefully.
"The more ornate the better!"

Despite the sun shining and the shades open wide, the two fell upon the settee in rapturous abandon, and had it not been for the butler's intrusion, who knows what may have transpired.

April 2, 2012

George Eliot & George Henry Lewes: Soulmates

written by Rosa MorganGeorge Henry Lewes:
"Dawn's morning light kissed my beloved's face as she lay sleeping. In repose, gone was the tension that so often furrowed her brow and burdened her heart. Mary Anne did not have a conventional beauty, in fact her father considered her not likely to ever marry and thus put more than usual effort into her education, but in my eyes she was the most beautiful woman in the world, both inside and out."

Mary Anne Evans, alias, George Eliot: "I awoke to find George lovingly observing me; his eyes caressing every curve of my body. It was not a conventional life we led, nor an easy one at that, but I have often said, adventure is not outside man; it is within."

George Henry Lewes:"My life is a tangled web. Long ago, my wife and I agreed to an open marriage, but because she had several children fathered by other men and I signed my name to their birth certificate, I am considered a party to her adultery and cannot receive a divorce. Thus, dear Mary Anne is wife in my heart only and must bear the rebuff of polite society."

Mary Anne Evans:
"I chose the nom de plume, George Eliot, for several reasons.
First it is a sad fact that the works of women authors are not taken seriously, and secondly, I did not want the public to probe into the details of my life. George is
my soul-mate, we are compatible with one another in disposition and sensibilities, and if the cost of our union is my family shunning me, then I will pay it."