Literary Links

July/August 1997


Good News and Announcements

Michelle Hoppe, President of Literary Liaisons, Ltd., recently placed second in the Historical/Regency category of the Virginia Romance Writers "Fool For Love" contest with her manuscript BETRAYALS.

July 30, 1997--8th Annual Readers for Life Literacy Autographing--Orlando, Florida. This event is sponsored by RWA National and precedes the conference at the Marriott Orlando World Center. It is open to the public and will be held Wednesday, July 30 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Your favorite authors will be signing current releases, as well as back titles. All proceeds benefit Laubach Literacy. For more information, contact RWA National.

July 31 to August 3, 1997--RWA National Conference--Orlando, Florida. The RWA National Conference will be held at the Marriott Orlando World Center. Michelle Hoppe, President of Literary Liaisons, Ltd., will be there to represent the company. For more information about the conference, contact RWA National.

August 2, 1997-- RWA National RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony--If you can't attend the conference, RWA is providing nearly-live coverage of the RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony on their web site. The ceremony begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Their address is: Michelle Hoppe, President of Literary Liaisons, Ltd., is a finalist in the Long Historical category.

October 17-19, 1997--Region II Conference--Schaumburg, IL. Region II RWA is holding their Two Hearts Conference at the Hyatt Regency Woodfield from October 17th to 19th, 1997. There will be workshops and editor/agent appointments available. For more information, contact us at: Michelle Hoppe, President of Literary Liaisons, Ltd., will be speaking on a panel about Self-Promotion for the author.


New On Literary Liaisons

There's many new additions to Literary Liaisons. They're listed below, so after reading this, check out the pages.

Research Articles

The Language of Flowers by Michelle Hoppe

Researching the Romance

Peck, Robert Newton. Fiction Is Folks. Cincinnati; Writer's Digest Books, 1983. ISBN#0898791138
Ruby, Jennifer. Costume In Context: The Eighteenth Century. London; B.T. Batsford, Ltd., 1988. ISBN#0713457724
----- Costume In Context: The Regency. London; B.T. Batsford, Ltd., 1989. ISBN#0713459921
----- Costume In Context: The Victorians. London; B.T. Batsford, Ltd., 1987. ISBN#0713454733

RWA Chapters On-line

Australian Chapter of RWA
Connecticut Chapter of RWA
Desert Rose Chapter (Phoenix)
Heartland Romance Authors (NW Missouri)
Monterey Bay Chapter
North Texas Romance Writers of America
Smoky Mountains Romance Writers

Writers' Resources

Beth's Home Page--Read romantic tales of the Old West, and discover sources for information on this subject
BookWire--An extensive listing of writing resources on the Internet
Pure Fiction--Bestselling novels and how to write them


Feature Article

The Language of Flowers by Michelle Hoppe

When one hears the word "Victorian," flowers immediately come to mind. Flowers adorned everything Victorian, from wallpaper and Valentine cards to pert bonnets and young girls' samplers. So it isn't surprising that the inventive Victorians also created an elaborate mode of communication using their beloved flower.

The origin of the language pre-dates Victorian times, however, as flowers have always had religious, mythological and symbolic meanings. Mme. Charlotte de la Tour penned the first flower dictionary in 1818 in Paris. Entitled Le Language des Fleurs, it was an overnight sensation. A Victorian lady, Miss Corruthers of Inverness, wrote an entire book on the subject in 1879. Her book became the standard source for flower symbolism both in England and the United States.

Victorian women elaborated on floriography (the assigning of meanings to flowers), expressing their feelings within the boundaries of a strict etiquette. Flowers afforded them a silent language that allowed them to communicate many sentiments that the propriety of the times would not normally allow. This practice was especially popular amongst lovers. Also, anything that carried the scent of a particular plant, like a handkerchief, carried the same message.

A man could convey his feelings, then, by having just the right flowers delivered to his lady the morning after a dinner party or dance. Is he trying to win his lady's heart? Perhaps he'd send her Snowdrops for hope, decorated with Peppermint for warmth of feeling. Did he behave abominably the night before, flirting with other women? He should send Field Lilacs for humility, or Brambles for remorse. Maybe he wants nothing more to do with the lady in question. Flowers can send a message of finality as well as affection. A striped carnation can mean refusal, while the York and Lancaster Rose declares war.

Of course, more than one type of flower may be used to convey one's message, just as one flower can have many meanings depending upon color and size. The rose is the best example of this. As everyone knows, the rose indicates love. But a deep red rose may signify bashful shame, while a white rose states, "I am worthy of you." On the other hand, a white rosebud indicates girlhood, while red rosebuds mean pure and lovely. To take this even a step further, white and red roses mixed together mean unity. Each variety of rose has its own particular meaning also. A Damask Rose may admire a brilliant complexion, while a Cabbage Rose is an ambassador of love.

The list is endless, even to the point that different sources may give you different meanings, and mixing flowers can change their meaning entirely. Below is a listing of the more popular flowers and their meanings.

Acacia--secret love
Apple Blossom--preference
Bachelor's Buttons--Celibacy
Carnation, pink--a woman's love
Chamomile--energy in adversity
Forget-Me-Not--true love
Honeysuckle--generous and devoted affection

Morning Glory--affectation
Myrtle--love and marriage
Orange Flowers--chastity
Rose, single--simplicity
Sage--domestic virtue
Stephanotis--bride's good luck flower
Sweet William--gallantry
Violet, blue--faithfulness
Water-lily--purity of heart
Wisteria--I cling to thee
Zinnia--thoughts of absent friends

The message didn't have to be conveyed through a live flower, necessarily, either. Cards, such as Valentines, decorated with the right flowers could speak volumes. A personal gift such as a floral embroidered hanky revealed feelings also.

These aren't the only superstitions associated with flowers. Who hasn't plucked petals from a daisy, saying "he loves me, he loves me not . . . ?" Another custom involves the spring season. It is said that in spring, if you happen to find the first flower of the season on a Monday, it is good fortune for the season. If on a Tuesday, your greatest attempts will be successful. On Wednesday, it denotes marriage. On Thursday, a warning of small profits. Friday means wealth, while Saturday brings misfortune and Sunday is excellent luck for many weeks to come.

And what if the first flower you find is wild? Check to see what type it is, then watch for someone with the same initial to become interested in you. For example, if you found a buttercup, someone whose name starts with 'B' will come into your life.

Even Queen Victoria believed in the language of flowers. Among other flowers, she had myrtle in her bridal bouquet to symbolize constancy in affection and duty. She later had it planted, so to this day, at every royal wedding in England, a piece of her myrtle is either tucked into the bride's bouquet, or is added to one of the floral arrangements at the wedding breakfast.

Is it any wonder then, that poets have sung the rose's praises for time eternal?


Editor's Note

This is a busy time of year for romance writers, as the National Conference is just around the corner. This year's conference will be held July 31 to August 3 at the Marriott Orlando World Center. If you can't attend, you can still keep up-to-date with the happenings by signing on to RWA National's web site at:

This year's conference promises many exciting workshops, as well as the opportunity to meet your favorite authors and schedule appointments with agents and editors. If you're planning on attending, here's a few words of advice. Present yourself professionally, as that is exactly what this is--your profession. Prepare yourself for any editor/agent appointments you may have. Write down notes if it helps, but remember, they're humans too. If your story is good enough, they'll ask to see it no matter how nervous you are. Wear sensible shoes. Unfortunately, sneakers don't fit into that category, but there are plenty of comfortable, dressy shoes that will work for you. Don't talk about anybody anywhere. You never know who may be on the other side of a closed door or in the elevator with you. Gossip will not make friends in the world of publishing. Use your time wisely. Attend as many workshops as you can, using the time to network with others. Don't be afraid to walk into or out of a workshop while it's still going on. Speakers understand that attendees have appointments to keep. Don't cling to your friends, as tempting as the comfort is. You're there to network and make new contacts. Finally, take time for yourself in the madness of things. Hide in your room for an hour if you need to, or schedule that indulgent massage. If you don't take care of yourself, who will?

FAQ Column

Someone recently asked me how they can receive notice that the new newsletter has come out without checking this site every day. It's easy, really. Just go to the Contact page here on Literary Liaisons. There you'll provide the necessary information like your name and e-mail address. Then just check the box to request the newsletter. Or, you can also receive further information on our author listings and home pages. The newsletter will be sent to your e-mail address as soon as the new issue is published here. It will be sent as text only, however, because of variations in e-mail programs.

Historical Calendar of Events


Queen Victoria's Coronation held.

Anti-Corn Law League established in Manchester by Richard Cobden and his friends.

Famine killed thousands in the north of Ireland as crops fail.

The "Trail of Tears" begins--14,000 Cherokee are led from their tribal lands of Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee to Indian territory west of the Red River. 4000 die en route of disease.

Talleyrand, French statesman, dies.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning publishes "The Seraphim and Other Poems."

Dickens's "Oliver Twist" and Nicholas Nickleby" become bestsellers.

Sir George Otto Trevelyan, English historian and statesman , born.

Henry Adams, American historian, born.

November--Kansas City is founded.

The London National Gallery opened.

Regent's Park opened to the London public on 410 acres of pastureland previously known as Marylebone Park Fields until the Park was laid out in 1812.

Henry Hobson Richardson, American architect, born.

Chopin's liaison with George Sand begins.

Jenny Lind makes debut in Stockholm (in Weber's "Der Freischutz").

Fourth and last volume of series by John James Audubon: "The Birds of America," published.

Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German airship designer, born.

"The New York Herald" is the first U.S. newspaper to employ European correspondents.

The first traveling post office, running between Birmingham and Liverpool, England.

April 23rd--The first transatlantic crossing by ships powered entirely by steam. The 703-ton S.S. Sirius was 19 days out of London, and the S.S. Great Western 15 days out of Bristol.


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