Literary Links

September/October 2004


Good News and Announcements

Now Available--Look for this most recent release by Pat White Ring Around my Heart is her second single title romance set in the colorful world of professional wrestling. Also out recently, Kiss of the Blue Dragon, a Bombshell debut by former historical author, Julie Beard.

And The Winners Are...--Congratulations to two of our authors for winning the ARTemis award at the 2004 RWA Conference in Dallas, Texas.  RWA members vote each year for their favorite cover art.  Laura Moore's Night Swimming (by Ballantine artist Jim Griffin) won in the Single Title category.  Victoria Bylin's Of Men and Angels (by Harlequin Art Department) won in the Short Historical category. 

Victorian Research Guide--This 252-page guide, Researching the British Historical--The Victorian Era, is now available either in print format or CD-Rom.  For more information, click here


New On Literary Liaisons

There are many new additions to Literary Liaisons. After reading about them below, check them out on the web site.





Ring Around My Heart by Pat White

Kiss of the Blue Dragon by Julie Beard





Athleticism in the Victorian and Edwardian Public School by J.A. Mangan

Flora Domestica: A History of British Flower Arranging 1500-1930 by Mary Rose Blacker

God's Bestseller: William Tyndale, Thomas More, and the Writing of the English Bible by Brian Moynahan
Type Talk by Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen

The Victorian Schoolroom by Trevor May

Who's Who in Victorian Britain: 1851-1901 by Roger Ellis



Feature Title:


Type Talk by Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen



The Video Library


The Mayor of Casterbridge 



Researching the Romance


Athleticism in the Victorian and Edwardian Public School by J.A. Mangan

Flora Domestica: A History of British Flower Arranging 1500-1930 by Mary Rose Blacker

God's Bestseller: William Tyndale, Thomas More, and the Writing of the English Bible by Brian Moynahan
Type Talk by Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen

The Victorian Schoolroom by Trevor May

Who's Who in Victorian Britain: 1851-1901 by Roger Ellis



Writers' Resources Online

Harewood House

A Victorian Education: A Brief History

Victorian School Days

Victorian Via Von

The Workhouse

Feature Article 

The Victorian Schoolroom

by Michelle Jean Prima

Queen Victoria's reign brought many improvements to the education of children, most remarkedly the poor.  Once a privilege only the rich could afford, many laws were passed over the years which guaranteed an education to the destitute also. 

The first of these came about a few years before Queen Victoria's accession to the throne.  In 1833, the government awarded grants of money to schools. Previous to this, poor children could only go to charity, or Dame schools.  The education provided was not always good, as some of the women running the schools couldn't even read.  By 1844, Parliament passed a law requiring children working in factories be given six-half-days schooling every week. Thus ragged schools were opened, providing free education to the very poor.

In 1870, Parliament passed the Forster's Education Act, requiring all areas provide schools to children aged 5 to 12.  But because attendance was not mandatory, and many could not afford the 'school's pence' each week, all children did not attend.  They worked and earned money for the family instead.  It wasn't until 1880 that schooling became mandatory, although it was only mandatory through the age of ten.  In 1889, the school leaving age was raised to twelve, and in 1891, the school's pence fee was abolished.

For the middle and upper classes, there were more options.  Many children began lessons at home.  Either the nanny or a governess would begin a child's education.  Once a boy turned ten, he went away to Public schools like Eton or Harrow.  There, they learned the classics, and were prepared for University.  There were very few schools available for girls, however, until the late Victorian Era.  Wealthy girls were mostly educated at home.

Typical lessons at school included Reading, WRiting and Dictation, and ARithmetic.  The day usually began with prayers and religious instruction. Morning lessons ran from 9a.m. to 12p.m..  Children went home for a meal, then returned for afternoon classes from 2p.m. to 5p.m. In addition to the three Rs which occupied the majority of the day, once a week the children learned geography or another 'object' lesson (taught with objects rather than the abstract) and singing. The girls learned how to sew.

Because paper was expensive, children usually wrote on slates with slate pencils.  Some slates were marked with lines to help with handwriting.  After a lesson was completed, and the teacher checked their work, the students cleared their slates for the next lesson.  Older children also learned to write on paper. An 'ink monitor' distributed ink to the children, who used pens made out of thin wooden sticks with steel needles.  The pen had to be dipped every few words or it would run dry. For arithmetic lessons, children used frames with colored wooden beads, much like an abacus.  Children learned how to multiply and divide using this apparatus.  Simple sums were done in their heads.  They also learned to do sums with money, and learned measurements.

Classes were often very large, with as many as 300-500 students each.  Therefore, the teacher enlisted the help of monitors to assist with lessons.  The teacher taught the monitors, who in turn taught the students.  Classrooms were sparsely furnished, often with long rows of benches and tables, rather than individual desks.  The lesson plans hung on the walls of the oblong room. On the floor, semi-circles were drawn around the perimeter of the room, one for each lesson plan.  Each monitor was assigned a lesson.  He gathered his group of students into the semi-circle, where they stood for the entire lesson, then returned to their seats for practice. 

By 1846, pupil teachers began to replace monitors.  Pupil teachers were boys and girls over thirteen who served five-year apprentices under teachers.  If they did well, they could qualify as a teacher by the age of eighteen and be out on their own. By the end of the century, schools began to divide children into smaller classrooms, with individual teachers for each class.

As one can see, this is a far cry from the education system as we know it today.  Which we take for granted all too often.  In Queen Victoria's time, these were major advances.  And major hurdles were overcome.  Over the years, the less useful ideas were discarded and the beneficial ideas built upon, setting a strong foundation for our education system today.


The Victorian and Edwardian Schoolchild by Pamela Horn, Alan Sutton 1979  ISBN#0862995744

A Victorian School by Richard Wood, Wayland 1994 ISBN#0750213701

The Victorian Schoolroom by Trevor May, Shire Publications 2004  ISBN#0747802432

These books are available for purchase in our on-line bookstore in the non-fiction section.
Also see the
Researching the Romance page of Literary Liaisons for more suggestions.

Editor's Note

It's September, and for many a mom, that means one thing--school is back in session!  And for us writers, that means a few hours of freedom every day as the little ones are off elsewhere.  If you are serious about your writing, those valuable hours will be spent writing.  Whether it's a trip to the library for research, plotting your next novel, creating a storyboard or writing ten pages, you now have those hours to yourself--for yourself!  Use them wisely.  And to coincide with the return to school, our feature article this month is on the Victorian Schoolroom.  I'm happy to say, we've come a long way since then.


--Michelle Prima

President, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.

Q&A Column

Q: Any hints for a Victorian wedding in October?

Jeanne T.

A: First of all, life is different now, so seasons have little to do with the choices we make, unlike Victorian times before the advent of refrigeration and heating or air conditioning.  To stay true to a Victorian theme, you will want to stay true to their lifestyles.  And a wedding in October would have been quite different from a wedding in June.  By October, fields had been cleared, fruits and vegetables canned, and frost hung in the air.  This determined the wedding party's attire, the menu, and the floral arrangements.  Fresh vegetables and fruits were not available, so the menu would be soups, roasted meats, fish and baked desserts rather than salads, sandwiches and sherbets.  Flowers would have to come from a greenhouse, rather than roses and lilies from a summer garden.  And the bride and bridesmaids would wear heavier velvet or satin with long sleeves, rather than tulle or crepe. This is only a few of the details to consider, but I hope it helps you with your planning.

Michelle Prima

President, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.


Historical Calendar of Events



Ethel M. Dell--English novelist

P.G. Wodehouse--English author

Ernest Bevin--British socialist politician

Alexander Fleming--English physician and scientist

Alexander Moissi--German writer

Pablo Picasso--Painter

Bela Bartok--Hungarian composer



Lord Beaconsfield (Benjamin Disraeli)--British Prime Minister

Theodor Dostoevsky--Russian author

Thomas Carlyle--English historian



Britain recognized the independent Transvaal Republic.

Flogging was abolished in the British Army and Navy.

James Garfield inaugurated as 20th U.S. President. Shot and killed in September, he was succeeded by Chester Arthur.

The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions of the U.S. and Canada was formed.

The first U.S. pure food laws were passed by New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Illinois.
The U.S.Supreme Court ruled that the federal income tax law of 1861 was unconstitutional.
The New York Tribune took over the Fresh Air Fund for city slum children that started 4 years prior.
A second "Jim Crow" law passed by the Tennessee legislature segregated black passengers on railroads.
Anti-Semitism appeared in America despite generations of German Jews have mixing on equal terms with other German immigrants.

Leon Gambetta became French Prime Minister.

Freedom of Press established in France.

Aleksandr III, Russia's czar, made Jews the scapegoats for the assassination of his father. He also persecuted Roman Catholics.


The Arts

"Sunshine and Snow" by Claude Monet

"An Asylum for Old Men" by Max Liebermann

"Cobbler's Shop" by Max Liebermann

"Luncheon of the Boating Party" by Pierre Auguste Renoir


The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

La Maison Tellier by Guy de Maupassant

Bouvard et Pecuchet by Gustave Flaubert

Heidi by Johann Spyri

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney


Virginibus Puerisque Essays by Robert Louis Stevenson


"Academic Festival Overture" Opus 80 by Brahms

Operas and Operettas:

"Les Contes d'Hoffmann" by Offenbach (posthumously)

"The Maid of Orleans" by Peter Tchaikovsky    

Popular Songs: 

"I am Coming" a Hymn by Ira David Sankey and Helen Young

"Tell It Out Among the Nations" by Ira David Sankey and Francis Havergal 



Daily Life

City Population (in millions)--London 3.3, Paris 2.2, New York 1.2, Berlin 1.1, Vienna 1.0, Toyko 0.8, St. Petersburg 0.6

The Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London, opened.

University College in Liverpool founded.

Tuskegee Institute founded by Booker T. Washington in Tuskegee, Alabama.

The University of Connecticut was founded at Storrs.

The Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, which would become Spelman College, opened.

The Wharton School of Finance and Commerce was established at the University of Pennsylvania with a gift from nickel miner Joseph Wharton.
Drake University was founded in Des Moines, Iowa.

The first U.S. Lawn Tennis Championship was held, with R.D. Sears as the champion.

The first of all cabarets, "Chat Noir" opened in Paris.
The Vatican archives were opened to scholars.
The Texas state capitol burned down.
Il Progresso Italo-Americano, which will become the largest-circulation foreign-language daily in the New York, began publication.

The London Evening News began publication
The American Association of the Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is founded by local banker Henry Lee Higginson

Billy the Kid escaped in May after 5 months in confinement on a murder conviction.
October 26--A shootout at the O.K. Corral outside Tombstone in Arizona Territory broke up a gang headed by Ike Clanton, whose brother Billy is shot along with Frank and Tom McLowry.
Western Union Telegraph was created by a consolidation of Western Union Co. with two smaller telegraph companies.

The Canadian Pacific Railway was founded.

Meyer Guggenheim began a mining and smelting career in Leadville, Colorado, that will establish great fortunes.
Marshall Field & Co. was created by a reorganization of Chicago's Field, Leiter & Co.
Detroit's J. L. Hudson department store had its beginnings in a menswear shop opened by English-American merchant Joseph Lothian Hudson.
Boston's William Filene Sons opened at 10 Winter Street.
Ring-necked pheasants from Shanghai were introduced into Oregon's Willamette Valley.
Drought struck the eastern United States. New York City ran out of water and people in many cities died of heat exhaustion.
Cattle ranges in the U.S. Southwest withered in a severe drought, but cattle-raising remained profitable.

Granola was adopted by J. H. Kellogg as a new name for a cold breakfast food.
Andrew Carnegie donated funds for a Pittsburgh library, beginning a series of library gifts.
The second Canadian bid for the America's Cup in ocean yacht racing failed when the U.S. defender Mischief defeated Canada's Atalanta.
Barnum & Bailey's Circus was created by a merger that joined the 10-year-old P. T. Barnum circus with that of John Anthony Bailey.



The St. Gotthard Tunnel, begun in 1872, was completed in Switzerland.

Construction of a model factory town (the first all-brick U.S. city) for Pullman Palace Car employees began on a 4,000-acre tract at Pullman, Illinois.

A vaccine to prevent anthrax in sheep and hogs was found by Louis Pasteur.
Scottish bacteriologist Jaime Ferran discovered a serum effective against cholera.
A paper by Cuban physician Carlos Juan Finlay suggested that mosquitoes may spread yellow fever.
The pneumococcus bacterium that causes pneumonia was found by bacteriologist-physician George Miller Sternberg.

California imposed quarantine regulations to keep out insect pests and plant diseases.
Santa Cruz, California judge James Harvey Logan introduced the loganberry, a cross of the red raspberry with a California wild blackberry. The University of California will make loganberry seeds available to the public in 1883.
The first U.S.-made margarine was produced in a New York, factory by a subsidiary of the U.S. Dairy Co.

Jumbo Rolled Oats were introduced by Ferdinand Schumacher.  This new permits a housewife using a double-boiler to prepare breakfast in 1 hour.

Chicago meat packer Gustavus F. Swift perfected a refrigerator car to take Chicago-dressed meat to eastern butchers.

The first British cold store opened in London, which soon beganto receive shipments of chilled beef from America.

Newport Casino at the Rhode Island resort town was completed.
Thomas Edison's Edison Electric Light Co. created a subsidiary (The Edison Co. for Isolated Lighting) to furnish factories and large department stores with individual power plants.
London's Savoy Theatre opened with the first electric illumination in any British public building.
Photographic roll film was patented October 11 by Wisconsin inventor David Henderson Houston.
German-American physicist Albert Abraham Michelson invented an interferometer.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe linked up with the Southern Pacific March 8 at Deming in New Mexico Territory.
The Southern Pacific Railway linked New Orleans with San Francisco as the last spike was driven home near El Paso, Texas.
The S. S. Servia, the world's first steel ocean liner, went into service for Britain's Cunard Line.
The motor-driven water bus (vaporetto) introduced at Venice will make the traditional gondola a conveyance used chiefly by tourists.


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