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Spin Doctor

Daniel Sickles (1819-1914) was a New York lawyer, soldier, and politician, a bit more notorious than famous.

When he was 32, he married Teresa Bagioli, who was then 15. Not long after he went to England on a diplomatic mission, leaving his pregnant wife behind. Instead he took his mistress with him and introduced the mistress to Queen Victoria using the name of one of his political opponents.

Just the beginning

Every now and then, an idea pops into my head—a scene or a bit of dialogue. I don't have any plans for it at the moment, but it keeps nagging at me until I have to write it down. This is one such scene. It may some day turn into a book, but where the story goes from here, I have no idea.

 

Lady Wilcoxin peered at her niece nervously. “You do see that the best thing will be for you to marry Mr. Burgundy.”

Flogging a dead horse

If anyone ever kept track of my various bits of research, I hate to think what conclusions they might reach. Yes, there are odd bits of fashion that pop up, like the fashionable hats in the spring of 1857, but there are also things like, “What deadly vegetable poisons would be available to someone with no special skills or knowledge in 1870?” (The answer to that question can be found in Lord Edward’s Mysterious Treasure.)

Fragment of a story

Every now and then a scene pops into my head, quite unconnected to anything I am working on. It nags at me until I have to write it down to get rid of it. Here is the most recent one:

It was not long into the dinner given by Lord Alfred Nelthorpe for a select group of friends that the Honorable Thomas Radclyffe fell face down into the new peas on his plate.

On Delphiniums (blue)

I’m having trouble with the current book. I’m at a crossroad in the plot and I can’t decide which way to go. At the moment, both roads seem to lead to a quagmire.

So I’ve been thinking about flowers, specifically about delphiniums.

When I was a child, I had a book of poems by  A.A. Milne, “When We Were Very Young.” In that book was a poem about a dormouse:

There once was a Dormouse who lived in a bed
Of delphiniums (blue) and geraniums (red)
And all the day long he’d a wonderful view
of geraniums (red) and delphiniums (blue)

Just for fun

 

 

St. Agnes Eve

This week brings an important day—January 20.

No, I am absolutely not talking about politics, but something far more important—romance.

January 21 is the Feast of St. Agnes, which means that January 20 is the Eve of St. Agnes, an important day for young women and their dreams.

And why is that?

Another Soup of the Evening

I haven't been blogging in quite a while, being busy with other things, like making up stories to tell. But I kind of miss blogging, and since I spent many years writing a cooking column, I thought I might do some of my blogging about food. After all, no matter how involved I get in writing, I still have to eat—and so does my family.

The Lord Chancellor and the Resort

The town of Cannes on the French Riviera,  playground of the rich and famous, home to a world-famous film festival, is noted for the wealth an glamour of its visitors. Somewhat unexpectedly, on the waterfront, and right across from the Palais des Festival that hosts the Cannes Film Festival, is a statue of  Lord Brougham.

Noah's Pudding, an Ancient Recipe

Have you ever made dinner using up whatever was left in the refrigerator? You might end up with a soup or a casserole or a pasta dish, and sometimes it even ends up delicious. People have been doing this since time immemorial, and one of them may have been Mrs. Noah.

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