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Gina Conkle | Five Historical Facts I Learned While Writing the Midnight Meetings Series

GIVEAWAY: win a book from "Midnight Meetings"


Georgian England was a place and time of excitement and wonder. Lots of changes going. Lots of money flowing around England. Lots of crime and inventions. But, you know what interests me? The little things about daily life during the period of the four King Georges—not *gasp* the fashions. I know. That's sacrilege for a historical romance reader since most people want the gorgeous gowns. I like clothes, but the day to day goings on excite me more.

So, let's try something. I'll list 5 Facts About Georgian England (the time period of the Midnight Meetings series), and you tell me which fact(s) are new to you and which are old news:

  1. The Royal Academy of Arts was founded in 1768 by 34 artists in Piccadilly. Of those 34 artists, 2 were women: Mary Moser and Angelica Kauffman. To celebrate, a group portrait was commissioned to be painted in the Academy's great hall. But, the women weren't allowed to stand (or sit) for the group portrait. Only the men. The women were allowed to hang their self-portraits on the wall behind the men. The artist painted their portrait into the group painting. Hmmmm...adds credence to, "Behind every great man, there is a woman." In this case, two great women. My character, Lydia Montgomery, in MEET THE EARL AT MIDNIGHT had a hand in the Royal Academy of Arts.
  2. The Romans brought canals to 1st century England. Medieval England's government made improvements, but it was the aptly named Duke of Bridgewater who brought the canal craze to England in 1760. It all started in the late 1750s when Bridgewater was frustrated paying exorbitant rates to transport coal from his northern mines. The duke decided to take matters into his own hands. He went to Parliament and got permission to build a canal system such as Europe had never seen before. The business nearly ruined him (he almost lost his shirt!). But, the gamble paid off. Northern merchants loved the much-improved, cheaper way to transport goods, thus enriching the duke and my hero, Cyrus Ryland, in THE LADY MEETS HER MATCH.
  3. Georgian England had its cooking amenities like the spindle-jack and hastener. In THE LORD MEETS HIS LADY, Genevieve Turner escapes London and takes a housekeeper's post near the Scottish border. Learning the intricacies of Georgian cooking was part of my research and what fun it was! A spindle-jack (also called roasting jack) was hung from a rafter by the kitchen hearth. A long chain or rope hung from the device with a hook. A cook attached a ham, roast, or chicken to the hook and cranked the jack (a pulley system device). Meat turned slowly in a "hastener" before the fire. What is a hastener? Picture a primitive BBQ on its side, opened to the fire with grease dropping into a pan.
  4. Hacks (or hackney cabs). In my upcoming short story, MEET MY LOVE AT MIDNIGHT, the hero (Jack Emerson, a Bow Street thief taker also in THE LADY MEETS HER MATCH) rescues a woman from an overturned hack. Hacks, like sedan chairs, were Georgian England's taxis. Small and open in the front (and less tidy than other modes of transport), hackney cabs started in 1625. There were 20 of them at London's inns meant to take travelers around the city. By 1771, there were 1000 hacks. The vehicles were strictly regulated by the king's treasury. Hack drivers had to register with the treasury, and like taxi cabs today, were given a number plate for the back of their vehicle. Drivers were called "Jarveys." In 1739, for a six pence, one could have a "set down" which meant a mile and a half ride.
  5. Coldstream Bridge and Gretna Green. Coldstream Bridge was built to accommodate London to Edinburgh travel. The stagecoach line did brisk business on the route, using the bridge (finished spring 1768). Posting inns sprang up. So did the business of fast weddings. Most historical romance readers know Gretna Green as the quickie wedding place, few know of Coldstream, Lamberton, or Portpatrick. You could say Gretna Green was Georgian England's Vegas, and Coldstream was its Reno.


Midnight Meetings #3

The Lord
Meets His Lady

Lord Marcus Bowles has stained his family's reputation for the last time. Only after spending a scandal-free year restoring some far-flung property can this second son return in good graces. But Marcus isn't one to abandon a lone damsel on a dark country lane.

One stolen kiss and Genevieve Turner's handsome midnight savior disappears. Typical. No matter, Gen is finally on the way to her new post, and hopefully to finding her grandmother as well. Instead she finds her mischievous hero is her new employer. Surely a few more kisses won't hurt…

Romance Historical [Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: December 5, 2017, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492651901 / eISBN: 9781402294341]

About Gina Conkle

Gina Conkle

Gina Conkle writes sensual Georgian romance and lush Viking romance. Her books offer a fresh, addictive spin on the genre, with the witty banter and sexual tension that readers crave. She grew up in southern California and despite all that sunshine, Gina loves books over beaches and stone castles over sand castles. Now she lives in Michigan with her favorite alpha male, Brian, and their two sons where she's known to occasionally garden and cook._ Find her at www.ginaconkle.com.

Midnight Meetings | Norse Series | Kissables Duology


What was new to you in Gina's discoveries? Tell us below to a win!




14 comments posted.

Re: Gina Conkle | Five Historical Facts I Learned While Writing the Midnight Meetings Series

Almost all of what was listed was new to me information.
Even where I had heard of general things like the canals
was surface information and not the details. Fun stuff.
(G. Bisbjerg 9:44pm December 6)

All of it was new to me.
(Melanie Rosen 2:15am December 7)

number #3 about the cooking amenities was new to me.
(Cecilia Rodriguez 11:29am December 7)

The spindle-jack and hastener
(Colleen Conklin 11:39am December 7)

The cooking in Georgian england was new to me.
(Joy Isley 2:11pm December 7)

Some of the info about hacks was new to me.
(Nancy Luebke 8:39pm December 8)

I knew none of this - very interesting.
(LaRonda Atchison 10:34pm December 8)

1 and 3 are new to me.
(Tina Hairston 9:46pm December 9)

They were all new to me.
(Jackie Wisherd 10:05pm December 9)

I did not know about hacks being licensed.
(Phyllis Lamken 12:10pm December 10)

These are all new news to me! Very interesting. Thanks for
the giveaway
(Julie Parrish 2:55pm December 10)

Most of it was new to me. I found the information about the two women at The Royal Academy of Arts fascinating.
(Anna Speed 6:41pm December 10)

(Gloria Zimmer 6:35am December 11)

The cooking and the bridge. I can’t imagine an open flame cooking
(Laura Gullickson 5:17pm December 12)

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