Monday, February 4, 2019

Less than Two Weeks

It is now eleven days until the publication of my newest book "The Governess's Peculiar Journey." You can probably tell that I am excited about my latest release!

I don't like to talk about a book while I am writing it, but once the story is finished, I enjoy discussing it. The heroine of this book is the governess of the title. But she is a governess in Victorian England, in 1865. This is odd for a Regency romance, but with time travel all things are possible.

Avice Palsham is my governess's name, and she travels back in time to 1815. I have discussed governesses before in this blog, but not Victorian ones. But in fact, the life of a governess changed little in the fifty years from 1815 to 1865. Governesses in both eras were under-valued, and derided, and inhabited ill-defined positions
in the households where they resided.

A governess is arriving into a merchant's house
by Vasily Perov (Russian) circa 1860
The Governess by Richard Redgrave 1844
The oil paintings above show situations Avice Palsham might certainly have experienced.

Governess by Rebecca Solomon (detail)
This picture above, painted in 1851, shows a governess and her young charge much like Avice and little Jacob. 

When looking for a post, Avice might have advertised  like her Regency counterpart did, below.
Morning Post 1 January 1810
Or she might have used an agency like the one below.
Morning Chronicle Monday, January 4, 1819
Another option Avice might have chosen, and perhaps she wished she had when the time travel occurred, was that of 'daily governess'. We might today call such a teacher, who did not live in the home of their employer, a 'tutor'. I find the position of the daily governess intriguing, and I have written a short story about such a governess.
Morning Chronicle January 3, 1815
There were many books available that instructed the governess on how best to teach her  pupils. From what I know of Avice, she would have read as many of these as were available to her.

Avice Palsham is certainly a real person now to me, after writing her story. I hope that when this book is released on February 15, she will become real to everyone who reads it.

'Til next time,


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