Friday, November 18, 2022

Release Day!

Now Available -- just released....

 The Tower's Peculiar Visitor

In 1825, the Red Tower receives its most unusual visitor, from two hundred years in the future–who throws Kenning Old Manor into disarray.

This is the third Red Tower story/book, following The Governess's Peculiar Journey and The Earl's Peculiar Burden. 

Please visit my Amazon author page for further details. The ebook is also available at Kobo, B&N Nook, Apple Books and others.

I hope you enjoy my newest Regency romance!

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Traditions of November

I must admit, November is not my favourite month of the year. The autumn has passed for the most part. The glorious golden trees, the occasional bonfire, the excitement of harvest, the great migrating flocks of geese and crows and the subtle disappearances of song birds, all are over, at least where I live in western Canada. We await the snow.

In England, November follows much the same path, though there are some flowers still, and green grass. No snow, however, it is a rarity there. An old saying warns “A warm November is the sign of a Bad Winter.” But a warm November would accommodate the myriad celebrations and special events of the month. This was especially true in the England of the Regency—the early 1800’s—where I spend a great deal of my time. Thanksgiving, the premier holiday of the United States, was unknown in England but there were still festivities to look forward to.

After All Hallows’ Eve, a scary and uncertain time, came All Saints’ Day on November 1 and All Souls’ Day on November 2. Candlelit processions, bell-ringing, and ‘souling’ were undertaken in various parts of the country. Souling, like carol singing, involved going door to door, asking for alms, or selling 
<<<<  ‘soul  cakes’ (rather like a hot cross bun).

On the 4th of November, Mischief Night lingered in many counties. All sorts of naughty things were done—the main idea being to put things in the wrong place. Also coal might be collected against the coming cold months, as one might collect alms. In a few areas, this was called ‘Jolly Minering’ with its own songs, and festivities.

Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night was held then as now on November 5. Until 1859 church services were required to be held to celebrate the foiling of the plot to blow up the British Parliament, and celebrations were held throughout the day, culminating in a great bonfire, often with the burning of an effigy of Guy Fawkes, and fireworks.

During the Regency the 9th of November heralded the Lord Mayor’s show in London which has been held since the 13th century. It is centred on a parade, and the celebration must have awed the ordinary folk of the Regency.

Martinmas Day—the Feast of St. Martin—occurs on November 11. It was among the days that ‘hiring fairs’ were often held, which sometimes included feasts and a great deal of disorderly behaviour. That day has now been radically transformed by Remembrance Day which has overtaken it.

On the 22nd of November, St. Cecelia’s Day was an occasion for concerts and recitals as she is the patroness of music.

The last Sunday of the Church Year, the Sunday in November before Advent, is called 'Stir-up Sunday. This was the day Christmas puddings were often prepared and everyone in the household gave a stir to the batter and made a wish. The notion came from a famous collect for the day in the Book of Common Prayer:

"Stir-up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; "

My new book, “The Tower’s Peculiar Visitor”, to be released November 18, takes place mainly in October. No doubt the celebrations of November were enjoyed by the residents of Kenning Old Manor, after the upheavals they experienced in the autumn. They had neither leisure nor inclination during the sojourn of the ‘peculiar visitor’ to enjoy the season.

But I hope you are enjoying the fall season wherever you are in the northern hemisphere, and your spring in the southern hemisphere. 

'Til next time,


P. S. This post is also being published in the Uncial Press blog for November. If you would like to visit this interesting and informative blog, please click here.