Settings to Hook Your Reader

Never underestimate the importance of setting in your novel. 

Setting is a great deal more than simply the place where your story happens. Used to maximum advantage, the setting will enhance your characters and the plot while enriching the readers’ experience. There are likely to be scenes taking place in several settings within each novel. Consider the following aspects of the ‘where’ and ‘when’.

  • Location. Depending on the genre, this might be Earth, another planet or a fantasy world. Homing in you can choose a country, a county, a town or a village. It may be a specific or an imaginary place: A school, a clifftop house, a farm or a mansion.
  • Geographical influences. This relates to the lie of the land and the effect it might have upon your characters. Your hero might have to climb a mountain, wade across a river in full spate or simply gaze out of his window at moorland or the sea.

  • Atmosphere  The mood of a setting will be influenced by its geography: a barren mountainside may be exciting to one character or a terrifying challenge to another. Your heroine may long to soak up the sun on a beach at St Tropez while another might find it uncomfortably hot and boring. A haunted mansion will portray a completely different atmosphere from a cottage by the sea.
  • Climate  It’s important to research unfamiliar places because the geography will influence the climate: land masses, large bodies of water, mountains, waterways and prevailing winds. Harsh climates can engender a different kind of person than one who comes from a tropical climate.
  • Weather  This will influence a character’s mood. Harnessing the weather is great for building atmosphere but take care not to make this a cliché, eg, ‘It was a dark and stormy night …’

  • Era  Contemporary, historical or set in the future. Important historical events might engender novels such as a spy story set in WWII, a tale of treachery and politics at the court of Henry VIII or a tragic love story set during the French Revolution.
  • Time of day  Dawn, dusk, the heat of the midday sun or a chilly night will all evoke different atmospheres.
  • Time of year  Choose the season carefully and you can draw upon your readers’ emotional responses to evocative times such as Christmas, summer holidays or the anniversary of a significant event.
  • The passage of time  It’s important to keep track of scenes so that all the events of the story work together. You don’t want to confuse the reader with a pregnancy that lasts for eleven months or your hero arriving at a destination before he left. Be careful with flashbacks and make it clear when time has elapsed during a long journey.

  • Social environment. The social, cultural and political environment will shape your characters. This will vary from country to country, the north to the south and from the city to a rural village. It’s particularly important in historical fiction, where attitudes to slavery or rights for women may be shocking by today’s politically correct thinking. The social environment may also influence patterns of speech.
  • Details. Carefully researched details of a setting will add authenticity to your story. Using all the senses to describe not only the look of a place but the smell of the river, the feel of the sand under bare feet, the sound of the sheep on the hill or the taste of a local cheese, will bring your setting vividly to life.

The right setting is a vital part of a successful novel. Spend time in developing your settings so that they colour your writing with atmosphere, influence the way your characters react to events, the choices they make and even how they speak. Remember that the setting for your novel isn’t only its geographical location but that it forms a rich and vivid picture of the world your characters inhabit.

 

Posted in Writing Tips

My Christmas Memories

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My younger brother and I grew up during the fifties and sixties and some of our happiest memories are those of Christmas. The celebrations began on Stir-Up Sunday. Silver sixpenny pieces were carefully mixed into the pudding and I’m surprised there was any pudding left after we finished ‘helping’!

The festive season was far less commercial then and we used to spend weeks planning and making presents for our friends and family. I’ve lost count of the number of felt needle-cases, pipe-cleaner holders, bookmarks, pomanders and Radio Times covers I made. The grannies, grandpas and aunties were always properly appreciative of these small items made with love. ‘It’s the thought that counts,’ was the oft-repeated mantra as the gift was unwrapped.

I was good at sewing but useless at knitting and my brother found it hard to put on a grateful face one year when I presented him with a fashionably narrow moss stitch tie that had an odd kink half way down. I’m not sure it had many, or indeed any, outings.

One of my favourite presents was a wonderful ocelot faux-fur gilet that my mother made. I loved it and wore it with the scarlet eight-panelled skirt I’d made at school, feeling like a film star!

christmas-1843676__340And then there were the decorations. Painted Chinese lanterns in bright colours and with long tassels underneath were hung from the light fittings. The house would be swathed from top to bottom with paper chains, not the expensive, pre-glued ones bought from a shop but cut up from newspaper or old magazines, stuck together with flour and water paste and sprinkled with glitter. Mum would still be vacuuming up the glitter in July.

My father would take us out to choose the tree and we’d wedge it in a coal bucket disguised with red crepe paper. Then the box of glass baubles and tinsel would be brought down from the loft. We used to clip red candle-holders made of pressed tin onto the Christmas tree and someone always had to remain in the room on fire duty whilst they were lit. There were no ‘Elf and Safety’ rules then, only common sense. Once the tree was decorated, my brother and I would fight to be the one to stand on a chair and place the battered fairy on the top.

Begging letters to Father Christmas were written on sheets of Bronco toilet paper (also brilliant as tracing paper) so that they were light enough to float up the chimney with ease. By five in the morning on Christmas day we were nearly exploding with excitement when we raced downstairs. We squealed with delight when we saw that Rudolf’s carrot had disappeared and the mince-pie crumbs and empty sherry glass on the hearth meant that Father Christmas had visited us during the night.

My brother always tipped his stocking presents onto the floor in a heap and rummaged through them while I pulled each treat out one by one, hoping to make the pleasure last. There were puzzles, crayons and notebooks, those wonderful Japanese flower gardens that grow when you put them in water, a yoyo, a book, a shiny new penny and, my particular greedy favourite, a tin of mandarins and a tin of cream that I was allowed to enjoy all by myself.

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Our parents and Granny, yawning in their dressing gowns, would come downstairs and we were allowed to open our main presents before breakfast. We’d spend hours with a box of Fuzzy Felt, some new Meccano or daydreaming about the endless possibilities of a £2 postal order or a book token. There was nothing on television in the mornings in those days and we amused ourselves with our new toys or books until it was time to lay the table for lunch.

The turkey was carried in from the steamy kitchen with great ceremony and carved at the table, the breast pronounced deliciously moist and the roast potatoes crisp. Then my father would ignite the pudding with brandy, invariably setting the sprig of holly on fire. Trifle, nuts, dates and tangerines were offered to anyone who had room for them. After lunch we’d sit by the fire and turn on the television for the Queen’s speech, watch a film, squabble over Monopoly or read our new books until it was time for turkey sandwiches and Christmas cake. I used to hide the icing, peel off the marzipan and eat it in one delicious chunk.

Slightly queasy with over-indulgence, bedtime was always bitter-sweet with the realisation that it would be a whole year before we would be able to enjoy such a wonderful day again. On Boxing Day Mum always made us sit down to write our Thank You letters and then we knew then that Christmas really was over for another year.

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Christmas Memories was first published on Becca’s Books website in December 2015.

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Posted in My Writing Life

Q & A with Maeva, Spanish publishers of The Apothecary’s Daughter

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First off, Charlotte, we’d like to get to know you better as a writer: what inspires you?

It’s hard to be precise because inspiration comes from many places; reading a newspaper, hearing a family story, a girl in a red hat hurrying by, an overheard conversation, a sonnet by Shakespeare … The magic happens when you combine several different elements and ask ‘What if …’ Suddenly you have the beginnings of a story.

I live in seventeenth century cottage in the woods and walking my dog, Hattie, in the peaceful countryside that surrounds my home often brings me inspiration. Hattie is very good at listening while I mull over plot problems as we walk!

In your opinion, what makes your writing voice distinct and unique?

I always imagine the story I am writing is going to be made into a film and picture it in my head as if on a cinema screen. Somehow this helps me to see if the story is working.

Readers tell me that what they like most about my writing is the level of historical and sensual detail that brings the settings and characters to life. They often say, ‘I forgot I was reading. I thought I was there!’

 What authors and books do you admire most?

I admire the writing of Tracy Chevalier, Sarah Waters, Robbert Goddard, Joanne Harris and Philippa Gregory and others too numerous to mention!

I love to read, not only historical fiction, but a good mystery or sometimes even science fiction. What works for me is any book, fiction or non-fiction, that takes me to different places and shows me new worlds. For me, the whole point of reading is to relax and escape.

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When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

Surprisingly late in life. My husband and I have five children and I had my own business designing hotel interiors. I frequently travelled overseas so I never had much spare time. I’ve always had my nose in a book and one day, after most of the children had grown up and left home, I was choosing a book from the library and I thought, ‘I could write something like this!’ In fact it took eleven years and seven contemporary novels before my first historical novel, The Apothecary’s Daughter (La Hija del Boticario) was published.

 People say writers always leave parts of themselves in their novels; what did you leave in this one?

As a writer I cannot help but use my own emotions and experiences of life to bring color and resonance to my stories. Of course, I never use exact situations but I do conjure up memories of times I was very sad or happy and write scenes through my character’s eyes while I hold onto that memory. In La Hija del Boticario I remembered how it felt to be expecting a baby, what it was like to be in love for the first time and how frightening it can be when events are outside your control.

 What was your reaction when Maeva bought the rights to your novel, and what do you think being published in Spain it will mean to your career?

I was so excited to hear that Maeva would publish my novel! It’s a fantastic opportunity for my writing to reach a wider audience. My novels already have fans in several different parts of the world and it’s so interesting when they email me with their views. Although La Hija del Boticario was initially written for the UK market, the fears and joys of my characters are universal emotions and will find resonance in many countries. I do wish that I knew Spanish, though, as I’d love to read the translation.

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The protagonist, Susannah, is a young apothecary caught in the throes of the plague. What traits do you share with her?

To some extent, all my heroines reflect different facets of my character. Like Susannah, I had a happy childhood but later things weren’t always so easy. The interesting thing is how a woman often doesn’t know how strong she is until she is tested. The heroines in all my novels grow and change during the course of the story. I can be very determined, too!

 Is she a fighter, well ahead of her times, looking for a future for herself?

Susannah is definitely a fighter and she never gives up. She is also ahead of her time in seeking a career. Unmarried women were so constrained in the seventeenth century but most women today would not find it inspiring to read about a heroine who always does as she is told by the men in her life. I hope you will agree that I have found a credible way forward for Susannah to have the life she wants.

What has the portrayal of the time period been like?

I always love researching a new novel and make great efforts to be sure that my settings and historical time frame is accurate. I particularly enjoy reading primary sources written by those who were there. Samuel Pepys’s diary was invaluable in capturing the spirit of the time. He was funny, adulterous, clever, rude, selfish and observant. His writing brought alive for me the terror of the plague and the Great Fire of London. I feel I know London well in the seventeenth century even though not so well in the twenty-first century!

What can you tell us about your research? Of all the things you found out about the plague, which was the most surprising?

Very recently I heard that the plague wasn’t spread by black rats, at all, but by gerbils! I don’t know if this is true. There are different kinds of plague and one variety was spread by sneezing. At the time it was thought that the plague was spread by the ‘evil miasma’ rising from the Thames. No doubt the river did smell terrible, particularly in the summer, but it didn’t spread the plague. I found an illustration of a doctor wearing a beaked plague mask stuffed with herbs, like the one Dr Ambrose wears in the story. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable this must have been!

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What opinions have readers shared with you after this journey through medicinal plants and ancient medicine?

Many readers have been fascinated by the herbal cures mentioned in La Hija del Boticario, though few have ventured any opinions except that they are glad not to have to treat the plague with only a handful of herbs.

 Nowadays, so called “natural medicine” has once again become a trend. Even if your book is set in 1665, do you feel it shares some common ground with the current times?

There is a resurgence of interest in herbal medicine, though it is often used now as a support to modern medicine and treatments. I don’t recommend using herbs medicinally unless you are sure what you are doing, since some can be poisonous. Foxgloves, for example, look so pretty but contain digitalis, which is used in modern heart medicine and may be fatal in an incorrect dosage. Of course, lotions and potions such as Arnica gel for bruises, purchased from reputable health care shops, will have been tested and are safe to use.

In this fast-moving modern world, I believe there is something soothing about using ‘natural’ or herbal medicines to heal minor ailments.

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Thank you for interviewing me and I hope that the Spanish readers of La Hija del Boticario will enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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Posted in My Writing Life, Seventeenth Century Life, The Apothecary's Daughter

Romance or History?

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One of the questions readers often ask me when they know I write romantic historical fiction, is ‘Which is the most important to you, the romance or the history?’ It’s a very interesting question and my usual answer is that both are equally important, though not necessarily at the same time.

I write the kind of emotionally intense novels I like to read, that is, with a powerful love story as its beating heart but in a realistic and accurate historical setting with a dash of mystery. Generally I write about ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary situations at times of dramatic change in their world. The injustice of the strong preying on the weak makes me angry and this theme is often visited in various ways in my writing.

I’ve written about both the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the French Revolution a hundred years later and disasters such as the plague and the Great Fire of London in1666. My latest novel, The House in Quill Court, is set in London and explores the growing criminal underworld of the Regency era.

I pay a great deal of attention to researching the details of these events and then weave my own fictional heroes and heroines through the bones of the historical facts. Sometimes I’ll give a real historical figure a cameo role. I never bend history to suit my story and I make my characters ‘grow’ out of their own particular era. They must think and act in ways that are appropriate for that point in history and may have a different perspective, coloured by political and social attitudes of the day. This can be challenging, especially when it comes to subjects such as capital punishment, slavery or religion. It’s necessary to portray these in a way that is true to their time but doesn’t alienate the modern reader.

people-1873181__340My heroine may not be perfect, in fact it’s easier for me and for readers to identify with her if she isn’t, and she must be tested to her absolute limits so that she can discover her hidden strengths. She will be brave and proactive and will take control of her life when all around her is falling to pieces. It’s quite possible that she isn’t looking for love at all since she’s so busy achieving other goals in her life.

It’s essential for me to fall in love with my hero. After all, if I don’t find him sexy and attractive it’s unlikely that my heroine will. One of the perks of being an author of romantic fiction is that I can design my own perfect hero! Again, he won’t be nauseatingly perfect and may make terrible mistakes of judgement and be full of self-doubt but he must be brave and put the heroine’s life before his own when the chips are down. I like my hero and heroine to work together to solve a seemingly insurmountable conflict and they may have to contend with violent criminal attacks, carriage chases and escapes from dungeons or burning buildings.

The path to romantic fulfilment for my hero and heroine will be exceedingly rocky but when they finally commit to each other the reader is left in no doubt that theirs is a very special, once in a lifetime love.

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Posted in Book List, Writing Tips

A new cover for The House in Quill Court

The House in Quill Court has a lovely new cover for the paperback version out on 25th August 2016.House in Quill Court mmpb cover

Posted in Events, The House in Quill Court

The House in Quill Court Blog Tour

Follow the blog tour to see what reviewers think of The House in Quill Court!poster-page-001 (5)

Posted in Events

Regency Classicism

images-9George III suffered from periods of mental instability and, during the last and most prolonged of these, retired from public view while his son, the Prince of Wales, ruled in his stead. The Prince Regent was well known for his sense of style and his interest in lavishly designed buildings and interiors. His official residence in London was Carlton House and over the years he transformed it from an unassuming property into an opulent palace decorated in the fashionable Regency Classicism style he popularised. The Prince Regent was a great patron of the Arts and frequently commissioned architects, designers and craftsmen but, unfortunately, his lavish lifestyle meant that he was often in debt and didn’t always pay his bills.

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Many young men of good families spent a year or two on a Grand Tour overseas discovering ancient ruins and studying architecture, art and sculpture. Inevitably they returned home full of ideas for embellishing and remodelling their family seats. Regency Classicism was a visually rich mixture of pattern, colour and motifs from ancient Egypt, Greece and Imperial Rome. Architects copied and developed these ideas and manufacturers produced illustrated pattern books demonstrating scrolling leaves, drapery, Greek key and stylised flower patterns for use in paper hangings, carpets, furniture inlay and decorative plasterwork.

Thomas Hope (b 1769) began to collect Classical art after his Grand Tour. He believed an interior should be stylistically harmonious and applied these principles to his own home, recording his designs in his book of Household Furniture and Decoration. This became a useful source for designers and was the first book to use the phrase ‘interior decoration’.

images-2Regency furniture is elegant, often made of woods like mahogany and rosewood. Veneers were popular as decorative inlays and ornamental details in brass were often used. Chairs frequently had sabre legs and tables were sometimes styled with carved lion’s legs or sphinx’s heads. Rich damasks, striped silks and taffetas were used to upholster chairs and sofas.

Window treatments were elaborate, often comprising heavy silks with swags and tails, tassels and fringing over muslin under-curtains. Curtains were hung from carved and gilded poles.images-1 Earlier Georgian colour schemes were restrained, using paint colours such as sage, blue-grey or burgundy but later the most popular colours were paler: sky or Wedgewood Blue, stone, dusky pink or pea green. As designs became more ostentatious in the Regency era, often influenced by Oriental and Chinese designs, bolder colours came into use: sulphur yellow, crimson, royal blue and strong greens.

images-7The Prince Regent’s taste is perhaps best demonstrated by the exoticism of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, his seaside pleasure palace. In 1815 he commissioned the architect John Nash to begin the transformation of the modest Marine Pavilion into a magnificent oriental palace with minarets, domes and pinnacles on the outside. No expense was spared on the gloriously rich interior with rooms designed for entertaining and even the corridors were opulently decorated and exquisitely furnished.

Flamboyant and sometimes fantastical, the Regency Classicism style still influences designers today.

As an interior designer for most of my working life, Georgian and Regency design has always been one of my favourite influences. The heroine in my latest novel, The House in Quill Court, is an early interior decorator and wallpaper (known then as paperhangings) designer. It was interesting to use my own experiences as a designer to bring authenticity to a character in my novel.

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Posted in Georgian and Regency Life

First Review for The House in Quill Court!

 

books-1141910_1920It’s always nerve-wracking waiting for the first review of your latest novel but I’m happy to say the waiting is now over. And it’s an Amazon five star!

Reviews are so important to an author so thank you to Mrs M G Powling. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that other readers like The House in Quill Court too.

 

Peril in Quill Court, 15 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase
This review is from: The House in Quill Court (Paperback)
“I’ll just have a little read …” I said to myself, having already two other books on the go, but I simply couldn’t put this latest novel by historical novelist, Charlotte Betts, down. It is hard to relate any details of the story without giving away the plot, but I will try: it is about Venetia who, in 1814 and through sad circumstances, moves from her seaside Kent cottage to London in order to meet with family hitherto unknown to her. There she sets up in business as an interior designer, following in her father’s footsteps, and hoping to make a living for herself and her family supplying a bespoke service to the new wealthy middle and upper classes. But things done go according to plan. This is Regency London, a dangerous place and where law enforcement was patchy, a London where newly-built elegant townhouses are cheek-by-jowl with slums in which an underworld of pickpockets, whores and racketeers prey on the unsuspecting and vulnerable.
Charlotte Betts has carefully researched this period but she uses a light touch with the facts of Regency life and, in so doing, brings this period in our history vividly to life – the sights, sounds, smells not only in the homes of the wealth – the taking tea by the fireside, the rustle of fabulous silks, the smell of beeswax with which the elegant mahogany furniture is polished – but also of the underworld, a city still without the cleansing properties of sanitation and drainage.
One word about the cover. Attractive though it is, with an elegant woman in a straw hat gazing towards rows of Georgian town houses, it might give some potential readers the impression that this is simply a light,romantic novel. I say it is much more than that: as well as an exciting story, it is a social commentary of the period.
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Posted in My Writing Life, Reviews

The Regency Criminal Underworld

images-2The Georgian and Regency periods have always been my favourite for their grace, sophistication, and, sometimes, the extravagant flamboyance of their architecture and interiors.

Once I decided to set The House in Quill Court in the Regency era I began to research what it was like to live in London at that time. Very soon I became fascinated by the contrast between the elegant drawing rooms of the newly built townhouses, set around peaceful garden squares, and the gin shops and brothels in the warrens of squalid rookeries surrounding the city, where the underworld was based. Two completely different societies co-existed in the city.

e75e3520bab2b5f16c6ceb43ac167b78-1Crime had reached epidemic proportions and there seemed to be no way of controlling the criminal underworld. Burglary was so common many householders were unable to leave their homes for any period of time without taking elaborate precautions. In the streets you were likely to be jostled by a predatory group of prostitutes or set upon by footpads and cutpurses.

While researching the novel, I was astonished to discover that there was no centralised police force until 1829. Previously, provision of law enforcement was patchy and corrupt, to say the least, and organised crime was growing out of control.

In the mid eighteenth century Henry Fielding had established a centre for law enforcement in Bow Street and over the years the number of people it employed increased. Experienced thief-takers who were fleet of foot became known as Bow Street Runners and could be employed by private citizens. By the end of the century some of the Runners, who didn’t receive a salary, were acting as middlemen, negotiating the return of stolen goods in exchange for a fee paid to the criminal. Sometimes the law enforcers took bribes or framed petty thieves in order to claim a reward.

images-1In 1792 seven new Public Offices, managed along the same lines as Bow Street and manned by stipendiary magistrates appointed by the Crown, were opened. Each had six law enforcement officers but these men often owed their appointment to highly placed acquaintances rather than any special or appropriate skills of their own.

This sometimes corrupt, and often ineffective, force was reformed by Sir Robert Peel in his Metropolitan Police Act of 1829. From then on the Metropolitan Police employed salaried officers, and attempts to contain criminal activities became centralised within the city.

In 1814, however, when The House in Quill Court is set, the power and arrogance of the underworld gang leaders went virtually unchallenged and a co-ordinated attempt to administer justice was still a distant dream.

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Posted in Georgian and Regency Life

A Regency Christmas Dinner

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Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat,

Please do put a penny in the old man’s hat.

If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do

If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!

In wealthy households the Regency Christmas dinner was often eaten between six and seven in the evening and consisted of several courses, each with up to twenty different items, laid out in a symmetrical pattern on the table. This was known as dining à la francaise. There would have been soup, vegetables and a variety of fish dishes. Roast beef and venison were the star of the dinner table, with a supporting cast of mutton, brawn, goose or capon. Game was frequently eaten: pheasant, grouse, pigeon, partridge and hare. This style of dining was gradually giving way to eating à la russe, a custom introduced by the Prince Regent’s chef, where dishes were served in sequence.

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In Norfolk, swan was still traditional. Older birds were too tough to eat but cygnets were penned for six months or so and fattened on grass and barley. It wasn’t until the middle of the C19th that turkey became popular. Turkey had been introduced from America in the C16th and were driven to market in London from Norfolk wearing little boots to protect their feet. Both domestic and wildfowl were at their fattest at the end of the year, making them a succulent choice at Christmas time. In the wild, feed became scarce in the early months of the new year and birds became leaner.

Smaller households may have had only a small oven, or no oven at all, and so housewives took their beef or goose to the bakers on the way to church on Christmas morning, collecting the roasted meat after the service. Stuffing made with bread made the meat go further in large families and there would be seasonal vegetables such as carrots, cabbages and artichokes.

images-6Christmas pies, originating in Yorkshire, were made of a vast ‘coffin’ of pastry filled with boned poultry. This might have included a turkey stuffed with a goose, in turn filled with a capon, a duck and a pigeon. A decorative, glazed lid topped the pie and as it cooked the goose fat based the other birds, keeping the meat moist and tender. Melted butter was poured in through a hole in the top of the cooked pie to fill any cavities, extending its keeping qualities.

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Christmas pudding was carried to the table with ceremony (see my earlier post on Stir-Up Sunday) and mince pies would also be served. The mincemeat then contained chopped beef, suet, dried fruits, eggs, orange peel, spices and brandy. Mince pies were less sweet than those we eat today. They were baked in dozens and eaten every day for the Twelve Days of Christmas to ensure good luck for the coming year.

Wealthy households might also serve unseasonal fruits, such as pineapples or grapes, from their country estate glasshouses and there would be nuts, marchpane and candied fruits with sweet desert wine to end this magnificent repast.

The Regency Christmas dinner presented a wonderful opportunity for the rich to display their wealth and for their less-advantaged relatives and neighbours to enjoy their splendid hospitality. Christmas time was unlikely to be very merry, however, for the poor living in country hovels or city slums.

slide-xmasquillIf you’d like to read more about Christmas in the Regency era you may like Christmas in Quill Court, a short story available from Amazon at 99p for your e-reader.

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Posted in Georgian and Regency Life

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About Charlotte

Charlotte Betts Always a bookworm, Charlotte discovered her passion for writing after her three children and two step-children had grown up. She lives with her husband in a cottage in the woods on the borders of Hampshire and Berkshire.

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Contact Charlotte via Clara Diaz, Press Officer on 020 3122 6565 or clara.diaz@littlebrown.co.uk at Little Brown Book Group, Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0D2