When I came across the story of Fanny Campbell, I thought to myself, now this is the stuff of great romantic fiction! Trouble is, the story is not fiction, it's true,! And I guarantee you'll find it as fascinating and romantic as I did.
Fanny Campbell was a young woman who lived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1776. She was just an ordinary colonial woman like any of us would have been. But she had a huge problem. Her childhood sweetheart and betrothed, William Lovell, was rotting in a jail in Cuba on charges of piracy. His merchant ship had been captured by pirates and the crew forced into piracy against their will. Fanny couldn't stand the thought of never seeing her one true love again and especially the thought of him dying alone in a Spanish prison.
Fanny became the new commander of the Constance and headed for Cuba. Along the way they encountered a British bark, the George, the captain of which sensed something was not quite right on the Constance and open fired. Though the Constance was undergunned, they (under the leadership of Fanny) won the battle and took the George as prize. Now, they were officially pirates!
Fanny immediately sailed for Cuba, and with the help of her crew, rescued her betrothed and several other Americans! Finally the happy couple was united, but they kept Fanny's gender a secret from the crew. (Can you imagine the look on William's face when he first saw his fiancee, dressed like a man, leading a charge of men to rescue him from prison?)
On the way home, the Constance and George, still under the command of "Captain Channing" took another prize, a British merchant ship that had news that war had broken out between the colonies and Britain. Declaring both her ships privateers and no longer pirates, Fanny sailed back to Massachusettes where she obtained the proper papers commissioning the two ships as privateers.
Fanny and William went home to Lynn and were soon married. While William went off to privateer during the war, Fanny remained home and eventually became the mother of several children.
And they lived happily ever after!!!!
See what I mean? Wouldn't this make a GREAT book? I just love that it's a true story!
Hear Ye!!! Hear Ye!!!
Tea Party Winners: MaryLu Tyndall's book: Jackie Tessnair, Carrie Fancett Pagels' novella: Harmony Courtney, Yankee Candle: Erin Unger, Gina Welborn's novel: Maxie Carrie Fancett Pagels is a finalist in the Maggie Awards for Excellence and Carrie's short story "The Quilting Contest" is the Historical Genre winner for Family Fiction's "The Story 2014"***CACW Member LORI BENTON is TRIPLE Christy award WINNER for "Burning Sky!!!" Congrats, LORI!!!Book of the Year, Best Historical, Best First Novel***CQ Contributor SHANNON MACNEAR is a finalist in RWA's Rita contest!****CONGRATS to ELAINE COOPER for her Selah award!!!***Congrats to CYNTHIA HOWERTER for being a Selah finalist!**
Friday, October 31, 2014
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Review by Lisa Norato
A Christmas Novella
Christmas Traditions Book 3
by Carrie Fancett Pagels
The Fruitcake Challenge is a cozy Christmas read, but a romance to enjoy for all seasons!
In her lifetime, “Jo” Josephine Christy has had to put up with the shenanigans of many different fellows—big, hulking lumberjacks with everything from humble to aggressive personalities, men from all over the world. She was raised in a logging camp and grew up working alongside her now-deceased mother in the camp kitchen. But in all that time, no man has ever annoyed her so much as their new axeman, Tom Jeffries.
He’s an arrogant, smooth talker who flaunts his intelligence and devilishly handsome looks like one who has never known rejection. Jo would like nothing better than to take the proud rooster down a peg. Especially when he issues a challenge: “I have decided I’ll marry any gal who can bake a fruitcake just like my mother makes every Christmas.”
The audacity! The workers in the cookhouse rise to the challenge, and the men are caught up in the excitement. Obviously, Tom has instigated this challenge just to irk her. But could he be serious? Why does something in Jo’s heart wish it to be true? And why does she keep baking fruitcake after fruitcake just to prove she’s not one to back down from a challenge, even though everything within her longs to be freed of a life tied to a lumber camp. She wants a life beyond the one she’s always known and that most certainly does not include marriage to a lumberjack. She’s twenty-five years old and time is running out on her dreams.
She’s about to discover there’s more to Tom Jeffries than what meets the eye. . . .
I loved this story! The Fruitcake Challenge is a well-written novella with warmth and humor. I enjoyed all the characters but especially Jo and Tom, in their confusion about their futures, looking for God’s guidance. I really enjoyed the unusual Victorian setting of a wintry, rugged logging camp in northern Michigan. There’s lots to enjoy in this heartwarming story—romance, family, yummy food, the scent of the pines and a crackling fire to warm you in the cold woods!
Carrie Fancett Pagels of the popular "Hearts Overcoming Through Time" blog is a Christian historical romance author. She is a finalist in the Maggie Awards for Excellence for 2014. In July 2014, Carrie won in the Historical Genre for Family Fiction's "The Story 2014" contest, with her short story, The Quilting Contest. Carrie is the founder of the Colonial Christian Writers and our administrator for the Colonial Quills blog.
Monday, October 27, 2014
By Susan F. Craft
Author of the SIBA Award Winning Revolutionary War Romantic Suspense,
|Lady Dawlrymple by Gainsborough |
(an example of pale skin, rouged cheeks and lips, and dark eyebrows)
The average colonial American woman, whether due to a lack of money, time, incentive, or religious reasons and cultural mores, wore little or no makeup.
European women who visited America from places where makeup was common among the upper classes, often commented in their letters and diaries about this.
Colonial women did apply skin treatments that were intended to be washed off. Here’s one concoction for a cleanser made of a paste of dried almonds:
Beat any quantity you please of Sweet and Bitter Almonds in a marble mortar, and while beating, pour on them a little Vinegar in a small stream to prevent their turning oily; then add 2 drachms of storax in fine powder, 2 drachms of white Honey, and 2 Yolks of Eggs boiled hard; mix the whole into a paste.
Women, mostly wealthy, who were attentive to their looks did the following:
- For pale, waifish skin
Trace the veins with a blue pencil
- Glistening eyes
- Lip Color
Use carmine red, a color derived from cochineal beetles imported from Central
America (these beetles are used in lipstick today!);
Vermilion (ground from cinnabar and including mercury) or creuse – both toxic
Puncture one’s finger and use the blood for rouge (Ee-ew!)
Safflower, wood resin, sandalwood, and brazilwood mixed with greases, creams,
or vinegars to create a paste
- Anti-aging skin creams
- Lip Plumpers
used to mask the smells of the streets
- Acne Products
(which is not advisable)
Recipe for Lead Powder
Several Thin Plates of Lead
A Big Pot of Vinegar
A Bed of Horse Manure
Water Perfume and tinting agent
Steep the lead in the pot of vinegar, and rest it in a bed of manure for at least three weeks. When the lead finally softens to the point where it can pounded into a flaky white powder (chemical reaction between vinegar and lead causes lead to turn white), grind to a fine powder. Mix with water, and let dry in the sun. After the powder is dry, mix with the appropriate amount of perfume and tinting dye.
The French physician Deshais-Gendron believed in 1760 that pulmonary lung disease among high-born ladies was associated with frequent use of lead face paint and rouge.
During the third quarter of the 18th century, dark eyebrows became all the rage. Over time, lead-based cosmetics caused hair-loss at the forehead and over the brows, resulting in a receding hairline and a bare brow. It became the custom as early as 1703 to trap mice and use their fur for artificial eyebrows, which were glued on. Sometimes, the glue did not always adhere well.
In 1718, Matthew Prior wrote a poem about eyebrows. Here’s the last stanza:
On little things, as sages write,
Depends our human joy or sorrow;
If we don’t catch a mouse to-night,
Alas! no eyebrows for to-morrow.
|Tragic Maria Gunning, the former Countess of Coventry, |
was the 18th century celebrity who made men faint in awe of her beauty,
but her love of lead-based make-up stole her looks and eventually killed her.
|Maria Gunnings’s grand seven-foot vanity mirror was recently auctioned for more than £300,000. |
The 253-year-old mirror sold well above its estimate even though Maria's condition meant the society hostess used it for a matter of just months.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Last year I had the privilege of attending a reenactment of the Battle of the Hook which took place in Gloucester, Virginia. Cynthia Howerter has also blogged about this experience on Colonial Quills. Today I am writing about the value in bringing your homeschoolers to such events.
The picture above is the scene we were met with when we entered Warner Hall. Can you imagine, living back in the time of the American Revolution, what it would be like to wake up and find an army encamped in your fields? By bringing children to some of these events, they can see in real life what their history books are talking about (without the gore of course!)
|Youth in regimental uniform|
The adults we met were very helpful in answering questions about their regiments, which had come from all over the United States. This is an opportunity for your young scholar to hear from people who have knowledge about specific parts of the eastern seaboard. Before going to an event, ask your homeschooling child to come up with some questions they'd like answered. Have them bring a small notepad and a backpack.
Also, for moms and dads, bring your pocketbook for all the amazing shops for reenactors clothing! I was able to purchase a colonial outfit for myself at a fraction of the cost I would have paid for such an ensemble locally. Word of caution--when purchasing hand sewn items for children, double check that the stitching is tight and is double stitched. I found a gorgeous shirt for my son that tore after only one wearing. I should have known to have checked because I learned to sew as a child.
With Virginia reenact ors dressed in frontiersmen's garb, this is an opportunity for parents to ask their children why these soldiers are dressed differently. And to discuss the differences between local militia units and being part of the Continental Army. Also great chance to ask about what the militia men and their families faced by having left their homes, and potentially crops, behind.
We also got to view an arrival by water, which was really wonderful! If you look at the water, you'll see reenact ors arriving at the battle scene by boat! I've never seen anything like that before.
Set at gorgeous Warner Hall, a bed and breakfast, The Battle of the Hook Reenactment was open to the public. But you can also come stay on these historic grounds at other times as a paying guest at the inn. Last year they also had a Christmas event with cookies and hot cocoa for the children. Warner Hall was so expansive I had to take two pictures to fit it all in. Notice how the building extends to the right. And below I've added the picture of the left flank.
|This is the main house at Warner Hall|
|Left flanking house from Warner Hall|
Looks like a great place for Mom and Dad to come back to by themselves, don't you agree?
Here's the link to The Inn at Warner Hall (click here.)
Read more about Warner Hall here on Janet Grunst's post last year on CQ (Click here.)
Jennifer Hudson Taylor also blogged about the value of reenactments. (Click here.)
Q: Do you have a special reenactment event that you like to attend?
Bio: Carrie Fancett Pagels is the Amazon bestselling author of "The Fruitcake Challenge" and "Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance" and loves almost all things colonial!
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
The year was 1620. The crowd of passengers crammed into the small vessel numbered 101. Among them were adventurers, seekers of fortune...and a group of Separatists who wanted a fresh start in a new land where they could worship as they saw fit.
We've all heard the story of the Mayflower. But I confess that for many years it was just a tale trotted out at the end of November, and I had always been far more interested in making paper-bag Indian vests and coloring my cornucopia than in some of the finer details of the Pilgrims' journey. Of course, that was before I became a history nerd, so it's only to be expected that now, as I'm reading those old stories to my kids in our homeschool curriculum, they're the ones coloring happily away while I pause in my reading to go, "Wow, I never knew that! Just think of it..."
Just think of it. This collection of Separatists who called themselves Pilgrims were starting an entirely new life in a new, unfamiliar world. They had to bring with them anything they might need for the first year.
Seeds for planting.
A printing press.
A fishing boat, to set up a trade.
Lamps and oil.
The Pilgrims saw God in every aspect of their lives, every event that took place. They trusted Him to deliver them to their new home in His way. But I imagine as the storms rocked the small Mayflower, as they had to batten the hatches and huddle together in a space the size of a volleyball court yet again, a few of them probably wondered if they'd made the right choice.
|Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall, 1882|
But this storm was worse than the ones that had come before. This storm howled and raged. The Mayflower was tossed through the waves. Boards groaned. Wind ripped. Small children whimpered and hid their faces in their mothers' skirts.
Hushed assurances turned to panic when the Mayflower rolled to her side. They would go down, surely. The lanterns swung. The hull moaned. Then boom!
A sailor rushed belowdeck. "Watch out, everyone!" he called to the frightened mass of people. "The crossbeam that supports the main mass has cracked! It could give way at any moment!"
Everyone hurried to help. All the men tried to hold that crucial timber into place. But this was beyond what mere arms could do. Brewster and Bradford, leaders of the Pilgrims, looked to the wide-eyed captain.
"We must pray," Bradford said.
They did. And the idea came instantly to Brewster. "The printing press! We must find it!"
Now, as an author, I'm all for words saving the day. But in this case, it wasn't what the press could produce that saved the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and hence America as we know it. It was the press itself.
The people scrambled to the hold where they'd stored all their furniture and larger items, and soon enough a shout came out that they had found the press. Brewster hurried to it and took off the enormous screw that was the press, the thing that applied pressure to put ink on page. This giant screw was then hauled into place on the cracked beam.
"Slowly," Brewster cautioned. "Carefully."
And it worked. The screw pushed the beam back into place--and held it there. The Mayflower survived the storm, and at that point she was closer to the New World than the old. They pressed onward. Forward.
To a land that would soon become home to so many.
I'm not sure when Brewster could reclaim his screw press, but you can be sure he did--the Pilgrims put high stock in education and the written word. A mere 16 years later, they founded Harvard College. And helped forge a nation that would never forget them.
Roseana M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two small children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of 9 historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels…to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.