Reading the encyclopedia

… which happens to be one of the earliest ever published in Britain, and made me drool when I found it, and found out I could have a copy.

Chambers’ Cyclopaedia was printed in 1728, ran to over 2000 pages, and was contained in two volumes.  This edition still exists today, online and for free at the very useful Archive.org.  (Hint, if you want it all, you will need to download the two volumes separately.  There are also two supplemental volumes.)

Chambers_Cyclopaedia_1728

A quick snap of an entry to be found here:

DOWER or DOWRY: … “is properly the Money, or Fortune, which the Wife brings her Husband in Marriage, to have the Use of it, during her Marriage, towards supporting the Charge thereof.”

But don’t think marriage comes cheap.  At least not in early 18th century England.  The author next gives us an idea of what’s expected.

“At present, in Germany, the Women of Quality have but very moderate Fortunes. For Instance, the Princesses of the Electoral House of Saxony have only 30000 Crowns: … those of Brunswic[k] and Baden, only 1500 Florins; besides a Sum for Cloaths, Toys, and Equipages.”

So there you have it, ladies!  Pay your expenses up front.  And remember to save enough for your toys.

 

Double your followers…

… by mowing the lawn.  I started out to mow yesterday, with one pair of parent barn swallows swooping around me, snapping up the bugs I kicked up.  Ended with two pairs of birds diving in and out, often just ahead of the mower.  So, who really needs Twitter?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I don’t have pictures of the present crop that the busy parents are raising, but this brood, almost ready to fly, was kind enough to pose a few years ago.

Starting a blog….

Just because, you know, sometimes it’s fun to talk about writing and research and all the odd little things about this business.  Warning: I don’t have an MFA in writing.  You probably won’t find any earth-shaking advice here.  And you may get an earful on gardening from time to time, which has absolutely nothing to do with any of my novels.  But if you’d like to drop in, you’re very, very welcome to join me.  And with that–we’re open!