Tag: Victorian Life

Penny Gaffs, Sideshows, and The Silver King

I’m in the middle of rewriting the original draft of Book 2 (Blood Rites), and I’ve decided to introduce several minor characters that provide an entrance for a very important main character. It’s always interesting as a writer to provide color and context to historical fiction, and this new collection of characters provides that in huge letters. I’m talking about Tom Norman, aka ‘The Silver King’ and his traveling sideshow. Norman is often portrayed in film as a middle-aged to older man with a wine-soaked paunch and a sour face, but in truth he was only 28 years old at […]

Baby Farming in Victorian Times

By Sharon K. Gilbert Illegitimate children were a major problem in the cramped cities of Victorian England, particularly in London. Though the legal system had originally (18th century) penalized men who fathered children out of wedlock, that financial roadblock was removed in 1834 with The New Poor Law (and its ‘bastardy’ clause). Now, the woman alone was responsible for the child’s welfare, which meant an unwed mother–often with few skills or prospects–was left to find means to support a dependent infant. Those in domestic service usually lost their jobs if found to be pregnant, and so that income might be […]