My dear readers,
I apologize for my long absence. However, I have an explanation and it ties beautifully with this post. I have met the man of my dreams, and he is keeping me very busy, and very happy.
Courting in the modern-day is very different from courting in the early 1900’s. My research about this topic has been quite the adventure. My book begins at the tail end of the Victorian era, in which Queen Victoria set strict guidelines for how courting was to be carried out. For example, a woman could not, under any circumstances, talk to a man of whom she had not been introduced. Her father, an older couple, or a mutual friend had to make the introduction. Once introduced, say for the purpose of a dance, the man could reintroduce himself and encourage the friendship, or he could choose not to do so. Men were allowed to approach a woman as long as there was a chaperon or escort with her that he could introduce himself (or greet) first. Women overcame this obstacle by using their fans, and body language to catch the eye of a man, and flirt without having to be introduced first.
Once the meeting had been established there were new rules to how much contact they were allowed to have. First names were not allowed (it was thought to be too forward), until an official courtship had been announced. They were allowed to walk together, but had to stay at least a foot apart. Dinner tables, and parlor rooms hosted most of the courtship, as they were within the watchful eyes of the family. Group courting became a great way for couples to spend some time somewhat alone.
Those are just the most basic of courtship rituals in the early 1900’s. The somewhat sad part, is that most of the courtships and marriages came about due to business arrangements, and personal financial gain. There were rare cases of true love, but that was not the main objective.
I, for one, am a hopeless romantic. Thus, my characters are marrying for the sake of being with one another for the rest of their lives. Writing their love story has been rather sweet for me lately. It is not every day that you get to fall in love at the same time as your main character. Thus, Walter has taken on a few of my love’s finer characteristics. I have also stolen some of my love’s text’s to insert into Walter’s romantic speeches to Julia. ‘Borrowing’ from the real world is what we writers have to do sometimes to add realism.
I leave you with words from Walter as he sits in a pub in Belfast Ireland.
“I am forever changed because you are in my life. That it always has been, and always will be you. Here I am, sitting in a noisy Irish pub, wishing with all of my heart that I was by your side instead. But, I am here for you, my love. Here to secure our future together. I fully intend to provide for you, and to protect you from any harm at any cost. Julia, you have captivated me. All that I am,and all that I have I give to you freely. You make me the best man who I could ever hope to be, and I pray that I never have to live in a world in which you don’t exist.”