Woodsworth and Byron in the Heart of a Duke
For the Love of the Duke is a historical fiction novel set sometime in the 17th to 19th century when the Thames River of London would freeze over. During this time winters where significantly colder in London than they are now. This time was known as the Little Ice Age. To celebrate Christmastide, what the book and that period fondly referred to as the winter or Christmas season, merry goers would brave the chill air with a little cup of alcohol to enjoy the Frost Fairs. At the time the River Thames would freeze over and they would walk an elephant across to prove it was solid. Then peddlers would set up tents of trinkets and goodies to sell, this would have seemed a lot like any other festival combined with a farmers market.
The first recorded frost fair was in 1608. The most celebrated frost fair occurred in the winter of 1683–84 and was described by John Evelyn:
Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from several other stairs too and fro, as in the streets; sleds, sliding with skeetes, a bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet plays and interludes, cooks, tipling and other lewd places, so that it seemed to be a bacchanalian triumph, or carnival on the water.
A Lovely Story that Starts at the Frost Fair
The book begins at the Frost Fair with two twin sisters in search of a trinket that promises a magical token to bring the wearer love. The book is fairly upbeat considering the amount of strife and peril the main characters endure. This novel of love, poetry, and passion offers a glimpse into the past while sticking to a pretty typical template for this type of love story. I love the underlying theme and repeated mention of Wordsworth and Byron.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes romantic novels set back in time.
Behold the Liquid Thames frozen o’re,
That lately Ships of mighty Burthen bore
The Watermen for want of Rowing Boats
Make use of Booths to get their Pence & Groats
Here you may see beef roasted on the spit
And for your money you may taste a bit
There you may print your name, tho cannot write
Cause num'd with cold: tis done with great delight
And lay it by that ages yet to come
May see what things upon the ice were done
Read the book February 16, 2015.
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