After a hiatus from writing for six months tending to the early
medical needs of my husband, I'm settling in and blocking
time for writing. I've missed my friends at my writers' group,
book clubs and stitchery group.
I' M EXCITED -- I'm ten chapters in a new project and
my muse is going wild. Some writers hate the research part of
writing a novel, others get started and can't quit gathering stories,
events and ideas. (I'm in the latter group.)
The title of my new story is "THE TIDEWATCHERS" (circa 1760)
which begins with a young lad's experience in Wales watching his
Quaker mother tied to a stake in the bay at low tide and drowning
with other persecuted Quakers when the high tide rolled in. The vicar,
who ordered the persecution, becomes the boy's enemy and his
retaliation and misery lead him to runaway to London to become
a member of a body snatchers gang servicing cadavers to the famous
London medical community. To avoid prison, he indentures himself,
coming to America to become a Baptist minister settling in Kentucky.
Through thick and thin, he has one friend, his dog, Vundermutt.
Thought I would share some interesting items my research turned up.
· The death by tidal drowning began in early Egypt,
spreading across Europe and Great Britain for the
persecution of non-conformist religious
believers. (Most often Mennonites and Quakers).
· Barber-surgeons were medical practitioners who
picked lice from a person's head, trimmed and
shaved beards, extracted teeth, performed
minor surgical procedures and bloodletting.
· A barber pole (the red and white striped symbol
for barbering as we know it) was symbolic:
The 1780 barber poles had a brass ball at its top
where leeches were kept, and a basin at the bottom
to receive the patient's blood. The pole itself was
used for the patient to grip during bloodletting to
bulge the location of the veins. The red and white
strips represented the bloodied and clean bandages
which were washed and hung to dry outside the shop.
The wind twisted the bandages together creating
the spiral patterns we see today on barber poles.
(Ref: Wonders and Marvels.com)
· The town of Stoke on Trent was actually a
combination of six communities banded together for
mutual interests and trade.
The Town of Towcester was one of the oldest Roman
towns and was noted then as now for the manufacture
of china and dinnerware. Go to any
department store and likely the origin of the
companies displaying china was Towcester, England.
· For several generations, body snatching was an
accepted and profitable business for medical and anatomy
schools. However the practice became corrupted by gangs,
and body snatching from ill-repute hospitals and graves
became subject to arrest and deportation. Accusations
of murder in order to harvest a dead body was quite
If any of my readers have information or interests during this
time period, I'd love to correspond with you.