March 18, 2008

DARE TO BE A CLOWN: Clown History

In America, the first clowns were circus clowns, often sent ahead of the circus with promotional material. Their function was to attract audiences. Under the big top, they worked as time-fillers, tension-relievers between dangerous acts and as distracters who kept the audience from watching scene changes. They made it possible for the audience to enjoy the show.


     To view illustrations, click on:

Many still perform the same duties today, though their status level has risen considerably. In the old days clowns were very (more…)


March 5, 2008

ALEXANDRIA, D. C. (Virginia) IN THE 1790s

Thomas Jefferson returned to the United States in March, 1790. The French Ambassador was welcomed at Wise’s Tavern (201 North Fairfax Street), Alexandria. In Mayor William Hunter’s welcoming remarks he stated: “As a commercial town, we feel ourselves particularly indebted to you for the indulgences which your enlightened representations to the Court of France have secured to our trade. You have freed commerce from its shackles…”

Jefferson replied: “Accept my sincere thanks for yourself and the worthy citizens of Alexandria, for their (more…)

March 2, 2008


Lizzy Borden took an ax,
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

I’m sure this childhood rhyme is familiar to you. The difference between us is that you weren’t talking about someone who shares your ancestry. Lizzie and I share common roots: both of us descend from Rebecca and Thomas Cornell, albeit our lines separated prior to 1700 (I only discovered this paternal thread of connection in January 2003!).

That’s why the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast in Fall River, Mass., was placed on my list of non-negotiable plans (more…)

March 1, 2008


The cheers rising from inside Washington Prison Yard walls were soon followed by yells of pleasure from the multitudes of people gathered beyond the prison walls. The overflow crowd covered the city’s vacant lots and housetops, as well as on the hills for miles around. Half the city’s population was present.

It was mid-morning, January 9, 1793. The shops were closed, no trades were made and no business was being undertaken. Starting at sunrise, cannons discharged incessantly. An atmosphere of celebration and anticipation surrounded the city of Philadelphia.

Shortly after ten the crowd’s excitement peaked, (more…)

February 16, 2008


If I read my notation correctly, the item about global warming caught my attention on November 12, 2001. It read: Sea level has risen 12-20 inches along Maine’s coast…during the past 250 years, a researcher said. It’s the biggest rise in the past millennium and global warming is to blame, Roland Gehrels of the University of Plymouth in England said.  This little ditty was published in the Across the USA column in the USA Today.

Although I normally try to evaluate the different arguments surrounding the issue of  “global warming,” that wasn’t what caught my attention as I read this item.

I’m writing a historic romance novel set on Frenchman Bay, Maine. Through my readings on global warming I was aware of, but had no concrete data on, increasing sea levels. Even so, I’d wondered what effect the increase would have on my novel, which has numerous scenes on Lamoine Beach, (to read the rest of this story, click on (link to come…)

February 15, 2008

A 1786 MEETING IN VERMONT (Novel #1)

The blog category, NOVEL SEGMENTS, will present information and scenes being developed for a historic romance novel to be written in three sections. Numerous actual romances intertwine throughout the segments. One romance replicates Tennyson’s poem, Enoch Arden.

The writing is historical in that it follows real people (more…)

February 13, 2008


by Carolyn C. Holland

It’s “a one-man show. One has complete freedom of expression, including, if one chooses, the freedom to be scurrilous, abusive and seditious; or, on the other hand, to be more detailed, serious and ‘high-brow’ than is ever possible in a newspaper or most kinds of periodicals. At the same time, since (it’s) always short and unbound, it can be produced much more quickly than a book, and in principle, at any rate, can reach a bigger public. Above all, (it) does not have to follow any prescribed pattern. It can be in prose or in verse, it can consist largely of maps or statistics or quotations, it can take the form of a story, a fable, a letter, an essay, a dialogue, or a piece of ‘reportage.’ All that is required of it is that it shall be topical, polemical, and short.”

This quote aptly describes a communication know as a blog, but it was written in The British Pamphleteer by George Orwell, and refers to pamphleteering in the 1700s. (more…)

February 5, 2008


Filed under: 1790'S BACKGROUND,HISTORY — carolyncholland @ 3:19 am

Winter and the holiday season are around the very close corner. Below is information on bayberry candles, used for Christmas and for light.

In the process of writing a historic romance novel, I keep finding material that is unfamiliar, such as the “plant that yields ready-made candles.” Hopefully you will enjoy the fruit of my research as much as I did, and perhaps you will even want to make some of your own candles this year.

A plant that yields ready-made candles? To me it sounds too good to be true. (more…)

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