Category Archives: legends

St. Agnes Eve, a Plot Point in “A Dance with Mr. Darcy” + Excerpt

A major turning point in my latest Austen-inspired vagary, A Dance with Mr. Darcy, comes when Lydia convinces Elizabeth to join in the St  Agnes Eve festivities.  But who was St Agnes? And why would we still celebrate her? Meredith Ringel … Continue reading

Posted in book excerpts, book release, books, customs and tradiitons, eBooks, historical fiction, history, Jane Austen, legends, legends and myths, medieval, Pride and Prejudice, publishing, research, Scotland, Vagary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Craigievar Castle, the Inspiration for Walt Disney’s Trademark Castle and a Ghostly Experience

  Are you still looking for the ghosts and goblins of Halloween? Permit me to introduce you to Craigievar Castle in Scotland, where you might hear ‘Red’ Sir John tell of ancient feuds between the clans and the murder of … Continue reading

Posted in architecture, British history, buildings and structures, history, legends, medieval, paranormal, real life tales, Scotland, spooky tales, suspense | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Gretna Green: Secret Engagements, Elopements and the World’s Most Famous Anvil, a Guest Post from Eliza Shearer

(This post originally appeared on the Austen Authors’ blog on December 1, 2017. Enjoy!)                   After many years in my “to visit” list, I finally had the chance to make it to … Continue reading

Posted in British history, buildings and structures, Church of England, customs and tradiitons, Georgian England, Georgian Era, Great Britain, Gretna Green, Guest Post, history, Jane Austen, legends, Living in the Regency, marriage, marriage customs, marriage licenses, Pride and Prejudice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Gretna Green: Secret Engagements, Elopements and the World’s Most Famous Anvil, a Guest Post from Eliza Shearer

William Strickland, the Man Who Introduced Turkeys to England

Tomorrow in the U.S., we will be all about the turkey and fixings and football and preparing for Black Friday sales, but in the U.K., turkeys are a more traditional dish for Christmas. Why might you ask? We can blame … Continue reading

Posted in British history, buildings and structures, Christmas, Church of England, customs and tradiitons, England, history, holidays, kings and queens, legends, Living in the UK, real life tales, religion, Thanksgiving | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Headless Horseman and the House of Dun

 We have all heard of the Headless Horseman. Surely, you know something of the tale written by Washington Irving in 1820: “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” However, did you realize that the Headless Horseman had been a much used motif … Continue reading

Posted in British history, castles, Georgian Era, legends, legends and myths, Scotland, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hanging a Monkey as a French Spy During the Napoleonic Wars

What do you know of the Hartlepool Monkey and the “Monkey Hangers”? I certainly knew nothing of the tale until I stumbled across it. Legend says that a shipwrecked monkey was hanged as a French spy during the Napoleonic Wars … Continue reading

Posted in ballads, British history, Georgian England, history, legends, Living in the Regency, Napoleonic Wars | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

17th Century Witch Hunter, Matthew Hopkins

 Matthew Hopkins was born in Wenham Magna, Suffolk, England. He was a Folk Figure, becoming England’s notorious “Witchfinder General,” active during the English Civil War. He was said to have exploited the fear and unrest of the times for his … Continue reading

Posted in British history, Church of England, gothic and paranormal, legends, medieval, mystery | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Did Richard II “Invent” the Handkerchief?

Okay, I will admit up front the history of Richard II’s reign is NOT my area of expertise, and so I do NOT mean this piece as a “history” lesson. Rather it is meant to be an interesting historical “tidbit.” … Continue reading

Posted in British history, fashion, history, legends, medieval | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Did Richard II “Invent” the Handkerchief?

On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at, Yorkshire Unofficial Anthem

The traditional English folk song, ‘On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at,’comes from the County of Yorkshire, and it is written in Yorkshire dialect. In The Yorkshire Dictionary (Arnold Kellett, 2002) says the dialect used in the song is representative of the area … Continue reading

Posted in ballads, British history, customs and tradiitons, Great Britain, history, legends, music | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Celebrating the ReRelease of Vampire Darcy’s Desire, Mixing Austen with Vampiric Legends

Next Monday, I will celebrate the rerelease of my vampiric version of Pride and Prejudice, Vampire Darcy’s Desire, which I wrote in 2010. The Ulysses Press version is now out of print, and while I wait to reclaim my rights to … Continue reading

Posted in British history, dueling, estates, George Wickham, Georgian Era, gothic and paranormal, Great Britain, historical fiction, Jane Austen, legends, legends and myths, Living in the Regency, medieval, mystery, Pride and Prejudice, real life tales, Regency era, romance, Scotland, suspense, Ulysses Press, vampires, Victorian era, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments