Little Birds

This novel, set in 1858 in New Mexico Territory, serves as a bridge between the Wilderness series of novels and the first two novels of the Waverly Place series.

Backstory: 1845

Callie Ballentyne is a young girl when her life is upended and she must leave the only home she knows.… Read more.

Artistic Dress Movement

A Private View at the Royal Academy, 1881

This painting is the work of  William Powell Frith, and was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1883. It depicts a group of distinguished Victorians visiting the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1881, just after the death of the Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.… Read more.

Eugenics***

 Excerpted from Eugenics and Public Health in American History
 Martin S. Pernick, PhD
American Journal of Public Health 
Nov 1997 87:11
… Many eugenicists regarded disease as nature’s way of weeding out the unfit[1. Today, terms such as unfit or defective are pejorative and offensive.
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Charles Loring Brace

Brace was the founder of the Orphan Train movement, which grew out of his many years of working to improve the lives of homeless and destitute children. He plays only an indirect role in The Gilded Hour and Where the Light Enters.Read more.

Malthusianism

A social theory discussed in the novel in connection with the purpose of the [[orphan trains]]. Text from Wikipedia, citations and some links intact.

 

Malthusianism is a school of ideas derived from the political/economic thought of the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, as laid out in his 1798 writings, An Essay on the Principle of Population, which describes how unchecked population growth is exponential while the growth of the food supply was expected to be arithmetical.… Read more.

Corsets

Construction

cort ad royal worcester

From the Met Museum:

The torso atop the bustle also reflected increasing technological innovation in the construction of foundation garments. With the increased reliance on steel boning and ever more complex pieced construction, the corset became capable of delivering an armored underpinning to conform the body to an hourglass silhouette.… Read more.

Dress Reform

Rational Dress

Victorian dress reform was an objective of the rational dress movement of the middle and late Victorian era, comprising various reformers who proposed, designed, and wore clothing considered more practical and comfortable than the fashions of the time.

Dress reformists were largely middle class women involved in the first wave of feminism in the United States and in Britain, from the 1850s through the 1890s.… Read more.

Vanderbilt Family Residences

William Henry “Billy” Vanderbilt (1821-1885) was an American businessman, the eldest son and heir of Cornelius Vanderbilt. When W. H.  Vanderbilt died in 1885, his will provided some insight into the confusion of mansions along Fifth Avenue. His  “heirs-at-law and next of kin” were

  • Marie Louise Vanderbilt, the widow, living at
  • No.
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Prostitution

Prostitutes were active all over New York city,  “While three and four story row houses and boarding houses proliferated, a sometimes confusing array of baudy houses appeared. In fact, the distinctions between public brothels, parlor houses, houses of assignation, furnished room houses, and panel houses were often unclear.… Read more.