Monday, February 21, 2011

Nachtsturm Castle by Emily Snyder: A Book Review

Nachtsturm Castle: A Gothic Austen NovelNachtsturm Castle: A Gothic Austen Novel by Emily C.A. Snyder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was a delight!

I have recently found my way to Jane Austen sequels and recently reread Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I fell in love with Henry Tilney and Catherine Moreland and I was curious if there were any sequels available. Northanger Abbey sequels are few and in-between it appears and Pride and Prejudice sequels seem to rule the day. When I found Emily Snyder’s sequel to Northanger Abbey it was much anticipation that I immediately purchased it and eagerly awaited its arrival on my door step. Once it was here I could not put it down.

Miss Snyder maintains the spirit and tongue-and-cheek-parody of Jane Austen’s original Northanger Abbey. Austen originally wrote Northanger Abbey as a parody of the popular gothic novels of Ann Radcliffe. The romp the Miss Snyder takes us on in her sequel is a true delight. I found myself laughing out loud on many occasions.

In Nachtstürm Castle it seems Henry and Catherine have not had the opportunity to go on a honeymoon and so as a present to his bride Henry takes Catherine on a tour of the places that Radcliffe spoke of in her novels. Henry Tilney loves to tease is wife and I’ll admit a scene in the opening sequence made me wonder if this book was going to be ridiculous. However, that scene and what it represents was carried throughout the book and by the end I realized that the gothic genre is ridiculous. I admit to having read Radcliffe myself and I can attest to the ridiculousness of her novels on occasion. Besides, Austen was trying to create a parody which Miss Snyder has continued beautifully.

Catherine Moreland is still a doe eyed, naive young woman. She is finally given the chance to act the part of a Gothic heroine when she and Henry are invited to stay at the mysterious Nachtstürm Castle which is situated Austria. She gets a mysterious castle, hidden passageways, strange happenings and most importantly an aloof, ghost like, servant who wants nothing more than for the intruders to leave the castle. Catherine in her innocence cannot resist the mystery and finds herself in some scrapes.

Henry is not immune to the gothic adventures at all. He is drawn into the mystery and perhaps my favorite part was the dramatic rescue towards the end of the novel. There was something so amusing and sexy about Henry Tilney riding a horse in true gothic fashion in order to rescue his bride. True to form Henry found amusement in social situations and even in Catherine’s naive sensibilities.

Miss Snyder has written a great addition to Austen sequels and a wonderful sequel to Northanger Abbey. I almost enjoyed her sequel to Northanger Abbey better than the original. Almost. The only bad thing I have to say about this book is that it ended.

View all my reviews

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Writing and the 'Steamy Romance Factor': Part 1

I call myself an amateur writer because I do it for the sheer joy of creating, leading and ultimately finishing a story. I am not a professional, nor am I published. Publishing has always seemed the unknown frontier and ultimately I am a coward in that I don’t want to attempt the feat. At least at the moment I am undecided.

Lady Grace MacKenna

What do I write you may ask? Well if the title of this blog is any clue then you know I write Jane Austen fan fiction. I have been known to dabble in poetry as well, but writing stories has always been a passion. The story I am writing and working hard on at the moment is Saving Grace. If you follow me on twitter you have probably seen strange tweets mentioning Colonel Fitzwilliam or actual arguments between Colonel Fitzwilliam and me. My story is about Colonel Fitzwilliam and a heroine of my creation, Lady Grace MacKenna. Colonel Fitzwilliam has returned from the Napoleonic Wars and has much to address in his adjustment to “normal” society. My heroine, Lady Grace MacKenna is a flaming Irish spitfire who is dealing with the backlash of a brief association with George Wickham, whom she believed herself in love with. Colonel Fitzwilliam and Lady Grace have a meet cute one evening and it explodes from there.

Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam

My story is a work in progress, but the response I have received has been encouraging. My writing is far from perfect (remember I am an amateur) and I know it will need a lot of work once I have completed my story, but it has been generally well received. Now, to the plot of this blog post which is probably what you have all been waiting for.

I recently asked a friend to look over what I had written so far. They are a published author and I respect them immensely. Two suggestions from my friend stuck out: a) historical details and b) heat up the romance.

The first, historical details, I try to research and be as historically accurate in my work as possible, but I also know I have failed on many occasions in that respect so far. I know when I go back and revise everything I will pay more attention to correcting those flaws.

The second, heat up the romance, which I have titled the ‘steamy romance factor’, seemed to be what I focused on most. I had thought I had been doing a respectable job of creating romance. So, I decided to ask those who read and review my story what they thought when I posted this last chapter recently. The response was overwhelming and passionate to the core. In fact it set off an explosion, if you will, of responses. They all carried a similar note:

‘Don’t turn this into a bodice ripper’,

‘Romance should be slow’,

‘This story is already steamy is a beautiful way don’t ruin it’

And my favorite ‘steamy makes it sound x-rated...’

In other words, my readers thought as I did, that romance is a portrayal of a complex relationship which to be long lasting takes time to build. Romance can be beautiful without making it raunchy. Do not misunderstand me, I have read my share or raunchy bodice rippers, but in my story it has no place. It is not necessary to the plot line. I am not knocking the use of sex in novels or even Jane Austen fan fiction because it is sometimes necessary to the plot. From this affair and the response of my readers I have come to understand that my friend and I have a very different view of romance and how it should be written. If that makes me a prude then I own it with honor.


The Author

P.S. Would love to hear what other opinions that are out there in regards to the ‘steamy romance factor’. You don’t need to have read my story to have an opinion. What do you think of this? What do authors think of this? Does sex have a place in Jane Austen fan fiction? I would love to hear from you. So comment way. :)  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tweeting through Persuasion......

Last evening I watched the 2007 version of Persuasion, staring Sally Hawkins (Anne Elliot) and Rupert Pery-Jones (Cpt Frederick Wentworth). I tweeted throughout the movie and have printed the tweets below. Enjoy!

About to start the viewing of Persuasion (2007).

Opening of Persuasion (2007) camera movement a reflection of Anne Elliot's turmoil.

Anne learns Cpt Wentworth is coming to visit. Poor girl!

The Musgrove's have arrived.

Oh, lawd it's Mary.....the faux invalid.

A picture of her mother and letters (love letters from Cpt Wentworth perhaps?) and then leaving behind her home. Such a gripping scene.

"I think very differently now that I was persuaded to do eight years ago."

Lady Russell tries too hard to look out for Anne.

Sir Elliot and Elizabeth are selfish brats.

Then her nephew falls from a tree and ever steady Anne is there to care. She has a big heart.

Standing in front of the mirror trying on a dress for Cpt Wentworth's arrival...heartbreaking

Anne is always passed over and yet volunteered for everything. How unfeeling these people are.

Cpt Wentworth arrives.

He sees her....she tries to hide. Oh, the LOOK! The passion

"Once there were no two hearts so we are strangers." Ouch

Awkward. Neither knows what to do at dinner with the Croft's.

Cpt. Wentworth doesn't know what to do with Anne. Trying to pretend he does not love her. Fool!

Frederick Wentworth you unfeeling jerk. Trying to cut Anne like she has no feelings.

Moonlight Sonata....great choice for Anne's feelings

Love Cpt Wentworth watching her play.

Geez Mary shut your mouth. She is so immature.

Anne is about to fall. A reflection of her she is teetering on edge. Damn you Wentworth

Of course, he goes to make sure she is alright so Wentworth you sort of redeem yourself.

That's right Wentworth, Anne has had other suitors. Charles Musgrove could have been her husband.

She's walking like a wounded animal. Of course, she just overheard Louisa and Wentworth

Wentworth you know you enjoyed lifting Anne into the Croft's carriage. You do still care. Sly devil.

Here come the visit to Lyme. The catalyst is approaching like a storm.

Cpt Wentworth on a horse riding behind the carriage. Such a sexy scene.

Discussion between Anne and Cpt Benwick about his lost love....very poignant

We love longest when our love is gone, that is what Anne believes

"He is young and time is a great healer."

Ah, the cousin Mr. Elliot Arrives. I don't think Wentworth likes the way he eyes Anne.

Mr. Elliot you are a bad man.

Wentworth is staring down Mr. Elliot and he doesn't even know it. If Wentworth had a sword he's run you through Elliot. HA!

That is not Wentworth's happy look. Mr. Elliot better watch out.

Here is comes! Louisa falls.

Anne displays her calm under pressure yet again.

Yes, Wentworth you still love her. Don't deny it!

Wentworth deserves a little torture for trying to stick it to Anne by flirting with Louisa.

"Do you think this is a good plan?" Proof that Wentworth still cares for her opinion.

Lady Russell the worst word to mention Anne. Wentworth turns cold again and rides on his horse back to Lyme.

Sigh, Anne left again. On to Bath she goes.

Sir Walter and Elizabeth living in luxury still. You fools will never get out of debt. Geez, money grubbing brats.

Elizabeth Elliot is about to wet herself talking about Mr. Elliot. Is she a tramp?

Yes, Elizabeth is drooling at the mouth over their cousin Mr. Elliot. If she could rip her bodice I think she would. Tramp in training?

Cpt Harville just dropped the bomb. Paying all that attention to Louisa has got people thinking you will marry her Wentworth. You FOOL!!!!!!

Listen to Harville, Wentworth. Get your butt out of Lyme under false pretenses or you will be saddled with Louisa. YOU WANT ANNE!

Great now Anne thinks Wentworth and Louisa are engaged. Hold you head high darling Anne

Lady Russell stop trying to persuade Anne. I know you are just trying to guide her like a mother, but really stop it.

Mr. Elliot you are worse than the slime on a snake. Stop trying to cozy up to Anne.

Elizabeth is pissed that Mr. Elliot kissed Anne's hand. Don't worry honey Anne is not interested.

Louisa improves. She is engaged, but to whom? Anne thinks Wentworth.

Anne cries in pain and heartbreak. Wentworth if you hadn't flirted with Louisa just to stick it to Anne.

Anne has a backbone. Money is not everything to her. That's right Sir Walter she is going to meet Mrs. Smith. Anne has a HEART.

Nurse Roge has all the gossip for Mrs. Smith. Hehe. You want the juice go to the servants.

Wentworth wet along the sea wall. He realizes he still loves Anne. "She is perfection itself. I will never love any but her."

Cpt. Harville tell Wentworth the Cpt Benwick has proposed and was accepted by Louisa Musgrove.

"Then I am free," Wentworth cries in jubilation. Manly hug with Cpt Harville.

Lady Russell trying to persuade Anne to marry her cousin Mr. Elliot. That meddling woman.

Anne considers Mr. Elliot briefly since it would give her her home.

Anne learns from the Croft's that Cpt. Benwick is to marry Louisa, not Wentworth. She is all astonishment and yet relieved I believe

Wentworth is in Bath. Oh my.

Wentworth comes in out of the rain to see Anne. Sigh, those looks. The closing of distance.

Wentworth has to point out that Louisa is to marry Cpt. Benwick. Haha. Had to work it in didn't you Wentworth.

Damn, Mr. Elliot you had to ruin their passionate look moment. DRAT!

Awkward. Mr. Elliot think' he won and Wentworth would punch him if he could.

Wentworth came for you Anne. She can barely contain her joy.

Yes, Wentworth is acting cold cuz he thinks’ Anne is attached to Mr. Elliot. "Are you staying in Bath long?" "That depends." tense moment

Rumors of Anne and Mr. Elliot....don't fall for gossip Wentworth. You idiot. That's right Anne run after him. STOP him!

"There is nothing here worth me staying for." Ouch damn it Wentworth!

Oh, Mr. Elliot you slimy fool. Oh, well make a fool of yourself. She's going to just say no.

Anne would like you to go away now Mr. Elliot. She don't want you!

Wentworth comes to speak to Anne on behalf of the Croft's in regards to the house they rent. Trying to act cold and unfeeling. Sigh. is all Wentworth can do to get out what the Croft's asked him to say. All he wants’ to do is kiss Anne or run like heck.

"He is utterly misinformed!" The shock on Wentworth's face at finding out Anne is not engaged to Mr. Elliot is priceless

Great...Lady Russell interrupts. That meddling woman

Mrs. Smith tells the truth of Mr. Elliot. Anne goes off after Wentworth. That's it girl. Land your man!

The famous letter penned by Wentworth is approaching. I melt every time at its contents.

Letter delivered to Anne.....and

"Miss Elliot, I can no bear this no longer."

"I have loved none but you. For you alone brought me to Bath. For you I think and plan."

"A word or a look.....tell me I am not too late."

Anne is on the run through Bath.

She is out of breath. Wentworth and Anne staring at each other. Charles they don't even know you are there anymore. Go away.

"Cpt I am in receipt of your proposal and I am of mind to accept it."

"Are you quite certain?"

"I am determined. I will. And nothing will persuade me otherwise."

The slow lean in to the long awaited kiss. Perfection!

They are finally happy. Wentworth also gives her her home back. That is love.

Wentworth you sly dog you. Passionate love at its best. Wentworth and Anne at long last.

Monday, February 14, 2011

LoveStoned A Jane Austen Photo Montage


Emma (1996)

Emma (2009)

Mansfield Park (2007)
Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Sense and Sensibility (2008)

Northanger Abbey (2007)

Northanger Abbey (2007)

Sense and Sensibility (2008)

Persuasion (2007)

Persuasion (1995)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

" thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved..." Romantic Love Letters in History

Ludwig van Beethoven writes to his Immortal Beloved. The three letters below were found after Beethoven's death and there was much speculation as to whom he wrote. Research into the identity of the woman whom he wrote to seems to point to a woman by the name of Antonie Brentano.

The First Letter

July 6, in the morning

My angel, my all, my very self - Only a few words today and at that with pencil (with yours) - Not till tomorrow will my lodgings be definitely determined upon - what a useless waste of time - Why this deep sorrow when necessity speaks - can our love endure except through sacrifices, through not demanding everything from one another; can you change the fact that you are not wholly mine, I not wholly thine - Oh God, look out into the beauties of nature and comfort your heart with that which must be - Love demands everything and that very justly - thus it is to me with you, and to your with me. But you forget so easily that I must live for me and for you; if we were wholly united you would feel the pain of it as little as I - My journey was a fearful one; I did not reach here until 4 o'clock yesterday morning. Lacking horses the post-coach chose another route, but what an awful one; at the stage before the last I was warned not to travel at night; I was made fearful of a forest, but that only made me the more eager - and I was wrong. The coach must needs break down on the wretched road, a bottomless mud road. Without such postilions as I had with me I should have remained stuck in the road. Esterhazy, traveling the usual road here, had the same fate with eight horses that I had with four - Yet I got some pleasure out of it, as I always do when I successfully overcome difficulties - Now a quick change to things internal from things external. We shall surely see each other soon; moreover, today I cannot share with you the thoughts I have had during these last few days touching my own life - If our hearts were always close together, I would have none of these. My heart is full of so many things to say to you - ah - there are moments when I feel that speech amounts to nothing at all - Cheer up - remain my true, my only treasure, my all as I am yours. The gods must send us the rest, what for us must and shall be -

Your faithful LUDWIG

The Second Letter

Evening, Monday, July 6

Antonie Brentano
You are suffering, my dearest creature - only now have I learned that letters must be posted very early in the morning on Mondays to Thursdays - the only days on which the mail-coach goes from here to K. - You are suffering - Ah, wherever I am, there you are also - I will arrange it with you and me that I can live with you. What a life!!! thus!!! without you - pursued by the goodness of mankind hither and thither - which I as little want to deserve as I deserve it - Humility of man towards man - it pains me - and when I consider myself in relation to the universe, what am I and what is He - whom we call the greatest - and yet - herein lies the divine in man - I weep when I reflect that you will probably not receive the first report from me until Saturday - Much as you love me - I love you more - But do not ever conceal yourself from me - good night - As I am taking the baths I must go to bed - Oh God - so near! so far! Is not our love truly a heavenly structure, and also as firm as the vault of heaven?

The Third Letter

Good morning, on July 7

Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then joyfully, then sadly, waiting to learn whether or not fate will hear us - I can live only wholly with you or not at all - Yes, I am resolved to wander so long away from you until I can fly to your arms and say that I am really at home with you, and can send my soul enwrapped in you into the land of spirits - Yes, unhappily it must be so - You will be the more contained since you know my fidelity to you. No one else can ever possess my heart - never - never - Oh God, why must one be parted from one whom one so loves. And yet my life in V is now a wretched life - Your love makes me at once the happiest and the unhappiest of men - At my age I need a steady, quiet life - can that be so in our connection? My angel, I have just been told that the mailcoach goes every day - therefore I must close at once so that you may receive the letter at once - Be calm, only by a calm consideration of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together - Be calm - love me - today - yesterday - what tearful longings for you - you - you - my life - my all - farewell. Oh continue to love me - never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved.

ever thine

ever mine

ever ours

LoveStoned Jane Austen Style

Valentine's Day is tomorrow. In honor here are some video tributes to love Jane Austen style.  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"The morning is the only proper time for me to write to a beautiful Girl whom I love so much.." Romantic Love Letters in History

Letter from John Keats to Fanny Brawne

Postmark: Newport, July 3, 1819

Shanklin, Isle of Wight, Thursday

John Keats
My dearest Lady — I am glad I had not an opportunity of sending off a Letter which I wrote for you on Tuesday night—'twas too much like one out of Rousseau's Heloise. I am more reasonable this morning. The morning is the only proper time for me to write to a beautiful Girl whom I love so much: for at night, when the lonely day has closed, and the lonely, silent, unmusical Chamber is waiting to receive me as into a Sepulchre, then believe me my passion gets entirely the sway, then I would not have you see those Rhapsodies which I once thought it impossible I should ever give way to, and which I have often laughed at in another, for fear you should [think me] either too unhappy or perhaps a little mad.

I am now at a very pleasant Cottage window, looking onto a beautiful hilly country, with a glimpse of the sea; the morning is very fine. I do not know how elastic my spirit might be, what pleasure I might have in living here and breathing and wandering as free as a stag about this beautiful Coast if the remembrance of you did not weigh so upon me I have never known any unalloy'd Happiness for many days together: the death or sickness of some one has always spoilt my hours—and now when none such troubles oppress me, it is you must confess very hard that another sort of pain should haunt me.

Fanny Brawne

Ask yourself my love whether you are not very cruel to have so entrammelled me, so destroyed my freedom. Will you confess this in the Letter you must write immediately, and do all you can to console me in it—make it rich as a draught of poppies to intoxicate me—write the softest words and kiss them that I may at least touch my lips where yours have been. For myself I know not how to express my devotion to so fair a form: I want a brighter word than bright, a fairer word than fair. I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days—three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain. But however selfish I may feel, I am sure I could never act selfishly: as I told you a day or two before I left Hampstead, I will never return to London if my Fate does not turn up Pam or at least a Court-card. Though I could centre my Happiness in you, I cannot expect to engross your heart so entirely—indeed if I thought you felt as much for me as I do for you at this moment I do not think I could restrain myself from seeing you again tomorrow for the delight of one embrace.

But no—I must live upon hope and Chance. In case of the worst that can happen, I shall still love you—but what hatred shall I have for another!

Some lines I read the other day are continually ringing a peal in my ears:

To see those eyes I prize above mine own
Dart favors on another—
And those sweet lips (yielding immortal nectar)
Be gently press'd by any but myself—
Think, think Francesca, what a cursed thing
It were beyond expression!


 Do write immediately. There is no Post from this Place, so you must address Post Office, Newport, Isle of Wight. I know before night I shall curse myself for having sent you so cold a Letter; yet it is better to do it as much in my senses as possible. Be as kind as the distance will permit to your

John Keats

Present my Compliments to your mother, my love to Margaret and best remembrances to your Brother—if you please so.

"...for they set my blood on fire." Romantic Love Letters in History

Napoleon Bonaparte may have caused havoc during the Napoleonic Wars, but he was passionatly in love with his wife Josephine de Beauharnais. This letter was written just before their marriage.

Paris, December 1795

I wake filled with thoughts of you. Your portrait and the intoxicating evening which we spent yesterday have left my senses in turmoil. Sweet, incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you have on my heart! Are you angry? Do I see you looking sad? Are you worried?... My soul aches with sorrow, and there can be no rest for you lover; but is there still more in store for me when, yielding to the profound feelings which overwhelm me, I draw from your lips, from your heart a love which consumes me with fire? Ah! it was last night that I fully realized how false an image of you your portrait gives!

You are leaving at noon; I shall see you in three hours.

Until then, mio dolce amor, a thousand kisses; but give me none in return, for they set my blood on fire.


"I have loved none but you." Romantic Love Letters in History.

"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in

F. W.

Friday, February 11, 2011

"..should I draw you the picture of my heart..." Romantic Love Letters in History

In honor of Valentine's Day I will be posting excerpts of love letters throughout history for the next couple of days. Letters will be from both real and fictional people. Jane Austen wrote some of the most romantic novels, with some very romantic love letters that I thought that it might be fun to look at other romantic love letters. Let the romance begin!

My Dearest Friend,

...should I draw you the picture of my heart it would be what I hope you would still love though it contained nothing new. The early possession you obtained there, and the absolute power you have obtained over it, leaves not the smallest space unoccupied.

I look back to the early days of our acquaintance and friendship as to the days of love and innocence, and, with an indescribable pleasure, I have seen near a score of years roll over our heads with an affection heightened and improved by time, nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my heart.

23 Dec 1782 Love letter from Abigail Adams to her husband John Adams.

If one reads other letters between Abigail and John one will notice that they use pen names. It was custom back them. Abigail used Diana, the Roman goddess of the moon and later in life she used Portia. However, Abigail always began her letters to her husband with My Dearest Friend. John used the pen name Lysander, a Spartan war hero.

The love between Abigail and John is still talked about today in the United State as one of the greatest American love stories.

Do you think this romantic? Do you have a favorite love letter?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jane Austen Twitter Project

I am participating in the Jane Austen Twitter Project which officially kicked off today. Follow the hashtag #A4T. We will tweet every Tuesday until May 3rd.

It is still not too late to sign up for the Jane Austen Twitter Project.

Remember, one can never have too much Jane Austen.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

18th Century Attitudes Toward PTSD

Those of you following my story, Saving Grace, already know that our dear, Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam, has returned from the Napoleonic Wars with what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but back in Regency England they would not have had the name or medical understanding that we have today. It was not until World War I that we termed the condition ‘shell shock.’

Research on the condition of PTSD in the 18th century has meant significant digging and well piecing together bits and pieces of information. Let’s say my research is ongoing. However, I can share with you background information on the Colonel’s condition.

PTSD comes in different forms and Colonel Fitzwilliam experiences a combination of different types of PTSD. The main type of PTSD he experiences is called re-experiencing. He relives his experiences through recollections, dreams or acting as if the event is still going on. In one scene in my story a sound in a loud, crowded ballroom triggers a re-experience of events for Colonel Fitzwilliam.

PTSD is not limited to just re-experiencing though. There are many pieces to the puzzle. There are the attempts to numb or avoid the topic of what he experiences. Colonel Fitzwilliam does this with copious amounts of alcohol. There could be outbursts or anger or they may have difficulty in social situations. There are many aspects of PTSD and a whole paper could be written on them.

The 19th Century Victorians called the condition Railway Spine. This was a result of the appearance of the railroads and in turn railroad accidents. The symptoms of railway spine were associated with “hysterical” physical symptoms where individuals complained of bodily complaints, but who had not actual bodily injuries. I have yet to find evidence to support this theory, but it is conceivable that if you exhibited these symptoms you may land yourself in the mental ward, which back then would probably have been more terrifying than the actual PTSD.

However, we are in the 18th century. The Napoleonic Wars were long and drawn out and it is not inconceivable that soldiers did not return with PTSD. They just would have had a different name for it. In regards to the Royal Navy they were believed to just be melancholy. War and its consequences (death, disease etc) were so commonplace during the 18th century that those who had symptoms of PTSD were called cowards. The name’s they had for PTSD were ‘cerebro-spinal shock’ or ‘wind contusions’. The condition was treated with skepticism which had to be difficult for a soldier who had no physical wounds.

That is a brief background of 18th century attitudes to the condition of PTSD. It is also a very brief explanation of how PTSD affects Colonel Fitzwilliam. I do not claim to be an expert, but wanted to provide my readers some background to understand Colonel Fitzwilliam. I try to treat the Colonel’s PTSD with the utmost sensitivity as even today there is a stigma attached to soldiers who have PTSD. It is not a fun experience I would image, but very real.

Well, I am off to work more on Saving Grace. :) Colonel Fitzwilliam has been very difficult lately in regards to achieving happiness. Sigh, these men in uniform are so domineering.

Austen Inspired Book Releases today: