The Romans brought to Britain new foods and a different approach to health from the continent. They excelled in public health, demonstrated by their gymnasiums and public baths. Public hospitals were established and attended by public doctors who treated the poor, although most people were treated at home by friends or relatives. Still, medical knowledge of how the body worked and how disease spread, was still primitive.
Prevention was placed in the hands of individuals through personal hygiene. Think about your characters. Did they attend the public baths, or were they affluent enough to have luxurious bathing at home? How might their everyday, personal actions show their personality or add authenticity to your story?
My research for Bayou Fire renewed my fondness for traditional jazz. Today’s By Special Request artist is one of New Orleans’ finest players; Trombone Shorty has been a pro since he was a kid. I’m looking forward to seeing him again in August.
The Paris June Rebellion started 190 years ago today, led by a group of students from the Sorbonne. The next day it was over. Had author Victor Hugo not been caught behind the barricades, we might never have known about it; it was the inspiration for Les Misérables.
Please enjoy this snippet from my own work, which was inspired by Hugo’s novel.
“A toast to fallen comrades, my friends. General Lamarque has gone to his reward.”
Grantaire drains Bahorel’s glass and smacks his lips in satisfaction as he returns it to his dismayed companion.
“What do you know of the funeral plans?” Combeferre inquires. “Surely there will be a procession, with catafalque and all.”
“Indeed,” Feuilly joins in. “The people of Paris will want to pay their respects.”
“We must find out.” Enjolras speaks with authority. “For we may well use this somber occasion to make a change for the better, all over France.”
Grantaire sees the familiar light in his friend’s eye and shakes his head.
“Innkeeper,” he calls out genially. “More of your wine, and good meat pies, for all. Plotting has ever been hungry work.”
With that, he throws some coins on the table. The innkeeper’s daughter snatches them up when she brings the requested items, barely acknowledging Grantaire as she slaps greasy trays on tables.
And so it is that the night wears on, in discussion of weapons, gunpowder and treason. Revolution has ever been thus.
Want your own copy of Two Days in June? Here are the cover copy and purchase links:
Fighting in the streets.
It’s June 1832, and Paris is once again at war. The students of the Sorbonne rise up against those in power, believing that right and the people are on their side.
But King Louis-Philippe has other plans.
Read Two Days in June, the latest edition of Pocketful of Stories, and enter the world of Les Misérables.
Just 99 cents USD (or equivalent) at these fine booksellers:
The man was aged between 35 and 40 when he was killed in the violent eruption of Vesuvius in AD79. Comparisons of his DNA with genetic codes obtained from 1,030 ancient humans, as well as 471 modern western Eurasian individuals, suggested his DNA shared the most similarities with modern individuals from central Italy and those who lived during the ancient Roman period. Analysis of his mitochondrial and Y chromosome DNA also identified groups of genes commonly found in Sardinia, but not among those who lived in Italy during the empire, suggesting there may have been high levels of genetic diversity across the Italian peninsula at that time.
Billowing ash from Mount Vesuvius dimmed the sky above Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 C.E., then buried the cities for nearly 17 centuries. While history this ancient often requires leaps of imagination, the tragic past remains eerily vivid here. Take a transporting walk through the cities, which are about a 20-minute drive apart, to see brilliant frescoes, visit the site of an ancient brothel, see the petrified bodies, and pay your respects in the Temple of Apollo.