A Columbus Day Potpourri

It is Columbus Day, a federal holiday here, but one lots of employers trade for the day after Thanksgiving.

Did you know that Christopher Columbus asked King Henry VII of England for the money to fund his search for a shorter route to the Far East? King Henry said no.

He also was the first to bring cocoa beans to Europe, only he didn’t really appreciate this finding.
After he robbed the cargo of a Mayan trader, he made this comment:
“They seemed to hold these almonds (the cocoa beans) at a great price; for when they were brought on board ship together with their goods, I observed that when any of these almonds fell, they all stooped to pick it up, as if an eye had fallen”

We, of course, understand that extreme need for chocolate.

Take this Christopher Columbus multiple choice quiz
My favorite:
Why were his crew extremely nervous?
A. Columbus had a drinking problem so he was a bit odd at times
(Did I tell you this quiz was intended for children?)

But Columbus has not much to do with the Regency…

So, I thought you might be interested in the legalities that formed the basis of Scandalizing the Ton. These came from Nancy Mayer of the Beau Monde Chapter of RWA, who helped with this part of the story.

It has to do with a posthumous child, the unborn child of a deceased earl, in this case.

The title and inheritance cannot pass until ten months after the father’s death so that, should the man be married, his wife has time to produce the baby. If this baby is a boy he will inherit.

The wife was not allowed to say whether or not she had intercourse; the paternity of the child could only be contested if it could be proved the wife had not been in proximity of her husband. In Scandalizing the Ton, I had to be sure that Lydia’s deceased husband had been with her within a month of her encounter with Adrian. (The time sequence of Scandalizing was another thing that took some careful thinking)

Here’s a real kicker. If a widow marries again and bears a child within the ten months, she can decide whose child it is; that is, she can say it is her deceased husband’s child or her new husband’s child. The child is the legal child of whichever husband she selects.

Of course, this is not true today, but there weren’t any paternity tests in the Regency.

And speaking of Scandalizing the Ton (do I talk about anything else these days?), our sometimes commenter here, the lovely Mallory Pickerloy, went on a search for Scandalizing the Ton at her local Wallmart and she took photos.

Here’s the display of Harlequin Historicals

And here is a photo of a whole shelf. Can you see Scandalizing the Ton in there? (this is a little like Where’s Waldo?)

Here’s the photo of the whole book department there, which is a large one.

Thank you, Mallory! I am very tickled that you took the photos!!

Any other Scandalizing the Ton sightings?

Thanks to everyone who visited me yesterday. I’ll announce a winner a little later today.

(I’m also blogging about sprucing up your Golden Heart entry at Wet Noodle Posse today)

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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