It is Week 12 in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge. This week’s writing prompt, Popular, was a tough one. Maybe it’s because the concept is so foreign to me personally that I had difficulty finding a “popular” ancestor in my tree. I did, however, identify several unpopular ones, including my 21st great-grandfather, Edmund of Woodstock. As you will read, Edmund was not particularly well-liked by his contemporaries.
Posts Tagged With: English history
If you had the opportunity to improve your life and all you had to do was pretend to be someone else, would you do it? The book, Finding Lady Enderly, written by Joanna Davidson Politano, asks this question of both the heroine and readers.
As a genealogist, I know that everyone has a tale to tell. While most of these stories are of everyday people living ordinary lives, occasionally an extraordinary tale is uncovered. Such is the case with The Secret Letter, written by Debbie Rix, a historical fiction novel inspired by her parents’ wartime experiences.
In April 1816, the largest slave revolt in Barbadian history, Bussa’s Rebellion, took place. It was the first of three significant rebellions that eroded public support of slavery, thereby resulting in its abolition in 1834, when more than 80,000 British Empire slaves were emancipated.
After emancipation, labor contracts provided freed slaves with the opportunity to work as indentured servants. Unfortunately, these labor contracts had 12-year terms, as well as ridiculously low wages. Some former slaves were forced to work 45-hour weeks without pay in exchange for sparse accommodations. Also, indentured servants in Barbados were barred from receiving an education.
So, although emancipated, many of these freed slaves were still not free. It wasn’t until 1838, with the passage of the Masters and Servant Act (a.k.a. the Contract Law), that discrimination against people of color was prohibited, and these former enslaved were finally free.
In between Shakespeare and statistical analyses, Austen and annual reports, I indulge in historical romances. I especially relish reads whose heroines are spirited, steely-spined, softhearted survivors. And when it comes to strong women, author Mary Jo Putney always delivers.