One hundred years ago, during the final days of the First World War, a microscopic menace attacked humanity on a global scale: the Spanish Influenza. The conditions of the war (overcrowding and global troop movements) hastened the rapid spread of this disease. Because of the lack of reliable healthcare and sanitary practices in the public-at-large, this disease quickly escalated into a public health crisis.
Posts Tagged With: historical fiction
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.
Earl to the Rescue tells the tale of 18-year old Gwendeline Gregory, whose parents have recently died. The book opens with Gwendeline’s childhood home being sold to pay creditors. She has packed her meager belongings and is planning for an uncertain future.