Tuesday, July 30, 2013

40 for 40 - Pamela Hartshorne

Pam Hartshorne 2012
Way back when, before the Association of Mills & Boon authors existed. Before the RNA Conferences, I knew very few - hardly  any - other romantic fiction writers. So I was delighted when my then editor introduced me to another author she worked with - Jessica Hart. As a result, Jessica invited me to lunch and to spend the afternoon at her home in York.

It was memorable.  Wonderful food, a fabulous setting in the glorious ancient city,  friendly cats - and hours of fascinating and stimulating conversation about books and writing - and more about writing.
Since then, Jessica has written a total of 60 novels, had her romances nominated for the RITA - and recently, as Pamela Hartshorne, has turned  to a whole new type of romance writing with her brilliant time-slip novel - Love's Echo, which was also shortlisted in this year's RITA awards.

One lucky commenter can win a copy of this great, just by answering Pamela's question below. You'll be in for a great read.

Welcome  Pamela/Jessica!

I like to think of myself as an armchair bride. I’ve never been married myself but that doesn’t mean I don’t love a wedding as much as anyone else. As a reader, I love it when a romance ends with a wedding, and whenever I can, I like to include a wedding scene to round off the romances I write as Jessica Hart. So when it came to writing my time slip novel, Time’s Echo, which is set partly in the present and partly in Elizabethan York, I thought it would be a great opportunity to write about a Tudor wedding for a change. There are lots of things we would recognise about an Elizabethan wedding, of course. A wedding has always been a cause for celebration, and then, as now, the bride was the centre of attention. Guests were invited to witness the ceremony and for those who could afford it, a feast with dancing followed the marriage, just as often happens today.     Other rituals are less familiar. For a bride like Hawise, marrying a wealthy York merchant, the day began with her chosen maids getting up early to gather flowers and strew them along the way to the church. There were no ‘meringues’ or special bridal gowns in those days, of course, but Hawise wears a new blue wool gown with silver buttons that Ned has given her, and posies of rosemary are pinned to the hair that falls loose down her back. Rosemary signified fidelity; a bride’s maids wore it tied to their left arms with ribbons and they would put it under their pillows that night and dream of their future husbands.Rosemary Before the bridal party set out from the house, guests were presented with gifts of scented gloves, and accompanied by musicians they escorted the bride to the church in a cheerful procession behind the bride-cup, which was decorated with ribbons and more rosemary, and held aloft so that everyone could see. The marriage ceremony itself took place in the church porch, rather than in front of the altar as today, but the exchange of vows was much the same, and the placing of the ring on the third finger of the left hand, which was supposed to be the most closely connected to the heart. After the ceremony, the whole party moved inside the church for a nuptial mass, but rather than waiting for the reception, everyone could tuck into spiced wine and cakes in the church itself. No waiting around for endless photographs! Instead of confetti, the couple were showered with wheat as they left the church as tokens of fertility, and with carriages still a rare luxury, most couples would then walk to the bridal feast accompanied by their guests.

TE coverThe details might be different, but in essence an Elizabethan wedding was the same as a wedding today: two people making a lifelong commitment to each other in front of witnesses, just as Kate and the Babe Magnet did 40 years ago. Was marriage harder then than it is now? It’s hard to know, but one thing is for sure: 40 years of marriage is a wonderful achievement at any time, so congratulations to you both, Kate!

If you’d like to read about Hawise’s wedding in Time’s Echo, I have a copy to give away to a winner selected at random from any comments today. Time’s Echo is the story of Grace, who comes to York to sort out her dead godmother’s affairs and finds herself drawn into the life of Hawise, who lived in the city over 400 years earlier.  

If you could travel through time and be a guest at a wedding, real or fictional, whose wedding would you most like to witness?

Time’s Echo is published by Pan Macmillan and also available as an e-book Website: http://www.pamelahartshorne.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PamelaHartshorneAuthor  


Sally said...

I don't want to go back too far in time but I would have loved to have been at my maternal grandparents' wedding held in 1929 I would have been able to meet my great-grandparents on both sides and great aunts and uncles as well.

My grandparents only had one day off in the week, Sunday, so they got married at 8.00 a.m. on Sunday 4th August 1929.

Urdu Novels said...

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traveler said...

Nostalgia has a strong influence upon my feelings and I would love to attend the wedding at Downton Abbey since the era is fascinating, the people larger than life and the beauty and pomp wonderful.

Pamela Hartshorne said...

Yes, it would be so interesting to meet one's ancestors, wouldn't it? I hadn't thought of that, Sally, but now you say it think it would be really intriguing. I think I'd pick my maternal great-grandparents who got married in Australia in 1888, having emigrated from Cornwall. Lots of stories about them, but I've only seen pictures from when they were old. Would love to have seen them when young.

Traveler, I can certainly see the appeal of a Downton Abbey wedding too - such wonderful frocks!

petite said...

A wedding that would be memorable and unforgettable that I would love to witness would take place in Italy in one of the hilltop towns that have a view that goes on forever. The setting makes this special as does the ultimate reception with delectable delights.

Pamela Hartshorne said...

A wedding with a view - how lovely! I'd like to be a guest there too, especially with all that Italian food ...

Mary Preston said...

I have always found Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to be most fascinating. Such a deep abiding love. To be there at the beginning of their lives together would have been joyous and momentous.

Pamela Hartshorne said...

It must have been a spectacular wedding too, Mary. Were they married in Westminster Abbey? Am woefully ignorant about Victorian history, but imagine royal weddings are always big on show.

bn100 said...

Darcy and Elizabeth

Jo's Daughter said...

I would love to go to Jackie Kennedy's wedding. She always looked fab & I imagine her at her best on her wedding day...


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