19 June, 2019

Victoria to Vikings – The Circle of Blood by Trisha Hughes @TrishaHughes_

Victoria to Vikings – The Circle of Blood

At the heart of our present are the stories of our past. In ages gone by, many monarchs died while they were still young. There were battles and diseases and many were simply overthrown. But the days of regal engagement in hand-to-hand combat are over and the line of succession has a good aging prospect these days.

One of the most famous monarchs in history is Queen Victoria and her passing brought an end to an amazing era. She could be demanding, rude and she frequently fled public duties for the solitude of Scotland. But she loved fiercely, and her people loved her fiercely in return. Under her reign, England achieved greatness it had never known before.

‘VICTORIA TO VIKINGS – The Circle of Blood’ spans from this great queen to another one: Queen Elizabeth II. Ours is the era of the longest living monarch in history and her ancestry is incredible. But walking two steps behind her, stalwart and loyal, stands Prince Philip, the strawberry to her champagne, and with him comes his own amazing Viking heritage.

Purchase Links: 
UK  - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Victoria-Vikings-Circle-Trisha-Hughes-ebook/dp/B07S8353J1 

US - https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Vikings-Circle-Trisha-Hughes-ebook/dp/B07S8353J1 
Queen Victoria 1887.jpg

       The 1800s and 1900s were magical eras when Britain was undeniably the world’s most powerful nation on the planet. It was a time of great reforms: technology, engineering, entertainment, medicine, sport and above all, sanitation. Britain was in a state of industrial euphoria and her people were absolutely besotted with mechanical gadgets.
It was also a time of a different sort of brilliance. Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charlotte Bronte and her sisters virtually blossomed in this atmosphere, as did the theatre, and Britain saw a series of fourteen comic operas by Gilbert and Sullivan being performed. People were enjoying the sound of a brass band while strolling through parklands and they were being entertained by one of the many travelling circuses dominating the kingdom. Gentlemen were visiting dining clubs and the gambling establishments, called casinos, and they were becoming wildly popular.
To get a better idea of Victorian times, let’s take a walk around London. Imagine an overcast day with the promise of rain to come but you’ve decided to brave the elements anyway. Water puddles in dark alleys and the drains have overflowed from the previous night’s downpour and the filthy water is coursing down the middle of the cobbled streets. People are bundled up warmly as they hurry along in their scruffy hats and cloaks, scurrying either to work or their homes before the inclement weather arrives. Huddled under dripping eaves away from the fluttering pigeons who trickle white streaks on everything below, you would perhaps glance at the line of hideous slums stretched out ahead of you where you know thirty or more people of all ages inhabit a single room.
Most days a heavy blanket of smoke hangs over the city and the pollution gets in your eyes. The stonework of every building is blackened by it. You wrinkle your nose as a breeze brings the smell of noxious fumes from parts of the city where tanning is taking place and you know that the smell will only intensify as the day progresses unless the sky opens up and washes way the smog, the tanning stench and the smell of aromatic horse dung lying in piles in the street.
But there’s a reason you’re out and about today. Very soon the streets will fill, not just by permanent residents who contribute to the overcrowding feeling, but by thousands of people who are also on their way to town. You see, today is a special day. Today is one of the eight hanging days a year and you would not want to miss this social occasion. On these public holidays, the condemned are driven through the streets from Newgate prison in a wagon, taking pause for alcoholic refreshment along the way, and you would have already pushed your way to the front to get a closer view.
As usual, today’s hanging will not be the final moment in the program. You would be looking forward to the scuffle afterwards between the various surgeons who vie for the smorgasbord of limbs for research after the Hangman takes the criminal’s clothes as a perk. You make a silent wish that a crone or two climbs up the gibbet as well in quest of a gruesome but prized token – a hand from one of the victims. This ‘Hand of Glory’ gives the owner a certain amount of power and is always up for grabs (excuse the pun). It is so crowded, smelly and noisy you will barely be able to hear yourself think.
The turn of the 18th century was a time of unparalleled growth when the poor of England flocked to London in search of streets paved with gold only to find that the streets were paved with mud and there was no work to be had. London’s population was around 600,000 and it was a grand, anonymous city. There were none of the social constraints of a village where everybody knew everybody’s business. And there were none of the financial safeguards either with a parish that would support its native poor or family and friends who might have looked after you at home. The famine in Ireland continued and the Irish were blaming the British government since Britain was the only ones benefiting from any new policies while Ireland continued to suffer. This ticking time bomb had far-reaching consequences.
You could probably put the population increase down to the new sanitation reforms where thousands of miles of street sewers were built to try and clean up the dirty, overflowing gutters full of human feaces and waste. It’s easy to see how diseases of all sorts popped up. You didn’t have to nimbly sidestep slops being thrown out the windows anymore. Soap was also fast becoming a main product in the relatively new phenomenon of advertising. With the new sewage works in full swing, the quality of drinking water improved as well and in this healthier environment, diseases were less frequent and did not spread as easily as they once had.   Inoculation against smallpox had been invented, Britain was aware of how rabies was transmitted and syphilis had become curable by penicillin benefiting the sex trade workers. Chloroform had also been invented so you didn’t have to be tied down anymore to have a tooth removed. Britain was feeling pretty confident compared to the state of other countries in Europe.
As he’d promised, William IV had stubbornly hung on to life until his niece, Victoria, turned 18 years old on 24th May 1837 but then had promptly waved his white flag at 71 years of age and left her to it, with only one scant month up his sleeve. On that day, an emotional, obstinate, straight-talking, and rather spoilt, young woman became the Queen of United Kingdom and despite the shaky beginning, she triumphed.
Author Bio –  
I am an Australian author born in Brisbane, Queensland now living in Hong Kong.
My writing career began 18 years ago with my best-selling autobiography ‘Daughters of Nazareth’ published by Pan MacMillan Australia.  Over the past 8 years, I have been researching and writing a historical fiction trilogy based on British Monarchy throughout the ages beginning with the Vikings. Originally meant to be a single book, as facts accumulated the material gradually filled three books. I call this series my V2V trilogy.  
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Twitter:      @TrishaHughes_ 
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