Thursday, July 3, 2008
In 1987 I had the opportunity to spend a week in Philadelphia on a tour run by the travel company I was working for. We stayed at a hotel right in the historic district, within walking distance of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Continental Congress met to decide whether America would be part of the United Kingdom or a free nation. We also took day trips to Valley Forge and the little town of Washington Crossing where, you guessed it, Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware to attack the Hessians in Trenton.
I've always been a history buff and it didn't take long for me to fall in love with Philadelphia's historic areas. I loved the stately Georgian architecture of Independence Hall and the tiny but delightful Elfreth's Alley where you can visit the house where Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag.
At the time I was just starting to think about writing, and the trip to Philly had spawned an idea for a historical romance set during the Revolution. The trip gave me a chance to visit the places my novel would take place and to pick up research material along the way. Alas, that book, Divided Loyalties, would never see the light of day, but I did manage to salvage one character, Sally Young, Rebel spy, for Seducing The Enemy, one of my Lyndi Lamont erotic short stories.
I still like the idea of a romance set during the Revolution, but it has been a long while since that time period was popular. My theory is that the US has been going through a conservative period in our history, and stories set in the Revolution are somehow politically incorrect. Don't let anyone kid you. Our Founding Fathers were revolutionaries, with radical ideas for their time. "All men are created equal..." Say what? In a century where monarchy was the norm, Jefferson's ideas were radical indeed.
So, in between the barbeques and fireworks, I hope you'll give some thought to our Founding Fathers and the birthplace of liberty.
Happy Fourth of July!
Note: Stock photos from "Art Explosiong 300,000 Premium Image Collection" on CD.