Heroines of the Past, Victorian

February 9, 2009; Published by Amy Puetz; P.O. Box 429; Wright, WY 82732

Amy’s Corner

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Welcome to the wonderful Victorian era! This was such a fascinating time period and I have some wonderful stories lined up for you. First there is an article about Queen Victoria after whom this era is named, next is a story about Florence Nightingale, and last is a historical fiction story about factory life. There are also several new activities that I’ve added while still trying to keep the length the same. As promised I am going to share with you the results from the survey I did in December.

92% of my readers are homeschool moms
71% wanted to see the e-zine remain the same length
23% wanted to see the e-zine be longer

Below are the answers to some of the questions.
What would you enjoy seeing in Heroines of the Past e-zine?
True stories 87%
Activities 65%
More stories about American history heroines 60%
Historical fiction 59%
Recipes 57%
More stories about World history heroines 54%
Bible Study 47%
Sewing activities 44%
Book & Movie Reviews 27%
Would you be interested in a membership site revolving around Heroines of the Past?
Yes 33%
No 49%
Other 18%
What kind of e-books would you be interested in buying?
A Bible Study about different virtues 63%
More e-books in the Heroines of the Past series 46%
More Countdown books 31%

This year I’m going to try and add more activities to Heroines of the Past e-zine. You will notice a few extras in this edition. I think I’ve talked long enough--now on with the show. Enjoy!

Your affectionate friend,
Amy Puetz

Heroines of the Past
P.O. Box 429
Wright, WY 82732

Queen Victoria (1819 -1901)
By Edith Horton, 1914

Queen Victoria
"Her court was pure; her life serene;
God gave her peace; her land reposed;
A thousand claims to reverence closed
In her as Mother, Wife and Queen."
Alfred Tennyson

On May 24, 1819, a little girl was born in Kensington Palace, London, who received the name of Victoria. Her father, Edward, the Duke of Kent, was the fourth son of King George III.

At the time of Victoria’s birth it seemed unlikely that she would ever become queen. Between her and the crown stood three uncles and her father. But when, in January, 1820, within a few days of each other her father and the King died, it began to be seen that Victoria would in all probability become the future ruler of England. In consequence, her education was conducted with the greatest care. Her mother, the Duchess of Kent, devoted herself to the child and made every effort to develop in her all that was good and noble. Victoria lived a quiet and natural life in the open air, having for instructor a tutor who was a clergyman of the Church of England. When lessons were over, the little Princess used to go out into Kensington Gardens, where she rode a donkey gaily decked with blue ribbons. Here she also walked, and would kiss her hand to the children who sometimes gathered about and looked through the railing to see a real Princess.

Victoria was very fond of dolls. She had one hundred and thirty-two, which she kept in a house of their own. She herself made their clothes, and the neatness of her needlework surprised all who saw it. The Princess grew up a merry, affectionate, simple hearted child, thoughtful for the comfort of others, and extremely truthful.

Victoria’s baptismal name was Alexandra Victoria. She preferred to be called by the latter name, but to the English people "Victoria" had a foreign sound and was not very popular. It remained for the Queen to make it illustrious and beloved.

By the death of George IV in 1830, William, Duke of Clarence, came to the throne. As he had no children who might succeed to the throne, Victoria became the direct heir. King William was a good natured, undignified sort of man, often ridiculous in his public actions. He encouraged Victoria to take part in public ceremonies, and if there was a hall to be dedicated, or a bridge to be opened, or a statue unveiled, the little Princess was called upon quite often to act for the King at the ceremony.

William reigned only seven years, expiring one morning in June, 1837, at Saint James’s Palace in London.

When a king or queen dies, it is the custom for persons of high rank to go immediately and salute the new king or queen.

As soon as William, therefore, had drawn his last breath, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Chamberlain went straight to Kensington Palace to notify Victoria that she had succeeded to the throne. It was five o’clock in the morning, and as she had just arisen from bed, she received them in her dressing robe. Her first words to the Archbishop were, "I beg your Grace to pray for me." There is a pretty picture of this scene in the Tate Gallery in London, representing the two old men on their knees before a young girl of eighteen years, kissing her hands.

And so, at the age of eighteen, Victoria became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and the Empire beyond the seas. Though not beautiful, the young Queen was self-possessed, modest and dignified. Everyone bore testimony to the dignity and grace of her actions at this time.

Victoria selected as her Prime Minister Lord Melbourne, to whom she was much attached, and who was her trusted adviser for many years. Just eight days after the first anniversary of her accession to the throne, Victoria was crowned in Westminster Abbey, sitting in the chair where so many English monarchs have received their crowns. The coronation was of great splendor. The sun shone brightly as the procession left Buckingham Palace and her Majesty was greeted all along the route with enthusiastic cheers.

When the Queen entered the Abbey, "with eight ladies all in white floating about her like a silvery cloud, she paused as if for breath and clasped her hands." When she knelt to receive the crown, with the sun shining on her fair young head, the beauty and solemnity of the scene impressed every one. The Duchess of Kent, Victoria’s mother, was affected to tears. The ceremonies in the Abbey lasted five hours and the Queen looked pale and weary as she drove to the Palace wearing her crown.

Carlyle, who was among the spectators, said: "Poor little Queen! She is at an age when a girl can hardly be trusted to choose a bonnet for herself. Yet a task is laid upon her from which an archangel might shrink."

Many important matters had to be decided by the young Queen, and sometimes serious troubles grew out of her inexperience. However, being sensible and wise beyond her years, her decisions were for the most part just, and with time she became more and more tactful and better able to cope with the difficulties of governing so great a nation.

A matter of great interest to the public was Victoria’s marriage. There were many princes willing and anxious to marry the young Queen of England, but Victoria had a mind and will of her own. She remembered with interest her handsome cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who had visited England two years before, while she was still a Princess. The Duchess of Kent had been fond of this nephew, whose tastes were refined and whose habits were good. Victoria herself remembered him with affection.

Queen Victoria Another visit was arranged by King Leopold, and this time Victoria’s interest grew into love. One day she summoned the Prince to her room and offered him her hand in marriage. It must have been a trying thing for her to do, but of course a mere Prince could not propose to the Queen of England. Prince Albert was overjoyed, for he loved Victoria.

The Queen announced her engagement to Parliament, and on February 10, 1840, she was married in the Chapel Royal of Saint James’s Palace. She wore a white satin gown trimmed with orange blossoms and a veil of Honiton lace costing one thousand pounds, which had been ordered to encourage the lace makers of Devonshire. Guns were fired, bells rung, and flags waved, when the ceremony was completed.

After the wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace, Victoria and Albert drove to Windsor Castle, past twenty-two miles of spectators, who shouted and cheered the youthful pair. There was great rejoicing, and dinners were given to thousands of poor people throughout the Kingdom. After three days spent at Windsor, the Queen and the Prince Consort, as Albert was called, returned to London and began their busy life for the state.

Victoria found a wise adviser in her young husband. He was about her own age, and like her, had a sincere desire always to do the right thing. For a while he was not liked in England, owing to his foreign birth, but before long he gained the affections of that exacting people. The married life of Victoria and Albert was one of unusual happiness and beauty, lasting for twenty years, until 1861. The Prince, in dying, left a family of nine children. The eldest became the Empress of Germany, and the second was the late King Edward.

The death of the Prince Consort made a great change in the life of the Queen. She became very reserved in her widowhood, and her withdrawal from public life lasted a long time, to the displeasure of the English people. She wore mourning for many years, and was averse to presiding over ceremonious Court functions.

Although impetuous and willful, Victoria was yet quite willing to be advised by older and wiser persons, and the great men of England very soon learned to respect her character and give heed to her wishes. As a Queen, she really reigned; which means that she was the true head and controller of public affairs. Naturally, she could not do it all herself, but she had the fortunate gift of knowing how to choose her helpers. No reign of any English monarch can be reckoned so great as that of Victoria. It was full of great events, which would require several volumes to recite.

In 1849 she paid a visit to Ireland; in 1851 the first great World’s Exposition was held in London. In 1853 there was a war with Russia, and in 1857 the Indian Mutiny occurred. Years later, in 1876, Victoria was formally proclaimed Empress of India. This was accomplished by means of the clever management of Lord Beaconsfield, her Prime Minister, who was a Jew named Disraeli, and a very great statesman.

She encouraged artists and literary men. She made Alfred Tennyson the Poet Laureate of England. Some of his most beautiful lines were addressed to her and the Prince Consort. The Duke of Wellington, victor at Waterloo, where Napoleon was defeated, was her trusted friend and adviser.

England, in Victoria’s reign, made great strides in wealth, art, science, and population. Great men clustered around this wonderful little woman and helped make her rule a glorious one. In 1887, when she had been queen for fifty years, England gave herself a great jubilee which was attended by all the great princes and representatives of kings in the world.

Queen Victoria was fond of music, was an excellent singer, and spoke many languages. When in London she lived at Buckingham Palace, going at times to Windsor Castle, and occasionally to Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where she would throw off the cares of state and live simply as an English gentlewoman. She had another pleasant home on the Isle of Wight, called Osborne House, where she had her last illness.

Victoria died on January 22, 1901, in her eighty-second year. Her reign was the longest in English history, being nearly sixty-four years. It was exceeded in Europe only by Louis XIV of France, who reigned seventy-one years.

The English people mourned Victoria sincerely and deeply. She had added greatly to the extent and glory of her country. She had been a great and wise ruler. She had commanded the respect of every one at home and abroad, and while she did not talk much, her life proved that a woman can rule as well and wisely as a man. Her private life, as mother, wife, and sovereign, has been a noble example. At her own request, Queen Victoria’s funeral was a military one, her body being placed in the mausoleum built for Prince Albert at Frogmore.

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)
By Josephine L. Forsaith, 1893

This good woman was born in Florence, Italy--hence her name. The world knows her as being the first Englishwoman to go as a nurse among sick and wounded soldiers. This was during the Crimean War. But let us see what kind of a little girl she was, for this will prophesy what kind of a woman she became. Her father was a rich English gentleman. There was in his garden a long walk with trees on either side, the homes of many squirrels. When Florence came down this walk, dropping nuts, the squirrels would run down the trunks of the trees, all around her, picking up the nuts, then frisk away with their little bushy tails curled over their backs, and sit on the branches, their little black eyes snapping and winking as if thanking the little Florence. There was an old gray pony, past work, named Peggy, living in a grassy field, with nothing to do all day but to amuse herself. Whenever Florence came to the gate, Peggy would come trotting along, put her nose into the dress pocket of her little mistress, and pick out the apple or roll of cake or candy that Peggy knew would always be there. Florence was delighted to frequently take rides on horseback, with an old gentleman, a friend of her father. He would stop at the farm cottages. As he had studied medicine, he could tell the people what would do them good when ill or meeting with an accident. Little Florence always took a small basket, fastened to her saddle, filled with nice things, which she had saved from her own dinner, or that her mother had sent.

There lived in one of the cottages a shepherd named Roger, who had a favorite sheep dog named Cap, a very sensible fellow, who could do everything but talk. Cap kept the sheep in good order, thus saving his master much trouble. One day, as Florence and her old friend were riding past Roger’s field, they found him trying to feed the sheep, but no Cap was there. The sheep, knowing it, were scampering about in all directions. Florence asked, "Where is Cap?" Roger said, "O, Cap will never be of any more use to me; I’ll have to hang the poor fellow as soon as I go home tonight." "Hang him!" said Florence. "Oh! Roger, how wicked of you. What has dear old Cap done?" "Nothing, nothing," replied Roger. "But one of the mischievous schoolboys threw a stone at him yesterday and broke one of his legs." The old shepherd’s eyes filled with tears.

Florence and her friend rode on, soon reaching the shepherd’s cottage. Opening the door, no one was there, for Roger was an old bachelor, living alone. There lay the dog. Florence, stooping, patted him, saying: "Poor Cap. It is too bad." Cap wagged his tail, crept from under the table, and lay down at her feet. The old gentleman examined Cap’s leg, while the poor fellow moaned and whined with pain. "It’s only a very bad sprain-more painful than a break," said the old gentleman. "Cap will soon be over it. To ease the pain, plenty of hot water must be used." Immediately little Florence lighted the fire and put on the kettle of water. Finding a piece of red flannel and tearing it into pieces, she wrung them out of the hot water and laid them carefully on Cap’s swollen leg. Soon the dog felt better, and expressed his thanks by wagging his tail and placing his head in the little girl’s lap. Soon old Roger came slowly in with a piece of rope in his hand. "Oh, Roger," cried Florence," Cap’s leg is not broken; you do not have to hang him." "Well, I be right glad to hear it, and many thanks to you, me lady," said Roger. Florence continued her visits to Cap every day until he entirely recovered, and could go with his master to watch the sheep.

Florence’s father gave her a good education, especially in music. She became a tall, slight, most graceful lady, but very quiet and still. She gave up a life of fashion and so called pleasure, and went to a nurse training school in Germany, and to another in Paris. Returning to England, Miss Nightingale spent two years in a ladies’ invalid home. She was not obliged to do this for a living, but did it because she loved the work of making others happy. The Crimean War broke out. As many soldiers died from want of care in the hospitals as were killed in battle. Miss Nightingale, with thirty-four nurses, set sail for the seat of war. This loving woman, tall and slight in form, but with a large heart, who had from girlhood been studying God’s great and good laws of health, now had the opportunity of using her knowledge. Florence Nightingale became the heroine of the Crimean War. Two hospitals were placed under her care, containing, at times, four thousand men.

A soldier writes: "She became a ministering angel among the sick and wounded soldiers. As her slender form glided along each corridor, every poor fellow’s face softened at the sight of her. After all the medical officers have retired for the night, and silence and darkness settle down upon us, she may be seen, alone, with a little lamp in her hand. She speaks to one here and there, and nods and smiles to many more. She cannot to all, for we lie there by hundreds; but we kiss her shadow as it falls, and lay our weary heads on our pillows again, content."

Our own poet Longfellow wrote the charming poem, "The Lady with the Lamp."
Lo! In that house of misery
A lady with a lamp I see
Pass through the glimmering gloom,
And flit from room to room.

Then slow, as in a dream of bliss.
The speechless sufferer turns to kiss
Her shadow as it falls
Upon the darkening walls.

On England’s annals, through the long
Hereafter of her speech and song,
A light its rays shall cast
From portals of the past.

A lady with a lamp shall stand
In the great history of the land,
A noble type of good,
Heroic womanhood.

Florence Nightingale
The Florence Nightingale Pledge

"I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to elevate the standard of my profession and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping, and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care."

Mrs. Lystra Gretter wrote the Florence Nightingale Pledge in 1893 for the nurses of the Farrand Training School, Detroit. It was patterned after the Hippocractic Oath and was named after Miss Nightingale because of her contribution to the field of nursing.
Quote --"Nursing is an art; and if it is to be made an art, requires as exclusive a devotion, as hard a preparation, as any sculptor’s or painter’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or cold marble compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit?"
Florence Nightingale

Who Opened the Window? By Annalisa Perry
Lowell, Massachusetts- 1846


"Hurry up, Bethany! It’s almost five o’clock. We’ll be late!"

In the darkness, my nine-year-old sister struggled to pull on her boots.

"I’m coming!" she whispered, jumping to her feet. She followed me downstairs. The other girls had already left the boarding house. There was one brown roll left on the table. I gave it to Bethany.

"Is there any coffee, Mrs. Kitt?" I asked the plump lady who was washing dishes at the sink.

"You’ll eat with the other girls or not at all, Rebecca!" she snapped.

We slipped out into the dim street, already busy with people hurrying to work. Bethany dragged her feet along.

"What’s wrong, Bethany?" I asked.

"Do we have to go to work today?" she said.

"Of course we do! How else will we pay the rent?"

"I thought maybe, just this once, we could do something else."

I sighed. "If we don’t go to work, we’ll lose our job and someone else will take it."

Bethany looked up at me with big blue eyes. "Do you like working at the factory, Rebecca?"

"Well--" I couldn’t tell her the truth.

"Some of the girls are mean."

"Not the Irish ones," I said.

"Why are the others mean?"

I couldn’t explain it. An old church bell began ringing.

"It’s five o’clock now! We’ll have to run!"

I grabbed Bethany’s hand and pulled her down the road until we reached the big brick building. We hurried inside. Mr. Rutherford, the foreman, stood waiting with his record book in his hand.

"Late!" he yelled triumphantly, marking his book. The roar of the machines seemed to shake the whole building. Little bits of cotton and thread flew through the stifling air.

"Please, Mr. Rutherford, we tried to get here in time!"

"Lazy!" he bellowed. "You Irish are all the same! Get to your machines and don’t let it happen again."

"Yes, sir."

About half of the girls were Irish. My machine was between two Americans- Elizabeth and Kate. They were both 16, a year older than me. Elizabeth’s blond curls looked too perfect, as did her frilly blue dress. Kate was dressed in a simple cotton shift and strands of her red hair escaped from her bun every time she moved her head.

"Did you hear? Mr. Rutherford said there’s going to be another salary cut," Elizabeth loved to share news, especially bad news.

Kate looked horrified. "We only make three dollars a week! How can we live on less?"

"Those slummers can afford to live on less," Elizabeth looked significantly at me. "Mr. Rutherford doesn’t care if we leave. There’s plenty of Irish around to take our place."

Kate actually stopped working. "No one should get swindled into working for less."

"Bravo! You sound like one of those revolutionaries in the square. But what are you going to do about it?" Elizabeth challenged.

Kate’s eyes began to sparkle with excitement. "If we all work together, we can keep our salary!"


"A strike!"

Elizabeth snorted. "Huh! The Irish won’t cooperate!"

Kate turned to me. "How about a strike?"

I shook my head and concentrated on the threads in front of me.

"I told you!" said Elizabeth.

"Why not?" Kate asked.

"What if it doesn’t work? Others will take our jobs and then we’ll really be in trouble!"

Kate stared hard at me for a moment.

"We’ll see what the other girls think at lunch break," she said as she turned back to her work.

We had from 12:00 to 1:00 to do whatever we wanted. A meeting was called and the Irish and American girls gathered outside the factory. Kate yelled for quiet and said,

"Ol’ Rutherford is thinking about lowering our salary. Are we going to let him?"

"NO!" shout the American girls. The Irish girls are quiet.

"If no one comes to work, he’ll have to keep giving the same salary. What do you say?"

"Strike! Let’s strike!"

The Irish girls still said nothing. Mary, a friend of mine, spoke up.

"What does Rebecca say?"

Everyone looked at me. I cleared my throat.

"I don’t know if the strike will work or not. But why should we complain? At least we have a job. Without a job, you won’t be able to pay food or rent. I say we keep our jobs and ask Mr. Rutherford to reconsider."

The American girls laughed but the others nodded and agreed. Mary said, "I think Rebecca speaks for all of us."

The girls broke into little groups, whispering to each other. Kate strode over to me. Her eyes were angry but she tried to speak calmly.

"We need your help, Rebecca!"

"I’m sorry," I answered.

"You’re selfish. You’re only thinking about yourself and paying your precious rent. Why can’t you think about all the girls? We’re supposed to be a team. Why do they listen to you, anyway?"

"Because I looked after them when they arrived. I helped them find a place to stay and a job!"

"Friends are supposed to help each other!" Kate yelled.

"We’re aren’t friends!" I shouted back. "In six months, this is the first time you’ve noticed me. You don’t want to be friends with me. You want me to help you with a strike. So you and your friends can get paid more. I’m not interested!"

Kate opened her mouth and closed it. Her face got very red.

"Why did you come in the first place?" Elizabeth asked.

Something inside me snapped.

"I’ll tell you why we came here! In Ireland our potato crops failed. Every day people are starving. We couldn’t survive. Father wanted us to come to a place where we could eat. He stole some money so that Mother, Bethany and I could come to America." I swallowed and calmed down a little. "We tried to find work in Boston but no one wants Irish! People put up signs that said, ‘No Irish may apply.’ So we just lay around. Mother finally got a job cleaning houses. She had to give most of the money to our landlord so we could live in a slum. That was where Mother caught cholera. She died after two weeks. We couldn’t pay the rent anymore so the landlord turned us out."

Working at the mill.

"We would never act like that!" Elizabeth said.

"No! You just ignore us!" Mary said.

Looking embarrassed, Elizabeth hurried away. So did most of the girls. Kate caught my arm.

"We didn’t know, Rebecca."

I didn’t answer.

"I’m sorry we haven’t been very nice to you. Can you forgive us?"

I laughed. "It’s not that simple!" I looked around for Bethany, who was nowhere to be seen.

"Did you bring any lunch?" Kate asked.

I hadn’t had time to buy lunch.

"You and your sister can share with me," she offered.

"I don’t want charity. I want a friend!"

"I want to be your friend!" Kate cried.

"I don’t believe you!" I said. "You only want help with your strike!"

I marched away to look for Bethany. She was asleep under a nearby tree.

"Wake up, Bethany. It’s time to get back to work."

"What about lunch?" she asked.

The factory bell was ringing--1:00.

"We don’t have time."

We hurried back to the factory and to our waiting machines. The air seemed to shimmer with the heat. I could hardly breathe. The windows in the factory must always be kept shut so that the temperature will be right for thread production. Elizabeth didn’t complain about us Irish, for once. She chattered about the clothes she would buy if she could. Kate and I were quiet.

The day went on and on and my eyes began to get heavy. Suddenly a hand shook my shoulder.

"Look at your sister!" Kate cried. Bethany had collapsed next to her spinning machine.

I rushed over to her, not even bothering to stop my machine.

Bethany’s eyes were open but her face was a strange color. I couldn’t tell if she was breathing. The girls stopped working to look.

"She needs air!" I cried. Was I strong enough to drag her to the door? I wasn’t sure. At that moment a refreshing breeze blew through the factory. Kate had opened one of the forbidden windows! Someone handed me a cup of water and I splashed it on Bethany’s face.

"What’s going on here?" came the harsh voice of the foreman as he took in the situation.

No one spoke. Then came the question, "Who opened the window?"

We look at each other and the same thought seemed to flash through our heads. For that moment we were united. Not the Irish girls and the American girls but the Lowell girls. At the same moment, we spoke,

"I did!"

Mr. Rutherford glared around the room and we stared back at him. He looked beaten.

"My sister is sick. Can I take her home?" I asked.

"No one leaves work until seven o’clock!"


"If you don’t get to work this instant, you’ll all be fired! And get that window closed!"

He marched back to his desk.

Elizabeth closed the window. Kate helped me carry Bethany to a bench at the back.

"Are you going to be okay?" I asked her.

She nodded. "I just want to rest a few minutes." Her eyelids drooped.

"I can work her machine until she feels better," Mary said. Her machine is next to Bethany’s.

"Thanks," I said.

Kate and I looked at each other for a moment.

"Things are going to change around here," she promised.

"They already have," I said, looking around the room of busy girls.

"About the strike. . . " I continued.

Kate shook her head. "Let forget about the strike for a while."

"Friends help each other," I said. "Maybe we can figure out another way to keep our salary."

Kate gave me a big hug. We were going to be great friends, I could tell.

Historical Note:
In 1814, Francis Cabot Lowell built the first integrated textile mill in Waltham, Massachusetts, which transformed raw cotton into cotton cloth in one room. In less than 20 years, ten textile corporations had opened 32 mills and the town was named Lowell, Massachusetts. By 1840, the factories employed almost 8,000 workers. Employees worked from five am until seven pm, for an average of 73 hours per week. Each room usually had 80 women working at machines, with two male overseers managing the operation. The noise of the machines was deafening and, although the rooms were hot, windows were kept closed during the summer so that conditions for thread work remained optimal.

In 1845, the potato famine swept across Ireland. About 250,000 Irish immigrants moved to America every year. The Irish were met with difficulty on all sides. They were swindled by their landlords, given the worst kinds of jobs and treated with prejudice. The Irish immigrants who came to Lowell gradually took the place of the Lowell factory girls, being ready to work for lower wages. To write this story, I imagined what it would be like if the two nationalities put their differences aside and worked together.
© 2009 Annalisa Perry

You can learn more about the Lowell Mill Girls and the Irish Potato Famine by going to:

About the Author
Annalisa Perry lives in Georgia with her family. Besides doing school and helping around the house, she loves to read and write stories. She has always been fascinated by history and she appreciates this opportunity to publish historic fiction.



Mystery Woman Contest

Mystery Woman Contest
This authoress was born in 1816. She along with her two sisters Emily and Anne wrote novels that reflected their sad lives. Her father was a minister in Haworth, Yorkshire, England where she spent most of her life. In her most famous novel the main character is a governess at an estate called Thornfield where she falls in love with the owner, Mr. Rochester. Her pen name was Currer Bell. In 1855 she died. Who is she?

Participate and win a free copy of Heroines of the Past - Victorian 1870-1900 by Amy Puetz. In each issue of Heroines of the Past we will have a Mystery Woman Contest. A picture and description of a woman from the era covered will be included. To participate in the contest email your answer to Amy with Mystery Woman Contest in the subject line. All the entries will be put into a hat and a winner will be chosen. Each time the prize will be different. Entries must be entered by February 28th. The winner will be announced in the next Heroines of the Past e-zine.

If you don’t want to wait to see if you won, you can buy the book.
Heroines of the Past-Victorian 1870-1900
Unit study about little-known women in history
44 pages
Price $17.97

Let the Victorian Era come alive as you read the pages of this delightful e-book. It features:

  • Two articles about heroines of the past
    • Lucretia Garfield, the wife of President James A. Garfield
    • Fanny Crosby, the well-known hymn writer
  • Encouraging quotes
  • Fun facts
  • Instructions for making a Victorian Cape, Bonnet, and Muff
  • If you were a Lady During the Victorian era
  • A quiz about food of the Victorian era
  • A book review about Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
  • Four pages of recommended resources
  • Games from long ago
  • Examining historical art
  • Write a story from a Victorian picture
  • Four Heroines of the Past Collectable Cards
Buy Heroines of the Past-Victorian 1870-1900



Victorian Cooking

Jenny Lind Tea Cake
By Lydia Maria Gurney, 1913

3 Cups Flour
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1 Egg
2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 Teaspoon Soda

Stir salt, soda and cream of tartar into the dry flour. Beat the egg, add sugar and butter, stir into the flour and mix with enough milk to make batter as thick as a cake. Bake in a moderate oven. To be eaten hot with butter.

About this recipe: Jenny Lind was a singer from Sweden who lived from 1820-1887. Called the "Swedish Nightingale" she had a beautiful soprano voice. Her sweet personality made her a favorite with everyone who heard her sing. This Tea Cake is named after her.

Eggs a la Golden Rod
By Frances Emugene Owens, 1897

3 hard-boiled eggs
1 level tablespoon butter
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 shakes white pepper
1 level tablespoon flour
3 pieces toast

Remove yolks of eggs and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Melt butter in chafing dish, add the flour and blend smoothly, add milk, stir until creamy, add salt, pepper and whites of eggs chopped fine. Stir until heated through, then spread over toast and rub yolks through sieve over them. Serve at once.

Victorian Writers Quiz

Match the authoress with the book or poem that she wrote. Answers are below.
1) Louis May Alcott
2) Elizabeth Prentiss
3) Elizabeth Gaskell
4) E. Nesbit
5) Margaret Sidney
6) Frances Hodgson Burnett
7) Kate Douglas Wiggin
8) Lucy Maud Montgomery
9) Christina Rossetti
10) George Elliot
11) Harriet Beecher Stowe
12) Beatrix Potter
13) Johanna Spyri
14) Fanny Crosby
15) Mary Mapes Dodge
16) Sarah Josepha Hale

A) "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
B) Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates
C) Silas Marner
D) The Tale of Peter Rabbit
E) Heidi
F) A Little Princess
G) Anne of Green Gables
H) The Story of the Treasure Seekers
I) Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
J) Uncle Tom’s Cabin
K) A Pageant and Other Poems
L) A Blind Girl and Other Poems
M) Stepping Heavenward
N) Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
O) Little Women
P) Wives and Daughters

A Literary Club from The Woman’s Book, 1894

Have you ever thought about starting your own literary club? There are some good ideas in the following article for how one could be run. You could even use Heroines of the Past e-zine or e-books for literary discussions. -Amy

The general literary clubs divide themselves into two classes, in one of which written papers are prepared and Literary read by the members, while in the other they meet for informal discussion of some subject determined beforehand. In either case they should, if possible, consist of about forty members, as it is not safe to count on the attendance of more than two-thirds, and it is desirable to have women and girls who represent different phases of thought and experience, not forgetting a certain proportion of good listeners; for, after all, these clubs are more or less debating societies, and if everyone is anxious to talk, the meetings are likely to be somewhat unsatisfactory.

In some clubs, each woman presides in her own house, but as a rule it is better to have a permanent chairwoman, who is by far the most important member. She should be a woman in the uncertain maturity of "a certain age," and must be blessed with decision, good temper, and above all, tact. When twenty or thirty women are interested in a discussion, there is a natural tendency to split up into groups, with the result that much good talk may be lost to most of those present.

The chairwoman must be able to hold back the brilliant members who want to assert themselves too much, and draw out the timid ones, who may be well worth hearing; to guide the debate sometimes, and put an end to it at others; and all as if it were happening quite naturally and without any especial interference on her part.

In the more serious and ambitious clubs, the members in turn, or as many as will undertake the task, prepare written papers, which are read aloud, one at each meeting, and are followed by general discussion. A small committee should decide on the subjects of these papers some time beforehand, and it has been found more interesting to have them follow a certain line of thought during the season. For instance, before the club breaks up for the summer, if it only meets for half the year, the committee might choose the history of the Renaissance as the topic for the next series of papers, and one member may agree to read during her leisure in order to write an account of its development in France; another may treat of what it had been in England, and so on until the more important countries have all been dealt with in different essays. Short sketches of men or women who are not generally well known, but who have influenced history in various ways, are also appropriate, and if a certain limit of time and place is imposed, it will be found to give the series of papers a valuable relation one to another.

Answers to Victorian Writers Quiz
1-O, 2-M, 3-P, 4-H, 5-I, 6-F, 7-N, 8-G, 9-K, 10-C, 11-J, 12-D, 13-E, 14-L, 15-B, 16-A

Finish the Play
Florence Nightingale
Published from an Original By Jane Eayre Fryer in 1918

4 pages
Price $0.99
This short play has three scenes. Each scene has the beginning of the scene and then encourages the actresses and actors to finish the scene using their own imagination. Scene 1 is The Sick Doll and shares how young Florence would play nurse to her sick doll. In Scene 2--Good Old Cap--tells the story of how Florence nursed a sick dog. In the final scene--The Lady of the Lamp--Florence is a grown woman helping sick soldiers in the Crimean War. This is an excited little play with great possibilities for young actresses and actors.
Buy it here!
Copyright 2011 Amy Puetz, www.AmyPuetz.com