On this day: a Victorian School Opens

Harby_Primary_School_1895 The village school and pupils 1895 Leicestershire England Victorian Era Christian

Pupils of the school photographed in 1895.

The Church of England Primary School in the village of Harby in Leicestershire, England opened on the 25th of March, 1861.

Part of the National Society for Promoting Religious Education, an organisation formed to promote education in England and Wales before the government began to regulate the school system, the building was constructed in 1860. It had two classrooms, and living accommodations for the teacher.

Chasing Cassandra (Ravenels #6) by Lisa Kleypas

Chasing Cassandra (Ravenels #6) by Lisa Kleypas UK Aus Cover

Everything has a price . . .
Railway magnate Tom Severin is wealthy and powerful enough to satisfy any desire as soon as it arises. Anything – or anyone – is his for the asking. It should be simple to find the perfect wife – and from his first glimpse of Lady Cassandra Ravenel, he’s determined to have her. But the beautiful and quick-witted Cassandra is equally determined to marry for love – the one thing he can’t give.

Everything except her . . .
Severin is the most compelling and attractive man Cassandra has ever met, even if his heart is frozen. But she has no interest in living in the fast-paced world of a ruthless man who always plays to win.
When a newfound enemy nearly destroys Cassandra’s reputation, Severin seizes the opportunity he’s been waiting for. As always, he gets what he wants – or does he? There’s one lesson Tom Severin has yet to learn from his new bride:

Never underestimate a Ravenel.
The chase for Cassandra’s hand may be over. But the chase for her heart has only just begun . . .

Chasing Cassandra (Ravenels #6) by Lisa Kleypas

This book was my top recommended read in this piece I wrote for romance.com.au a few weeks ago.

I read Chasing Cassandra when is came out in March, and then read it again (and again). Lisa Kleypas is an author whose books I really love, and she also writes stories set in the Victorian era (my favourite, and also the era my books are set). I love her mix of humour and drama and history, and this was a lovely finish to the series.

Up until now I wasn’t sure how the pairing of Cassandra Ravenel and Tom Severin was ever going to work. Tom, in particular, was such a complicated character, one who is ruthlessly ambitious to the point he’d stab his friends in the back and not understand why that was a bad thing to do.

In the end these two ended up being some of my favourite characters in the series—and one of my favourite pairings. I like that Kleypas chose to not have them constantly locking horns. The way their relationship developed was a surprise—a good one.

And then there’s Bazzle the little street urchin Tom accidentally adopts, starting him off unnecessarily sweeping his office. He was one of the best things about the book!
This has been a fun series. In a time when there’s such a push for historically ambiguous historical romances, Kleypas manages to keep her books entertaining while also taking us to Victorian Britain.

On this day: Queen Victoria in London

Her_Majesty_Greeting_her_People,_Diamond_Jubilee_Pageant,_London,_England Queen Victoria riding a coach through a crowd of onlookers during her Diamond Jubilee procession. 22nd June 1897

Link to enlarge the image.

This photograph was taken in London on the 22nd of June, 1897. Queen Victoria, then aged seventy-eight, takes part in a procession in honour of her Diamond Jubilee – sixty years on the British throne.

The Queen would die less than four years after this image was taken.

On this day: Victorian Children

Zeichnung_Kate_Greenaway_26th_March_1891 Kate Greenaway 26th March 1891

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This Victorian illustration was created by Englishwoman Kate Greenaway, and is dated the 26th of March, 1891.

Greenaway, who was born in London in 1846, was an internationally successful creator of children’s books and a painter of many watercolours.

The artist died in London in 1901.

On this day: a future Queen arrives in Britain

The_Landing_of_HRH_The_Princess_Alexandra_at_Gravesend,_7th_March_1863_by_Henry_Nelson_O'NeilThe Landing of HRH The Princess Alexandra at Gravesend, 7th March 1863 Henry Nelson O'Neil di

Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the future Queen of the United Kingdom, is depicted in this painting by Henry Nelson O’Neil arriving in England on the 7th of March, 1863.

Alexandra travelled to Gravesend in Kent, England by royal yacht to marry Prince Albert Edward, the future King Edward VII.

The royal couple married three days later, on the 10th.

On this day: a Derailment in Victorian England

BASA-3K-7-518-56Seen here after derailing in a blizzard near Camborne, Cornwall on 8 March 1891.Great Western Railway No. 2128 Leopard (ex South Devon Railway Leopard). Victorian Era

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8th March 1891: A derailment on England’s Great Western Railway. The locomotive is photographed after being caught in a blizzard in Cornwall, near Camborne.

On this day: Burghley House in 1887

This image of Burghley House in Cambridgeshire, England was taken on the 31st of January, 1887.

The sixteenth-century house has been featured in numerous movies.

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Exterior of Burghley House, Cambridgeshire, viewed from the north-west.. Photograph taken on the 31st of January 1887.

On this day: the death of Frederic Leighton

1880_Frederic_Leighton_-_Self_portrait Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton PRA (3 December 1830 – 25 January 1896). English painter.

Self-portrait, 1880.

On the 25th of January, 1896, the bearer of the shortest-lived title in the history of the English peerage died aged sixty-five.

Famous painter and sculptor Frederic Leighton, known as 1st Baron Leighton at the time of his death, succumbed to angina pectoris only one day after being awarded the title.

Flaming_June,_by_Frederic_Lord_Leighton_(1830-1896) Flaming June, by Frederic Lord Leighton English Painting Art 1895.

One of his most famous works, Flaming June, painted the year before his death.

Leighton was also an enthusiastic volunteer soldier, and his funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral in London was accompanied by a guard of honour.