Welcome Wareeze and thank you for sharing this interesting topic!
Thank you for allowing me to share a little history with you and your readers. I write historical romance and have three published by Soul Mate Publishing: Conduct Unbecoming a Gentleman, An Enduring Love and my latest release, A Lady’s Vanishing Choices.
On a further personal note, I collect music boxes. I have over one hundred and love to write to the tinkle of sound playing in the background. I’d like to share a bit of history of the first music boxes.
Music boxes could have any size from that of a hat box to a large piece of furniture, but most were tabletop specimens. They were usually powered by clockwork and originally produced by artisan watchmakers. For most of the 19th century, the bulk of music box production was concentrated in Switzerland, building upon a strong watchmaking tradition. The first music box factory was opened there in 1815 by Jérémie Recordon and Samuel Junod.
The cylinders were normally made of metal and powered by a spring. In some of the costlier models, the cylinders could be removed to change melodies. In some exceptional models, there were four springs, to provide continuous play for up to three hours.
The very first boxes at the end of the 18th century made use of metal disks. The switchover to cylinders seems to have been complete after the Napoleonic wars. In the last decades of the 19th century, however, mass-produced models such as the Polyphon and others all made use of interchangeable metal disks instead of cylinders. The cylinder-based machines rapidly became a minority.
Winding up one of my many music boxes and listening to the sound always leads me back to the past. My latest release, A Lady’s Vanishing Choices, is set in England 1805. I thought you might like to read a short excerpt below.
The clatter of a thud and scrape against the ground reached Bethany’s ears. What on earth? Alert now, she strained to listen. Again the thud and scrape echoed in a steady rhythm. She recognized the noise of a shovel being plied. Such a sound deep in the forest instantly announced something unusual, even sinister and dangerous. The hairs on back of her neck stood on end and she froze in place. She was alone, vulnerable. Discovery of her presence could herald a ruined reputation perhaps even sending her into actual peril. She shivered. Why had she allowed vexation and self-pity to drive her to act on such a reckless impulse?
Holding her breath, she inched forward ever so quietly and crouched behind a screen of bushes. Alarm curled down her spine, but the urge to discover the source of the sound pushed her forward. Peeking through the foliage, she viewed a small clearing with a mound of freshly turned dirt piled in the center. A man flung another scoop full onto the heap and continued to dig. What could possibly be his purpose? The odor of moist soil reached Bethany, reminding her of her situation, alone and deep in the woods. She recalled the old adage about curiosity and the cat. She caught her breath. The cat died. Nevertheless, she couldn’t drag herself away.
About A Lady’s Vanishing Choices
Vexed with her aunt, Bethany takes the gig without permission. She pulls up to master her temper and wanders into the woods. From her sheltered position, she watches a man bury a long bundle large enough to hold a corpse. She thinks she has escaped undetected, but danger follows her. In her reckless handling of the ribbons, she nearly runs Lord Royce Rivton off the lane.
Lord Rivton is in search of a spy and must investigate her family, his closest neighbor. Both at cross purposes, the sparks fly and when he rescues her, he places her in a compromising position. They marry as expected, but their road is not smooth. She is still in mortal danger. He must find and capture the killer/spy while trying to save his wife. A tattered string weaves together this tale of murder, abduction and espionage.
I am a native of Texas and still live in this great state. I write period romance tangled with suspense. I married my high school sweetheart, years and years ago. We raised four children and have eight grandchildren, and grandchildren are Grand. At the moment, all my children and my grandchildren live within seventy miles of our home, lots of visits. My husband and I still love each other after all these years the stuff romance is made of, Happy Ever After!
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