1916


1916 Author's Blog Bluestocking Belles Welcome Time Travelers. You have landed in 1916, and we’re wondering how you got here—as well as what years you’ve already visited. Perhaps you can tell us in comments. Roses in Picardy, by Caroline Warfield—the final story in the Bluestocking Belles’ Never Too Late anthology—takes place this year, but we hope 1916 is not your last stop via The Bluestocking Belles’ Time Machine.

2esomme2-300x233 Author's Blog Bluestocking Belles Unfortunately this is not a good year. The world is at war, and 1916 continues to endure of the worst of it. It is only November, but these horrific battles have taken place so far this year:

  • The year began with the evacuation of British and ANZAC troops from Gallipoli, a horrific action variously viewed by historians as a stalemate or an overall defeat for the Allies.
  • Fighting took place from Greece to Cameroon, from what was then known as Mesopotamia and Armenia to Sudan, Egypt, and East Africa.
  • There have been naval engagements in seas worldwide.
  • In April, Irish Republicans unsuccessfully tried to take advantage of British preoccupation. The Rising failed miserably, but people suspect the future consequences may be very different.
  • On the Western Front in France, the great battles of attrition, Verdun and the Battles of the Somme went on for months and ground down troops on all sides with very little outcome. We’ve sunk into a weary truce, dreading 1917

3g03014u-1570-300x195 Author's Blog Bluestocking Belles Food shortages are occurring across Europe and civilian populations are suffering starvation. In North American, public awareness programs have geared up aimed at relief for the women and children of France, the need to feed the troops, and other programs.

In the United States, rumors of war abound, but they just re-elected Woodrow Wilson on the slogan, “He kept us out of war.” No one knows what they will do.

Life, of course, goes on. The 1916 Olympics have been cancelled, but the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup, the Boston Red Socks won the so-called World Series, and R. Norris Williams, who survived the Titanic, won the 36th U.S. Men’s National Tennis Championship this year. Charlie Chaplin, Wallace Beery, Mary Pickford, and others help keep up morale. Pablo Picasso continues to paint even as many of his friends have gone to war.

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Marie Curie with Nurses and a Physician

Women are volunteering to do their bit. Marie Curie has given up her work with radium for now. So far she has created twenty mobile x-ray trucks and is training volunteer women to staff them at the front. They agitate for the vote across Europe, the United States, and Canada without success. Paris continues to create designer gowns, but most women wear practical clothing. Hemlines began to rise last year, revealing ankles, and the ladies are finding shorter skirts much more practical for the kind of work they are called on to do in these times.

It is Never Too Late For Love

Even in time of war, love blooms, and sometimes hastens weddings. Notable soldiers of the Great War who married their lovers included:

  • German Company Commander Erwin Rommel (later WWII Field Marshall) married Lucie Mollin. They had been engaged since he was a 20-year old cadet. He wrote to her every day.
  • R.R. Tolkien, upon receiving orders to ship out to France, married his Edith, who whom he had been in love since he was sixteen. They remained together until her death over fifty years later.
  • Career military office one year out of West Point, Dwight D. Eisenhower, met his Mamie on Valentine’s Day this year. With the expected entry of the United States into the War, they moved up earlier plans and were married in July.
marc_chagall_-_lovers_in_pink_1916_cubism_oil_on_panel_69x55cm_private_collection-726x1024 Author's Blog Bluestocking Belles

Lovers in Pink, Marc Chagall, 1916

Barriers to Love

The war looms over the hero and heroine of Roses in Picardy too. Unlike the folks who married before shipping out to the battlefield, Harry met Rosemarie in the shadow of the fighting. Assigned to an infantry battalion that rotates in and out of the trenches, he is only able to steal moments here and there to visit her in her home among the floating islands of Amiens. The widow and her island offer him a glimpse of peace and hope away from the fighting. Unfortunately, the war isn’t over, and the best they can find is Happy For Now. Our story ends there, but readers have asked what comes next.

Your author has to think about that. He has more fighting to face. If they both survive, there are more challenges in front of them. Thrown together by the war, they actually come from very different backgrounds. One of them is religion, a challenge the Tolkiens successfully overcame. Another is country. Will Rosemarie want to move to Canada? Would Harry stay in France? Will career require city living or will they keep Rosemarie’s country haven? The course of love never runs straight! What do you think? What would you like to see happen?

Farewell—and a GIVEAWAY

Thank you for dropping in. Your next stop could be on Susana Ellis’s blog on Thursday, but you might want to go back to The Bluestocking Belles Time Machine and hop around at will. I wish you safe travels. Good luck in your travels.

Don’t forget, each comment on every stop of the Time Machine will be counted as an entry to win a grand prize of a $25 gift voucher from Amazon and a print copy of Never Too Late.

In addition, all comments on this specific post will be entered for a chance to win a Belles in Blue: the Coloring Book and a signed, print copy of An Open Heart, my Hanukkah related holiday story.

Adieu, Time Traveler. Try not to land in the midst of the Black Plague, the Great Fire of London or the sack of Rome!

About Never Too Late

Eight authors and eight different takes on four dramatic elements selected by our readers—an older heroine, a wise man, a Bible, and a compromising situation that isn’t.

Set in a variety of locations around the world over eight centuries, welcome to the romance of the Bluestocking Belles’ 2017 Holiday Anthology.  The final installment is Roses in Picardy.

 

RosesMeme2 Author's Blog Bluestocking Belles ~Excerpt~

Are men in Hell happier for a glimpse of Heaven?”

The piercing eyes gentled. “Perhaps not,” the old man said, “but a store of memories might be medicinal in coming months. Will you come back?”

Will I? He turned around to face forward, and the priest poled the boat out of the shallows, seemingly content to allow him his silence.

“How did you arrange my leave?” Harry asked at last, giving voice to a sudden insight.

“Prayer,” the priest said. Several moments later he, added, “And Col. Sutherland in the logistics office has become a friend. I suggested he had a pressing need for someone who could translate requests from villagers.”

“Don’t meddle, old man. Even if they use me, I’ll end up back in the trenches. Visits to Rosemarie Legrand would be futile in any case. The war is no closer to an end than it was two years ago.”

“Despair can be deadly in a soldier, corporal. You must hold on to hope. We all need hope, but to you, it can be life or death,” the priest said.

Life or death. He thought of the feel of the toddler on his shoulder and the colors of les hortillonnages. Life indeed.

The sound of the pole propelling them forward filled several minutes.

“So will you come back?” the old man asked softly. He didn’t appear discomforted by the long silence that followed.

“If I have a chance to come, I won’t be able to stay away,” Harry murmured, keeping his back to the priest.

“Then I will pray you have a chance,” the old man said softly.

rosesmeme3-300x300 Author's Blog Bluestocking Belles Rosesmeme4-300x300 Author's Blog Bluestocking Belles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available now at these retailers:

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AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B075VDCLCB
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IT: https://www.amazon.it/dp/B075VDCLCB
JP: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B075VDCLCB
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16 thoughts on “1916

  1. Thanks, Caroline. Here’s what I think should happen to Harry and Rosemarie.

    He pops the question and she says yes. They plan to get married as soon as possible.

    Unfortunately without warning, Harry is sent to the front. He’s wounded and loses his memory.

    Rosemarie comes to him in a field hospital. She thinks her love can cure his amnesia. It can’t.

    But even though he can’t remember her, he falls in love with her all over again. Just before he’s shipped home, they get married. Rosemarie will finally get away from her horrid sister-in-law! She and her son can start anew in a land far from the fighting.

    With Rosemarie’s help, Harry recovers and finds work in an office in Toronto. He’s on the rise. The future seems bright.

    Except for one thing. Harry suffers from a condition that would someday be called PTSD. It makes for problems at work. And even bigger ones in his relationship with his wife and his stepson.

    Well, that’s my take. But of course, it’s your story!

    • I definitely need to lengthen this story, and I have some ideas, but you’ve given me a bit to think about as well. PTSD…hmmm

  2. I love your story! And though I don’t know where I would like to see your H and h live, I would love to see you write a full story.

  3. Wow this was wonderful and loved this story Caroline! I really enjoyed them all in the book. Thank you!

  4. Loved this article. I didn’t realize that Tolkien was married to his love for 50 years.

  5. 1916 was a tough year and the food shortages are occurring across Europe were terrible. A well written post.

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Contact Info

Caroline Warfield

Email : Warfieldcaro@gmail.com

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