violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Due to the Hardwicke Marriage Law of 1753 and the New Poor Law of 1834′s Bastardy Clause, the legal status of women in England became significantly worse than it had been in the early 18th century. The Marriage Law meant that men could not be required to support their spouse if the marriage was not legal, and made engagements less legally binding, and the Poor Law removed the requirement that men support their illegitimate children as well.

(Previously, parish authorities had been all for men taking responsibility for their children, because that meant they didn’t have to.)

Consanguineous marriages were voidable, but not actually void unless challenged in court during the spouses’ lives. That is, although the marriage was illegal, the children were legitimate if their parents died without a court case declaring that they weren’t.

“Men and women had to write [wills] carefully; courts assumed that the word ‘children’ referred to legitimate ones only, with rare exceptions. In addition, the common law assumed that a contract given to support future illegitimate children was against public policy (encouraging the birth of illegitimates) and was therefore void. Only settlements written after the birth of children, and specifically mentioning those children, stood.” (23) That is, you could write a will leaving your property to “all of my children” and the courts would not actually give it to all of your children.

Also, one of the things men in not-technically-legal marriages objected to the most was that they had to use their wife’s maiden name on official paperwork. This really bothered them.

In Scotland it was easier to get a divorce than in England, but English courts did not recognize Scottish divorces; so a child of a subsequent marriage could be legitimate in Scotland but illegitimate in England (and therefore unable to inherit English property).

People assumed that a bigamy trial counted as a divorce. Prisoner: So I can get married again once I get out of prison, right? Judge: *facepalm*

Some couples (including working class couples) actually tried to draw up their own divorce contracts, where they agreed they were free to remarry; the courts did not accept these.

People, especially women, insisted on marriage ceremonies even knowing they were illegal; I wonder if (as well as the obvious desire for propriety) the women hoped that having gone through the ceremony meant their husbands would be more likely to support them, or more likely to be forced to support them if they were deserted. (Legally, it didn’t.)

Because a married woman’s property was actually the property of her husband (until 1882), if she left him she or her lover could be charged with the theft of whatever she took with her.

So you know Mary Elizabeth Braddon? Author of Lady Audley’s Secret, the novel about how bigamy is horrible and awful and probably leads to murder, even if your husband literally walked out on you and your child and moved to Australia? That Mary Elizabeth Braddon? Yeah, it turns out she lived for over a decade with her publisher John Maxwell while his wife was in an insane asylum. You’d think they’d have mentioned that in 19th Century Literature.

Weird case of Richard Carlile, who wrote a book on birth control (in 1826, btw) and then had five children with his wife and four children with his partner Eliza Sharples, even though he couldn’t afford to support them and he resented Sharples’s focusing on her children instead of radical philosophy.

It’s surprising the number of people who were very clear about the fact that their problem with, for example, Marian Evans (George Eliot) and George Henry Lewes wasn’t the cohabiting or the adultery, but specifically that they were open about it. (In many cases because it would ~*hurt the (free-thinking/feminist/etc) movement*~ if there was any scandal.)

“The Randolphs were ostracised for being too radical on the one side, and not progressive enough on the other.” (202) Now where have I seen that before?

Man, Françoise Lafitte sounds awesome. (Wikipedia only mentions her as Havelock Ellis’s “companion.” You can download an article by Frost about her here.)

Basically, the definition of marriage is about as fixed as for any other social construct. But the vast majority of the people in this book would not have said they were cohabiting. They called themselves married (many had in fact had weddings), and the fact that the government disagreed didn’t change that.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
[community profile] fandomlovespuertorico is a fandom auction to raise money for ConPRmetidos in the wake of Hurricane Maria. You can sign up to offer works until the 15th; bidding starts on the 17th.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Hi! Thanks so much for writing for me, and congratulations on your evident good taste!

If you want to benignly internet-stalk me to get an idea of my interests, Tumblr and AO3 (both linked in the sidebar) are probably a better idea than DW. However, my previous Yuletide-related posts are tagged here.

This year I requested The Comfortable Courtesan, Lord Peter Wimsey, A Brother's Price, Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, Le Fruit Défendu, and the Enchanted Forest Chronicles.

A large and random list of things I like in general: worldbuilding, adventure, lesbians, ethical dilemmas, people being clever, twisty plots, gender, sibling or sibling-like relationships, epistolary fic, backstory, hurt/comfort, pining, physical affection, queerness, philosophy, romance, feminism, UST, found families, mythological allusions, polyamory, slash, het, femslash, hidden worlds, cities, banter, complicated plans, beautiful landscapes, angst, puns, magical realism, history, passionate platonic friendships, older women with major roles, case fic, period accuracy, gen, smut, pwp, diversity, secret identities, fairy tales... Feel free to use any of these.

Dislikes: I do not want child-focused fic. I have a major embarrassment squick, I don't like incest, and I'm not interested in graphic depictions of rape or gore or torture. However, I can be sold on most consensual kinks.

Generally I am all for alternate universes, but in these fandoms the setting is a lot of the draw for me, so perhaps not wildly alternate ones.

Fandom specific thoughts and optional details, to be taken more as suggestions and jumping-off points than requests:

The Comfortable Courtesan )

Lord Peter Wimsey )

A Brother's Price )

Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms )

Le Fruit Défendu )

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles )
violsva: A graffiti white maple leaf surrounding the words Toronto Maple Waffles (toronto maple waffles)
So I’ve been sketching a lot recently.

And one of the things I’ve noticed, and that I remember, is an extreme reluctance to keep going sometimes. When you’ve drawn something that looks perfect to you, you start getting worried that anything else you do is going to ruin what you have so far. This leg is perfect, what if I can’t get the body right. Or even worse, this arm is perfect except that it’s too small for the rest of the body, and it needs to be done again. Now what?

It’s a disbelief in one’s ability to replicate one’s own work. You can’t just erase it and draw another one, or flip the page and try again, because that one won’t be as good.

Ursula Vernon talks about giving yourself permission to make bad art, because that’s the only way you learn. That applies to writing as well, and I have practice with letting myself write badly. But this doesn’t apply, quite, because there’s no way you’ll ruin already-written prose. You might end up with nowhere to put it in your story, but you’re not going to make it worse. Everything is fixable after the fact. Drawing, even in pencil, feels a lot more immutable.

But the thing about drawing, which helps, is that there is no way to get better except to practice. (And reading art books and looking at other art, sure. But that doesn’t actually improve, for example, your fine motor skills.) And that half-done sketch where I eventually gave up because her shoulders looked wrong is still practice, and the one that looks perfect except that the head is way too small is still practice, and my utter and repeated failure to draw cats is still practice. And if I had kept going and erased the shoulders and redrawn them, that would just have been more practice. More practice is good.

The other thing for me, though, is that I don’t actually want to be sketching. I want to paint. But (until the bank actually does their job) I don’t have paints. I have pencils and notebooks, so dammit, I’m doing this instead. So that makes it easier to accept that it’s not going to be perfect.
violsva: The words "towsell-mowsell on a sopha"; a reference to The Comfortable Courtesan (towsell-mowsell)
Hi! Thanks so much for writing for me, and congratulations on your evident good taste!

If you want to benignly internet-stalk me to get an idea of my interests, Tumblr and AO3 (both linked in the sidebar) are probably a better idea than DW.

I am really feeling like angst and pining right now. That's not all I like - if you want to write fluff go right ahead and I will probably love it, but if you're wondering whether I'll be okay with unrequited love or bittersweet memories after a partner's death or hurt/comfort, the answer is absolutely yes. I am also happy with absolutely any fic rating or length. Smut, with or without plot, is good for any pairing but not required.

A large and random list of things I like in general: worldbuilding, adventure, alternate universes, ethical dilemmas, people being clever, twisty plots, gender, sibling or sibling-like relationships, epistolary fic, backstory, hurt/comfort, pining, dragons, physical affection, queerness, philosophy, romance, feminism, UST, found families, mythological allusions, polyamory, hidden worlds, cities, banter, complicated plans, beautiful landscapes, angst, puns, magical realism, history, happy endings, ambiguous endings, class differentials, creepy supernatural beings, older women with major roles, passionate platonic friendships, case fic, period accuracy, smut, pwp, diversity, secret identities, fairy tales... Feel free to use any of these.

Dislikes: I do not want child-focused fic. I have a major embarrassment squick, I don't like incest, and I'm not interested in graphic depictions of rape or gore or torture. However, I can be sold on most consensual kinks.

Fandom specific thoughts and optional details, to be taken more as suggestions and jumping-off points than requests:

Read more... )
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
Prompt #1: Bearing Up

Prompt #2: Gone From the City

Prompt #3: A Name in a Crowd

Prompt #4: One or the Other

Prompt #5: Point

Prompt #7: Alarum: Late

The above are one series, Spiderweb, connected to Go On Take Everything

Prompt #6: Amuse: Late

Prompt #9: Motley

Prompt #10: Agreement

Prompt #11: Three Hundred Years Earlier: Warning: period-typical spelling

Prompt #12: A Moment's Meeting

Prompt #14: Territories

Prompt #15: Unwelcome Social Summons

Prompt #16: Side Saddles for Ladies

Prompt #17: Logical Conclusion

[pause as I moved into a new apartment]

Prompt #24: If You Could Read Them All

Prompt #25: Traced Home: Xu-lai and Jane

Prompt #27: Inspire

Prompt #29: And In Short, chapter 1

Prompt #30: And In Short, chapter 2

Prompt #31: Transverse
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Title: Bearing Up
Author: Violsva
Rating: G
Universe: ACD
Character(s): Mrs. Hudson, John Watson
Relationships: None
Summary: Mrs. Hudson exercises her judgement.
Content Warnings: Blood
Word Count: 252
A.N.: For Watson's Woes July Writing Prompt #1.

On AO3

Yep, I'm doing it again, and you can too!

EEEEEEEEE

Jun. 29th, 2017 03:13 pm
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Watson reading, with the caption "Winner, JWP 2016" (watson's woes)
So I just found out that one of my fics (The Lodger) was mentioned in an academic paper.

It's cited as an example (the paper is about fair use and the role of fanfic in the market) with no further details, but OMG!!
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
Title: All the Joys
Rating: T
Universe: ACD Sherlock Holmes
Character(s): Focused on OCs; Sherlock Holmes, John Watson
Summary: The fundamentals of a case: a young lady, a threatened inheritance, a villainous relative.
Warnings/Enticements: Femslash, Case Fic
Word Count: 9946

On AO3
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
A couple of fics.

The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie: I really liked it. spoilers ) And the red herrings were great.

Now I want to read it all over again for clues, but it’s gone back to the library.

I suspect allergies are part of the reason for the lack of brain ability for the past few days. No idea to what, except that it was at least slightly less of a problem in Toronto.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
The problem with the worst forms of prescriptivism applied to media is that they are trying to find a way to make people write media that absolutely no one will be offended or upset by.

Problem one: This is impossible. There is nothing that anyone finds appealing that someone else won’t really really dislike. And I don’t mean “be indifferent to”, I mean “be actively repulsed by”. And yes, I’m including fluffy happy fantasies of people taking care of each other: some people cannot read those without going into depressive spirals. Some people just get so bored they can’t finish them.

Problem two: No one ever loved a book just because it didn’t offend them.

No one ever loved a book just because it wasn’t terrible. It has to actually be good - by their definition of good. And that’s where Problem One comes in - as soon as a book is doing something a reader will love, it’s doing something that another reader will hate.

Some people want ass-kicking female characters who will protect their friends and conquer their enemies. Some people hate violence.

Some people want to read about gay male couples getting together and living happily ever after. Some people hate romance. Some people don’t want to read about men.

Some people love complicated deep beautiful prose and pages of exposition about a character’s inner state; some people want to get to the fucking point.

And all of this gets intensified when it comes to sex. Anything that anyone finds hot - urophilia, say, or anal play, or penises - someone else is going to find absolutely disgusting and an immediate turnoff.

The solution is insight, and self awareness. The solution is the ability to recognize that your own upset, or your own joy, is not universal.

Nothing is universal. Nothing will apply to everyone. That is the fundamental point of diversity - people are different. People want different things, and that’s good.

If you write something that makes at least one person happy, it will make someone else furious. Someone else will be bored. Someone else will be grossed out. Someone else will think it was okay but forgettable. Someone else will think it was lifesaving.

If you want to write something good, you need to be prepared to write something upsetting.
violsva: The words "towsell-mowsell on a sopha"; a reference to The Comfortable Courtesan (towsell-mowsell)
Title: The Langham
Rating: E
Universe: ACD Sherlock Holmes/BBC Sherlock crossover
Character(s): Mary Morstan, Mary Morstan
Summary: On the worst night of Mary’s life, someone appears in her hotel room.
And identity is funny being yourself is funny as you are never yourself to yourself except as you remember yourself and then of course you do not believe yourself. --Gertrude Stein
Warnings/Enticements: Femslash, Angst, Crack taken seriously, Victorian attitudes, Selfcest
Word Count: 7393

On AO3

Femslash June: for when you like Femslash February but you don't write fast enough.

Sunday Six

May. 28th, 2017 04:49 pm
violsva: Geoffrey Tennant, offering a skull (have a skull)
Sunday Sixes is a thing I've done on Tumblr, and you know, I can put them here too. (Six sentences from a WIP.)

And yet, Mary thought as he left, she did not think she could bear to wait a full week like this.

The time passed, slowly and uncomfortingly. Mary slept little, and did little; she went out into the streets of London a few times, and found only a wild confusion of people and streets and nothing familiar or calming. If she had walked through the same streets with her father, she might have asked him what she was seeing, and exclaimed over what was new to her; she would have cared to go into the museums and galleries and historic buildings. As it was she only stared at their outsides, and could not imagine she would find any comfort within. She looked at the crowds and thought of how one might simply lose oneself, or be lost, in them, blurring into the mass of humanity somehow, until one was never seen again.
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Watson reading, with the caption "Winner, JWP 2016" (watson's woes)
Title: Plots of Sax
Rating: T
Universe: Biscuitverse (BBC Sherlock)
Character(s): Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, Mary Morstan
Summary: For once it’s not (entirely) autocorrect’s fault.
Warnings/Enticements: Polyamory, Non-Consensual Drug Use, Texting, Humour
Word Count: 596

On AO3
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Finished

A MCU fic with a decent but not very deep plot, low on rationale for character motivations. Pretty good period AU, though.

Unsettled by AxeMeAboutAxinomancy: As podfic, comfort listening during physical health issues this weekend.

(My cutoff for fics to count as "books" for record keeping purposes is somewhere under 25,000 words.)

Reserved for the Cat by Mercedes Lackey: Comfort reading. I think this is the low point for her copyediting and it's improved since here. (Having one section of my brain complaining about typos and punctuation and consistency errors actually makes it better for comfort reading in some ways, because there's more there to occupy me.) I don't like any of the villain pov here; come to think of it, she cut that out of some of the later books in this series entirely, which is probably a good idea.

Victorian Families in Fact and Fiction by Penny Kane: On the Victorian demographic transition as expressed in the literary evidence. Excellent, clearly differentiates between factual and literary sources and what can be determined from them. And as I said a couple weeks ago, the Victorian era was fucking terrible, people. (Primarily: child labour, (lack of) education, and patriarchy.) (The thing is, we know about the patriarchy (in fandom), and there was a lot of other Really Terrible stuff happening too that gets ignored.)

Lots of things that get left out of standard pop-historical imaginings. Some of them less terrible: for example, Victorians had very late marriages (mid to late twenties, later in the middle classes and for men) and numerous remarriages after deaths of spouses. ("Two out of every five men across Europe in the nineteenth century who survived to age 50 had married and produced families more than once.")

...Huh. Come to think of it, that makes Watson's hypothetical multiple marriages a bit less implausible.

The Comfortable Courtesan by Clorinda Cathcart: Man, I'm so glad this exists. And it's officially ended, and comforting and lovely and impressive and just go read it. It hasn't been on my weekly posts before because it's just been kind of background to my life: of course I'm reading Madame C-'s updates. And it's finished, and I am sad, but it's there to be reread whenever.

In Progress

The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie: I glanced at the introduction to this (never read the introduction) and apparently Christie's thrillers are deprecated; I like them, and while this is clearly early and implausible it's fun.

I also have a book about Miss Marple as a character that I am going to start on.
violsva: Sidney Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson, seated, with the caption "Cut out the poetry, Watson" (Holmes)
Title: Like Racing an Engine
Rating: E
Universe: Sherlock Holmes
Character(s): Sherlock Holmes, John Watson
Summary: Holmes gets bored on a long train ride.
Warnings/Enticements: Train Sex, Semi-Public Sex, Smoking, Orgasm Denial, Dirty Talk, Fellatio, Mild D/s
Word Count: 3751

A.N.: For [personal profile] breathedout for the 2017 Fandom Trumps Hate auction, in exchange for a donation to the ACLU. Beta-read by the amazing oulfis.

On AO3
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
No brain today.

Finished

The Sharing Knife: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold

They Say Love Heals All Wounds by Deastar: Yay worldbuilding.

In Progress

Victorian Families in Fact and Fiction by Penny Kane

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

Leopard in Exile by Andre Norton and Rosemary Edgehill

Reserved for the Cat by Mercedes Lackey

The Seven Dials Mystery by Agatha Christie

Other

The University's humanities library is closed until July. The science library is still open, so maybe I'll go there sometime, but.
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
Finished

The Adventure of the Resurrected Lover by Azriona: Very good.

Cotillion by Georgette Heyer: Yay Freddy, yay people making their own choices about their lives.

In Progress

Victorian Families in Fact and Fiction by Penny Kane: It's things like this that remind you that no matter how nice things were for the upper middle class and how much you romanticize it you are basically writing fic about a horrific dystopia.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho: Continues adventurous and amusing.

Leopard in Exile by Andre Norton and Rosemary Edgehill: Reread, very self-indulgent.

Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold: ditto. (I've had one of the Vorkosigan books sitting on my nightstand for six months, and of course I pick up this instead.)
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (books)
This is a transcript of the April 8th, 2017 episode of Footnoting History by Elizabeth Keohane-Burbridge and Lucy Barnhouse, done for [tumblr.com profile] teaforlupin. The original podcast can be found here.

Read more... )
violsva: full bookshelf with ladder (Default)
So Wits on Tap is a poetry remix challenge run by [tumblr.com profile] redscudery, and I remixed Paid Down More Penitence by PorcupineGirl into Work, Learn. I don’t know what the hell the rhyme scheme thinks it’s doing, but it is at least a sonnet.

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