Friday, May 31, 2013

Wedgwood Blues

Most often, I dine on simple, white, rather indestructible plates we bought when our sons were small. I do have a fancier set of china, blue and white, for special occasions.  But what I dream of owning is what many of the aristocracy dined on, buttoned themselves up with, and decorated their homes with in nineteenth century England--Wedgwood.

In the nineteenth century, Wedgwood was synonymous with stoneware and china made by potter Josiah Wedgwood and his sons and partners. He was a man of rare vision and talent, developing new types of pottery called black basalt and jasperware. He had a way of putting white relief on a colored background.  His work so impressed Queen Charlotte that she gave him permission to call a creamy colored version queen’s ware. And his innovations in the pottery process so impressed the Royal Society that they elected him a member to sit among the scientists.
I had always thought Wedgwood jasperware was blue (in fact, the exact color is often called Wedgwood blue), but I recently learned it came in a variety of colors as well, including jade, lavender, yellow, black, terra cotta, and white.  At the time, ancient art from Rome, Greece, and Egypt was all the rage, so it wasn’t surprising that Wedgwood decided to copy the designs.  He was even willing to put silhouettes of his clients into the pieces.  He hired artists like George Stubbs and John Flaxman to create designs for him. Wedgwood’s work was so popular, it was used for jewelry, furniture, wall moldings, and even buttons. 

I was further intrigued to find that two of his artists were ladies, at a time when it was relatively rare for a woman to be recognized and paid for her art. Elizabeth Upton, Lady Templetown, was the wife of an Irish peer and quoted for her taste.  You can see some of her work at the Victoriaand Albert Museum in London.   Emma Crewe was called an “amateur,” yet she provided art for Wedgwood and illustrated books.  Her work was also called charming, except she was criticized in one case for making the lady appear too voluptuous!  Some of her pieces are on exhibit at the Harvard Art Museum.   

Whoever did the art, Wedgwood’s pottery and china were widely acclaimed.  Today, Wedgwood pieces are found in nearly every museum of note and grace tables from the White House to the Kremlin.  Not, ahem, mine.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Young Bluestockings Read Pride and Prejudice!

Welcome to the Young Bluestockings read (or re-read) of what is probably the world’s most popular English classic novel, Pride and Prejudice! We just couldn’t let its 200th publication anniversary pass without taking a post or two to talk over Jane Austen’s masterpiece (and her own favorite of her works!)

I think I was probably in college when I read P & P for the first time...I’d tried to read it at age 14, and it was not a success, which is why I always cringe when I hear of its being assigned to high school kids to read. I think it is one of those books best appreciated by slightly older readers, ones more schooled in the history and culture of early 19th century England who have also developed an appreciation for ironical humor...and of course, who can appreciate a good love story. When did you first read it, dear fellow Bluestockings?

I’m not going to go over the plot here...but I would like to share some observations I made on this reading for purposes of discussion...and would love to hear what those of you who read along ran across. One of the joys of Pride and Prejudice for me is that different things seem to come to light every time I re-read it...and so, let’s get started.

1. Let’s hear it for Charlotte Lucas

I’ve always liked Charlotte as a character, and have always applauded her decision to marry Mr. Collins, odious as he is. As she herself says, “I am not romantic you know. I never was.” But what she is is twenty-seven years old and nearly an old maid...which could mean a later life of poverty and being forced to rely on family members for a home and support. As we see later on when Elizabeth visits the Collinses at Hunsford, Charlotte manages her life with her husband quite nicely, and even seems to have him tamed slightly, as when she arranges to introduce Elizabeth and her father and sister to Lady Catherine, rather than allowing him to (with his usual groveling long-windedness). Charlotte has decided that being married to Mr. Collins is fair exchange for a comfortable future.

But what I noticed on this reading was how Jane Austen sets all this up long before Mr. Collins arrives on the scene: in Chapter Six of the first volume, she makes clear her opinions on marriage: “Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other, or ever so similar before-hand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.” Lizzy laughs and scoffs at Charlotte, of course...just as later she’s appalled that Charlotte accepts Mr. Collins’s offer. But she can’t say she wasn’t warned!

2. Darcy smiles.

Maybe it’s from having watched Colin Firth so many times, who barely reveals that he possesses a fine set of teeth until almost the last frame of the Pride and Prejudice mini-series...but I was struck by how many times Jane Austen has Mr. Darcy smiling—stating outright “Mr. Darcy smiled” multiple times over the course of the book. I totally did not remember this from previous readings, and it humanized him for me and made him a much more love-worthy hero.

3. Oh, Lady Catherine.

Of course, we all remember how dreadful she is. But one sentence during her apocalyptic visit to Longbourn made me laugh out loud at her sheer awfulness. After she commands Lizzy to come for a walk with her, they prepare to go outside. And, “As they passed through the hall, Lady Catherine opened the doors into the dining-parlour and drawing-room, and pronouncing them, after a short survey, to be decent-looking rooms, walked on.”

Can’t you just completely see that happening—the nosy old lady poking into rooms without so much as a by-your-leave? It’s almost cinematic!

So there are a few things I it’s your turn, dear Nineteenteen readers. Any special Pride and Prejudice moments you’d like to discuss? Favorite scenes, characters, or lines? Was this your first read, or your fifteenth?


Friday, May 24, 2013

Pretty, Pretty Pictures

I will admit to being a words person. It’s a good trait for a writer.  But sometimes, pictures truly are worth 1,000 words, or more!  The last few weeks, I’ve been treated to a number of very fine pictures, and I thought I’d share them with you.

First off, 2013 marks 15 years in publishing for me.  My first book, The Unflappable Miss Fairchild, was published in March 1998.  And my August book, The Courting Campaign, marks my 25th work of published fiction.  So, I decided to celebrate by commissioning a new banner for my website.  This is courtesy of Glass Slipper WebDesigns:

Earlier this year, I also worked with Iconic Shadows to develop the cover for A Dangerous Dalliance, the book that originally introduced the four girls from my young adult book, La Petite Four.  Here’s what the designer came up with for the first book in the Lady Emily Capers.  I’m hoping I can put up more stories about the girls later this year and early next, depending on publishing schedules.

But I’ve been promising myself a cover by a famous artist for some time, so I splurged on a revision to the cover for Perfection, one of my single title historical romances available in e-book.  This is from the Killion Group:

Now, I can't just leave you with my pretty pictures.  If you'd like to see a selection of interesting pictures from the early nineteenth century in England, try this group from Wikipedia. 

May you have a picture perfect Memorial Day weekend, wherever you are!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Let There be Light

It’s early evening as I write this, and getting a little dim in my just now I leaned forward and with a small movement of my hand turned on the lamp on my desk. Lovely, clear light now floods this part of the room, strong enough to read by several feet away. Electricity—it’s a beautiful thing. Had this been 1813 rather than 2013, I would have had to do a great deal more to achieve this amount of light.

In the early 19th century, light came from fire. Period. That fire might flicker and bounce at the end of a candle—perhaps a tallow candle made from sheep or beef fat, which tended to smoke and sputter, could lend an odor of eau de barnyard to a room, and not give forth very much light. Tallow candles required snuffing—that is, their wicks had to periodically be trimmed as the candles burned in order for the candle to burn properly—with snuffers, which looked like an odd pair of scissors (see image above).

Or it might shine from a more expensive beeswax candle and provide a much steadier, longer-lasting light that didn’t require snuffing and smelled much more pleasant than a sheepy tallow candle.

Candles might sit in holders on a table or desk, singly or in many-branched candelabras. Or they might be in sconces attached to the wall, perhaps with a plate of polished metal or a mirror to reflect and increase the light they gave. Or they might perch in a chandelier (from the French word for candle) and give light from above...but alas, also drip on people and objects below them.

However, candles were expensive and heavily taxed—one pence a pound for tallow candles, 3 ½ pence a pound for beeswax. So for the very poorest, their light might come from rushlights—basically a rush (a marsh plant) dipped in drippings or some other greasy substance—that could be made for free, but didn’t provide much illumination.

Or the fire that was giving you light might come from an oil lamp, in its most basic form consisting of a chamber to hold some type of oil and a wick that served to draw up the oil and burn...but by the 19th century had grown fairly sophisticated, with special holders to lengthen and shorten the wick and so provide more or less light. Plant oils like olive oil and palm oil might be used, but whale oil was probably the most popular oil for lighting—not only in houses, but in businesses, theaters, and on the streets, where lamplighters made their rounds every evening and morning to light and then extinguish streetlamps.

But all this would change in 1807...and even more dramatically in 1812. Stop by in two weeks to learn how!

In the meanwhile, don’t forget that our Young Bluestockings Book Club read of Pride and Prejudice is coming up next week—get your copy out, and have fun spending time with the Bennett sisters and Colin Firth Mr. Darcy!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Patrice Kindl: Why the Regency Romance?

We're delighted to welcome Patrice Kindl back today as she contemplates the eternal lure of the Regency.

What is it about the English Regency era that writers and readers find so compelling? The period only lasted from 1811 to 1820 – nine years, an even shorter period than the one enshrined in countless cowboy movies and novels, the twenty year time-span of cattle drives and the open range in the United States.

Both eras have a lasting aura of romance: the cowboy hero offers a masculine archetype and the Regency heroine a feminine archetype. These are largely mutually exclusive worlds; it is difficult to imagine what Hopalong Cassidy and Lizzy Bennett would have to say to one another. One genre celebrates civilization, the other strips civilization away.

It is easy to understand that modern men might like an escape from mortgage payments and committee meetings, imagining living out under the open sky with only a faithful horse for company. It is not so easy to understand why modern women, who have achieved a great deal of freedom and power in comparison with their Regency counterparts, would look back on this time with such nostalgia. So, what gives?

I can tell you, at least, some of the things that appeal to me as a writer. For one thing, there’s Jane Austen. I fell in love with this incomparable writer as a teen when I realized that the books were very funny, and were at least as much about money as about love. Then, romance is a durable genre not simply because it involves important human needs and desires, but because it has a shape, a natural story arc. Marriage is a beginning, but it is also the ending of a courtship. Having spent the novel exploring the characters of the two parties involved, it is possible to believe that one can predict their future together.

A romance novel can take place in any age; human beings have bonded and formed families since before they were even human, and presumably will go on doing so in space colonies on alien worlds. However, the Regency Era is, to my mind, precisely balanced on the fulcrum of women’s history. Before this period women had very little choice in marital matters, being disposed of as chattel; after it they eventually came to have so much choice that the decision of whom to marry lost some of its power for good or evil. An unhappily married woman of 2013 can cut her losses and try again. A woman of 1813 was literally taking her life into her hands when she said, “Yes, sir, I will marry you.”

And then this was such a stylish time! The attire for both men and women was classic. Frankly, a hoop-skirted woman negotiating a narrow hallway, or the bearded and mustachioed Victorians who resembled Yetis more than gentlemen, or Marie Antoinette advancing beneath one of those three-foot-tall hairstyles: any of these inspire more derision in moderns than admiration, but the modish Regency couple is all simple elegance. The styles looked better on the young and slender, but what fashion has ever favored the elderly and stout?

Romance is best when the stakes are high, the lovers are drop-dead gorgeous and the path to happiness perilous. The endless rules of behavior and class distinctions are an absolute gift to writers. Pity the poor author who tries to come up with a barrier to romance for a modern couple! Different class, different religion, different race, same sex? No problem! Whereas in the early 1800s there were so many hurdles to leap it was a wonder anybody managed to reproduce at all.

I am working on a sequel to Keeping the Castle, set in a Female Academy in Lesser Hoo, called A School for Brides. The research only reinforces my recognition of how little power these women had. For instance, the backboard, a device nominally intended to improve posture (shown above in the satirical illustration of a school for young ladies), was actually a way to train a girl for a life of subservience and obedience, physically restraining her for many hours a day. Marriage would either be her salvation or her doom, and for the first time in history, she had the ability to choose.

Thank you, Patrice! It's been a pleasure to have you visit this week (I'm still giggling at Victorian yetis). For more info on Patrice and her books, including Keeping the Castle and the upcoming A School for Brides, please visit her website at

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NineteenTeen Welcomes Patrice Kindl

This week at NineteenTeen we're delighted to welcome Patrice Kindl, author of a number of award-winning novels for young adults. Patrice has shared her home in upstate New York with monkeys, parrots, cats, dogs, reptiles and small mammals, as well as the occasional bird of prey, one son and a very indulgent husband. Her books include Owl in Love, The Woman in the Wall, Goose Chase, Lost in the Labyrinth, and the 19th century set Keeping the Castle and A School for Brides (forthcoming).

NineteenTeen: Welcome to NineteenTeen, Patrice! Keeping the Castle is not your first work of historical fiction…what inspired you to write a Regency-set story?

Patrice: I was reading yet another historical novel in which the spunky heroine scorned marriage for the opportunity to pursue some fascinating and perilous career. Yes, I like those books too, but very few seem to me to have to do with being female in any age but our own. For most of history women had precious few career options, and marriage was by far the best.

Although I definitely consider myself a feminist, I felt like we were rewriting history with a feminist slant that misrepresented reality. Being the sort of writer I am, I also thought that a more accurate assessment might be kind of funny. The Regency period is excellent for this sort of thing because it was a time when women were just beginning to have some slight amount of autonomy and power of choice, particularly as to their choice of spouse.

I have long felt that, “I love you – you are so beautiful!” is morally equivalent to, “I love you – you are so rich!” It is assumed that women will be flattered at being valued primarily for their physical attributes, even though few men would enjoy being seen almost exclusively as a source of income. Sure, men show off their net worth with expensive cars just as women dress to emphasize their best features, but both also long to be known and appreciated for other, less superficial qualities. From the opening pages of Keeping the Castle I wanted to make it clear that, to me at least, marrying for money alone is no worse than marrying for physical attractiveness alone. Actually, marrying for money makes more sense: it may reflect intelligence and ability, while beauty is simply the result of genetic roulette.

NineteenTeen: There are strong Jane Austenish overtones in the plot of Keeping the Castle—a poor but proud young woman trying to find a husband who also likes to dabble in matchmaking—Emma Bennett, if you will. :) Is Jane Austen a favorite of yours?

Patrice: First of all, of course I adore Jane Austen! I know the novels practically word for word. However, I am not sure I entirely agree with the first sentence above. I wouldn’t call Althea proud, exactly. We first see her as quite willing to marry anybody at all who can offer her a respectable family and a sizeable income. It is only as the novel progresses that she finds she does care about more than money and position. I consider her a practical and unsentimental young woman who is doing the best she can with the resources available. Miss Austen’s heroines were considerably more nice-minded than mine; they had been trained to hide their baser emotions and desires behind a screen of manners. My Althea is not a true Regency lady; she forgets to pretend.

NineteenTeen: Who was your favorite character to write in Keeping the Castle?

Patrice: Oh, Mr. Fredericks, definitely! I missed him so when I had to send him off to London. On the other hand, I am terribly fond of Miss Charity Winthrop, now Baroness Boring in the book I am working on now. And, of course, Althea. And I really like Miss Vincy. Hmm. Hard to say.

NineteenTeen: Being that we're history geeks, we have to talk about research. What was your best research moment--the one that made you smile and rub your hands together (metaphorically, of course)? What is the most interesting thing you learned as you wrote Keeping the Castle?

Patrice: Don’t you absolutely love the Internet? It used to be that I had to save up research questions and make special trips to large libraries in order to find out this stuff, and then I never got every question answered.

Okay, shall I choose the lead paint with which ladies used to coat their faces? I had fun with that. Or the discovery that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had mislead me about quicksand (remember the bogs sucking people and moor ponies right up, never to be seen again, in “The Hound of the Baskervilles”)? I had planned to use a pool of quicksand to swallow up poor little Alexander Crawley instead of a tin mine, but it turns out that it is quite easy to get out of quicksand if you keep your head. Look it up on You Tube. Oh, and while reading War and Peace (same time period), I realized that young ladies who kept collections of morbid and depressing quotations were quite common at the time, so I gave this hobby to Prudence Winthrop.

I also found my characters on eBay. I love the miniature portraits that were exchanged between spouses and betrothed couples at the time. I was thinking of treating myself to one, when I suddenly saw one of my characters and just started screaming with laughter. It was Miss Charity Winthrop, and I own her likeness today. You can see them at:

NineteenTeen: What were your favorite books as a teen reader? Are there any more recent YA books that you wish you could have read when you were a teen?

I loved Jane Austen, as already mentioned. The Once and Future King (T.H. White) was very important to me. I was a bit of an Anglophile. Oh, of course there are so many wonderful YA books I’d love to have read back then – I grew up in the era of Nurse Cherry Ames and Nancy Drew, Girl Detective. There weren’t a tenth of the great books for teens that we have now. Diana Wynne Jones and Margaret Mahy are two favorites (both gone now, alas!).

NineteenTeen: I do wish Margaret Mahy were better known in the US.  So what’s next for you? Will you be writing more 19th century set work, or exploring other times and places?

Patrice: As foreshadowed above in the question about my favorite Castle character, I am about half-way through a manuscript titled, A School for Brides. This begins about eight or nine months after where we left off in Keeping the Castle. Miss Winthrop and Miss Hopkins have formed a finishing school for young ladies in Lesser Hoo, and we follow the various trials and tribulations of the students there.

NineteenTeen: Hurrah for sequels! Where can our readers learn more about you and your books?

Patrice: Please do visit my website: Also, Keeping the Castle has a Facebook page:

Friday, May 10, 2013

Going A-Mothering

Mother’s Day is coming here in the U.S. I have been told with good authority that my Mother’s Day present will consist of something cinematic with dinner to follow. They know I like to be prepared. But some young ladies and gentlemen in the early nineteenth century in England also liked to be prepared, for Mothering Sunday.

From the seventeenth century, Mothering Sunday was celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent (which was March 10 in 2013). The original idea appears to be to celebrate services with the largest church, or mother church, in the area, like a cathedral, or at least to return to the church in which you were baptized. The practice was called going a-mothering. Most likely, however, in going to this church, you spent time with family, especially your mother. This tradition gradually evolved (with some help after World War I) into a celebration of mothers in general.

The practice was waning in the nineteenth century, but it still wasn’t uncommon for young servants and apprentices to be given Mothering Sunday off to go visit their families. It was said that many a young lad gathered flowers in the fields along the way to take home to his mother. As Mothering Sunday can fall as early as the beginning of March, I’m not entirely sure there were always many flowers blooming except daffodils, but it’s a lovely sentiment all the same.

In some households, apparently, cooks allowed the youngsters to bake a cake to take home to Mother. In some parts of England, the cake is called a Simnel cake, for the fine flour from which it was baked. It involves marzipan, fruit, and frosting, and had eleven knobs on the top to represent the eleven apostles who stayed true. I must admit, it looks particularly tasty to me. Some people felt it appropriate to break the Lenten fast to partake (oh, me! me!); some saved the cake for Easter Sunday. Other parts of England had sweet buns called Mothering Buns that were frosted and covered with sprinkles.

Okay, so maybe I should request that Mother’s Day present to involve cake. Who’s with me?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Good News, of Various Sorts

Bit of Good News #1: A few weeks ago I dropped a cryptic hint or two about a mystery that I was keeping secret...and now, to my delight, I can stop being all cryptic and mysterious and let you all know that I’ve signed a contract with Entangled Publishing for three new books for their Entangled Select line. The first book will be an adult contemporary fantasy...yes, I know, that’s a bit of a change from my usual fare. But it’s fun as an author to stretch out in different directions, and while I know that my adult books might not be of interest to all NineteenTeen readers, rest assured that I haven’t given up on Young Adult or historical fiction...not by a long shot! No details yet on release dates, but once more is settled, I’ll let you know. I’m very excited, and thrilled to be working with Entangled and Liz Pelletier!

Bit of Good News #2: Courtship and Curses has been getting some love from the Romance Writers of America, finaling in two RWA chapter contests this spring. A happy lead-up to its trade paperback release, which will be happening this summer (on July 30 to be exact, from Square Fish/Macmillan)

Bit of Good News #3: After a lot of thought, brainstorming, and private hand-wringing, I'm happy to announce I've got a title for the novella I asked for your help with a few weeks ago.  Look for Charles Bewitched sometime this summer...and I can't wait to show you the wonderful cover designer and YA author Lisa Amowitz is creating for it!

Bit of Good News #4: We’re tickled to be welcoming a guest blogger next week in the form of author Patrice Kindl and her enormously fun YA historical romance, Keeping the Castle. Please stop by next week and say hello!

Bit of Good News #5: The Young Bluestockings Book Club will read again! In honor of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, Regina and I thought it only proper that the Young Bluestockings Book Club should do a group reading of the oft-imitated-but-never-equaled Jane Austen masterpiece. The discussion week will begin May 28, so you can spend some time in a hammock over Memorial Day weekend re-reading it.

And speaking of re-reading...there are numerous editions of Pride and Prejudice out there, of course, but there are a couple that I’d like to call special attention to; both are annotated, which will enhance the experience of readers not thoroughly steeped in the minutiae of early 19th century life. The first is The Annotated Pride and Prejudice, annotated and edited by David M. Shapard. This goes into great detail on a page by page basis, with notes covering everything from vocabulary and changes in word usage and grammar to bigger historical and cultural context...and includes lots of black and white illustrations. And then there’s Pride and Prejudice: An Annotated Edition, edited by Patricia Meyer Spacks. I haven’t seen this one in person, but it’s a large and lavishly color-illustrated edition, and looks to be worth a bit of a splurge if you’ve got a gift card burning a hole in your pocket. So get reading...and we’ll look forward to a lively discussion at the end of the month.

There, I think that’s enough good news for now, or I shall have to resort to my vinaigrette.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Nineteenth Century Heroines: Lighter Than Air

Some of you will remember a series I did a while ago at QNPoohBear's suggestion of real-life nineteenth century ladies who were inspiring enough to be heroines in a book.  We talked about Caroline Herschel’s stargazing, Ada Byron’s mathematical computing, and Mary Anning’s dinosaur hunting.  I recently stumbled upon another lady I simply had to add to the list:  the commander of Napoleon’s balloon army, Sophie Blanchard.

You wouldn’t think ballooning would be a career for a lady in the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century, much less leading a squadron of armed forces for a major power.  Sophie was one of a handful of women who ventured up in balloons, and one of the only ones skilled enough to go up alone.  Born in 1778 in France, Sophie was a nervous girl who disliked riding in carriages and startled at loud noises.  We don’t know a great deal about her early life, but somewhere between the ages of 16 and 26, she married one of the premiere balloonists of the day, Jean-Pierre Blanchard. 

Jean-Pierre was a showman who had already toured Europe and America, helped pioneer the parachute, and set records around the world.  Unfortunately, he hadn’t a lick of business sense and was always in debt.  In hopes of recovering, he added Sophie to his act, and the two were popular sights for coronations, royal birthdays, the opening of major buildings, and the like.  Sophie was undaunted by the dangers of balloon flight, claiming at one point that she’d rather sleep in a balloon than on land.  She flew high enough that she nearly passed out from lack of oxygen, she risked freezing at the cold temperatures aloft, and once she almost drown when her balloon landed in a swamp. 

She performed so many times for Napoleon, both with her husband and solo, that he made her the Aeronaut of Official Festivities.  Determined to reach England by any way possible, he also appointed her the Chief Air Minister of Ballooning and asked her to draw up plans for how he could fly his army over the Channel to attack.  Sophie is reported to have had little faith in the venture.  Balloons at that time had few ways to control them, and she recognized, even if Napoleon did not, that the wind generally blew the wrong way.

Tragedy struck the couple in 1809 when Jean-Pierre had a heart attack while performing and fell from his balloon to his death.  Sophie, however, continued to perform.  Despite the fact that she was afraid of loud noises, she perfected an act in which she lighted fireworks and tossed them by parachute from her balloon to the delighted crowds below.  Her vehicle of choice was a hydrogen-filled balloon with a tiny basket below.  She flew to celebrate the marriage of Napoleon to Marie-Louise of Austria in 1810 and on Napoleon’s 42nd birthday in 1811.  She flew over Paris and threw down leaflets proclaiming the birth of Napoleon’s son.  She also performed in Germany, Rome, and the Alps.

I wish I had a happy ending for you.  Unfortunately, it seems Sophie and Jean-Pierre had no children, or at least none that survived beyond infancy.  In July 1819, Sophie was performing at the Tivoli Gardens in Paris when her balloon caught fire and she too fell to her death, entangled in the cords of her basket.  All proceeds from the event were used to build her a monument in a Paris cemetery. 

But Sophie wasn’t forgotten.  Jules Vernes mentioned her in Five Weeks in a Balloon, proving that, nearly 50 years after her death, her amazing accomplishments lived on.