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Costume Drama Thursday: The Great Exhibition

Thursday, November 4, 2010

If you receive my monthly newsletter, you have seen a section that lists my current writing projects as well as my pending proposals. Under pending proposals is this:

      The Great Exhibition Series. England, 1851. Prince Albert’s Great Exhibition provides the backdrop for a trilogy of stand-alone, light-hearted historical romances.

Whenever I talk to someone about this series proposal, I usually get asked why I chose that era. I try to get them to see the excitement inherent in the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the first true world’s fair, the age when technology was new and exciting and truly changed the way people lived. Depending on who it is, though, I may or may not go into the real reasons why I chose this era/event.

The first reason is this:

I first saw the BBC/A&E miniseries Victoria & Albert nine years ago when it originally aired on A&E (back when they used to actually believe in the “A” part of their name)—and for some reason became enamored with the idea of the Great Exhibition. While not much of it is seen in this clip, it made me want to know more about it.

But because I was finishing my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, focusing on learning the craft of writing through writing contemporary-set novels, and trying to build a career, I let my interest in the Great Exhibition fall to the wayside.

Until I saw this in 2007 (watch up to the four-minute mark):

Of course, by then, I was elbows-deep in finishing Ransome’s Honor (also inspired by a costume drama series!), with which I knew I’d be pursuing publication. But for three years, the Great Exhibition stayed in the back of my mind. So as I came to a point when it was time to be thinking about my next historical series proposal, I knew exactly when it would be set.

I don’t know anything about that proposal yet, other than it’s being reviewed by the editors, but (fingers crossed and God willing) I’ll eventually be writing posts about how the costume dramas Victoria & Albert and North & South inspired the idea behind my next historical series.

  1. Debra E. Marvin permalink
    Thursday, November 4, 2010 6:45 am

    I love hearing about a ‘new’ one. New to me. I haven’t heard of this series before. Thanks Kaye!


    • Debra E. Marvin permalink
      Thursday, November 4, 2010 6:55 am

      Just ignore that. I had read this post on my I pod early this morning. Guess I missed a few words, as I now have the time to re read this and figure out that I should double check before letting my enthusiasm get ahead of me!

      oh well.

      I do enjoy the references to Albert’s great success, in the Victoria & Albert presentation as well as The Young Victoria. Pretty exciting stuff. Would you say it led the way for other such events such as the World’s Fair(s) or was it based on similar events already done in Europe by that time?

      thanks Kaye.


  2. Sylvia M. permalink
    Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:14 pm

    I’ve seen N&S several times, but haven’t yet seen the A&E Victoria and Albert miniseries. Since viewing a couple of clips from V&A it looks like something I would love to see. I’ve heard that it’s a little less fan fiction than The Young Victoria.

    To be honest I really don’t know much about the Great Exibition. Besides the little bit about it in N&S and a small mention of it in the Samantha American Girl film I’ve not heard or read much about it. This series of yours will be interesting!


  3. Judy permalink
    Thursday, November 4, 2010 9:26 pm

    I am Kaye’s mom. Could someone who lives where kaye lives, please respond to this e-mail. She needs help.


    • Sylvia M. permalink
      Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:55 pm

      Did you get anyone to help yet? I just now saw this. I don’t live in TN, but I might be able to find someone who does. I’m not sure.


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