With forecasts for possible heavy snow coming soon, this seems like the perfect time for the release of a story called Snug in a Snowstorm. It’s the next in the series of Cotillion Traditional Regency Christmas series and the publisher scheduled the release far ahead of the weather forecast, but it is a fortunate coincidence for the author of this Traditional Christmas Regency Romance, Cynthia Moore.
Ancient ancestors of the Regency Britons were the first to use shovels, according to some archaeological evidence. The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Brits used the shoulder blades of cattle as shovels.
But did they move snow with them, or did they, like about half the people where I live in Maryland, just wait for it to melt?
In fact, in places like Maryland, snow was at one time welcomed because it improved transportation. With a layer of snow, people could travel by horse-drawn sleighs. If the ground wasn’t frozen, though, it was probably impassable due to mud, because the roads were in such poor condition. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, when cities in the U.S. first tried to address the problem of excess snow, the initial solution was not to clear it but just to level it. One way to do that was to hire someone with a team of horses to roll over it to provide a smooth surface for sleigh runners. Horse drawn plows existed too, but it seems that the primary method of dealing with snow well into the 20th Century was to hire crews to shovel it out by hand.
I was unable to find anything about the history of snow removal in Britain, where the Cotillion stories take place, possibly because the British Isles don’t get nearly as much snow as the northern U.S. or because the Brits don’t waste as much time blogging about arcane topics like the history of snow removal.
In any case, in Snug in a Snowstorm, the hero and heroine have Mother Nature to thank for creating a mess that could not be quickly eradicated because it forces them to have to deal with each other. And that’ a make or break situation for any relationship. Since the title is “Snug in a Snowstorm” and not “Sulking in a Snowstorm,” or “Slaughter in a Snowstorm,” I think it’s safe to assume that they find their happily ever after.
Here’s more about the story and the author:
Lady Isabella Porter and Lord Gerard Malden have known each other since they were children. Isabella thinks of Gerard as someone who teased her unmercifully and made her feel inadequate as a young girl. This is a very unfortunate state of affairs for Gerard because he has loved Isabella for many years.
A sudden, fierce snowstorm and misplaced notes informing both of a change of plan mean Isabella and Gerard are forced to spend the Christmas holidays together in very unusual circumstances. Gerard realizes he must use the time he has been given with Isabella to change the opinions she formed as a girl so she may look upon him with favor and, if he is fortunate, lasting affection.
Cynthia Moore says:
I’m a native Southern Californian. When I was very young, I discovered my local library and the exciting potential of escaping the real world inside the pages of a good book. As a teenager, I became a huge fan of British literature. After reading most of the Victorian classics, I came upon Regency period novels in 1987. It was love at first read. Since my chance introduction to this wonderful era in time, I have read over three thousand fiction novels and own a large collection of research books on the period.
Please check out her new story and all the stories in the Cotillion Christmas Traditions Collection. And when snow hits this season, try to aim for “snug,” rather than the other two options listed above.
More information on the history of snow removal can be found at http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/snow/removal.html. Many thanks to for his fabulous pictures of snow removal in the “old days.” See http://mongooseofmystery.blogspot.com/2010/02/very-brief-history-of-snow-removal.html.