“Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”
MARK TWAIN, editorial in the Hartford Courant, Aug. 24, 1897
Well, not necessarily.
But where there is weather, there are extremes. The summer of 1818 in England was one of the hottest on record to that time, with June and July the warmest. According to the Royal Society’s observations, the average London temperature for June was 66.1F, with a high of 78 F and a low of 57 F. For July, the average was 68.9F (high 80 F, low 61 F). Compare those readings, again according to the Royal Society’s London records, to the more typical year of 1817: June range 81 F - 47 F, average 62.8 F, and July range 70 F - 54 F, average 60.8 F.
The summer of 1818 was not pleasant in London. The River Thames, which for all practical purposes was an open sewer, reeked more than usual. The streets, full of horses and their manure as well as other effluvia from man and beast, reeked as well. With no air-conditioning, deodorants or running water, the people, dressed in their year-round woolens, did, too. The ever-present pall of coal smoke from thousands of chimneys added to the miasma.
In An Inheritance for the Birds, my hero, Kit, abides in noxious London when he receives the letter from his late great aunt's solicitor informing him of a possible inheritance. In order to win her estate in Somersetshire, he must compete with her former companion. Their task: Make her pet ducks happy.
Idiotic the contest may be, but the prospect of a sizeable inheritance is enough to make him accept. Another lure is the trip to the country, where, although the temperatures may not be lower, at least the air will be cleaner.
An Inheritance for the Birds, available from The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance Ebooks and other places where ebooks are sold.
Thank you all,