Gretna Green: The bit of Scotland where English people go to get married
By Esther WebberBBC News
Gretna Green has been a hotspot for tying the knot since the 18th Century. But why do people still choose to walk down its many aisles?
The Scottish village of Gretna Green - population 2,700 - hosts almost two weddings per person per year.
The estimated 5,000 marriages that take place every year seem extraordinary if you consider that a mere 3,000 weddings took place across the entire county of neighbouring Cumbria - population 500,000 - in 2011.
Gretna’s status as the ultimate wedding destination comes from its position just north of the Scottish border.
In 1754, an English law stopped couples under 21 marrying without their parents’ permission. But in Scotland it was permitted for girls from the age of 12, and for boys aged 14 or older. Moreover, anyone in Scotland could marry a couple by “declaration”.
Young star-crossed lovers in England would elope and Gretna was the first town they would come to, two miles over the border. Enterprising blacksmiths set themselves up as “anvil priests”, carrying out the ceremony in return for a drink or a few guineas. One blacksmith wrote to the Times in 1843, specifying that he alone had performed around 3,500 marriages in the town over 25 years.
Several attempts were made to curb the phenomenon - which one MP for Newcastle described in 1855 as “lowering the habits, injuring the character, and destroying the morality of the people of the northern counties of England”. A year later an act was introduced to require a “cooling-off period” of 21 days’ residency in the parish in which a couple wished to marry.
In 1940 the institution of “marriage by declaration” was outlawed in Scotland and in 1977 English couples could finally get married without parental consent at 18.

Read more.

Gretna Green: The bit of Scotland where English people go to get married

Gretna Green has been a hotspot for tying the knot since the 18th Century. But why do people still choose to walk down its many aisles?

The Scottish village of Gretna Green - population 2,700 - hosts almost two weddings per person per year.

The estimated 5,000 marriages that take place every year seem extraordinary if you consider that a mere 3,000 weddings took place across the entire county of neighbouring Cumbria - population 500,000 - in 2011.

Gretna’s status as the ultimate wedding destination comes from its position just north of the Scottish border.

In 1754, an English law stopped couples under 21 marrying without their parents’ permission. But in Scotland it was permitted for girls from the age of 12, and for boys aged 14 or older. Moreover, anyone in Scotland could marry a couple by “declaration”.

Young star-crossed lovers in England would elope and Gretna was the first town they would come to, two miles over the border. Enterprising blacksmiths set themselves up as “anvil priests”, carrying out the ceremony in return for a drink or a few guineas. One blacksmith wrote to the Times in 1843, specifying that he alone had performed around 3,500 marriages in the town over 25 years.

Several attempts were made to curb the phenomenon - which one MP for Newcastle described in 1855 as “lowering the habits, injuring the character, and destroying the morality of the people of the northern counties of England”. A year later an act was introduced to require a “cooling-off period” of 21 days’ residency in the parish in which a couple wished to marry.

In 1940 the institution of “marriage by declaration” was outlawed in Scotland and in 1977 English couples could finally get married without parental consent at 18.

Read more.

In my book, Highland Passage, Ciarán and Mac are here during the bombardment of Eilean Donan Castle.

New Cover Reveal!

Cover artist/designer Ravven has made two beautiful covers for my Scottish historical romances.

(Source: jljarvis.com)

Zhang Yimou’s historical romance is heartbreaking in its depiction of ordinarily lives affected by political upheaval.

 

Maggie Lee
@maggiesama

Filmmaking doesn’t get more traditional or timeless than Chinese master Zhang Yimou’s “Coming Home,” a family drama of guilt, love and reconciliation set during the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution. Heartbreaking in its depiction of ordinary lives affected by political upheaval, this ode to the fundamental values that survive even under such dire circumstances has an…

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Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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New Cover. New Price (99¢ ebook for a limited time).

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo

Cover Reveal!

Coming this Summer 
What would you risk to find love?
MacKenzie Cooper is through with romance. On her way home from another blind date arranged by her well-meaning sister, she is caught in a snowstorm. White-knuckling it on the winding road home, Mackenzie loses control of her car, crashing into the rocky hillside.
When a rugged Scotsman pulls her to safety, Mackenzie is sure she must be hallucinating. Through the storm’s fury, he takes her to shelter in one of the mysterious stone chambers scattered throughout the county. Snowbound, Mackenzie must wait out the storm with this strange, kilted man who claims to be a Highlander from eighteenth century Scotland. By morning, she not only believes Ciarán MacRae, but has lost her heart just in time for him to kiss her, promise his love—and then vanish.
Unable to forget him, Mackenzie returns again and again to the stone chamber, hoping to unlock the secret that took Ciarán from her. But if she does, she will have to decide whether her fierce feelings for Ciarán are worth abandoning all that she knows to travel through time to find her gallant Scotsman.
Cover by Ravven

Cover Reveal!

Coming this Summer 

What would you risk to find love?

MacKenzie Cooper is through with romance. On her way home from another blind date arranged by her well-meaning sister, she is caught in a snowstorm. White-knuckling it on the winding road home, Mackenzie loses control of her car, crashing into the rocky hillside.

When a rugged Scotsman pulls her to safety, Mackenzie is sure she must be hallucinating. Through the storm’s fury, he takes her to shelter in one of the mysterious stone chambers scattered throughout the county. Snowbound, Mackenzie must wait out the storm with this strange, kilted man who claims to be a Highlander from eighteenth century Scotland. By morning, she not only believes Ciarán MacRae, but has lost her heart just in time for him to kiss her, promise his love—and then vanish.

Unable to forget him, Mackenzie returns again and again to the stone chamber, hoping to unlock the secret that took Ciarán from her. But if she does, she will have to decide whether her fierce feelings for Ciarán are worth abandoning all that she knows to travel through time to find her gallant Scotsman.

Cover by Ravven

Speak Outlander Lesson 7: Je Suis Prest

(via BBC News - North Yorkshire war veteran’s novel nominated for romance award)

A North Yorkshire author who served in the RAF’s Bomber Command during World War Two has been shortlisted for a literary award.
Bill Spence, 90, who writes under the pen name of Jessica Blair, has been nominated for a prize at the Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards.
If he is successful he will be the first male writer to claim the award.
As well as his romantic novels, Mr Spence has also penned Westerns and non-fiction work.
He said he adopted the pseudonym of Jessica Blair at the insistence of his publisher when he wrote his first romance, The Red Shawl, in 1993.
The word romance is fine, it’s great, but these sort of books are really about relationships”
Since then he has written 23 books, mostly set in 19th Century Yorkshire.

(via BBC News - North Yorkshire war veteran’s novel nominated for romance award)

A North Yorkshire author who served in the RAF’s Bomber Command during World War Two has been shortlisted for a literary award.

Bill Spence, 90, who writes under the pen name of Jessica Blair, has been nominated for a prize at the Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards.

If he is successful he will be the first male writer to claim the award.

As well as his romantic novels, Mr Spence has also penned Westerns and non-fiction work.

He said he adopted the pseudonym of Jessica Blair at the insistence of his publisher when he wrote his first romance, The Red Shawl, in 1993.

The word romance is fine, it’s great, but these sort of books are really about relationships”

Since then he has written 23 books, mostly set in 19th Century Yorkshire.

Coming Soon: The Kiss

I’ve just submitted THIS MOMENT, my contribution to an anthology called THE KISS, which is coming out in February. THIS MOMENT is a Scottish time travel that I’m planning to develop into a series. I’m very excited about the anthology, which will include work of some author friends whose work I admire.

If you’re on my mailing list, you’ve already received an advance reading copy.  :)

Exclusive Outlander Fan Event Coverage (by Starz)

My Favorite Romance Book of All Time

I’m not a great one for re-reading books, but I’m re-reading my favorite romance book of all time. It’s just as good as I remembered it to be. Well, perhaps even better.

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Greetings from the #Outlander writers’ room! Verra exciting things happening over here! 

(via Twitter / OutlanderWriter: Greetings from the #Outlander …)

Greetings from the writers’ room! Verra exciting things happening over here! 

(via Twitter / OutlanderWriter: Greetings from the #Outlander …)