Susan Grossey

Ho ho no

As I have explained before, I am a great believer in taking inspiration from what is around me.  So if I experience a terrific storm, or see a particularly memorable face, I write about it in a little paragraph and then file that away for possible use in a Sam story.  Offhand I can’t remember where it is, but I know that in one of the first three novels there is a description of a very windy night that was actually in 21st century Cambridge but I transposed it to 19th century London (after marrying it up with a notably windy period that really happened then – I do love my historical weather records).

So you’d think that Christmas would be a bumper time – but no.  Christmas was a special church date, of course, but in Sam’s day the celebrations did not spill over into everyday life.  Work carried on much as normal, and other reliable sources – such as Jane Austen’s diaries – show us that people took very little notice of it at all.  The Christmas celebrations that we would recognise are a Victorian phenomenon, thanks in equal measure to the royal family and Charles Dickens.

Being something of a coward, I sidestep the issue by not setting my novels at Christmas time; they tend to span about three to four months, and it’s easy to avoid late December.  And it’s not as though the late Regency had no celebrations: summer and winter fairs were great occasions, and in 1827 – the setting for “Plank 4” – Sam and Martha will have been married for twenty-five years.  I do hope he remembers.

Published by


  1. Graham Avatar

    Dear Susan

    Having just returned from the stresses and strains involved in picking up the Christmas food pre-order, the royal family and Charles Dickens have a lot to answer for!

    Anyway, as I relax with a well earned cup of coffee, it’s a ideal time to wish you a very happy Christmas, and to thank you for the continuing good work on all things Plank. It is much appreciated and enjoyed.

    Best wishes


  2. ihatemoneylaundering Avatar

    It sounds as though you are doing sterling food collection work, Graham! Merry Christmas to you too, and I am delighted to have you as such a dedicated Sam-fan!

    Best wishes from Susan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s