Congratulations to Alison (agboss) who won Susanne Dietze's The Reluctant Guardian!

Congratulations to Elise Jehan who won a copy of The Secret Admirer Romance Collection!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Rich History of the 1930s

We are celebrating this week with Author Julianna Deering on the release of  Death by the Book, the second release in her DREW FARTHERING series from Bethany House Publishers.

I hope you had a chance to enjoy our soiree on Monday. If, like me, you didn't get enough of 1930s England (or was it the waiters?), I've pulled together some tidbits from Drew's world!

Julianna is giving away a copy, so please comment and let us know you'd like to be in the drawing!
Fiction relasesd in 1932 included Aldous Huxley's A Brave New World, and Stella Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm. Oh look!  Agatha Christie's Peril at End House gave readers more time with Hercule Poirot!
First Edition Cover, or so says the internet
BTW... Julianna's favorite 'version' of an onscreen Poirot is David Suchet.  Miss Marple? Joan Hickson.
Are you a fan of these two as well? Agatha Christie approved of Ms. Hickson for her snoop after seeing her in a play.
Joan Hickson as Miss Marple!

While the Great Depression set the U.S. on its heels,  Great Britain hadn't had such a huge surge in industry, so the fall wasn't as steep.  But "The Great Slump" saw very high unemployment, especially in the industrial north.
1920s King George V  (wikipedia)
Parliament was in a fix, socialism was on the upswing, and politics boiled under Chancellor Neville Chamberlain.  King George V,  monarch during  WW1 (Does it make it easier if I refer you to " the Father" to Colin Firth's "George VI"?) pushed the three political parties (Labour, Conservative and Liberal) to unite into a coalition government.

1932  Car Show 
But it wasn't all bad news. Britain had discovered the motorcar! Everyone was mad to have one, and prices made it possible for the middle and upper classes.  The problem was driving laws and safety laws were non-existent. No license was needed and the 20mph speed limit had been abolished in the 20s. Thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries didn't change a thing until one of great Toffs was nearly struck down.
The Morris Minor 1932 Newly Affordable at L100.
Celebrities included the big Hollywood stars Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, John Barrymore and Claudette Colbert. 
 If you're a fan of the 20s and Downton Abbey, you know that Jazz had invaded Britain. The original Dixieland Jazz Band toured in 1919. By 1932, Louis Armstrong was a household name!

Hitmakers of the decade included Ray Noble and his Orchestra, Duke Ellington, Harry Roy, Bing Crosby, Rudy Vallee, Annette Hanshaw, Guy Lombardo, Kate Smith, Tommy Dorsey Band...Shep Fields and His Rippling Rhythm Band!

If you have a moment, PLEASE ENJOY this incredible rendition of ALL OF ME by Louis Armstrong!

Here's a toast to Julianna, Drew and Madeline!

Some movies to take you back...

The Aviator
Easy Virtue
A Good Woman
Gosford Park
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Tea with Mussolini

May I recommend 'A Good Woman'? Cerebral, interesting and not what I was expecting.


Hot off the presses! Congratulations, Julianna!


  1. I've had this song in my head all week - and loved it. what a treasure that man is.

    Welcome to 1932! Please visit Monday's post (The Release Party), I gave you the link above.

    With Downton Abbey and The Kings Speech, I think we all have a better window into the era. I didn't even want to start on fashions. That deserves a whole separate post and I know THAT WILL HAPPEN one of these days!

    Enjoy the day!

    1. I love you historical type writers, able to pull the various aspects of the time into a cohesive picture and then take you there. (I envy the skill.)

      Sigh. You're making me nostalgic for a time period I never lived through. Good thing I have a great book to read set in that same period. :)

      Drew, Madeline, I'm coming!

  2. The problem my dear girl is that I tend to BE in another decade or century most of the time.

    Thanks Barb! We will stay in the contemporary world for Bloom and Doom!

  3. PS please leave a comment if you'd like to be in the drawing for this book!

  4. Congratulations again, Julianna! I can't wait to get a copy of this and read it!

    Great post, Deb. I love Louis Armstrong. I must tell you about this restaurant I went to when I attended a conference in New Orleans. It's the oldest restaurant there, at least that's what it said on the menu. It's gorgeous, and if you take the winding steps up to the loft, there are life-sized murals of all of New Orleans' great musicians, Louis included. It's beautifully done.

    So, can you believe I've only seen one movie on your list? Miss Pettigrew.

  5. I'm so happy that DeAnna was able to break into a time period that we don't see much of in Christian fiction.

    1. Yes, and I hope it does well for cozies, also.

  6. Loved Miss Pettigrew! I haven't seen them all and I will admit that I started watching Atonement and quit. I was surprised. I tend to like these dark intellectual dramas and I loved the setting (and James McAvoy) but I started to get annoyed with them all. It might have been the mood I was in. I know what the story is about. Gosford Park is a hoot. Tea with Mussollini - wonderful. A Good Woman was something I caught online when I was bored and I ended up liking it a lot. Very typical of the time period.

    That restaurant sounds great! Thanks for stopping in on your way to work Suzie Jo.

  7. I read Rules of Murder and would be most happy to continue learning of the adventures of Drew and Madeline! Interesting to read some of the history of that time period too!

    1. Thanks Elaine! Great series, isn't it? I have Death by the Book on my counter waiting for me to catch up on a few other stories I promised to read. Looking forward to it!

      You are definitely in the drawing- glad you stopped in to comment! I read a lot about the 'traffic safety' troubles in this period of British History. The number of people injured was incredible, yet they remained against 'laws' for quite awhile.

  8. There are certain periods of history that I think our school texts just glossed right over... this is one of them. Thanks for putting this all together, Deb, it really brings the book to life!

    1. thanks. I agree. I like to know more about the period and this one tends to be a bit fuzzy. I'm learning more about WW1, and WW2, but that was started a long time ago when I listened to my parents and grandparents.

      I think we learned about the Great Depression and moved right into WW2.

  9. Love the musical accompaniment, Deb.

    I didn't learn much about the 1930's either, beyond the depression and Grapes of Wrath. My grandparents all married in the 30s and they're all gone now. I wish I'd asked them more questions.

    1. My mom was born in 28 and so her youth was the depression and then by the time she was graduating high school, all the boys had gone off to war. But I never heard anything negative about it. They did actually offer food to people who were struggling. My grandfather worked for NY Central RR so he never lost his job. However, he always rented because he wasn't comfortable with having a mortgage.

  10. So sorry to not be here until now. Thank you, Deb, for the wonderful post! Obviously, the '30s is one of my very favorite time periods, so much change going on and still so much of the Victorian sensibilities, too.

    Dressing for dinner every night? O.o

    But how lovely, too.

    BTW, I enjoyed Miss Pettigrew very much. The only other movie on your list I've seen is Easy Virtue. I looked forward to it so much, but basically the plot was two immature people got married, one decided to grow up and take up responsibilities, the other ran off with someone else. Sad really. And predictable, despite Colin Firth and Ben Barnes. ;)

    But I love the romantic comedies made in the 1930s. Bringing Up Baby, Midnight, My Man Godfrey, The Thin Man . . . GOLD!

    Thanks again, Deb. This is fun!

    1. I didn't know anything about Easy Virtue otehr than Colin Firth was in it and it's set in the 30s!

      Glad you are enjoying all the fun of a release and I agree, a super time of history.

  11. love all this history stuff. i think this is my favorite era because it just feels a tad more civilized (even though it probably wasn't). love the fashions of the time and the talent of major entertainers. give me louis armstrong any time!

    as always ladies, the Inkwell sure knows how to throw a book party. i love visiting during the celebrations. i learn so much.

    1. Thanks, Deb. Always good to see you! I don't know if it was more civilized, but I absolutely know what you mean. In retrospect it seems a bit classier or kinder but probably wasn't. Still there had to be more of a sense of neighborliness.

      We'll be doing fashion soon! I'm dreaming of a 1915 dress myself...

  12. Hurray for Deanna and Drew and Madeline!

  13. For me, the 30's were the Depression years which were still being talked about when we moved out West.

    If you mention the film industry and the 30's together, my mind flies to The Walton's. Virginia wasn't as bad as the midwest as dust storms go, but the show portrays how ordinary people had to deal with abnormal situations.