Why I Love the 17th Century, Warts and All
By Andrea Zuvich
People often ask me why I love the 17th-century. It’s hard to reply in a succinct manner. So, I’ll go about it in a slightly different manner, if I may…
What do you think of when someone mentions the 17th-century? Does an image of a bunch of moody men in black clothes and funny hats pop into your head? Do you think “that’s that boring period in time after the Tudors”? Well, let’s stop that right now!
The 17th-century has absolutely everything any history lover could want.
Are you a food lover? A chocoholic? A coffee addict? Tea person? What about pineapples? Orange juice? Well, all these things were introduced into parts of Europe or made fashionable during the 17th-century. Are you fond of salads? Well, John Evelyn, an English diarist and author, even wrote a book on salads (Acetaria). Although candy bar chocolate hadn’t been invented yet, they had hot chocolate - which totally rocks.
Are you more interested in warfare and action? Good grief! There were people colonising far away lands, trading with foreign countries - that’s quite exciting already. There were massive wars, such as the bloody, horrific, English Civil Wars; the Anglo-Dutch Wars, meaning a war between England and Holland (Dutch Republic/United Provinces); The Nine Years' War.
If fashion is more your thing, the styles are as varied as you could wish for. In the early 17th-century, clothes were still very much like the Tudor era (Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603), and while there was a time when black and sombre attire was fashionable, that later changed and the well-dressed often wore sumptuous, colourful gowns. Ruffs, lace, stays, high heels for both sexes, periwigs, and ribbons - have a look at the different fashions and you’ll see how interesting the clothing was then. The Baroque was an aesthetic which approves of flamboyant splendour.
Are you well into art? Well, the 17th-century had some of the biggest names in art history. Van Dyck, Rubens, Velazquez, El Greco, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Kneller, Caravaggio, Gentileschi, Van de Velde, are just a few of the great artists who thrived during the 17th-century. They produced truly stunning works of art, the like of which has never been equalled (in my opinion).
Music? Great Baroque composers such as Henry Purcell, Alessandro Stradella, Marin Marais, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Charpentier, Rameau, Albinoni, Allegri, Vivaldi, Blow, Handel, and more gave us such amazing music that continues to be popular to this day. All of us can recognise Pachelbel’s Canon in D, surely? That’s because Baroque music is timeless.
Still not enough for you? Well, perhaps literature and theatre appeal more to you? Perhaps the fact that some of the greatest playwrights in history lived in the 17th-century? In England, we had William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, John Vanbrugh, John Fletcher, John Dryden. In Spain, we had Lope de Vega, Miguel de Cervantes, Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Juan Vélez de Guevara. In France, there was Molière, Racine, and Corneille.
If philosophy and science floats your boat, try 17th-century philosophers & scientists: Descartes, Hooke, Newton, Leibniz, Cassini, Galileo. Seriously, just a small search on the NASA website will show you that many moons, astroids, and other things in space are named after 17th-century scientists. Go on, have a look.
So there you have it. All of the above are just the tip of the very large iceberg of reasons why I love the 17th-century. It’s filled with everything: good, bad, smelly, beautiful, and just plain old fascinating stuff. I’ve been researching this period in time for many years now. Am I bored? Never!
Thank you so much, Andrea, for taking the time to share your thoughts on the 17th century! I don't think anyone could call it boring!
Readers, continue on below for more information on Andrea's book, The Stuart Vampire!
Publication Date: October 31, 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror/Paranormal
Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester, the youngest brother of King Charles II is a handsome man with sound principles. When the twenty-year-old prince contracts smallpox in 1660, however, his life takes a decidedly sinister turn. Obsessed with Henry from afar, Contessa Griselda di Cuorenero – one of the Devil’s concubines – turns him into a vampire and plunges him into the world of night. But Henry soon discovers that not all horrors are of the paranormal kind…
In the unnaturally close village of Coffin’s Bishop, Henry encounters a severely abused young woman – a woman who has suffered under humans who are more monstrous than vampires. Could love save them from the evil they have known? And at what cost?
Henry must choose between his humanity and his monstrous, insatiable desire for human blood.
From the author of “His Last Mistress,” The Stuart Vampire is a dark gothic tale in the vein of The Monk.
Praise for The Stuart Vampire
“An intriguing historical with a darkly gothic twist, I enjoyed The Stuart Vampire and would recommend it to anyone with a taste for period horror.” – Erin Davies.
“Once again Ms. Zuvich brings the setting to life, she paints a vivid picture of the Restoration period – intertwined with drama & romance.” – (Amazon Review)
“A great mix of historical fiction and vampires -what’s not to love?! I really enjoyed this book,I liked the unique blend of fact and fiction!
A fascinating time period anyway,with the added bonus of introducing vampires into the Stuart line it kept me hooked until the end! The author obviously knows her Stuart and 17th Century history and facts were woven in amongst the drama of a secret darker world of evil,all happening during the time of the plague in London.The book was full of great descriptions of this time,I could almost smell it!! Would definitely recommend this book.” – (Amazon Review)
Buy the Book
About the Author
For more information please visit Andrea’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
The Stuart Vampire Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, October 13
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, October 14
The Stuart Vampire Launch Party @ 12:00pm-2:00pm EST
Wednesday, October 15
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, October 16
Review & Guest Post at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Friday, October 17
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection
Monday, October 20
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry
Tuesday, October 21
Review at The True Book Addict
Wednesday, October 22
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Friday, October 24
Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages