Elizabeth Hutchison Bernard


Delve into the STYLE AND SUBSTANCE of Historical Fiction—
thought-provoking sidebars for the curious reader!
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Style & Substance

Odd Tidbits and Occasional Musings from Elizabeth

Enter That Literary Contest . . . Now!

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One of the new or independently-published author’s most important opportunities for validation is the literary contest. Yes, the competition is stiff. But if your book does well, the recognition can help to give you instant credibility.

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The Search for “Beauty”

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When I saw the title of an article in the latest Scientific American, “Measuring Beauty,” I was excited, thinking this might be something of interest to readers of my historical novel, The Beauty Doctor

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Fear of Wrinkles Not a New Phenomenon

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A recent poll of 2000 women across the country found that fear of wrinkles is starting earlier these days. But, of course, such concerns are not new. In the course of research for my historical novel, The Beauty Doctor, I ran across this newspaper article from 1906 . . .

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The Good, Bad & Ugly of Being a Published Author

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Many of us who write exist for the moment when we first hold in our hand an actual finished product—a novel, a volume of poetry, or some other so-very-long-in-the-making creation of our imagination. That moment means that we can finally call ourselves not just a “writer” but a “published author.” This upgraded designation, if you want to consider it that, most definitely represents a sea change.

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The Early Days of Women Doctors

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My historical suspense novel, The Beauty Doctor, is the story of a young woman who, in 1907, dreams of becoming a doctor. But what was the likelihood of a woman actually entering the medical profession back in the days of corsets and Merry Widow hats?

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The Colorful History of Cosmetic Surgery

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The possibility of physical transformation through cosmetic surgery first came to public attention during the last two decades of the nineteenth century, inspiring both curiosity and condemnation.  As the turn of the century approached, women were becoming weary of the restraints imposed by a society in which they lacked freedom of choice about even the simplest things, including how they looked. Enter The Beauty Doctor

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Joe’s Museum of “Human Oddities”

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In my historical mystery, The Beauty Doctor, the wealthy and eccentric Joe Radcliff is a collector of what he terms “human oddities”—unusual specimens of human heads, bodies or parts thereof, preserved as dried or skeletal remains or floating in bottles of alcohol or formalin. Sounds creepy, right? But actually our fascination with human malformations—the study of which is called teratology—dates back at least 5000 years to the Egyptians.

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