I’ve been meaning to flog my workshop–uh, I mean, tell you how much you really want to go to my workshop at the Beaumonde/Hearts through History conference on July 30th.
It’s entitled Women, Property, and Personhood (not the title that’s showing up on the Conference List), and it’s a short look at the legal development of property rights in England (and only England, sorry, Scotland has its own courts of equity and I’ve never researched anything from them), with a particular look at how they pertain to women’s property rights and personhood. As this is a writer’s conference, the focus is on plots rather than particulars of the law.
You are probably thinking something like this: “Oh great. I would rather be bludgeoned to death with a baby seal then attend, at 9:45 in the morning no less, a workshop that delves into legal details from three centuries ago. Well, look at it this way: This workshop is 55 minutes long. The subject matter could fill a small room chock full of microfiche. If I tried to convey a great amount of legal detail, (a) I would run out of time before I hit 1400 A.D., (b) you would all fall asleep, and (c) there would be no guarantees I would get to material that would be useful to you.
So what I’m doing, instead of conveying vast amounts of factual detail, is giving a very broad overview of how people thought about property throughout history. I’ll explain how these give rise to a number of rules, and I’ll hand out a common checklist of “ways to figure out if you may be making a legal error.” The last half of the workshop will be hands on–we will examine wills and devises from actual romance novels, and I’ll show you how to use my checklist to figure out whether they can (or can’t) hold up, and if they can’t hold up, I’ll explain ways that the author could have achieved the exact same plot points.
In short, it’s designed to be useful for writers, to facilitate your plots (rather than to pull them to pieces), and to be more fun than you ever imagined law could be. Which, believe it or not, is pretty darned fun!
So come, and win various and sundry prizes, such as CDs containing scans of complete legal treatises (some of which are not available on Google Books), and never-seen-before-dare-you-to-wear-them buttons promoting the coolest, legally-accuratest Regency-set trilogy that 2009 will see!