My Workshop!

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!

8 thoughts on “My Workshop!

  1. I’m really sorry I won’t be able to make it, but I just couldn’t tear away from home before Thursday. Will there be Cliff Notes? Pretty please ;)?

  2. I, too, would love to receive some paperwork or pdf files on your subject. As a legal beagle myself, I really wish I could attend. Alas, northwest Florida is too far away from you and since I haven’t yet been able to check off “Become Obscenely Rich” on my to do list for this month, attendance is not an option.

    I do hate to miss it though.


  3. Would The Wicked Ways of the Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke count? Prudence inherits a fortune but has to marry within a year to keep it.

    Btw, the workshop sounds great. I would so go if I were going to San Fran! (And I don’t write historicals)! *g*

  4. I’ll be there! I want me one of those buttons!

    “legally accuratest trilogy”

    More like, “trilogy most likely to feature a legal situation that not even the Library of Congress can vet for accuracy”. Obscurity is my friend. 🙂 Are you putting that in your presentation?

  5. Jackie, Skirbo–I’ll probably post something at some point, and I think Kalen has prevailed upon me to teach the workshop in online format at some point in the next year.

    Ely–not delivering a fortune until marriage, generally, is actually okay–although this is a court of equity, so if the burden becomes too onerous (marry within 24 hours) you’ll probably get grumbles. (In fact, I think the rule is just that it has to be a reasonable time.) It’s really things that restrict people from marrying, either directly or indirectly, that are anathema.

    As for you, Tessa, everyone knows that goats on boats are not only legally accurate, they are very cool! One thing cooler than goats on a boat, is a button promoting goats on a boat. Everybody wants that button. Also, the only thing cooler than buttons promoting goats on a boat is a book about goats on a boat.

  6. I do hope you teach this class online, Courtney, because I’d love to sign up. It sounds really useful.

    Have fun in San Fran, them as are going. 🙂

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