In 1865 (34 years earlier than Franks’ scheme), a similar incidence in New England didn’t get quite so far but caused quite a stir.
I believe FACT is stranger than FICTION.
And often the BEST fiction is solidly founded in FACT. Hence my keen interest in the truth of Matrimonial Agencies, Matrimonial Personal Advertisements, and real-life stories of couples connected through the mail in the nineteenth Century.
Often, FACT is stranger than FICTION.
Interestingly enough, readers of Mail-Order Bride-themed Historical Romance aren’t likely to find much in the way of FACTS in the fiction we so love to read. But that doesn’t mean the true history behind the popular niche isn’t fascinating to those of us who read and write it. Risks were very well known. Newspaper reporters often were behind advertisements. Boredom lead truly unmarriageable people to engage in entertainment through the mail system and matrimony agencies. Practical jokes accounted for many…considered a gentleman’s sport in the era.
Fans of Mail-Order Bride Romances adore reading about courageous women who left home, headed west, and risked everything for a brighter future. We admire brave men who sent for a bride with no more courtship than letters could provide. We enjoy the conflict, hurdles, and challenges the characters face before earning their happy ending.
Did any of this stuff happen in real history?
Did real life mail-order bride arrangements become love-matches?