Crow writes meticulously researched, entertaining novels of romance, history, adventure and mystery in an engaging you-are-there style that allows readers to live the history. Reviewers have compared her work with PD James, Dan Brown and Barbara Pym.
WILMINGTON, NC, November 22, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Thanksgiving Day in the US can be experienced in many ways. For some, it is an opportunity to reflect on gratitude, unity and can remind one to express appreciation for the abundance for what life offers, fostering a sense of thankfulness for both tangible and intangible blessings. It can also be an occasion to gather with loved ones, reinforcing the importance of family and community bonds. Beyond its historical roots, it can promote a spirit of generosity and compassion. But does that happen only in the US? Donna Fletcher Crow recently posted an article on her website in which she delved deeply into the history of Thanksgiving in the UK, US and Canada, and answers the question “Did Jane Austen celebrate Thanksgiving?” In that article, she said in part:
Obviously, Jane Austen did not celebrate Thanksgiving as we know it in the United States and in Canada. As every school child in the US knows (or should know), Thanksgiving in the United States has its origins in a feast that was held in 1621 by English Pilgrims and Native Americans to celebrate a successful harvest. The celebration is believed to have been in late November. The feast lasted for several days and was a communal celebration of the harvest, a way for the Pilgrims to express gratitude for their survival and for the help provided by the Native Americans.
In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday to occur on the last Thursday in November. In 1941, Congress officially established Thanksgiving as a legal holiday.
Canadian Thanksgiving has a different historical background and origin. In 1578, Martin Frobisher, an English explorer, celebrated a homecoming and thanksgiving ceremony in what is now Newfoundland as a gesture of gratitude for the safe return of his expedition who underwent many perils whilst seeking a Northwest Passage.
Over time, various regions in Canada held intermittent thanksgiving celebrations, but it wasn’t until 1879 that Thanksgiving was established as a national holiday. Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, declared Thanksgiving a national holiday to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales (who later became King Edward VII) from a serious illness.
She then addressed Harvest Festival, the UK day of giving thanks:
Harvest Festival, the popular UK day of giving thanks for the bounty of the earth dates back to pagan times when communities would give thanks for a successful harvest. The British practice as we know it, however, post-dates Jane Austen. Harvest Festival as it is known today has specifically Christian, even Anglican roots. The first recorded Harvest Festival church service took place in 1843 in Cornwall, England. The Reverend Robert Hawker invited his parishioners to a special thanksgiving service for the harvest at his church in Morwenstow as an alternative to the often-drunken celebrations that took place at the completion of a harvest.
Crow said in a recent interview, “I have loved celebrating American Thanksgiving all my life–family gatherings and church services were always special occasions. In my adult life I have greatly enjoyed participating in Harvest Festivals in the UK, in Canada, and in the US. When our daughter and her family moved to Canada, I then had the opportunity to experience Canadian Thanksgiving as well. Each one is a unique and very special event.
“None of these, however, is an occasion Jane Austen would have known, although their roots go deep into the past. The event she is most likely to have participated in is the Church of England observance of Rogation Days which occur in the spring to seek God’s blessing on the crops and on the land in general.
“Few things in life are more important than giving thanks. No matter how difficult circumstances may seem at times we can always find something to be grateful for–and what better time to do it than at a time of national observance?”
The full text of the piece is available at Crow’s website at https://donnafletchercrow.com/p/504/Did-Jane-Austen-Celebrate-Thanksgiving.
Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 50 books, mostly novels of British history. She has taken a number of high-level industry awards for her work. Many of her books have been bestsellers in their categories, including ‘A Most Inconvenient Death’, which achieved #1 bestseller status in Christian Suspense. ‘The Fields of Bannockburn’, the epic from which The Celtic Cross Series, Part I: Scotland, The Struggle for a Nation is based, was listed as Fiction Bestseller by Christian Book Distributors and ‘The Banks of the Boyne’, the epic from which The Celtic Cross Series, Part II: Ireland, The Pursuit of Peace is based, hit #3 Best-Selling Fiction.
The 10-volume Celtic Cross series covers the history of Scotland and Ireland. The leading historic figures of the day interact with fictional characters to bring the stirring events alive. Each epoch is tied to the series with the on-going events in the lives of modern young people as old wars and current conflicts keep them striving to find answers that provide hope for the future. The series is comprised of 10 novels. ‘The Keeper of the Stone,’ book 1 in the series was #1 on Amazon for Historical Scottish fiction.
The Daughters of Courage, ‘Kathryn’, ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘Stephanie’ is a pioneer family saga based on the stories of Crow’s own family and other Idaho pioneers in the Kuna, Nampa and Boise area.
‘Glastonbury’ is her best-known book, which received the prestigious First Place, Historical Novel, award from the National Federation of Press Women. Readers and reviewers have raved about ‘Glastonbury’, calling it “The best of its kind,” “richly fascinating,” “beautifully researched,” “gloriously evocative,” and “panoramic.” One Amazon reader said, “WHAT a work! Every reader can be enveloped in the sheer scope and quality, every historian be constantly nodding at the precise detail and accuracy, and every Christian can rejoice in the fullness of scripture. For me it is simply beyond descriptive praise. I would urge all who value truth to treat themselves to a feast.”
The Elizabeth & Richard Mysteries is a literary suspense series using literary figures as background: Rudyard Kipling in ‘The Flame Ignites’, Dorothy L Sayers in ‘The Shadow of Reality’, Shakespeare in ‘A Midsummer Eve’s Nightmare’, and Jane Austen in both ‘A Jane Austen Encounter’ and ‘A Most Singular Venture’. Watch for ‘A Prodigious Sum of Corpses: Seeking Sanditon at Jane Austen’s Seashore’, which will take readers to all of Austen’s favorite seashore resorts. Accounts of Crow’s visits to these sites are available on her blog under the heading “Jane Austen Seashore Tour.”
The Monastery Murders Series features atmospheric contemporary crimes with their roots buried deep in the middle ages. Books in the series include ‘A Very Private Grave’, ‘A Darkly Hidden Truth’, ‘An Unholy Communion’, ‘A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary’, ‘An All-Consuming Fire’ and the newly-released ‘Against All Fierce Hostility.’
Where There is Love is a 6-book series of the enduring legacy of love and faith all based on historic people and events. The titles are: ‘Where Love Begins’, ‘Where Love Illumines’, ‘Where Love Triumphs’, ‘Where Love Restores’, ‘Where Love Shines’, and ‘Where Love Calls’.
The Lord Danvers Victorian true-crime series is an Amazon bestseller in the British Detectives category. Books in the series include ‘A Lethal Spectre’, ‘A Most Inconvenient Death’, ‘Grave Matters’, ‘To Dust You Shall Return’ and ‘A Tincture of Murder’. Donna provides a no-charge download of ‘A Tincture of Murder’ for those who sign up for her newsletter. More information is available at her website.
Donna Fletcher Crow’s awards include:
The Dawning Of Peace, of Dreamers and Designers, Book Excellence Award 2023
Where Love Begins, Best Historical Romance, Pinnacle Awards 2019
A Lethal Spectre, Best Mystery, Pinnacle Awards, 2019
Glastonbury, First Place, Historical Fiction, National Federation of Press Women Award of Merit
The Banks of the Boyne, Silver Angel; First Place Historical Fiction, National Federation Press Women
The Fields of Bannockburn, First Place Historical Fiction, National Federation Press Women
Professional Achievement Award, Northwest Nazarene College
Juvenile Books Award of Merit, Idaho Press Women
Top Idaho Author
Pacesetter Award, Mt. Hermon Writers Conference
Outstanding Historical Fiction, Idaho Press Women, National Federation of Press Women,
Idaho Writer of the Year
Best Inspirational Novel, Finalist Romance Writers of America
Writer of the Year, Mt. Hermon Writers Conference
Donna is available for media interviews and can be reached by email at [email protected]. All of her books are available at online book retailers. More information, including a no-charge download of ‘A Tincture of Murder’, is available at her website at https://www.donnafletchercrow.com.
About Donna Fletcher Crow:
Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho. They have 4 adult children and 15 grandchildren living on 3 continents. Donna is a former English literature teacher and lifelong Anglophile. Idahoans with long memories will remember her as a former Queen of the Snake River Stampede, Miss Rodeo Idaho and runner-up for Miss Rodeo America. She is an enthusiastic gardener.
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