Author: Melina Druga

Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.
Fiction Writing & Editing

Little House on the Prairie: The Most Influential Book I Ever Read

Authors often are asked, “What was the most influential book you ever read?” or “Which author inspired you?”  I was an avid reader throughout my youth and early adulthood, graduated with a degree in English, and Edith Wharton is my favorite author.  However, the most influential book was Little House on the Prairie by Laura […]

Edwardian era Hettie's World History Lucretia's World

Domestic Servants at the Turn of the 20th Century

Having a family member “in service” or being in service yourself was common before the end of World War I.  Domestic servants were needed to run the expansive homes of the upper middle class and wealthy prior to the invention of many electric conveniences. While today we may think of working as a maid, for […]

Edwardian era Hettie's World History Victorian era

Happy Birthday to You: The History of Birthday Traditions

How did you celebrate your last birthday?  Chances are you had a party that featured a cake decorated with candles.  Did you ever take time to think where these traditions got their start?  If you guessed in the Victorian era, you’d be wrong.  Most are much older. Let’s examine the origins of some of our […]

Hettie's World History United States

This Week in History: New Year’s Day 1920

One hundred years ago today, people were celebrating the start of what would be dubbed the Roaring 20s in the United States.  What should have been a cause for celebration was slightly tempered.  This was the last New Year celebration before Prohibition would go into effect on Jan. 16, 1920. In Boston, revelers gathered at cafes […]

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Christmas Shopping in a Bygone Era

The commercialization of Christmas began during the Victorian era.  Retailers encouraged consumers to shop for the holidays instead of giving homemade gifts, and shop employees also decorated their shop windows with lavish displays to attract passersby.  The tradition of Christmas shopping was born. So what were the popular gifts in this bygone era?  Let’s find […]

Hettie's World History Medicine

Early 20th Century Dentistry: More Modern Than You Think

Dreading that next trip to the dentist?  You’re not alone. Patients a century ago, equally dreaded the visit, but thankfully, dentistry had modernized considerably by the early 20th century.  At least, you could reasonably expect pain medication and a speedy drill.  Let’s take a look at early 20th century dentistry. Dental schools got their start […]

Edwardian era Hettie's World History United States

School Kids in 1903 Explain Why Thanksgiving Turkeys are Important

Kids Say the Darndest Things may be a television show, but kids have been saying what’s on their minds –  and amusing adults – for centuries.  In 1903, the Sioux City Journal in Iowa asked the city’s school children to pen an essay on Thanksgiving turkeys. A sampling of the essays were published on Nov. […]

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What Affect Does Birth Order Have on Personality?

Families in the 19th and early 20th centuries often had large families.  What affect does birth order have personality?  This is a question I considered while creating the Steward family in Angel of Mercy. Birth order and personality wasn’t something people considered until the 1920s.  That’s when Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler first theorized that birth […]

Edwardian era Hettie's World History

Edwardian Wedding Fashion and Traditions

As the new century dawned in 1901, fashion was quickly changing.  Soon hemlines would rise while necklines would fall, and dress styles began to hug a woman’s body.  Wedding fashions, however, did not change as drastically and were somewhat behind the times compared to streetwear.  Wedding traditions, on the other hand, are surprisingly recognizable.  Let’s […]

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Forgotten Murders From the 1910s

My latest nonfiction book, Heinous: Forgotten Murders From the 1910s, was inspired by news stories I discovered while researching A Tale of Two Nations: Canada, U.S. and WW1.  As I conducted my research, I discovered case after case of murder, suicide, murder-suicide, lynchings, cop killings, doctors and nurses poisoning patients, and fatal traffic accidents.  It […]

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Fingerprints, Mugshots and Forensics: The Evolution of Modern Crime-Solving Techniques

There was once a time when it was possible to literally get away with murder.  This began to change in the 19th century.  That’s when fingerprints were analyzed, photography advanced enough to take pictures quickly and science acquired a new discipline, forensics.   Let’s examine the history of these three modern crime-solving techniques. Fingerprints: The Classification […]

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