For my novel: Ancient stables & torches
   

       The Horse Forum > Barns, Boarding, and Farms > Farm Forum

For my novel: Ancient stables & torches

This is a discussion on For my novel: Ancient stables & torches within the Farm Forum forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Worked on farms in ancient gaul
  • Chicago before 1871

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    01-28-2012, 06:17 PM
  #1
Foal
For my novel: Ancient stables & torches

Hi all:

I'm a novelist with some experience riding, but not a lot. I'm writing a novel that takes place in 5th century ancient Gaul (France) think the movie King Arthur with Clive Owen.

I have a scene where two lovers meet at night in a stable. I was told from a friend that there would never be a torch used for light at night in a stable because of fire. I should set the meeting to moonlight streaming in through the boards. I have some romance in this scene and I posted a low burning torch nearby so they can see each other. I need some expert advice.

I was wondering, does anyone know what they were using before kerosene lamps and electricity in barns or stables at night to see? What if one wanted to work in the stable or barn at night?

Thanks,
Cinzia
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    01-28-2012, 10:03 PM
  #2
Started
They may have used lamps. (Not kerosene, but one where you just put a candle in it.) Open flames certainly don't sound like a good idea, but who really knows.
     
    01-28-2012, 10:16 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
They may have used whale oil lamps. Or seal oil or even olive oil, though not sure about that. Most lighting in those times was with "rushes" or torches where you had branches tied together and dipped in tar or pitch.

I think that stables of a richer person might be built of stone, so less of a fire worry.
People jsut had to put up with that worry and a lot of stables burned down before electricity. But also, when it was dark, most people went to bed or gathered around a fire place. They didnt' go out at night much. Dangerous.
     
    01-29-2012, 11:55 AM
  #4
Yearling
Candles were well known.

For a secret meeting, the lovers wouldn't want anyone else to see the light (which would draw attention) so they would put a candle into a holder made of metal with holes punched out.

Think of a metal box with a floor and a peaked roof on it, with a ring above that to hold it. The sides have holes punched into it. One side would be hinged like a door. You put the lit candle into the box and close the door. The light of the candle would shine out though the punched holes in the metal sides. You would hide the lantern in the shelter of your cloak, letting a bit of the light spill out on the ground where you are going, at the same time sheltering most of the light with your cloak.
     
    01-29-2012, 01:33 PM
  #5
Trained
Folks faced many of the same dangers using candles in their homes, but they did so all the time. I'm sure they kept water buckets near by, and put any torches or candles over a dirt or stone 'floor'.

But if someone screwed up, Chicago could burn:
"The Great Chicago Fire was a conflagration that burned from Sunday, October 8, to early Tuesday, October 10, 1871, killing hundreds and destroying about 4 square miles (10 km2) in Chicago, Illinois."


     
    01-29-2012, 05:05 PM
  #6
Foal
Thanks everyone. I'm going to check into oil lamps in stables (these are still Roman times) and I like the idea of perhaps a metal case that holds a candle (they used both oil lamps and candles in the 5th century). The mention of a stone floor and wall could also handle some light with a better safety factor. I don't want the barn to burn down around them. The heat is between them. <g> If I find out anything exact, I'll post it as well. I really appreciate the input. Cinzia
     
    01-29-2012, 05:44 PM
  #7
Started
Honestly, I think this detail is minute enough that you shouldn't have to worry too terribly much about it. Go for some extra stunning character development, and people won't notice what source of light is illuminating their passion. ^_^
     
    01-30-2012, 11:50 AM
  #8
Foal
LOL Eolith. You're probably right. In the historical genre world there are critics over everything. I have a well-known writer friend who writes historical novels who was actually called out for putting a black squirrel in a part of England where supposedly none live. So, I'm a bit cautious. However, as you mentioned, great characterization or romance will most likely make the technical aspect of lighting seem irrelevant.
Cinzia
     

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cleaning an Ancient Bridle LoveTheSaddlebreds Horse Tack and Equipment 6 11-27-2011 02:18 AM
stables :) ilovemyhorsies Barn Maintenance 9 07-31-2010 03:07 PM
? tax on stables embee Horse Talk 0 11-26-2009 05:05 PM
Ancient Vs. Modern Olympics Moxie General Off Topic Discussion 4 10-03-2008 10:34 AM
Ancient saddle - can anyone identify? 3neighs Horse Tack and Equipment 13 08-30-2008 03:51 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0