Introducing Jennifer Hallock

The “Approach to the Bridge of Spain in New Town, Manila,” taken in 1899 and found at the Library of Congress here. Notice the American, the only one wearing a dark shirt in the tropics.

In French, the word histoire can mean either a chronicle of the past or a fresh fictional tale. As a historical romance author, I love that flexibility. No matter whether I am writing sexy novels or telling the truth of the Philippine-American War, I embrace the story behind the events.

Oh, maybe I should introduce myself? My name is Jennifer Hallock, and I am the author of Sugar Sun series—steamy books “for those who love their romance with a little more plot” (Carla de Guzman for Evangeline has invited me to join her in posting on this spectacular blog. I’m thrilled to be here, and I cannot wait to show you my unusual little corner of the Edwardian Era.

G. W. Peter’s illustration, “An Evening Concert on the Luneta,” which was published in Harper’s Weekly as the centerfold on 25 November 1899. I color-corrected a high resolution image to bring out the American soldiers on the right side.

My day job for the last twenty years has been teaching history to intelligent, discriminating teenagers. (Yes, such a beast exists, I am happy to report!) Like any good teacher, I strive to keep my presentation lively, informative, and seasoned with humor. Sometimes that humor shows up in the shape of snark, but so it goes. Thanks to the indulgence of my employer, I am lucky enough to teach one of the few courses in the United States—at any level—devoted to American colonial rule in the Philippines.

Did you know that the Edwardian Era was also known as the age of New Imperialism? It began with the Scramble for Africa in 1884-1885 and continued through the Scramble for the Pacific in the early 1900s. For Americans this meant Hawaii, the Philippines, Guam, American Samoa, Midway Island, and a little adventurism in China during the 1900 Boxer War.

I first got hooked on this topic while I worked in the Philippines. Many Americans (including my own family) did not know where I was heading, let alone that I would be living in a former U.S. colony. Ignorance is their loss: the Philippines is a great place with wonderful people. I wish I still lived there.

Stay tuned for more! And if you cannot wait—like, you literally need to know about the nonsense that Americans were getting up to in 1901 Manila—check out my novella, Hotel Oriente. It has politics, scandal, a misunderstood White Elephant, and stolen bacon. What else could you want?



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