Author Archives: Sharon Virts

The Charm of Loudoun County Virginia and Belmont Manor

Like most grand houses with a past, Belmont Manor had a long trajectory as the place to see and be seen. Built by Ludwell Lee between the years of 1799 and 1802 on land he acquired through marriage to his first cousin Flora Lee, Belmont saw its fair share of luminaries brighten its imposing doorstep. […]

Belmont Manor House, Lee Family Seat in Loudoun County Virginia [Part One of a five-part series.]

Loudoun County Virginia’s countryside was once dotted with the plantation homes of some of the most influential families in American history.  If the house had a proper name attached, you could bet it belonged to someone of note, or a direct descendant.  An example is the first house on our Masque of Honor historical home […]

Why My Books are Set in 19th Century America

When I first began this journey as an author, I was single-minded, focused solely on writing Selma’s stories and specifically, Masque of Honor. But, my research on that book introduced me to a number of other historical events that intrigued me. Now it seems wherever I go, I am always on the hunt for a […]

Polly Strong: One for All

Today I want to highlight a woman of incredible resilience who set precedent and greatly impacted the lives of many. Polly Strong is an understated figure; not much is known about her life outside of the critical Strong v. Laselle case, but her impact on American history and legislature is indelible. In 1796, Polly Strong […]

Breathe In, Breathe Out: The Invention of the Stethoscope

In the 19th century malaria was extremely common in the UnitedStates; at its height, more than one million cases were reported, this isprobably a conservative number since not everyone had access to a medicaltreatment. In Masque of Honor,Armistead Mason bemoans the almost “ordinariness” of suffering from malariawhile in battle.  A lot of the research Idid while writing […]