Fun Facts: Siri Mitchell's Flirtation Walk
A good book will not only entertain you, it will teach you something new! Authors spend a lot of time researching their books, and not all those facts make it into the final story. So we caught up with Siri Mitchell, whose latest inspriational romance, RT Top Pick! Flirtation Walk, is set at West Point in the 1850s, so she could school us. She obliged!
Five Intersting West Point Facts:
- Some interesting people have attended West Point. James McNeill Whistler (the painter) almost graduated. Edgar Allen Poe also gave a half-hearted attempt at being a cadet. Here’s a shocker: Timothy Leary (champion of LSD) attended the military academy for a while. Of those who graduated, you’re probably acquainted with Edward A. Murphy, Jr. — the original Murphy of Murphy’ s Law, and Henry Martyn Robert—who gave us Robert’s Rules of Order, which help meetings run more efficiently.
- West Point’s goal at the beginning was to produce engineers and gentlemen; the fact that cadets graduated with a commission in the army was almost secondary. Graduates were more respected for the work they did laying out railways, planning forts and building ports and seawalls than they were for their military prowess. More than any other group of people, West Point graduates helped to settle the West.
- French was a required subject back then…but it wasn’t intended for conversational purposes. Even though the Napoleonic Wars were over, the military community continued to revere the war’s tactics. Most military textbooks were written in French and many maneuvers bore French names. Even today, writings from two contemporaries of the Napoleonic Wars (Jomini and Clausewitz) are studied at military academies.
- Going into my research, I assumed everyone would have admired top-of-the-class cadets who do everything right. Boy, was I wrong! There’s always been tension between the top and the bottom of the class. The top accuses the bottom of not caring. The bottom accuses the top of caring overly much. There’s a balance between obeying the rules and rubbing others’ faces in them. We would all do well to remind ourselves what cadets have always known: we’re all in this together and no one likes a snitch!
- The ‘sock hop’ of 1950s was just a ‘hop’ in your socks. West Point held multiple hops every year. It was just a term for a more informal sort of dance, as opposed to the Grand Ball that took place at the end of every summer.
Flirtation Walk is available in digital and print now. Grab your copy: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance | IndieBound. And for more inspirational reads, be sure to stop by our Everything Inspirational page.