"On the night I delivered Mercy Harris of a bastard child, the King's soldiers burned the city's suburbs and fell back within its walls to await the rebel assault."
So begins The Midwife's Tale, Sam Thomas' mystery set in York, England during the English civil war. While doing research for his doctoral dissertation Thomas came upon the will of Bridget Hodgson, who identified herself as a midwife. This was a curiosity, as a 17th century English woman generally identified herself by marital status, not by profession. His fascination with this historical tidbit led to research into midwifery, and eventually to the debut of his fast-paced mystery with a sequel planned for publication in 2014.
At his engaging presentation at Bertram Woods Branch library last night, Sam Thomas spoke about the many different roles midwives played in the 17thcentury, and he provided an interesting overview of the history of midwifery.
His slide-lecture presentation was infused with his genuine enthusiasm for the subject and his “luck” at being published. What he calls luck is actually a disciplined schedule of rising early to write, and then driving to University School's upper campus to teach history. At the end of day, he is at home in Shaker Heights with his wife and two sons.
When asked if he watched the PBS show, Call the Midwife , he smiled and said he
really hadn’t found the time yet.
Sam Thomas is available to attend book groups or to Skype or G-chat with them if they are more than an hour’s drive from Cleveland. To read more about him, visit his website.