...finished reading "the RUINS of LACE" by Iris Anthony. A mesmerizing story, explores the intricate tangle of fleeting beauty, mad obsession and always hope.
From a note to the reader; ...there were those who made lace and those who wore it. Some paid with gold for it and some made it under the most cruel and miserable circumstances.
Girls were chosen and taken into convents at the age of six to learn the making of lace. They worked long hours, no fire no light, as ashes and soot might have soiled the lace. Mostly those girls went blind before the age of thirty and were hunched from their work. When they could not work anymore because of blindness, and did not have a family to take them in, they were thrown outside of the convent where they were abused as prostitutes for a crust of bread.
In 1636 King Louis XIII of France prohibited lace. Lace was smuggled through Europe for more than two centuries from Flanders to France....