April 7th, 2007

Catholic Funeral / Working as a Pianist in Mid-19th Century

I'm writing a story which is set in Austria and England in mid-19th century. I have two questions for which I haven't been able to find the answers elsewhere. I've googled 'catholic burial + flowers', 'catholic funeral + guests' etc. for the first question, but without luck. For the second one I'm not even sure how to start searching, so I'm asking for your help.

1. The first question is about the funeral of a catholic priest. The funeral takes place in Austria, and the priest in question was an abbot of a monastery (the order isn't significant for the story). I have the basic information on the rite itself, but there are two things I'd like to know. Would the guests have brought flowers to the church, and if the would, would they have put them on the coffin? Would there have been some kind of a reception after the burial? (I've only attended Lutheran funerals myself.)

2. One of the characters in the story is a man in his early thirties. He is from a wealthy English family but not necessarily a member of nobility. I'd like to make him both an officer of the army during the Crimean War and a pianist. Is the idea realistic at all? What was the social status of a concert pianist like back then? I know the most famous ones were quite admired, but how about the others? Could he have been a pianist first but then joined the army because of social pressure or something like that?

Thank you a lot in advance!

Teen Vampire Books You'd Be Embarrassed to be Caught With

Background Information: Eighteen-year-old girl in present-day America (more specific location unspecified) in a public library. She's applying to be a shelf-stocker. Librarian remembers her as someone who's read most of their vampire books--mortified, my character asks, "Oh, man--no one actually remembers me taking out __________, right?"

The Question: What's a really, really bad teen vampire book for her to be embarrassed about? It should hopefully be really, really bad even in comparison to standard teen vampire books. Preferably not Anne Rice--enough people like her that I wouldn't think it would be absolutely mortifying. (The character has read more than teen vampire books, but I figure that these would be the most potentially embarrassing.)

The Searches: I've done a few brief searches, but in addition to mostly coming up with actual summaries (a teen vampire's worst fear, or her bad news, or . . .), I also think soliciting opinions rather than trolling the web for reviews would get better results. It should offer a more focused response, anyhow--I get the feeling that internet reviewers can probably get pretty petty about things that aren't actually very bad.


EDIT: Decided to go with Christopher Pike (in general). Thanks for everything--I may end up having to read some of these suggestions . . .

EDIT 2: Scratch that, going with Lynsay Sands' vampire romances, since it really would be more mortifying to be caught with a Romance Novel. Thanks!