What do coal and the Catholic church have in common?

The letters C, O, A, and L, yes, but more than that, they’re the current focus of my research. I’ve gotten distracted by something new (again, I know), and it’s… Well, it’s kind of annoying is what it is.

After my Hornblower marathon, I’m kind of fascinated by the French Revolution/Napoleonic Wars era/War of 1812 portion of history. So my new thing is set in Brittany, France, right around the end of the 18th century/beginning of the 19th. Bretons tend(ed) to be devout Catholics, and basically all I know about the history of the church’s arrival in the area is bupkes. There’s the remains of a beautiful abby near Clohars-Carno√ęt, France, but outside of inspiration… Yeah.

I need to know how long the church has been in the area, when it arrived, when formal confessions began being heard/taken, whether your typical farmer would attend mass every day/week, how often they’d go to confession, etc. etc. etc. (Also, the standard form of confession would be nice; I’m fringe Episcopalian, we’re not big on bureaucracy so I’ve never done a formal confession.)

As for the coal mining, all I really wanted to know was whether or not one of my characters would be in any danger of being an underground coal miner if he was currently-as-of-the-conversation-in-the-story living in Wales. So far, I think the answer is yes, but I was immediately distracted by finding out what ‘drift mining’ involves. And then I decided to write this… And now I’m going to try to get back to actually writing.

(although I am thinking about writing another post for a different blog… No! Must write fiction! Now!)