What is it about the Regency period that woos readers who would not normally pick up a historical story?
Is it the characters’ costumes, perhaps? Or is it the settings? Or, maybe, it is the mores of the time. The structure and order which, while generally adhered to, authors like to stretch?
Until recently, I never even considered Regency novels as coming under the ‘historical umbrella.’ I always considered it as a genre of its own.
I grew up reading Georgette Heyer, who offered light-hearted romantic comedy within the Regency period at one end of the scale, to detailed historical stories set within true life events on Peninsula battle fields.
Georgette Heyer compiled the biggest and most comprehensive research library about every aspect of the Regency period, the wars of the time and all those details that made her stories come alive, and all of which was amassed before the age and convenience of the web. I often wonder how long it took her to research all the aspects she wanted to use for each book.
For Vidal’s Honor, I had the massive advantage of accessing the huge compilation of web and book information when I needed to discover the true details of certain events.
And without that, how could I possible come across a wonderful contact for expert detail about Regency carriages and their designs. And without that contact, I would never have realised that the English designs of coaches were months, and on occasions, years ahead of many of the French vehicles, and that the English used glass in their carriage windows at a time when the French used leather blinds.
I found that little snippet of information so fascinating I had to include it into Vidal and Honor’s race across France to reach the security of England.
While it is nothing more than a passing mention in the story, and the culmination of a delightful conversation during one afternoon with John Parker of Swingletree nr. Diss Norfolk, UK. (http://www.swingletree.co.uk/carriages(1).htm)
I used that snippet of information, to create a more vivid image of the differences of the carriage construction in the two countries—>
In the ensuing silence Honor became aware of the changed sound of their carriage wheels on the road.
“To be sure, I am surprised that this vehicle is so much quieter than le duc’s.”
“We have muffled the wheels to give us a better chance of leaving without detection.” Vidal let the shutter down and looked behind them.
“These wretched shutters are excellent for concealing your passenger’s identity, but I do wish the French would catch up with English designs and replace this leather with glass windows. So far we seem to be on our own. Let us hope it may continue.”
What do you look for in a Regency romance? And who is your favourite Regency character?
A pdf copy of Vidal’s Honor will be gifted to one randomly chosen commenter.
Which will Honor lose first? Her head or her heart?
When plunged into a world of spies, agents and espionage during the Peninsula wars, Honor, Lady Beaumont, flees for her life when the French capture her husband at Salamanca, and relies on his batman to arrange her safe passage back to England.
Viscount Charles Vidal is ordered by Robert Dumas, the First Lord of the Admiralty, to travel to Spain and escort the only woman he’s ever loved, Lord Devlin Beaumont’s widow back home before the French discover her whereabouts.
Their journey is fraught by danger, least of all knowing whether they are surrounded by friends or foe. Will they survive long enough to explore the possibility of a future together or will whispers of treason be enough to see Honor dispatched to Tyburn first?
While Vidal joked with his cousin, the viscount scanned the room. The smell of fine wine, whiskey and cigar smoke blended into a rich aroma that was as much a part of Whites as the card games, the background chatter, and outbreaks of lewd laughter from the younger members of the club.
One member in particular interested Vidal tonight, and he watched Robert Dundas, second Viscount Melville, and First Lord of the Admiralty, take leave of his friends and head in his direction.
He wondered why the man spent the best part of the night watching his every move, and paused in the act of fobbing his snuff box while he waited for the viscount to join him.
“Take a walk with me?” Although couched as a question, Vidal noted the quiet steel of command in the other man’s voice. Dundas laid a hand on his arm; a companionable gesture for anyone interested enough to observe the two men leaving the club together. “I believe I live not far beyond your own house. I’d appreciate your company, and this is not the place for such a discussion. ”
With an indolent twist of the wrist Vidal returned the modish lacquered box, unopened, to his pocket and nodded agreement. A man’s club was no setting for private conversation, and it was plain the man wanted to talk about something away from flapping ears.
Together they strolled across the room stopping to take leave of several mutual friends.
Book Strand http://www.bookstrand.com/vidals-honor
About the Author:
Multi-published author, Sherry Gloag is a transplanted Scot now living in the beautiful coastal countryside of Norfolk, England. She considers the surrounding countryside as extension of her own garden, to which she escapes when she needs “thinking time” and solitude to work out the plots for her next novel. While out walking she enjoys talking to her characters, as long as there are no other walkers close by.
Apart from writing, Sherry enjoys gardening, walking, reading and cheerfully admits her books tend to take over most of the shelf and floor space in her workroom-cum-office. She also finds crystal craft work therapeutic.