Jo here, returning to a subject I wrote about in May 2015 — the death of Princess Charlotte in childbirth in November 1817. Why? Because it's a lynch pin for my April book, The Viscount Needs a Wife, and for the one I'm writing now for 2017, Merely a Marriage.
I write my Company of Rogues books (follow that link for more) along a time line that started in 1814, and though I've gone slowly I've arrived at the great tragedy of the death of Princess Charlotte. I had wondered how I would deal with it, as it cannot be ignored, but it fell into place.
Death in Childbirth
People sometimes think that death in childbirth was common in the past. I may write a blog post on that subject, but though it was more common than now, it wasn't so common that the death of a young, healthy woman and her baby was taken in stride.
The nation was plunged into a genuine and almost manic mourning that continued well into 1818. Court mourning plunged the aristocracy into black, and nearly everyone in the nation wore sober colors, black arm bands and similar signs of grief. Not to do so was to declare oneself a Republican, but also a heartless person, because this was a tragedy, royal or not.
The Royal Succession
In addition to a human tragedy, Charlotte's death created a succession crisis.