Heroines in an era lacking women’s rights

Anne here, blogging on a question sent in by Maureen Emmons (and thus Maureen wins one of my books.)

On women's rights:  Before women had the right to vote I was under the impression that they had no rights at all.  If this is correct then do you take this into consideration when writing your female characters?

Thanks for the interesting question, Maureen. It's quite a complex area, so forgive me, experts, if I over simplify. And feel free to explain in more depth in the comments section.

Single Women retained much
It's not quite correct to say women had no rights at all. They were limited, depending on the woman's marital status. If a woman never married, she retained the rights to any property she had inherited or any money she earned, as any individual would. In practice, daughters most commonly inherited personal property and sums of money, while sons inherited land, houses, businesses and the like, but if there were no sons, women could inherit everything, unless the estate was entailed. 

Entailed means there was a legal agreement in place that prevented a current owner from selling or otherwise disposing of property such as estates or houses or land. It was designed to protect the heir's inheritance, and it took a legal act to break an entail. 

Brides Married Women lost everything
Married women pretty much lost all their individual rights on marriage. By the law of the time, the act of marriage united two persons into one, and thus all property and rights were held by the husband. Children were likewise held to be the property of the husband, as was in effect the woman — she had no right to deny her husband his conjugal rights to her body. He also had the right in law to any money she earned. WmarriageC

But marriage settlements could help.
Having no legal rights in marriage didn't mean that all women were entirely unprotected, however. Many families took great care to draw up marriage settlements — contracts in which the welfare of the women were safeguarded as far as possible. Marriage settlements could contain agreements that some or all of the property a woman brought to a marriage would revert to her after the death of her husband. These settlements would also stipulate income — the  allowance a married woman might be paid quarterly or annually (sometimes referred to as 'pin money') and there might be conditions about future children and what they might inherit.  Images

Marriage settlements would also make provision for a woman after widowhood. A dowager is a widow who lives under conditions that would have been set up in her marriage settlements.  A 'dower house' is a house set aside for the use of a widow until her death, and the 'jointure' you may have read of is the annual income set aside for the support of a widow. 

These provisions would be set out in in legal contracts signed by the heads of both families before the wedding, and thus her rights would be protected by law. These rights were usually overseen, however, by a male relative on her behalf. She still had little personal control.

A widow could inherit money or property from her husband, and retain it, just as an unmarried woman could. However the only way she could keep it and still marry again was to place it in a trust.

It all depended on the luck of the draw
In summary, a woman's welfare more or less depended on the benevolence of her husband or male relatives, and on how clever and comprehensive the settlements before her marriage were. Some women's rights were gradually introduced long before they were given the right to vote, but that's a subject for another blog.

The Law and my heroines
As for how I deal with this situation in writing my female characters, it's a balancing act. And an opportunity.

I don't believe human nature has changed all that much over time. Expectations change, laws change, rights change but people are still people. I also think that in most day to day life we don't tend to resort to legal rights. It's the kind of thing we only think about if we're denied them. 

The lack of rights that women chafed against most in the Regency era were things like control of property, income, custody and access to their children, and the right to their own bodies — the right to say no to a husband, in effect. These were everyday realities for my heroines, and I try to imagine what any woman of spirit would do when confronted by them.

I've used some of these situations to put my heroines in a difficult position at the beginning of a novel. I've often had a heroine left in a vulnerable position as a result of her father's lack of care — Gallant Waif,  An Honorable Thief — or as a result of a husband's improvidence — The Virtuous Widow. AG-PRake-1

In The Perfect Rake, the sisters were under the control of a violent and unbalanced guardian — their grandfather. He had the right to beat them, and nobody would step in to act on their behalf, so they took their future into their own hands and ran away. Their solution also involves wills and settlements, but it's too complicated to explain here.

In The Stolen Princess, the heroine's main concern is to protect her son from his uncle, who has designs on his inheritance. Again, all she can do is flee, and in the end, she makes a convenient marriage for the protection the hero can provide.

In His Captive Lady, at the beginning of the story, the heroine had a baby out of wedlock, her father took the child away as she slept and she has no idea where her baby is. In To Catch a Bride, the heroine is very much regarded as a piece of property, and she uses all kinds of stratagems to avoid discovery. (To explain any further would be a spoiler, sorry.)

BridebyMistake68kb In my upcoming January book, Bride by Mistake, (see the beautiful cover on the left) the heroine's cousin berates her for losing her mother's fortune by marrying in haste without having proper marriage settlements drawn up to protect her interests and those of her children. 

Ramón glowered. He turned to Isabella. “Did you not negotiate the marriage settlements?”

Isabella flung him a scornful look. Of course she had not negotiated settlements. She was thirteen and fleeing from her violent pig of a cousin.

To Luke she said, “So, you would leave me entirely to your mother’s mercy?”

“Why not? My mother is very nice,” he assured her.

She narrowed her eyes at him. Luke smiled, confirming everything she’d thought. She bared her teeth at him in what was not exactly a smile. Oh, she would make him pay for this.

Ramón exploded. “You stupid bitch! Marrying an Englishman without thought or preparation. Dazzled by his pretty face!” He smashed his big meaty fist against the wall, making them all jump. “The money belongs here, here at Valle Verde! And now it’s lost, lost to you and lost to Valle Verde.”

“And lost to you, which is some compensation, at least,” Isabella said.

Ramón shook his head. “You should have married me! This is what comes of running from your family—you marry a stranger, an Englishman!” He spat.

“Still better than marrying you!” Isabella flashed.

“You brainless little slut, he’s not going to look after you. Don’t you understand? When he dies you’ll be penniless, no better than a beggar, dependent on the charity of strangers—”

“I’d rather be penniless than married to a pig like y—”

Ramón raised his hand. And found a sword at his throat.

“Lay one finger on my wife and you’re a dead man,” Luke said softly.

****** 
I don't give my heroines modern attitudes, but because I want modern readers to understand and identify with them, I try to show my heroines being strong and independent thinkers within the restrictions of their times. They use their wits, their brains and their courage to change their situations.

And then there are my heroes. I don't give my heroes modern sensibilities either, but as men of honor, they are protective and fair-minded toward women. And gorgeous. <G> As I said earlier, a woman's situation in marriage very much depended on the attitude of her husband.

So as a writer, I try to give my heroines a happy ending a modern reader would be happy with, but without violating or distorting the realities of the time. But as I said, it's a balancing act. 

What about you? Does it bother you to read Regency era characters with modern attitudes?  I must confess, some writers can sweep me away so I barely notice it. It all comes down to what you look for most, historical accuracy or story. What do you look for?
And if you're a writer, how would you answer Maureen's question?

145 thoughts on “Heroines in an era lacking women’s rights”

  1. It’s always a good idea to remember that people are people, legal rights bedamned. There are battered wives today, despite all the laws protecting them and their rights. There were henpecked husbands throughout history, no matter how much the law favored them.
    This is not to say that laws did not put women at a tremendous disadvantage, especially in the financial realm. Nonetheless, it would be unrealistic to assume that Patient Griselda was the norm of behavior and the Wife of Bath was the aberration.

    Reply
  2. It’s always a good idea to remember that people are people, legal rights bedamned. There are battered wives today, despite all the laws protecting them and their rights. There were henpecked husbands throughout history, no matter how much the law favored them.
    This is not to say that laws did not put women at a tremendous disadvantage, especially in the financial realm. Nonetheless, it would be unrealistic to assume that Patient Griselda was the norm of behavior and the Wife of Bath was the aberration.

    Reply
  3. It’s always a good idea to remember that people are people, legal rights bedamned. There are battered wives today, despite all the laws protecting them and their rights. There were henpecked husbands throughout history, no matter how much the law favored them.
    This is not to say that laws did not put women at a tremendous disadvantage, especially in the financial realm. Nonetheless, it would be unrealistic to assume that Patient Griselda was the norm of behavior and the Wife of Bath was the aberration.

    Reply
  4. It’s always a good idea to remember that people are people, legal rights bedamned. There are battered wives today, despite all the laws protecting them and their rights. There were henpecked husbands throughout history, no matter how much the law favored them.
    This is not to say that laws did not put women at a tremendous disadvantage, especially in the financial realm. Nonetheless, it would be unrealistic to assume that Patient Griselda was the norm of behavior and the Wife of Bath was the aberration.

    Reply
  5. It’s always a good idea to remember that people are people, legal rights bedamned. There are battered wives today, despite all the laws protecting them and their rights. There were henpecked husbands throughout history, no matter how much the law favored them.
    This is not to say that laws did not put women at a tremendous disadvantage, especially in the financial realm. Nonetheless, it would be unrealistic to assume that Patient Griselda was the norm of behavior and the Wife of Bath was the aberration.

    Reply
  6. It’s best to have both a powerful story and a degree of historical accuracy, but I don’t think even the most i-dotting purists really want total historical accuracy in fiction. I agree with the poet Muriel Rukeyser who said, “The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” When I read the work of a gifted writer, the little girl who once clapped with all her might to keep Tinkerbelle alive is still there, believing, enthralled with the story.

    Reply
  7. It’s best to have both a powerful story and a degree of historical accuracy, but I don’t think even the most i-dotting purists really want total historical accuracy in fiction. I agree with the poet Muriel Rukeyser who said, “The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” When I read the work of a gifted writer, the little girl who once clapped with all her might to keep Tinkerbelle alive is still there, believing, enthralled with the story.

    Reply
  8. It’s best to have both a powerful story and a degree of historical accuracy, but I don’t think even the most i-dotting purists really want total historical accuracy in fiction. I agree with the poet Muriel Rukeyser who said, “The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” When I read the work of a gifted writer, the little girl who once clapped with all her might to keep Tinkerbelle alive is still there, believing, enthralled with the story.

    Reply
  9. It’s best to have both a powerful story and a degree of historical accuracy, but I don’t think even the most i-dotting purists really want total historical accuracy in fiction. I agree with the poet Muriel Rukeyser who said, “The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” When I read the work of a gifted writer, the little girl who once clapped with all her might to keep Tinkerbelle alive is still there, believing, enthralled with the story.

    Reply
  10. It’s best to have both a powerful story and a degree of historical accuracy, but I don’t think even the most i-dotting purists really want total historical accuracy in fiction. I agree with the poet Muriel Rukeyser who said, “The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” When I read the work of a gifted writer, the little girl who once clapped with all her might to keep Tinkerbelle alive is still there, believing, enthralled with the story.

    Reply
  11. I think the law forms a common background to our lives, whether we know the details of the law or not. For example, non-drivers know there are speed limits, and that you must pass a test before you can drive.
    In the Regency, Mrs. Bennet didn’t understand the entail, but she knew that unless her daughters married well, they would be in very deep trouble when Mr. Bennet died. The law at the time left women almost powerless, and women knew this. So did men. This produced a culture of women depending on men, and the behavior dependent people the world over exhibit–catering to the powerful person, using manipulation instead of direct confrontation, and for women, an almost maniacal dependence on their looks and sexual favors to get what they wanted. And since men held all the cards, it led them to demand biddable women, virgins as mates, and to disregard women as people because they literally didn’t matter. If you are invisible under the law, you are invisible in other ways, too.

    Reply
  12. I think the law forms a common background to our lives, whether we know the details of the law or not. For example, non-drivers know there are speed limits, and that you must pass a test before you can drive.
    In the Regency, Mrs. Bennet didn’t understand the entail, but she knew that unless her daughters married well, they would be in very deep trouble when Mr. Bennet died. The law at the time left women almost powerless, and women knew this. So did men. This produced a culture of women depending on men, and the behavior dependent people the world over exhibit–catering to the powerful person, using manipulation instead of direct confrontation, and for women, an almost maniacal dependence on their looks and sexual favors to get what they wanted. And since men held all the cards, it led them to demand biddable women, virgins as mates, and to disregard women as people because they literally didn’t matter. If you are invisible under the law, you are invisible in other ways, too.

    Reply
  13. I think the law forms a common background to our lives, whether we know the details of the law or not. For example, non-drivers know there are speed limits, and that you must pass a test before you can drive.
    In the Regency, Mrs. Bennet didn’t understand the entail, but she knew that unless her daughters married well, they would be in very deep trouble when Mr. Bennet died. The law at the time left women almost powerless, and women knew this. So did men. This produced a culture of women depending on men, and the behavior dependent people the world over exhibit–catering to the powerful person, using manipulation instead of direct confrontation, and for women, an almost maniacal dependence on their looks and sexual favors to get what they wanted. And since men held all the cards, it led them to demand biddable women, virgins as mates, and to disregard women as people because they literally didn’t matter. If you are invisible under the law, you are invisible in other ways, too.

    Reply
  14. I think the law forms a common background to our lives, whether we know the details of the law or not. For example, non-drivers know there are speed limits, and that you must pass a test before you can drive.
    In the Regency, Mrs. Bennet didn’t understand the entail, but she knew that unless her daughters married well, they would be in very deep trouble when Mr. Bennet died. The law at the time left women almost powerless, and women knew this. So did men. This produced a culture of women depending on men, and the behavior dependent people the world over exhibit–catering to the powerful person, using manipulation instead of direct confrontation, and for women, an almost maniacal dependence on their looks and sexual favors to get what they wanted. And since men held all the cards, it led them to demand biddable women, virgins as mates, and to disregard women as people because they literally didn’t matter. If you are invisible under the law, you are invisible in other ways, too.

    Reply
  15. I think the law forms a common background to our lives, whether we know the details of the law or not. For example, non-drivers know there are speed limits, and that you must pass a test before you can drive.
    In the Regency, Mrs. Bennet didn’t understand the entail, but she knew that unless her daughters married well, they would be in very deep trouble when Mr. Bennet died. The law at the time left women almost powerless, and women knew this. So did men. This produced a culture of women depending on men, and the behavior dependent people the world over exhibit–catering to the powerful person, using manipulation instead of direct confrontation, and for women, an almost maniacal dependence on their looks and sexual favors to get what they wanted. And since men held all the cards, it led them to demand biddable women, virgins as mates, and to disregard women as people because they literally didn’t matter. If you are invisible under the law, you are invisible in other ways, too.

    Reply
  16. I agree with Linda to the extent of the average woman. But I’m perfectly happy to imagine women of above average intelligence, courage, or physical abilities rebelling against constraints, because in a historical context, some did. If we’re writing about heroines, then I see no reason we can’t write about women with more modern sensibilities who demand preferential treatment that normal women wouldn’t. Even using P&P as a guide, Elizabeth was not content to accept her lot but rebelled against it. So it’s all in how the author develops the character.

    Reply
  17. I agree with Linda to the extent of the average woman. But I’m perfectly happy to imagine women of above average intelligence, courage, or physical abilities rebelling against constraints, because in a historical context, some did. If we’re writing about heroines, then I see no reason we can’t write about women with more modern sensibilities who demand preferential treatment that normal women wouldn’t. Even using P&P as a guide, Elizabeth was not content to accept her lot but rebelled against it. So it’s all in how the author develops the character.

    Reply
  18. I agree with Linda to the extent of the average woman. But I’m perfectly happy to imagine women of above average intelligence, courage, or physical abilities rebelling against constraints, because in a historical context, some did. If we’re writing about heroines, then I see no reason we can’t write about women with more modern sensibilities who demand preferential treatment that normal women wouldn’t. Even using P&P as a guide, Elizabeth was not content to accept her lot but rebelled against it. So it’s all in how the author develops the character.

    Reply
  19. I agree with Linda to the extent of the average woman. But I’m perfectly happy to imagine women of above average intelligence, courage, or physical abilities rebelling against constraints, because in a historical context, some did. If we’re writing about heroines, then I see no reason we can’t write about women with more modern sensibilities who demand preferential treatment that normal women wouldn’t. Even using P&P as a guide, Elizabeth was not content to accept her lot but rebelled against it. So it’s all in how the author develops the character.

    Reply
  20. I agree with Linda to the extent of the average woman. But I’m perfectly happy to imagine women of above average intelligence, courage, or physical abilities rebelling against constraints, because in a historical context, some did. If we’re writing about heroines, then I see no reason we can’t write about women with more modern sensibilities who demand preferential treatment that normal women wouldn’t. Even using P&P as a guide, Elizabeth was not content to accept her lot but rebelled against it. So it’s all in how the author develops the character.

    Reply
  21. Pat, I agree with you. The main woman in a romance is a heroine, which means she does things other, less heroic women are too afraid to do. But they both live against the same background. And if you understand the background, you understand the hurdles the heroine faces.

    Reply
  22. Pat, I agree with you. The main woman in a romance is a heroine, which means she does things other, less heroic women are too afraid to do. But they both live against the same background. And if you understand the background, you understand the hurdles the heroine faces.

    Reply
  23. Pat, I agree with you. The main woman in a romance is a heroine, which means she does things other, less heroic women are too afraid to do. But they both live against the same background. And if you understand the background, you understand the hurdles the heroine faces.

    Reply
  24. Pat, I agree with you. The main woman in a romance is a heroine, which means she does things other, less heroic women are too afraid to do. But they both live against the same background. And if you understand the background, you understand the hurdles the heroine faces.

    Reply
  25. Pat, I agree with you. The main woman in a romance is a heroine, which means she does things other, less heroic women are too afraid to do. But they both live against the same background. And if you understand the background, you understand the hurdles the heroine faces.

    Reply
  26. I just reread my last comment, and it sounds like I’m giving the heroine carte blanche to have sex. I’m not.
    Somehow, whenever women rebel, it always seems to come out as sex. There’s a whole world out there besides sex, and any historical heroine who hops into the hero’s bed just because he’s such a hot stud is a fool.

    Reply
  27. I just reread my last comment, and it sounds like I’m giving the heroine carte blanche to have sex. I’m not.
    Somehow, whenever women rebel, it always seems to come out as sex. There’s a whole world out there besides sex, and any historical heroine who hops into the hero’s bed just because he’s such a hot stud is a fool.

    Reply
  28. I just reread my last comment, and it sounds like I’m giving the heroine carte blanche to have sex. I’m not.
    Somehow, whenever women rebel, it always seems to come out as sex. There’s a whole world out there besides sex, and any historical heroine who hops into the hero’s bed just because he’s such a hot stud is a fool.

    Reply
  29. I just reread my last comment, and it sounds like I’m giving the heroine carte blanche to have sex. I’m not.
    Somehow, whenever women rebel, it always seems to come out as sex. There’s a whole world out there besides sex, and any historical heroine who hops into the hero’s bed just because he’s such a hot stud is a fool.

    Reply
  30. I just reread my last comment, and it sounds like I’m giving the heroine carte blanche to have sex. I’m not.
    Somehow, whenever women rebel, it always seems to come out as sex. There’s a whole world out there besides sex, and any historical heroine who hops into the hero’s bed just because he’s such a hot stud is a fool.

    Reply
  31. Linda, I agree. It’s one thing to decide to rebel against the strictures of your society, but it’s quite another to pretend those strictures don’t exist or can be ignored with impunity. I’m fine with defiant heroines, but not with TSTL idiots.

    Reply
  32. Linda, I agree. It’s one thing to decide to rebel against the strictures of your society, but it’s quite another to pretend those strictures don’t exist or can be ignored with impunity. I’m fine with defiant heroines, but not with TSTL idiots.

    Reply
  33. Linda, I agree. It’s one thing to decide to rebel against the strictures of your society, but it’s quite another to pretend those strictures don’t exist or can be ignored with impunity. I’m fine with defiant heroines, but not with TSTL idiots.

    Reply
  34. Linda, I agree. It’s one thing to decide to rebel against the strictures of your society, but it’s quite another to pretend those strictures don’t exist or can be ignored with impunity. I’m fine with defiant heroines, but not with TSTL idiots.

    Reply
  35. Linda, I agree. It’s one thing to decide to rebel against the strictures of your society, but it’s quite another to pretend those strictures don’t exist or can be ignored with impunity. I’m fine with defiant heroines, but not with TSTL idiots.

    Reply
  36. Janga, story and good writing will also trump most things for me, too.
    I’m not sure what total historical accuracy would look like, anyway. There’s an assumption, I suspect, that characters should be ‘typical’ or ‘representative’ or their time, but that notion contradicts the whole idea of story. If we look at regency-era novelists and the stories they were writing, their characters were far from typical. We don’t want to read about typical people.
    But I do want a historical framework that seems believable, and provides challenges and barriers to characters in the way all societies shape our options.

    Reply
  37. Janga, story and good writing will also trump most things for me, too.
    I’m not sure what total historical accuracy would look like, anyway. There’s an assumption, I suspect, that characters should be ‘typical’ or ‘representative’ or their time, but that notion contradicts the whole idea of story. If we look at regency-era novelists and the stories they were writing, their characters were far from typical. We don’t want to read about typical people.
    But I do want a historical framework that seems believable, and provides challenges and barriers to characters in the way all societies shape our options.

    Reply
  38. Janga, story and good writing will also trump most things for me, too.
    I’m not sure what total historical accuracy would look like, anyway. There’s an assumption, I suspect, that characters should be ‘typical’ or ‘representative’ or their time, but that notion contradicts the whole idea of story. If we look at regency-era novelists and the stories they were writing, their characters were far from typical. We don’t want to read about typical people.
    But I do want a historical framework that seems believable, and provides challenges and barriers to characters in the way all societies shape our options.

    Reply
  39. Janga, story and good writing will also trump most things for me, too.
    I’m not sure what total historical accuracy would look like, anyway. There’s an assumption, I suspect, that characters should be ‘typical’ or ‘representative’ or their time, but that notion contradicts the whole idea of story. If we look at regency-era novelists and the stories they were writing, their characters were far from typical. We don’t want to read about typical people.
    But I do want a historical framework that seems believable, and provides challenges and barriers to characters in the way all societies shape our options.

    Reply
  40. Janga, story and good writing will also trump most things for me, too.
    I’m not sure what total historical accuracy would look like, anyway. There’s an assumption, I suspect, that characters should be ‘typical’ or ‘representative’ or their time, but that notion contradicts the whole idea of story. If we look at regency-era novelists and the stories they were writing, their characters were far from typical. We don’t want to read about typical people.
    But I do want a historical framework that seems believable, and provides challenges and barriers to characters in the way all societies shape our options.

    Reply
  41. Linda, I agree with you about bed-hopping heroines who disregard consequences being fools. I also think the barriers and restrictions placed on a character and how she deals with them make for a more interesting story. It’s part of conflict, isn’t it, and it helps drive the story.
    But I don’t agree that the law bred a culture of men who thought that women literally didn’t matter. I think the men of those times who thought this were the same kind of men who take a similar attitude now, regardless of the law.
    I think there’s an uneasy friction between expectations and assumptions that create inequality, and personality. There have always been women of spirit shaping the world and making something more of their opportunities, and I don’t mean necessarily in a ‘look-at-me’ or ‘heroic’ fashion. I think it’s true that many women learned to approach problems and confrontation in a less direct manner, but that’s not always about power, it’s about personality and preference — the desire for harmony — and as for how much that’s shaped by society… well, that’s an endless debate, isn’t it?

    Reply
  42. Linda, I agree with you about bed-hopping heroines who disregard consequences being fools. I also think the barriers and restrictions placed on a character and how she deals with them make for a more interesting story. It’s part of conflict, isn’t it, and it helps drive the story.
    But I don’t agree that the law bred a culture of men who thought that women literally didn’t matter. I think the men of those times who thought this were the same kind of men who take a similar attitude now, regardless of the law.
    I think there’s an uneasy friction between expectations and assumptions that create inequality, and personality. There have always been women of spirit shaping the world and making something more of their opportunities, and I don’t mean necessarily in a ‘look-at-me’ or ‘heroic’ fashion. I think it’s true that many women learned to approach problems and confrontation in a less direct manner, but that’s not always about power, it’s about personality and preference — the desire for harmony — and as for how much that’s shaped by society… well, that’s an endless debate, isn’t it?

    Reply
  43. Linda, I agree with you about bed-hopping heroines who disregard consequences being fools. I also think the barriers and restrictions placed on a character and how she deals with them make for a more interesting story. It’s part of conflict, isn’t it, and it helps drive the story.
    But I don’t agree that the law bred a culture of men who thought that women literally didn’t matter. I think the men of those times who thought this were the same kind of men who take a similar attitude now, regardless of the law.
    I think there’s an uneasy friction between expectations and assumptions that create inequality, and personality. There have always been women of spirit shaping the world and making something more of their opportunities, and I don’t mean necessarily in a ‘look-at-me’ or ‘heroic’ fashion. I think it’s true that many women learned to approach problems and confrontation in a less direct manner, but that’s not always about power, it’s about personality and preference — the desire for harmony — and as for how much that’s shaped by society… well, that’s an endless debate, isn’t it?

    Reply
  44. Linda, I agree with you about bed-hopping heroines who disregard consequences being fools. I also think the barriers and restrictions placed on a character and how she deals with them make for a more interesting story. It’s part of conflict, isn’t it, and it helps drive the story.
    But I don’t agree that the law bred a culture of men who thought that women literally didn’t matter. I think the men of those times who thought this were the same kind of men who take a similar attitude now, regardless of the law.
    I think there’s an uneasy friction between expectations and assumptions that create inequality, and personality. There have always been women of spirit shaping the world and making something more of their opportunities, and I don’t mean necessarily in a ‘look-at-me’ or ‘heroic’ fashion. I think it’s true that many women learned to approach problems and confrontation in a less direct manner, but that’s not always about power, it’s about personality and preference — the desire for harmony — and as for how much that’s shaped by society… well, that’s an endless debate, isn’t it?

    Reply
  45. Linda, I agree with you about bed-hopping heroines who disregard consequences being fools. I also think the barriers and restrictions placed on a character and how she deals with them make for a more interesting story. It’s part of conflict, isn’t it, and it helps drive the story.
    But I don’t agree that the law bred a culture of men who thought that women literally didn’t matter. I think the men of those times who thought this were the same kind of men who take a similar attitude now, regardless of the law.
    I think there’s an uneasy friction between expectations and assumptions that create inequality, and personality. There have always been women of spirit shaping the world and making something more of their opportunities, and I don’t mean necessarily in a ‘look-at-me’ or ‘heroic’ fashion. I think it’s true that many women learned to approach problems and confrontation in a less direct manner, but that’s not always about power, it’s about personality and preference — the desire for harmony — and as for how much that’s shaped by society… well, that’s an endless debate, isn’t it?

    Reply
  46. Evangeline, I think the constraints of historical reality make for more interesting conflict and a heroine who struggles to shape her own happiness from a difficult situation makes for a more interesting story than one who has it all easy.
    Not that I think the women of 1880 and beyond had it much easier. It’s interesting, though, how some historical periods appeal to different people differently.

    Reply
  47. Evangeline, I think the constraints of historical reality make for more interesting conflict and a heroine who struggles to shape her own happiness from a difficult situation makes for a more interesting story than one who has it all easy.
    Not that I think the women of 1880 and beyond had it much easier. It’s interesting, though, how some historical periods appeal to different people differently.

    Reply
  48. Evangeline, I think the constraints of historical reality make for more interesting conflict and a heroine who struggles to shape her own happiness from a difficult situation makes for a more interesting story than one who has it all easy.
    Not that I think the women of 1880 and beyond had it much easier. It’s interesting, though, how some historical periods appeal to different people differently.

    Reply
  49. Evangeline, I think the constraints of historical reality make for more interesting conflict and a heroine who struggles to shape her own happiness from a difficult situation makes for a more interesting story than one who has it all easy.
    Not that I think the women of 1880 and beyond had it much easier. It’s interesting, though, how some historical periods appeal to different people differently.

    Reply
  50. Evangeline, I think the constraints of historical reality make for more interesting conflict and a heroine who struggles to shape her own happiness from a difficult situation makes for a more interesting story than one who has it all easy.
    Not that I think the women of 1880 and beyond had it much easier. It’s interesting, though, how some historical periods appeal to different people differently.

    Reply
  51. I think, Anne, at base you got it right…people are people, and that really hasn’t changed much over thousands of years.
    The law wasn’t favorable towards women and independence, but I think most women found ways to work in and/or around the system — the medieval woman whose uncle “owned” her shop but didn’t run it all, the 18th century women who held salons in their home that profoundly influence policy and public opinion, and the 19th century woman who ran her own property, regardless of who she was married to.
    Unfortunately, in many cases, we only have paper documents, which show how the system recorded things as being, and court cases, which show what happened when the system failed. The “real” story is grey, or lost in time, or not easily discernible in paper documents. Even today, there’s an awful lot that never makes it into paper or into the court system.
    I would disagree on the “typical” woman…I think there was a lot more variety in living and working situations for women than appears. Typical is really, well, not — there are broad trends you can see, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty, there was almost always variation from the “standard.” It’s just a question of how much variation, and how much was/is visible to historians and researchers.

    Reply
  52. I think, Anne, at base you got it right…people are people, and that really hasn’t changed much over thousands of years.
    The law wasn’t favorable towards women and independence, but I think most women found ways to work in and/or around the system — the medieval woman whose uncle “owned” her shop but didn’t run it all, the 18th century women who held salons in their home that profoundly influence policy and public opinion, and the 19th century woman who ran her own property, regardless of who she was married to.
    Unfortunately, in many cases, we only have paper documents, which show how the system recorded things as being, and court cases, which show what happened when the system failed. The “real” story is grey, or lost in time, or not easily discernible in paper documents. Even today, there’s an awful lot that never makes it into paper or into the court system.
    I would disagree on the “typical” woman…I think there was a lot more variety in living and working situations for women than appears. Typical is really, well, not — there are broad trends you can see, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty, there was almost always variation from the “standard.” It’s just a question of how much variation, and how much was/is visible to historians and researchers.

    Reply
  53. I think, Anne, at base you got it right…people are people, and that really hasn’t changed much over thousands of years.
    The law wasn’t favorable towards women and independence, but I think most women found ways to work in and/or around the system — the medieval woman whose uncle “owned” her shop but didn’t run it all, the 18th century women who held salons in their home that profoundly influence policy and public opinion, and the 19th century woman who ran her own property, regardless of who she was married to.
    Unfortunately, in many cases, we only have paper documents, which show how the system recorded things as being, and court cases, which show what happened when the system failed. The “real” story is grey, or lost in time, or not easily discernible in paper documents. Even today, there’s an awful lot that never makes it into paper or into the court system.
    I would disagree on the “typical” woman…I think there was a lot more variety in living and working situations for women than appears. Typical is really, well, not — there are broad trends you can see, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty, there was almost always variation from the “standard.” It’s just a question of how much variation, and how much was/is visible to historians and researchers.

    Reply
  54. I think, Anne, at base you got it right…people are people, and that really hasn’t changed much over thousands of years.
    The law wasn’t favorable towards women and independence, but I think most women found ways to work in and/or around the system — the medieval woman whose uncle “owned” her shop but didn’t run it all, the 18th century women who held salons in their home that profoundly influence policy and public opinion, and the 19th century woman who ran her own property, regardless of who she was married to.
    Unfortunately, in many cases, we only have paper documents, which show how the system recorded things as being, and court cases, which show what happened when the system failed. The “real” story is grey, or lost in time, or not easily discernible in paper documents. Even today, there’s an awful lot that never makes it into paper or into the court system.
    I would disagree on the “typical” woman…I think there was a lot more variety in living and working situations for women than appears. Typical is really, well, not — there are broad trends you can see, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty, there was almost always variation from the “standard.” It’s just a question of how much variation, and how much was/is visible to historians and researchers.

    Reply
  55. I think, Anne, at base you got it right…people are people, and that really hasn’t changed much over thousands of years.
    The law wasn’t favorable towards women and independence, but I think most women found ways to work in and/or around the system — the medieval woman whose uncle “owned” her shop but didn’t run it all, the 18th century women who held salons in their home that profoundly influence policy and public opinion, and the 19th century woman who ran her own property, regardless of who she was married to.
    Unfortunately, in many cases, we only have paper documents, which show how the system recorded things as being, and court cases, which show what happened when the system failed. The “real” story is grey, or lost in time, or not easily discernible in paper documents. Even today, there’s an awful lot that never makes it into paper or into the court system.
    I would disagree on the “typical” woman…I think there was a lot more variety in living and working situations for women than appears. Typical is really, well, not — there are broad trends you can see, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty, there was almost always variation from the “standard.” It’s just a question of how much variation, and how much was/is visible to historians and researchers.

    Reply
  56. Jessica, I quite agree with you. I don’t believe that there’s any such ‘typical’ woman of any era, really, and I think it’s wrong to expect stories to reflect whatever that typical person might be.
    I was referring to comments I’ve seen about characters in books (not necessarily mine) where readers complain that ” a regency girl wouldn’t do that” — whatever it was — when in fact there is ample evidence — when you look — that plenty of regency girls did. And did a great deal more.
    I particularly like reading old letters and journals of the time, and have come across some wonderful real life heroines who caused no particular ripples or scandals of any sort in their society, but who led interesting, unusual and adventurous lives.

    Reply
  57. Jessica, I quite agree with you. I don’t believe that there’s any such ‘typical’ woman of any era, really, and I think it’s wrong to expect stories to reflect whatever that typical person might be.
    I was referring to comments I’ve seen about characters in books (not necessarily mine) where readers complain that ” a regency girl wouldn’t do that” — whatever it was — when in fact there is ample evidence — when you look — that plenty of regency girls did. And did a great deal more.
    I particularly like reading old letters and journals of the time, and have come across some wonderful real life heroines who caused no particular ripples or scandals of any sort in their society, but who led interesting, unusual and adventurous lives.

    Reply
  58. Jessica, I quite agree with you. I don’t believe that there’s any such ‘typical’ woman of any era, really, and I think it’s wrong to expect stories to reflect whatever that typical person might be.
    I was referring to comments I’ve seen about characters in books (not necessarily mine) where readers complain that ” a regency girl wouldn’t do that” — whatever it was — when in fact there is ample evidence — when you look — that plenty of regency girls did. And did a great deal more.
    I particularly like reading old letters and journals of the time, and have come across some wonderful real life heroines who caused no particular ripples or scandals of any sort in their society, but who led interesting, unusual and adventurous lives.

    Reply
  59. Jessica, I quite agree with you. I don’t believe that there’s any such ‘typical’ woman of any era, really, and I think it’s wrong to expect stories to reflect whatever that typical person might be.
    I was referring to comments I’ve seen about characters in books (not necessarily mine) where readers complain that ” a regency girl wouldn’t do that” — whatever it was — when in fact there is ample evidence — when you look — that plenty of regency girls did. And did a great deal more.
    I particularly like reading old letters and journals of the time, and have come across some wonderful real life heroines who caused no particular ripples or scandals of any sort in their society, but who led interesting, unusual and adventurous lives.

    Reply
  60. Jessica, I quite agree with you. I don’t believe that there’s any such ‘typical’ woman of any era, really, and I think it’s wrong to expect stories to reflect whatever that typical person might be.
    I was referring to comments I’ve seen about characters in books (not necessarily mine) where readers complain that ” a regency girl wouldn’t do that” — whatever it was — when in fact there is ample evidence — when you look — that plenty of regency girls did. And did a great deal more.
    I particularly like reading old letters and journals of the time, and have come across some wonderful real life heroines who caused no particular ripples or scandals of any sort in their society, but who led interesting, unusual and adventurous lives.

    Reply
  61. Jo here. As someone above said,many, many men in the past (and now, of course)worked to protect and help women. In particular,they were working hard to change the laws and then as now they were opposed by both men and women.
    As pointed out, good fathers/guardians set up strong settlements, and also trusts, which I don’t think were mentioned. If the bride was an heiress, part of her money could be set aside in a trust so her husband couldn’t get at it without the trustee’s consent.
    Some husbands increased their wife’s pin money and jointure if the family’s wealth increased, or simply out of devotion. This did sometimes leave their heir in a tough situation!
    There was also the community of women, which is sometimes overlooked in novels, IMO. For much of the time women would be with other women, and the women united could be a force to make men hesitate. Of course, then and now, not all women worked for the welfare of other women, or agreed on what that was, but the woman who rebelled too much against the womanly norm could lose that community and be dangerously isolated.
    Fascinating subject all around,
    Jo

    Reply
  62. Jo here. As someone above said,many, many men in the past (and now, of course)worked to protect and help women. In particular,they were working hard to change the laws and then as now they were opposed by both men and women.
    As pointed out, good fathers/guardians set up strong settlements, and also trusts, which I don’t think were mentioned. If the bride was an heiress, part of her money could be set aside in a trust so her husband couldn’t get at it without the trustee’s consent.
    Some husbands increased their wife’s pin money and jointure if the family’s wealth increased, or simply out of devotion. This did sometimes leave their heir in a tough situation!
    There was also the community of women, which is sometimes overlooked in novels, IMO. For much of the time women would be with other women, and the women united could be a force to make men hesitate. Of course, then and now, not all women worked for the welfare of other women, or agreed on what that was, but the woman who rebelled too much against the womanly norm could lose that community and be dangerously isolated.
    Fascinating subject all around,
    Jo

    Reply
  63. Jo here. As someone above said,many, many men in the past (and now, of course)worked to protect and help women. In particular,they were working hard to change the laws and then as now they were opposed by both men and women.
    As pointed out, good fathers/guardians set up strong settlements, and also trusts, which I don’t think were mentioned. If the bride was an heiress, part of her money could be set aside in a trust so her husband couldn’t get at it without the trustee’s consent.
    Some husbands increased their wife’s pin money and jointure if the family’s wealth increased, or simply out of devotion. This did sometimes leave their heir in a tough situation!
    There was also the community of women, which is sometimes overlooked in novels, IMO. For much of the time women would be with other women, and the women united could be a force to make men hesitate. Of course, then and now, not all women worked for the welfare of other women, or agreed on what that was, but the woman who rebelled too much against the womanly norm could lose that community and be dangerously isolated.
    Fascinating subject all around,
    Jo

    Reply
  64. Jo here. As someone above said,many, many men in the past (and now, of course)worked to protect and help women. In particular,they were working hard to change the laws and then as now they were opposed by both men and women.
    As pointed out, good fathers/guardians set up strong settlements, and also trusts, which I don’t think were mentioned. If the bride was an heiress, part of her money could be set aside in a trust so her husband couldn’t get at it without the trustee’s consent.
    Some husbands increased their wife’s pin money and jointure if the family’s wealth increased, or simply out of devotion. This did sometimes leave their heir in a tough situation!
    There was also the community of women, which is sometimes overlooked in novels, IMO. For much of the time women would be with other women, and the women united could be a force to make men hesitate. Of course, then and now, not all women worked for the welfare of other women, or agreed on what that was, but the woman who rebelled too much against the womanly norm could lose that community and be dangerously isolated.
    Fascinating subject all around,
    Jo

    Reply
  65. Jo here. As someone above said,many, many men in the past (and now, of course)worked to protect and help women. In particular,they were working hard to change the laws and then as now they were opposed by both men and women.
    As pointed out, good fathers/guardians set up strong settlements, and also trusts, which I don’t think were mentioned. If the bride was an heiress, part of her money could be set aside in a trust so her husband couldn’t get at it without the trustee’s consent.
    Some husbands increased their wife’s pin money and jointure if the family’s wealth increased, or simply out of devotion. This did sometimes leave their heir in a tough situation!
    There was also the community of women, which is sometimes overlooked in novels, IMO. For much of the time women would be with other women, and the women united could be a force to make men hesitate. Of course, then and now, not all women worked for the welfare of other women, or agreed on what that was, but the woman who rebelled too much against the womanly norm could lose that community and be dangerously isolated.
    Fascinating subject all around,
    Jo

    Reply
  66. The life of a wealthy widow seems so desirable . . . I wonder if husbands slept easy.
    Working class women and farm women may have had greater relative power than their middleclass sisters. When your labor is absolutely essential for the well-being of the family, there’s more real power in your hands.

    Reply
  67. The life of a wealthy widow seems so desirable . . . I wonder if husbands slept easy.
    Working class women and farm women may have had greater relative power than their middleclass sisters. When your labor is absolutely essential for the well-being of the family, there’s more real power in your hands.

    Reply
  68. The life of a wealthy widow seems so desirable . . . I wonder if husbands slept easy.
    Working class women and farm women may have had greater relative power than their middleclass sisters. When your labor is absolutely essential for the well-being of the family, there’s more real power in your hands.

    Reply
  69. The life of a wealthy widow seems so desirable . . . I wonder if husbands slept easy.
    Working class women and farm women may have had greater relative power than their middleclass sisters. When your labor is absolutely essential for the well-being of the family, there’s more real power in your hands.

    Reply
  70. The life of a wealthy widow seems so desirable . . . I wonder if husbands slept easy.
    Working class women and farm women may have had greater relative power than their middleclass sisters. When your labor is absolutely essential for the well-being of the family, there’s more real power in your hands.

    Reply
  71. YES!!!!!!! It makes me CRAZY when historical heroines have “modern” attitudes. It’s one of the reasons why I adore your books so much–you do a very good balancing act with this.

    Reply
  72. YES!!!!!!! It makes me CRAZY when historical heroines have “modern” attitudes. It’s one of the reasons why I adore your books so much–you do a very good balancing act with this.

    Reply
  73. YES!!!!!!! It makes me CRAZY when historical heroines have “modern” attitudes. It’s one of the reasons why I adore your books so much–you do a very good balancing act with this.

    Reply
  74. YES!!!!!!! It makes me CRAZY when historical heroines have “modern” attitudes. It’s one of the reasons why I adore your books so much–you do a very good balancing act with this.

    Reply
  75. YES!!!!!!! It makes me CRAZY when historical heroines have “modern” attitudes. It’s one of the reasons why I adore your books so much–you do a very good balancing act with this.

    Reply
  76. It depends upon two factors: how “modern” is the attitude and how “historical” is the novel.
    As you said above, some human characteristics remain true throughout time, but are displayed differently in different periods. That type of modern is quite effective in a novel.
    Also, some writers write very entertaining romps within a vaguely historical setting. Since these are comedies (albeit comedies with drama) the adherence to historical accuracy is frequently missing from the novel. When well-done, these novels make great reading, and the lack of historical accuracy doesn’t offend me. (By the way, well-done romps are hard to find. Treasure them when and where you do find them.)

    Reply
  77. It depends upon two factors: how “modern” is the attitude and how “historical” is the novel.
    As you said above, some human characteristics remain true throughout time, but are displayed differently in different periods. That type of modern is quite effective in a novel.
    Also, some writers write very entertaining romps within a vaguely historical setting. Since these are comedies (albeit comedies with drama) the adherence to historical accuracy is frequently missing from the novel. When well-done, these novels make great reading, and the lack of historical accuracy doesn’t offend me. (By the way, well-done romps are hard to find. Treasure them when and where you do find them.)

    Reply
  78. It depends upon two factors: how “modern” is the attitude and how “historical” is the novel.
    As you said above, some human characteristics remain true throughout time, but are displayed differently in different periods. That type of modern is quite effective in a novel.
    Also, some writers write very entertaining romps within a vaguely historical setting. Since these are comedies (albeit comedies with drama) the adherence to historical accuracy is frequently missing from the novel. When well-done, these novels make great reading, and the lack of historical accuracy doesn’t offend me. (By the way, well-done romps are hard to find. Treasure them when and where you do find them.)

    Reply
  79. It depends upon two factors: how “modern” is the attitude and how “historical” is the novel.
    As you said above, some human characteristics remain true throughout time, but are displayed differently in different periods. That type of modern is quite effective in a novel.
    Also, some writers write very entertaining romps within a vaguely historical setting. Since these are comedies (albeit comedies with drama) the adherence to historical accuracy is frequently missing from the novel. When well-done, these novels make great reading, and the lack of historical accuracy doesn’t offend me. (By the way, well-done romps are hard to find. Treasure them when and where you do find them.)

    Reply
  80. It depends upon two factors: how “modern” is the attitude and how “historical” is the novel.
    As you said above, some human characteristics remain true throughout time, but are displayed differently in different periods. That type of modern is quite effective in a novel.
    Also, some writers write very entertaining romps within a vaguely historical setting. Since these are comedies (albeit comedies with drama) the adherence to historical accuracy is frequently missing from the novel. When well-done, these novels make great reading, and the lack of historical accuracy doesn’t offend me. (By the way, well-done romps are hard to find. Treasure them when and where you do find them.)

    Reply
  81. When reading, I like to be carried away by the world I’m immersed in. I find it hard to suspend reality if the heroine is too modern, although I don’t want a wimpy one either. Having said that, there are a few authors with such a marvelous voice, who spin such a great tale that I just don’t care.

    Reply
  82. When reading, I like to be carried away by the world I’m immersed in. I find it hard to suspend reality if the heroine is too modern, although I don’t want a wimpy one either. Having said that, there are a few authors with such a marvelous voice, who spin such a great tale that I just don’t care.

    Reply
  83. When reading, I like to be carried away by the world I’m immersed in. I find it hard to suspend reality if the heroine is too modern, although I don’t want a wimpy one either. Having said that, there are a few authors with such a marvelous voice, who spin such a great tale that I just don’t care.

    Reply
  84. When reading, I like to be carried away by the world I’m immersed in. I find it hard to suspend reality if the heroine is too modern, although I don’t want a wimpy one either. Having said that, there are a few authors with such a marvelous voice, who spin such a great tale that I just don’t care.

    Reply
  85. When reading, I like to be carried away by the world I’m immersed in. I find it hard to suspend reality if the heroine is too modern, although I don’t want a wimpy one either. Having said that, there are a few authors with such a marvelous voice, who spin such a great tale that I just don’t care.

    Reply
  86. Anne — you’ve hit the nail on the head why I love history, and always have. People’s stories — the fun, the sad, and the “you can’t make this stuff up.”

    Reply
  87. Anne — you’ve hit the nail on the head why I love history, and always have. People’s stories — the fun, the sad, and the “you can’t make this stuff up.”

    Reply
  88. Anne — you’ve hit the nail on the head why I love history, and always have. People’s stories — the fun, the sad, and the “you can’t make this stuff up.”

    Reply
  89. Anne — you’ve hit the nail on the head why I love history, and always have. People’s stories — the fun, the sad, and the “you can’t make this stuff up.”

    Reply
  90. Anne — you’ve hit the nail on the head why I love history, and always have. People’s stories — the fun, the sad, and the “you can’t make this stuff up.”

    Reply
  91. I really enjoy current women’s attitudes on historical heroines. It all depends on how it is presented. I can’t stand reading about women who are weepy and can’t even try to do something for themselves. Yuck!
    lvsgund at gmail.com

    Reply
  92. I really enjoy current women’s attitudes on historical heroines. It all depends on how it is presented. I can’t stand reading about women who are weepy and can’t even try to do something for themselves. Yuck!
    lvsgund at gmail.com

    Reply
  93. I really enjoy current women’s attitudes on historical heroines. It all depends on how it is presented. I can’t stand reading about women who are weepy and can’t even try to do something for themselves. Yuck!
    lvsgund at gmail.com

    Reply
  94. I really enjoy current women’s attitudes on historical heroines. It all depends on how it is presented. I can’t stand reading about women who are weepy and can’t even try to do something for themselves. Yuck!
    lvsgund at gmail.com

    Reply
  95. I really enjoy current women’s attitudes on historical heroines. It all depends on how it is presented. I can’t stand reading about women who are weepy and can’t even try to do something for themselves. Yuck!
    lvsgund at gmail.com

    Reply
  96. Jo, I mentioned trusts briefly, but only in the case of widows. You’re right, many were set up to protect the children, as well as the wife.
    And you make an excellent point about how many men and women were working for the cause of women’s rights — and many women were actively opposing it. It’s never straightforward, is it? Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies.
    I loved your point about the community of women. There was and has always been a community of women, quietly supporting each other — there still is today. I don’t know what I’d do without my female friends.

    Reply
  97. Jo, I mentioned trusts briefly, but only in the case of widows. You’re right, many were set up to protect the children, as well as the wife.
    And you make an excellent point about how many men and women were working for the cause of women’s rights — and many women were actively opposing it. It’s never straightforward, is it? Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies.
    I loved your point about the community of women. There was and has always been a community of women, quietly supporting each other — there still is today. I don’t know what I’d do without my female friends.

    Reply
  98. Jo, I mentioned trusts briefly, but only in the case of widows. You’re right, many were set up to protect the children, as well as the wife.
    And you make an excellent point about how many men and women were working for the cause of women’s rights — and many women were actively opposing it. It’s never straightforward, is it? Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies.
    I loved your point about the community of women. There was and has always been a community of women, quietly supporting each other — there still is today. I don’t know what I’d do without my female friends.

    Reply
  99. Jo, I mentioned trusts briefly, but only in the case of widows. You’re right, many were set up to protect the children, as well as the wife.
    And you make an excellent point about how many men and women were working for the cause of women’s rights — and many women were actively opposing it. It’s never straightforward, is it? Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies.
    I loved your point about the community of women. There was and has always been a community of women, quietly supporting each other — there still is today. I don’t know what I’d do without my female friends.

    Reply
  100. Jo, I mentioned trusts briefly, but only in the case of widows. You’re right, many were set up to protect the children, as well as the wife.
    And you make an excellent point about how many men and women were working for the cause of women’s rights — and many women were actively opposing it. It’s never straightforward, is it? Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies.
    I loved your point about the community of women. There was and has always been a community of women, quietly supporting each other — there still is today. I don’t know what I’d do without my female friends.

    Reply
  101. Chuckling about Joanna’s comment about the life of a wealthy widow.
    Your comments about the equality in labour ring very true with me. I think that’s why the “colonies” instituted womens’ rights much quicker than they did in older societies. Downunder, it was particularly apparent, as there was a shortage of women, so their contribution was valued. South Australia was the first government in the world to give votes to women, and New Zealand was the first country to grant it. And when Australia federated to become one country in 1901, women voted in the first elections. I think similar attitudes prevailed in the newer Nth American states, too.

    Reply
  102. Chuckling about Joanna’s comment about the life of a wealthy widow.
    Your comments about the equality in labour ring very true with me. I think that’s why the “colonies” instituted womens’ rights much quicker than they did in older societies. Downunder, it was particularly apparent, as there was a shortage of women, so their contribution was valued. South Australia was the first government in the world to give votes to women, and New Zealand was the first country to grant it. And when Australia federated to become one country in 1901, women voted in the first elections. I think similar attitudes prevailed in the newer Nth American states, too.

    Reply
  103. Chuckling about Joanna’s comment about the life of a wealthy widow.
    Your comments about the equality in labour ring very true with me. I think that’s why the “colonies” instituted womens’ rights much quicker than they did in older societies. Downunder, it was particularly apparent, as there was a shortage of women, so their contribution was valued. South Australia was the first government in the world to give votes to women, and New Zealand was the first country to grant it. And when Australia federated to become one country in 1901, women voted in the first elections. I think similar attitudes prevailed in the newer Nth American states, too.

    Reply
  104. Chuckling about Joanna’s comment about the life of a wealthy widow.
    Your comments about the equality in labour ring very true with me. I think that’s why the “colonies” instituted womens’ rights much quicker than they did in older societies. Downunder, it was particularly apparent, as there was a shortage of women, so their contribution was valued. South Australia was the first government in the world to give votes to women, and New Zealand was the first country to grant it. And when Australia federated to become one country in 1901, women voted in the first elections. I think similar attitudes prevailed in the newer Nth American states, too.

    Reply
  105. Chuckling about Joanna’s comment about the life of a wealthy widow.
    Your comments about the equality in labour ring very true with me. I think that’s why the “colonies” instituted womens’ rights much quicker than they did in older societies. Downunder, it was particularly apparent, as there was a shortage of women, so their contribution was valued. South Australia was the first government in the world to give votes to women, and New Zealand was the first country to grant it. And when Australia federated to become one country in 1901, women voted in the first elections. I think similar attitudes prevailed in the newer Nth American states, too.

    Reply
  106. Pooks, I hope you enjoy it.
    Hellion, thank you so much for that.
    Sue, I’m always on the lookout for a well-done romp. And I’m with you, if the story and writing is good enough, I can overlook a certain amount of historical inaccuracy. The trouble is, if the historical inaccuracy slaps me in the face from the beginning, I can’t get into a book.

    Reply
  107. Pooks, I hope you enjoy it.
    Hellion, thank you so much for that.
    Sue, I’m always on the lookout for a well-done romp. And I’m with you, if the story and writing is good enough, I can overlook a certain amount of historical inaccuracy. The trouble is, if the historical inaccuracy slaps me in the face from the beginning, I can’t get into a book.

    Reply
  108. Pooks, I hope you enjoy it.
    Hellion, thank you so much for that.
    Sue, I’m always on the lookout for a well-done romp. And I’m with you, if the story and writing is good enough, I can overlook a certain amount of historical inaccuracy. The trouble is, if the historical inaccuracy slaps me in the face from the beginning, I can’t get into a book.

    Reply
  109. Pooks, I hope you enjoy it.
    Hellion, thank you so much for that.
    Sue, I’m always on the lookout for a well-done romp. And I’m with you, if the story and writing is good enough, I can overlook a certain amount of historical inaccuracy. The trouble is, if the historical inaccuracy slaps me in the face from the beginning, I can’t get into a book.

    Reply
  110. Pooks, I hope you enjoy it.
    Hellion, thank you so much for that.
    Sue, I’m always on the lookout for a well-done romp. And I’m with you, if the story and writing is good enough, I can overlook a certain amount of historical inaccuracy. The trouble is, if the historical inaccuracy slaps me in the face from the beginning, I can’t get into a book.

    Reply
  111. Thanks, Quilt Lady, a good, sweep-me-away story is a joy, isn’t it?
    Maggi, I too find a too-modern heroine off-putting. As for wimpy women, I don’t think many people empathize with a wimpy heroine. That said, I think women in history often show a quiet strength – they don’t always have to be kick-ass.

    Reply
  112. Thanks, Quilt Lady, a good, sweep-me-away story is a joy, isn’t it?
    Maggi, I too find a too-modern heroine off-putting. As for wimpy women, I don’t think many people empathize with a wimpy heroine. That said, I think women in history often show a quiet strength – they don’t always have to be kick-ass.

    Reply
  113. Thanks, Quilt Lady, a good, sweep-me-away story is a joy, isn’t it?
    Maggi, I too find a too-modern heroine off-putting. As for wimpy women, I don’t think many people empathize with a wimpy heroine. That said, I think women in history often show a quiet strength – they don’t always have to be kick-ass.

    Reply
  114. Thanks, Quilt Lady, a good, sweep-me-away story is a joy, isn’t it?
    Maggi, I too find a too-modern heroine off-putting. As for wimpy women, I don’t think many people empathize with a wimpy heroine. That said, I think women in history often show a quiet strength – they don’t always have to be kick-ass.

    Reply
  115. Thanks, Quilt Lady, a good, sweep-me-away story is a joy, isn’t it?
    Maggi, I too find a too-modern heroine off-putting. As for wimpy women, I don’t think many people empathize with a wimpy heroine. That said, I think women in history often show a quiet strength – they don’t always have to be kick-ass.

    Reply
  116. Jessica, that’s very true. I’ve come across many true stories of what people have done in history that I could never make stick in a novel. People simply wouldn’t believe it.
    LilMissMolly, a very wise writer said to me once, don’t make your heroine cry, make your readers cry.
    I think that’s an excellent point. Female readers usually like to empathize with heroines in a book, and if they’re sitting around being weepy and pathetic and helpless, we’re more likely to itch to smack them and tell them to get up and DO something! LOL

    Reply
  117. Jessica, that’s very true. I’ve come across many true stories of what people have done in history that I could never make stick in a novel. People simply wouldn’t believe it.
    LilMissMolly, a very wise writer said to me once, don’t make your heroine cry, make your readers cry.
    I think that’s an excellent point. Female readers usually like to empathize with heroines in a book, and if they’re sitting around being weepy and pathetic and helpless, we’re more likely to itch to smack them and tell them to get up and DO something! LOL

    Reply
  118. Jessica, that’s very true. I’ve come across many true stories of what people have done in history that I could never make stick in a novel. People simply wouldn’t believe it.
    LilMissMolly, a very wise writer said to me once, don’t make your heroine cry, make your readers cry.
    I think that’s an excellent point. Female readers usually like to empathize with heroines in a book, and if they’re sitting around being weepy and pathetic and helpless, we’re more likely to itch to smack them and tell them to get up and DO something! LOL

    Reply
  119. Jessica, that’s very true. I’ve come across many true stories of what people have done in history that I could never make stick in a novel. People simply wouldn’t believe it.
    LilMissMolly, a very wise writer said to me once, don’t make your heroine cry, make your readers cry.
    I think that’s an excellent point. Female readers usually like to empathize with heroines in a book, and if they’re sitting around being weepy and pathetic and helpless, we’re more likely to itch to smack them and tell them to get up and DO something! LOL

    Reply
  120. Jessica, that’s very true. I’ve come across many true stories of what people have done in history that I could never make stick in a novel. People simply wouldn’t believe it.
    LilMissMolly, a very wise writer said to me once, don’t make your heroine cry, make your readers cry.
    I think that’s an excellent point. Female readers usually like to empathize with heroines in a book, and if they’re sitting around being weepy and pathetic and helpless, we’re more likely to itch to smack them and tell them to get up and DO something! LOL

    Reply

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