Spies in Regency England

B5f8 Pat here:

Before we get started today, go fetch your rotten tomatoes so you’ll be prepared when I start griping about spies in Regency historicals.  Those of you in Florida ought to have lots of mushy fruit available. The rest of us may have to go for squishy bananas and old Christmas oranges because tomatoes are too expensive to waste.              Rotten-Fruit-

Okay, if you have your ammunition ready—England in 1792 was so ill-informed that they didn’t even realize Europe was on the brink of war. They were celebrating peace. The notion of monitoring foreign governments was reserved for the monarch and perhaps a secretary of state or two. Communication was limited to diplomatic pouches, and the public—when they could read—relied on news sheets more interested in business than France. The paranoia necessary to develop intelligence networks simply did not exist.  That changed when France began beheading aristocrats some years later, but England still had very little interest in foreign affairs as long as they didn’t interfere with shipping, and people counted on the admirable Admiral Nelson to take care of that little matter.
Horatio_nelson_first_viscount
  Even after Nelson’s ships set out to guard against French rebels, the only naval intelligence available to the navy was from their officers after a night on the town. Since Emma Hamilton acted as the queen's correspondent on affairs in Naples, it's not a wild guess to assume that she was not only Nelson’s mistress, but she was as close as it came to a spy. Whispered pillow talk hardly qualifies as secret agent derring-do, however—and is probably the reason most English people thought spying was déclassé. Breaking trust by revealing state secrets was in dreadfully poor taste, suited only to wanton women.

Meanwhile, the French already had semaphore towers in 1794 to allow for almost instantaneous land transmission of messages so they knew what their enemies were doing at all times. The English managed to install a few by 1806 which considerably increased the ability of the Navy to communicate with the Admiralty as long as it wasn’t nighttime or foggy. And even then, there was no centralized office beyond the Admiralty to which the message could be forwarded. England didn’t have an intelligence office. It barely had a foreign office, Semaphore and its duties were nebulous. The king (and during the Regency, it was more likely the queen or the prince) and the prime minister and a few secretary of states were the only authorities available to act on military Sailing ship intelligence. You can imagine how often they got involved, after the message had been riding across land and water and kicking around in offices for a few months.  Sailing-ship

So don’t blame me completely when I say I don’t read too many historicals that carry a back blurb about a famous English spy. Our own Cara, as Andrea Pickens, has written some great spy fiction—but that’s what it is, fiction. There are tons of Spy silk well-known romances involving spies. I think Amazon even carries a list. I fully realize we’re writing gripping stories, and that a race across battle-torn Europe makes a better story than a military officer picking up a useful bit of gossip in the local tavern.  But I simply cannot suspend disbelief and buy into a subplot of spies unless the story offers me a riveting romance and an intriguing personal conflict. I have to trust the author before I’ll pick up a spy book.

That said, she says with a heavy sigh, I have somehow managed to incorporate a French baddie into the current WIP.  A very small role, mind you. I resisted. I fought it hard. Only— I had a French code wheel, which I’d painstakingly researched. And I didn’t want to take my characters to France. And if you’ve got a code, someone needs to break it. And someone needs to try to stop them. Code wheel
So one thing led to another, and there I am, a spy at the end of my book. The shame of it. The things we’ll do for our romantic couples…

So how do you feel about histor
ical fiction that takes liberty with reality? (Okay, so I’m the one who invented an invisible island in the English Channel, but I never pretended it was real history!)  Should we start calling our genre by another name? Instead of historical romance, maybe we’re writing “Romance written in a historical time period without regard to fact”?  Does anyone still care about history? With vampires and zombies romping through Austen these days, have we given up all pretense of seeking reality? And if so, why?

Ready, aim, fire tomatoes!

115 thoughts on “Spies in Regency England”

  1. My main beef isn’t the dubious historicity of Bondish spies, it’s that spy plots have been done a zillion times and I’m *tired* of them, especially as they’re often tossed in because the author couldn’t get enough story interest out of the central relationship.
    In general I prefer my regency fiction to be grounded in fact. I like the historical data (as long as it’s not just a research dump). I want to read about people living life as it was lived then, so I dislike the modernized wallpaper regencies that infest the bookstores these days.
    When I want to read about modern people, I read a contemporary; when modern people show up in funny old clothes in a book allegedly set 200 years ago, I feel ripped off.
    That doesn’t mean that the writer can’t take liberties sometimes for story purposes — though I do appreciate an afterword that tells me what she did.
    I understand that it’s difficult to strike a balance between being historically precise and hooking in a modern reader, and I don’t envy those who make their writing livings treading that fine line.
    Since some of the ladies on this site manage it quite well, I know it can be done.
    I will read and enjoy books with little history in them, or absolute howlers of errors, *if* the writer is otherwise a genius at engaging my emotions and holding my interest. I can easily forgive Edith Layton, for instance, for the title errors in her earlier books. That said, I am baffled as to why title errors continue to crop up in current books, when the authors have all the resources of the internet, including other writers, to help them get that right.

    Reply
  2. My main beef isn’t the dubious historicity of Bondish spies, it’s that spy plots have been done a zillion times and I’m *tired* of them, especially as they’re often tossed in because the author couldn’t get enough story interest out of the central relationship.
    In general I prefer my regency fiction to be grounded in fact. I like the historical data (as long as it’s not just a research dump). I want to read about people living life as it was lived then, so I dislike the modernized wallpaper regencies that infest the bookstores these days.
    When I want to read about modern people, I read a contemporary; when modern people show up in funny old clothes in a book allegedly set 200 years ago, I feel ripped off.
    That doesn’t mean that the writer can’t take liberties sometimes for story purposes — though I do appreciate an afterword that tells me what she did.
    I understand that it’s difficult to strike a balance between being historically precise and hooking in a modern reader, and I don’t envy those who make their writing livings treading that fine line.
    Since some of the ladies on this site manage it quite well, I know it can be done.
    I will read and enjoy books with little history in them, or absolute howlers of errors, *if* the writer is otherwise a genius at engaging my emotions and holding my interest. I can easily forgive Edith Layton, for instance, for the title errors in her earlier books. That said, I am baffled as to why title errors continue to crop up in current books, when the authors have all the resources of the internet, including other writers, to help them get that right.

    Reply
  3. My main beef isn’t the dubious historicity of Bondish spies, it’s that spy plots have been done a zillion times and I’m *tired* of them, especially as they’re often tossed in because the author couldn’t get enough story interest out of the central relationship.
    In general I prefer my regency fiction to be grounded in fact. I like the historical data (as long as it’s not just a research dump). I want to read about people living life as it was lived then, so I dislike the modernized wallpaper regencies that infest the bookstores these days.
    When I want to read about modern people, I read a contemporary; when modern people show up in funny old clothes in a book allegedly set 200 years ago, I feel ripped off.
    That doesn’t mean that the writer can’t take liberties sometimes for story purposes — though I do appreciate an afterword that tells me what she did.
    I understand that it’s difficult to strike a balance between being historically precise and hooking in a modern reader, and I don’t envy those who make their writing livings treading that fine line.
    Since some of the ladies on this site manage it quite well, I know it can be done.
    I will read and enjoy books with little history in them, or absolute howlers of errors, *if* the writer is otherwise a genius at engaging my emotions and holding my interest. I can easily forgive Edith Layton, for instance, for the title errors in her earlier books. That said, I am baffled as to why title errors continue to crop up in current books, when the authors have all the resources of the internet, including other writers, to help them get that right.

    Reply
  4. My main beef isn’t the dubious historicity of Bondish spies, it’s that spy plots have been done a zillion times and I’m *tired* of them, especially as they’re often tossed in because the author couldn’t get enough story interest out of the central relationship.
    In general I prefer my regency fiction to be grounded in fact. I like the historical data (as long as it’s not just a research dump). I want to read about people living life as it was lived then, so I dislike the modernized wallpaper regencies that infest the bookstores these days.
    When I want to read about modern people, I read a contemporary; when modern people show up in funny old clothes in a book allegedly set 200 years ago, I feel ripped off.
    That doesn’t mean that the writer can’t take liberties sometimes for story purposes — though I do appreciate an afterword that tells me what she did.
    I understand that it’s difficult to strike a balance between being historically precise and hooking in a modern reader, and I don’t envy those who make their writing livings treading that fine line.
    Since some of the ladies on this site manage it quite well, I know it can be done.
    I will read and enjoy books with little history in them, or absolute howlers of errors, *if* the writer is otherwise a genius at engaging my emotions and holding my interest. I can easily forgive Edith Layton, for instance, for the title errors in her earlier books. That said, I am baffled as to why title errors continue to crop up in current books, when the authors have all the resources of the internet, including other writers, to help them get that right.

    Reply
  5. My main beef isn’t the dubious historicity of Bondish spies, it’s that spy plots have been done a zillion times and I’m *tired* of them, especially as they’re often tossed in because the author couldn’t get enough story interest out of the central relationship.
    In general I prefer my regency fiction to be grounded in fact. I like the historical data (as long as it’s not just a research dump). I want to read about people living life as it was lived then, so I dislike the modernized wallpaper regencies that infest the bookstores these days.
    When I want to read about modern people, I read a contemporary; when modern people show up in funny old clothes in a book allegedly set 200 years ago, I feel ripped off.
    That doesn’t mean that the writer can’t take liberties sometimes for story purposes — though I do appreciate an afterword that tells me what she did.
    I understand that it’s difficult to strike a balance between being historically precise and hooking in a modern reader, and I don’t envy those who make their writing livings treading that fine line.
    Since some of the ladies on this site manage it quite well, I know it can be done.
    I will read and enjoy books with little history in them, or absolute howlers of errors, *if* the writer is otherwise a genius at engaging my emotions and holding my interest. I can easily forgive Edith Layton, for instance, for the title errors in her earlier books. That said, I am baffled as to why title errors continue to crop up in current books, when the authors have all the resources of the internet, including other writers, to help them get that right.

    Reply
  6. I like a good story, and I’m willing to suspend disbelief as long as the book doesn’t violate belief too much. I loved Andrea’s lady spies, although derring-do Regency lady spies never existed, and noblemen weren’t spies, either, because, as you say, spies were declasse.
    While Janice is tired of spies, I’m tired of story after story with the rich, powerful nobleman hero who jumps into bed after bed, and the saintly little nothing of a woman who tames him.
    We’re talking romance here, not historical fiction. I would hold historical fiction to a higher order.
    Although, I’m getting tired of all those mixed genre historicals, like the ones that add paranormal and fantasy. Most of those books have more paranormal/fantasy/whatever than historical, and I avoid them. Your Mystic series is about the amount of the “other” that I find palatable. You emphasized the history, and the fantasy came second.

    Reply
  7. I like a good story, and I’m willing to suspend disbelief as long as the book doesn’t violate belief too much. I loved Andrea’s lady spies, although derring-do Regency lady spies never existed, and noblemen weren’t spies, either, because, as you say, spies were declasse.
    While Janice is tired of spies, I’m tired of story after story with the rich, powerful nobleman hero who jumps into bed after bed, and the saintly little nothing of a woman who tames him.
    We’re talking romance here, not historical fiction. I would hold historical fiction to a higher order.
    Although, I’m getting tired of all those mixed genre historicals, like the ones that add paranormal and fantasy. Most of those books have more paranormal/fantasy/whatever than historical, and I avoid them. Your Mystic series is about the amount of the “other” that I find palatable. You emphasized the history, and the fantasy came second.

    Reply
  8. I like a good story, and I’m willing to suspend disbelief as long as the book doesn’t violate belief too much. I loved Andrea’s lady spies, although derring-do Regency lady spies never existed, and noblemen weren’t spies, either, because, as you say, spies were declasse.
    While Janice is tired of spies, I’m tired of story after story with the rich, powerful nobleman hero who jumps into bed after bed, and the saintly little nothing of a woman who tames him.
    We’re talking romance here, not historical fiction. I would hold historical fiction to a higher order.
    Although, I’m getting tired of all those mixed genre historicals, like the ones that add paranormal and fantasy. Most of those books have more paranormal/fantasy/whatever than historical, and I avoid them. Your Mystic series is about the amount of the “other” that I find palatable. You emphasized the history, and the fantasy came second.

    Reply
  9. I like a good story, and I’m willing to suspend disbelief as long as the book doesn’t violate belief too much. I loved Andrea’s lady spies, although derring-do Regency lady spies never existed, and noblemen weren’t spies, either, because, as you say, spies were declasse.
    While Janice is tired of spies, I’m tired of story after story with the rich, powerful nobleman hero who jumps into bed after bed, and the saintly little nothing of a woman who tames him.
    We’re talking romance here, not historical fiction. I would hold historical fiction to a higher order.
    Although, I’m getting tired of all those mixed genre historicals, like the ones that add paranormal and fantasy. Most of those books have more paranormal/fantasy/whatever than historical, and I avoid them. Your Mystic series is about the amount of the “other” that I find palatable. You emphasized the history, and the fantasy came second.

    Reply
  10. I like a good story, and I’m willing to suspend disbelief as long as the book doesn’t violate belief too much. I loved Andrea’s lady spies, although derring-do Regency lady spies never existed, and noblemen weren’t spies, either, because, as you say, spies were declasse.
    While Janice is tired of spies, I’m tired of story after story with the rich, powerful nobleman hero who jumps into bed after bed, and the saintly little nothing of a woman who tames him.
    We’re talking romance here, not historical fiction. I would hold historical fiction to a higher order.
    Although, I’m getting tired of all those mixed genre historicals, like the ones that add paranormal and fantasy. Most of those books have more paranormal/fantasy/whatever than historical, and I avoid them. Your Mystic series is about the amount of the “other” that I find palatable. You emphasized the history, and the fantasy came second.

    Reply
  11. THANK YOU!
    That said, I, um, love the spy network books. I do. I like the underworld stories, which have all sorts of problematic issues themselves. I get tired of Paris Hilton and her Even Richer Duke Boyfriend. Traditional regency is so hard to come by that I accept and enjoy the Adventures In Regencyland that we have.
    I’ve completely given up on history. When I find it I’m excited and enthused and cut the plot all kinds of breaks, but mostly I’ve thrown that towel in.

    Reply
  12. THANK YOU!
    That said, I, um, love the spy network books. I do. I like the underworld stories, which have all sorts of problematic issues themselves. I get tired of Paris Hilton and her Even Richer Duke Boyfriend. Traditional regency is so hard to come by that I accept and enjoy the Adventures In Regencyland that we have.
    I’ve completely given up on history. When I find it I’m excited and enthused and cut the plot all kinds of breaks, but mostly I’ve thrown that towel in.

    Reply
  13. THANK YOU!
    That said, I, um, love the spy network books. I do. I like the underworld stories, which have all sorts of problematic issues themselves. I get tired of Paris Hilton and her Even Richer Duke Boyfriend. Traditional regency is so hard to come by that I accept and enjoy the Adventures In Regencyland that we have.
    I’ve completely given up on history. When I find it I’m excited and enthused and cut the plot all kinds of breaks, but mostly I’ve thrown that towel in.

    Reply
  14. THANK YOU!
    That said, I, um, love the spy network books. I do. I like the underworld stories, which have all sorts of problematic issues themselves. I get tired of Paris Hilton and her Even Richer Duke Boyfriend. Traditional regency is so hard to come by that I accept and enjoy the Adventures In Regencyland that we have.
    I’ve completely given up on history. When I find it I’m excited and enthused and cut the plot all kinds of breaks, but mostly I’ve thrown that towel in.

    Reply
  15. THANK YOU!
    That said, I, um, love the spy network books. I do. I like the underworld stories, which have all sorts of problematic issues themselves. I get tired of Paris Hilton and her Even Richer Duke Boyfriend. Traditional regency is so hard to come by that I accept and enjoy the Adventures In Regencyland that we have.
    I’ve completely given up on history. When I find it I’m excited and enthused and cut the plot all kinds of breaks, but mostly I’ve thrown that towel in.

    Reply
  16. Liz, traditional regencies have migrated to ebooks. Reissues are on RegencyReads. New ones do exist–the shorter ones are e-format only, but the longer ones are available in paper.

    Reply
  17. Liz, traditional regencies have migrated to ebooks. Reissues are on RegencyReads. New ones do exist–the shorter ones are e-format only, but the longer ones are available in paper.

    Reply
  18. Liz, traditional regencies have migrated to ebooks. Reissues are on RegencyReads. New ones do exist–the shorter ones are e-format only, but the longer ones are available in paper.

    Reply
  19. Liz, traditional regencies have migrated to ebooks. Reissues are on RegencyReads. New ones do exist–the shorter ones are e-format only, but the longer ones are available in paper.

    Reply
  20. Liz, traditional regencies have migrated to ebooks. Reissues are on RegencyReads. New ones do exist–the shorter ones are e-format only, but the longer ones are available in paper.

    Reply
  21. Pat, thanks for not lobbing the first tomato at me! LOL!
    You raise a very elemental point about historically accurate fiction. I love “real” history and am turned off if someone garbles events or creates a world that simply is so out of character with facts that it takes me out of the story. That said, I have no problem whatsoever with authors who have a little fun—who say, in effect, what if . . .
    For me there’s no hard and fast rule. If an author “invents” something and it works within the context and feel of story (like your imaginary island) I have no problem with it. That’s why the books are called fiction.
    I do love to learn arcane historical facts in my fiction, and many authors are good enough researchers that they do include them with their stories (am looking forward to learning more about the French code wheel!) But I’m also happy to suspend belief while I read a romance. If I want facts and accurate (well, hopefully accurate) info I know I should look elsewhere.
    So bring on the spies, the zombies, the steampunk, etc. You’ll get no rain of rotten fruit or vegetables from me.

    Reply
  22. Pat, thanks for not lobbing the first tomato at me! LOL!
    You raise a very elemental point about historically accurate fiction. I love “real” history and am turned off if someone garbles events or creates a world that simply is so out of character with facts that it takes me out of the story. That said, I have no problem whatsoever with authors who have a little fun—who say, in effect, what if . . .
    For me there’s no hard and fast rule. If an author “invents” something and it works within the context and feel of story (like your imaginary island) I have no problem with it. That’s why the books are called fiction.
    I do love to learn arcane historical facts in my fiction, and many authors are good enough researchers that they do include them with their stories (am looking forward to learning more about the French code wheel!) But I’m also happy to suspend belief while I read a romance. If I want facts and accurate (well, hopefully accurate) info I know I should look elsewhere.
    So bring on the spies, the zombies, the steampunk, etc. You’ll get no rain of rotten fruit or vegetables from me.

    Reply
  23. Pat, thanks for not lobbing the first tomato at me! LOL!
    You raise a very elemental point about historically accurate fiction. I love “real” history and am turned off if someone garbles events or creates a world that simply is so out of character with facts that it takes me out of the story. That said, I have no problem whatsoever with authors who have a little fun—who say, in effect, what if . . .
    For me there’s no hard and fast rule. If an author “invents” something and it works within the context and feel of story (like your imaginary island) I have no problem with it. That’s why the books are called fiction.
    I do love to learn arcane historical facts in my fiction, and many authors are good enough researchers that they do include them with their stories (am looking forward to learning more about the French code wheel!) But I’m also happy to suspend belief while I read a romance. If I want facts and accurate (well, hopefully accurate) info I know I should look elsewhere.
    So bring on the spies, the zombies, the steampunk, etc. You’ll get no rain of rotten fruit or vegetables from me.

    Reply
  24. Pat, thanks for not lobbing the first tomato at me! LOL!
    You raise a very elemental point about historically accurate fiction. I love “real” history and am turned off if someone garbles events or creates a world that simply is so out of character with facts that it takes me out of the story. That said, I have no problem whatsoever with authors who have a little fun—who say, in effect, what if . . .
    For me there’s no hard and fast rule. If an author “invents” something and it works within the context and feel of story (like your imaginary island) I have no problem with it. That’s why the books are called fiction.
    I do love to learn arcane historical facts in my fiction, and many authors are good enough researchers that they do include them with their stories (am looking forward to learning more about the French code wheel!) But I’m also happy to suspend belief while I read a romance. If I want facts and accurate (well, hopefully accurate) info I know I should look elsewhere.
    So bring on the spies, the zombies, the steampunk, etc. You’ll get no rain of rotten fruit or vegetables from me.

    Reply
  25. Pat, thanks for not lobbing the first tomato at me! LOL!
    You raise a very elemental point about historically accurate fiction. I love “real” history and am turned off if someone garbles events or creates a world that simply is so out of character with facts that it takes me out of the story. That said, I have no problem whatsoever with authors who have a little fun—who say, in effect, what if . . .
    For me there’s no hard and fast rule. If an author “invents” something and it works within the context and feel of story (like your imaginary island) I have no problem with it. That’s why the books are called fiction.
    I do love to learn arcane historical facts in my fiction, and many authors are good enough researchers that they do include them with their stories (am looking forward to learning more about the French code wheel!) But I’m also happy to suspend belief while I read a romance. If I want facts and accurate (well, hopefully accurate) info I know I should look elsewhere.
    So bring on the spies, the zombies, the steampunk, etc. You’ll get no rain of rotten fruit or vegetables from me.

    Reply
  26. Very few authors, with the exception of the Wenches, have the ability to weave a story around factual history that keeps me interested. I find more often than not, that I’m either reading a romance first, with a little skewed history tossed in to claim it as a historical, or I’m reading a historical in which the relationships take a back seat. In that case, I’d rather just read the history book.
    I wrote one story and am working on a second that centers on a secondary character from the first and though it takes place around 1830, there are no spies, no wars, no anything I couldn’t substantiate. Well, except for the fact that the hero is a wolf…but it’s *fiction* I’m not trying to be completely accurate. I couldn’t if I wanted to.
    Give me a rip roaring romance that holds my interest to the end, and if I get true historical facts throughout, if the story centers around actual historical events, so much the better. That’s an author I can trust and one I’ll continue to read again and again.

    Reply
  27. Very few authors, with the exception of the Wenches, have the ability to weave a story around factual history that keeps me interested. I find more often than not, that I’m either reading a romance first, with a little skewed history tossed in to claim it as a historical, or I’m reading a historical in which the relationships take a back seat. In that case, I’d rather just read the history book.
    I wrote one story and am working on a second that centers on a secondary character from the first and though it takes place around 1830, there are no spies, no wars, no anything I couldn’t substantiate. Well, except for the fact that the hero is a wolf…but it’s *fiction* I’m not trying to be completely accurate. I couldn’t if I wanted to.
    Give me a rip roaring romance that holds my interest to the end, and if I get true historical facts throughout, if the story centers around actual historical events, so much the better. That’s an author I can trust and one I’ll continue to read again and again.

    Reply
  28. Very few authors, with the exception of the Wenches, have the ability to weave a story around factual history that keeps me interested. I find more often than not, that I’m either reading a romance first, with a little skewed history tossed in to claim it as a historical, or I’m reading a historical in which the relationships take a back seat. In that case, I’d rather just read the history book.
    I wrote one story and am working on a second that centers on a secondary character from the first and though it takes place around 1830, there are no spies, no wars, no anything I couldn’t substantiate. Well, except for the fact that the hero is a wolf…but it’s *fiction* I’m not trying to be completely accurate. I couldn’t if I wanted to.
    Give me a rip roaring romance that holds my interest to the end, and if I get true historical facts throughout, if the story centers around actual historical events, so much the better. That’s an author I can trust and one I’ll continue to read again and again.

    Reply
  29. Very few authors, with the exception of the Wenches, have the ability to weave a story around factual history that keeps me interested. I find more often than not, that I’m either reading a romance first, with a little skewed history tossed in to claim it as a historical, or I’m reading a historical in which the relationships take a back seat. In that case, I’d rather just read the history book.
    I wrote one story and am working on a second that centers on a secondary character from the first and though it takes place around 1830, there are no spies, no wars, no anything I couldn’t substantiate. Well, except for the fact that the hero is a wolf…but it’s *fiction* I’m not trying to be completely accurate. I couldn’t if I wanted to.
    Give me a rip roaring romance that holds my interest to the end, and if I get true historical facts throughout, if the story centers around actual historical events, so much the better. That’s an author I can trust and one I’ll continue to read again and again.

    Reply
  30. Very few authors, with the exception of the Wenches, have the ability to weave a story around factual history that keeps me interested. I find more often than not, that I’m either reading a romance first, with a little skewed history tossed in to claim it as a historical, or I’m reading a historical in which the relationships take a back seat. In that case, I’d rather just read the history book.
    I wrote one story and am working on a second that centers on a secondary character from the first and though it takes place around 1830, there are no spies, no wars, no anything I couldn’t substantiate. Well, except for the fact that the hero is a wolf…but it’s *fiction* I’m not trying to be completely accurate. I couldn’t if I wanted to.
    Give me a rip roaring romance that holds my interest to the end, and if I get true historical facts throughout, if the story centers around actual historical events, so much the better. That’s an author I can trust and one I’ll continue to read again and again.

    Reply
  31. LOL! You’re all making me laugh instead of duck. Love Paris Hilton and her Even Richer Duke Boyfriend. “G” And yeah, I can’t throw the tomatoes, only duck them, because I might not add wolves and spies to my history, but I have added magic islands. It does sound as if readers are able to sort the silliness from the reality, which is a good thing for me, I guess. I suppose, technically, the French were far more likely to have a spy than the English, so I’m not going too far astray.
    But I know of dozens of authors who strive hard for historical accuracy, and I’m not at all certain mass market appreciates them. So finding that right mix of accuracy and story is definitely a balancing act!

    Reply
  32. LOL! You’re all making me laugh instead of duck. Love Paris Hilton and her Even Richer Duke Boyfriend. “G” And yeah, I can’t throw the tomatoes, only duck them, because I might not add wolves and spies to my history, but I have added magic islands. It does sound as if readers are able to sort the silliness from the reality, which is a good thing for me, I guess. I suppose, technically, the French were far more likely to have a spy than the English, so I’m not going too far astray.
    But I know of dozens of authors who strive hard for historical accuracy, and I’m not at all certain mass market appreciates them. So finding that right mix of accuracy and story is definitely a balancing act!

    Reply
  33. LOL! You’re all making me laugh instead of duck. Love Paris Hilton and her Even Richer Duke Boyfriend. “G” And yeah, I can’t throw the tomatoes, only duck them, because I might not add wolves and spies to my history, but I have added magic islands. It does sound as if readers are able to sort the silliness from the reality, which is a good thing for me, I guess. I suppose, technically, the French were far more likely to have a spy than the English, so I’m not going too far astray.
    But I know of dozens of authors who strive hard for historical accuracy, and I’m not at all certain mass market appreciates them. So finding that right mix of accuracy and story is definitely a balancing act!

    Reply
  34. LOL! You’re all making me laugh instead of duck. Love Paris Hilton and her Even Richer Duke Boyfriend. “G” And yeah, I can’t throw the tomatoes, only duck them, because I might not add wolves and spies to my history, but I have added magic islands. It does sound as if readers are able to sort the silliness from the reality, which is a good thing for me, I guess. I suppose, technically, the French were far more likely to have a spy than the English, so I’m not going too far astray.
    But I know of dozens of authors who strive hard for historical accuracy, and I’m not at all certain mass market appreciates them. So finding that right mix of accuracy and story is definitely a balancing act!

    Reply
  35. LOL! You’re all making me laugh instead of duck. Love Paris Hilton and her Even Richer Duke Boyfriend. “G” And yeah, I can’t throw the tomatoes, only duck them, because I might not add wolves and spies to my history, but I have added magic islands. It does sound as if readers are able to sort the silliness from the reality, which is a good thing for me, I guess. I suppose, technically, the French were far more likely to have a spy than the English, so I’m not going too far astray.
    But I know of dozens of authors who strive hard for historical accuracy, and I’m not at all certain mass market appreciates them. So finding that right mix of accuracy and story is definitely a balancing act!

    Reply
  36. Oh, Prof. Pat, I must lob that first tomato.
    DUCK!
    While I can’t say much to the actual existence of a Formal Network of Spies (as many good romance novels suggest), I do know (via first-hand journals written by British officers) that such spies existed (on both sides) and where actively hunted (on Wellington’s orders) while England’s forces were en-route to what became Waterloo and then on to occupy Paris after that bloody victory.
    Without doubt, novels tend to sensationalize such things. But the Good Lord knows I’ve had it “up to here” with real life. Give me enough good-and-stout “believability” rope, and I’ll hang myself every time. (save Mr. Brown’s blatant attempt to re-write well-documented Templar history to suit his own devices.)
    By the by, loved the link on Semaphores. My mind is already churning.
    Hugs to you, Prof. Pat. 🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  37. Oh, Prof. Pat, I must lob that first tomato.
    DUCK!
    While I can’t say much to the actual existence of a Formal Network of Spies (as many good romance novels suggest), I do know (via first-hand journals written by British officers) that such spies existed (on both sides) and where actively hunted (on Wellington’s orders) while England’s forces were en-route to what became Waterloo and then on to occupy Paris after that bloody victory.
    Without doubt, novels tend to sensationalize such things. But the Good Lord knows I’ve had it “up to here” with real life. Give me enough good-and-stout “believability” rope, and I’ll hang myself every time. (save Mr. Brown’s blatant attempt to re-write well-documented Templar history to suit his own devices.)
    By the by, loved the link on Semaphores. My mind is already churning.
    Hugs to you, Prof. Pat. 🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  38. Oh, Prof. Pat, I must lob that first tomato.
    DUCK!
    While I can’t say much to the actual existence of a Formal Network of Spies (as many good romance novels suggest), I do know (via first-hand journals written by British officers) that such spies existed (on both sides) and where actively hunted (on Wellington’s orders) while England’s forces were en-route to what became Waterloo and then on to occupy Paris after that bloody victory.
    Without doubt, novels tend to sensationalize such things. But the Good Lord knows I’ve had it “up to here” with real life. Give me enough good-and-stout “believability” rope, and I’ll hang myself every time. (save Mr. Brown’s blatant attempt to re-write well-documented Templar history to suit his own devices.)
    By the by, loved the link on Semaphores. My mind is already churning.
    Hugs to you, Prof. Pat. 🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  39. Oh, Prof. Pat, I must lob that first tomato.
    DUCK!
    While I can’t say much to the actual existence of a Formal Network of Spies (as many good romance novels suggest), I do know (via first-hand journals written by British officers) that such spies existed (on both sides) and where actively hunted (on Wellington’s orders) while England’s forces were en-route to what became Waterloo and then on to occupy Paris after that bloody victory.
    Without doubt, novels tend to sensationalize such things. But the Good Lord knows I’ve had it “up to here” with real life. Give me enough good-and-stout “believability” rope, and I’ll hang myself every time. (save Mr. Brown’s blatant attempt to re-write well-documented Templar history to suit his own devices.)
    By the by, loved the link on Semaphores. My mind is already churning.
    Hugs to you, Prof. Pat. 🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  40. Oh, Prof. Pat, I must lob that first tomato.
    DUCK!
    While I can’t say much to the actual existence of a Formal Network of Spies (as many good romance novels suggest), I do know (via first-hand journals written by British officers) that such spies existed (on both sides) and where actively hunted (on Wellington’s orders) while England’s forces were en-route to what became Waterloo and then on to occupy Paris after that bloody victory.
    Without doubt, novels tend to sensationalize such things. But the Good Lord knows I’ve had it “up to here” with real life. Give me enough good-and-stout “believability” rope, and I’ll hang myself every time. (save Mr. Brown’s blatant attempt to re-write well-documented Templar history to suit his own devices.)
    By the by, loved the link on Semaphores. My mind is already churning.
    Hugs to you, Prof. Pat. 🙂
    Nina

    Reply
  41. @ Linda i Thought Regency Reads was only domestic reprints. I didn’t realize it was new books and non US reprints. This is going to be expensive.

    Reply
  42. @ Linda i Thought Regency Reads was only domestic reprints. I didn’t realize it was new books and non US reprints. This is going to be expensive.

    Reply
  43. @ Linda i Thought Regency Reads was only domestic reprints. I didn’t realize it was new books and non US reprints. This is going to be expensive.

    Reply
  44. @ Linda i Thought Regency Reads was only domestic reprints. I didn’t realize it was new books and non US reprints. This is going to be expensive.

    Reply
  45. @ Linda i Thought Regency Reads was only domestic reprints. I didn’t realize it was new books and non US reprints. This is going to be expensive.

    Reply
  46. Nina caught your tomato, thanks. “G” Yes, the French were far more sophisticated when it came to spying, so I agree they’d have some kind of network. All that paranoia running rampant from the revolution donchaknow. By Waterloo, England was developing some system. I haven’t studied it, but given English scorn for underhanded dealings, I daresay they were still using lower class soldiers. Glad the semaphore link was helpful–I was quite entertained!
    And yes, Regencyreads.com is a great place for new Regencies as well as old. And really, they’re not all that expensive (wink).

    Reply
  47. Nina caught your tomato, thanks. “G” Yes, the French were far more sophisticated when it came to spying, so I agree they’d have some kind of network. All that paranoia running rampant from the revolution donchaknow. By Waterloo, England was developing some system. I haven’t studied it, but given English scorn for underhanded dealings, I daresay they were still using lower class soldiers. Glad the semaphore link was helpful–I was quite entertained!
    And yes, Regencyreads.com is a great place for new Regencies as well as old. And really, they’re not all that expensive (wink).

    Reply
  48. Nina caught your tomato, thanks. “G” Yes, the French were far more sophisticated when it came to spying, so I agree they’d have some kind of network. All that paranoia running rampant from the revolution donchaknow. By Waterloo, England was developing some system. I haven’t studied it, but given English scorn for underhanded dealings, I daresay they were still using lower class soldiers. Glad the semaphore link was helpful–I was quite entertained!
    And yes, Regencyreads.com is a great place for new Regencies as well as old. And really, they’re not all that expensive (wink).

    Reply
  49. Nina caught your tomato, thanks. “G” Yes, the French were far more sophisticated when it came to spying, so I agree they’d have some kind of network. All that paranoia running rampant from the revolution donchaknow. By Waterloo, England was developing some system. I haven’t studied it, but given English scorn for underhanded dealings, I daresay they were still using lower class soldiers. Glad the semaphore link was helpful–I was quite entertained!
    And yes, Regencyreads.com is a great place for new Regencies as well as old. And really, they’re not all that expensive (wink).

    Reply
  50. Nina caught your tomato, thanks. “G” Yes, the French were far more sophisticated when it came to spying, so I agree they’d have some kind of network. All that paranoia running rampant from the revolution donchaknow. By Waterloo, England was developing some system. I haven’t studied it, but given English scorn for underhanded dealings, I daresay they were still using lower class soldiers. Glad the semaphore link was helpful–I was quite entertained!
    And yes, Regencyreads.com is a great place for new Regencies as well as old. And really, they’re not all that expensive (wink).

    Reply
  51. I like a good spy story…historical or Bondish.
    You might try Lauren Willig for a good series of Spy tales. She mixes Contempory and Historical in a good way.

    Reply
  52. I like a good spy story…historical or Bondish.
    You might try Lauren Willig for a good series of Spy tales. She mixes Contempory and Historical in a good way.

    Reply
  53. I like a good spy story…historical or Bondish.
    You might try Lauren Willig for a good series of Spy tales. She mixes Contempory and Historical in a good way.

    Reply
  54. I like a good spy story…historical or Bondish.
    You might try Lauren Willig for a good series of Spy tales. She mixes Contempory and Historical in a good way.

    Reply
  55. I like a good spy story…historical or Bondish.
    You might try Lauren Willig for a good series of Spy tales. She mixes Contempory and Historical in a good way.

    Reply
  56. As an ex pat Brit I will stop reading a book with glaring inaccuracies, especially historical gaffs. I once read a regency where the hero turned the light off! Another was a London to Bath trip accomplished in a morning. I’m not sure about the invisible Island – there are several real islands in the Channel so I imagined it as one of them.
    As for the “spy plot” tension, I love them: Stephanie Laurens, Andrea, Cara and Jo have all used this with spectacular effect. If the story grips me I will read on.

    Reply
  57. As an ex pat Brit I will stop reading a book with glaring inaccuracies, especially historical gaffs. I once read a regency where the hero turned the light off! Another was a London to Bath trip accomplished in a morning. I’m not sure about the invisible Island – there are several real islands in the Channel so I imagined it as one of them.
    As for the “spy plot” tension, I love them: Stephanie Laurens, Andrea, Cara and Jo have all used this with spectacular effect. If the story grips me I will read on.

    Reply
  58. As an ex pat Brit I will stop reading a book with glaring inaccuracies, especially historical gaffs. I once read a regency where the hero turned the light off! Another was a London to Bath trip accomplished in a morning. I’m not sure about the invisible Island – there are several real islands in the Channel so I imagined it as one of them.
    As for the “spy plot” tension, I love them: Stephanie Laurens, Andrea, Cara and Jo have all used this with spectacular effect. If the story grips me I will read on.

    Reply
  59. As an ex pat Brit I will stop reading a book with glaring inaccuracies, especially historical gaffs. I once read a regency where the hero turned the light off! Another was a London to Bath trip accomplished in a morning. I’m not sure about the invisible Island – there are several real islands in the Channel so I imagined it as one of them.
    As for the “spy plot” tension, I love them: Stephanie Laurens, Andrea, Cara and Jo have all used this with spectacular effect. If the story grips me I will read on.

    Reply
  60. As an ex pat Brit I will stop reading a book with glaring inaccuracies, especially historical gaffs. I once read a regency where the hero turned the light off! Another was a London to Bath trip accomplished in a morning. I’m not sure about the invisible Island – there are several real islands in the Channel so I imagined it as one of them.
    As for the “spy plot” tension, I love them: Stephanie Laurens, Andrea, Cara and Jo have all used this with spectacular effect. If the story grips me I will read on.

    Reply
  61. Historical romance is fiction and read by most of us for escape. While I want some historical accuracy and details, I’m not concerned by those little countries that don’t really exist, the plethora of rakish noblemen and overly understanding women, or even all those spies that are crawling around the landscape. I want well developed characters and a good story that doesn’t stretch reality too far. Just keep the basic time period details correct.
    If I want accuracy, I’ll read historical fiction that is well researched and written by an author with a good reputation.

    Reply
  62. Historical romance is fiction and read by most of us for escape. While I want some historical accuracy and details, I’m not concerned by those little countries that don’t really exist, the plethora of rakish noblemen and overly understanding women, or even all those spies that are crawling around the landscape. I want well developed characters and a good story that doesn’t stretch reality too far. Just keep the basic time period details correct.
    If I want accuracy, I’ll read historical fiction that is well researched and written by an author with a good reputation.

    Reply
  63. Historical romance is fiction and read by most of us for escape. While I want some historical accuracy and details, I’m not concerned by those little countries that don’t really exist, the plethora of rakish noblemen and overly understanding women, or even all those spies that are crawling around the landscape. I want well developed characters and a good story that doesn’t stretch reality too far. Just keep the basic time period details correct.
    If I want accuracy, I’ll read historical fiction that is well researched and written by an author with a good reputation.

    Reply
  64. Historical romance is fiction and read by most of us for escape. While I want some historical accuracy and details, I’m not concerned by those little countries that don’t really exist, the plethora of rakish noblemen and overly understanding women, or even all those spies that are crawling around the landscape. I want well developed characters and a good story that doesn’t stretch reality too far. Just keep the basic time period details correct.
    If I want accuracy, I’ll read historical fiction that is well researched and written by an author with a good reputation.

    Reply
  65. Historical romance is fiction and read by most of us for escape. While I want some historical accuracy and details, I’m not concerned by those little countries that don’t really exist, the plethora of rakish noblemen and overly understanding women, or even all those spies that are crawling around the landscape. I want well developed characters and a good story that doesn’t stretch reality too far. Just keep the basic time period details correct.
    If I want accuracy, I’ll read historical fiction that is well researched and written by an author with a good reputation.

    Reply
  66. Of course, Pat, there was also domestic espionage — and here the word “paranoia” is particularly apposite, especially post-Waterloo, under the direction of the Home Office, whose agents were hardly rakish noblemen but paid provocateurs like the notorious Oliver the Spy.
    Or so my husband and research partner pointed out to me when I’d set out to write one of those noble protecting-Prinny domestic spy things — leading me to come up with something quite different, definitely my most controversial romance, THE SLIGHTEST PROVOCATION.

    Reply
  67. Of course, Pat, there was also domestic espionage — and here the word “paranoia” is particularly apposite, especially post-Waterloo, under the direction of the Home Office, whose agents were hardly rakish noblemen but paid provocateurs like the notorious Oliver the Spy.
    Or so my husband and research partner pointed out to me when I’d set out to write one of those noble protecting-Prinny domestic spy things — leading me to come up with something quite different, definitely my most controversial romance, THE SLIGHTEST PROVOCATION.

    Reply
  68. Of course, Pat, there was also domestic espionage — and here the word “paranoia” is particularly apposite, especially post-Waterloo, under the direction of the Home Office, whose agents were hardly rakish noblemen but paid provocateurs like the notorious Oliver the Spy.
    Or so my husband and research partner pointed out to me when I’d set out to write one of those noble protecting-Prinny domestic spy things — leading me to come up with something quite different, definitely my most controversial romance, THE SLIGHTEST PROVOCATION.

    Reply
  69. Of course, Pat, there was also domestic espionage — and here the word “paranoia” is particularly apposite, especially post-Waterloo, under the direction of the Home Office, whose agents were hardly rakish noblemen but paid provocateurs like the notorious Oliver the Spy.
    Or so my husband and research partner pointed out to me when I’d set out to write one of those noble protecting-Prinny domestic spy things — leading me to come up with something quite different, definitely my most controversial romance, THE SLIGHTEST PROVOCATION.

    Reply
  70. Of course, Pat, there was also domestic espionage — and here the word “paranoia” is particularly apposite, especially post-Waterloo, under the direction of the Home Office, whose agents were hardly rakish noblemen but paid provocateurs like the notorious Oliver the Spy.
    Or so my husband and research partner pointed out to me when I’d set out to write one of those noble protecting-Prinny domestic spy things — leading me to come up with something quite different, definitely my most controversial romance, THE SLIGHTEST PROVOCATION.

    Reply
  71. An organised spy network in England goes right back to the time of Elizabeth I with Sir Francis walshingham, and Christopher Marlowe was one of his spies, as was Sir Philip Sydney. However, how effective or controlled it was during the Napoleonic was is a mute point although Colquhoun grant was one of Wellington’s master spies and is worth investigating.
    I do like a good spy story, especially set in the time of horse and carriage. Even though the spies and others go thundering off across the landscape, or rather page of the book, they still have time to think, unlike today when they spend most of their time in airports and hotel rooms etc.

    Reply
  72. An organised spy network in England goes right back to the time of Elizabeth I with Sir Francis walshingham, and Christopher Marlowe was one of his spies, as was Sir Philip Sydney. However, how effective or controlled it was during the Napoleonic was is a mute point although Colquhoun grant was one of Wellington’s master spies and is worth investigating.
    I do like a good spy story, especially set in the time of horse and carriage. Even though the spies and others go thundering off across the landscape, or rather page of the book, they still have time to think, unlike today when they spend most of their time in airports and hotel rooms etc.

    Reply
  73. An organised spy network in England goes right back to the time of Elizabeth I with Sir Francis walshingham, and Christopher Marlowe was one of his spies, as was Sir Philip Sydney. However, how effective or controlled it was during the Napoleonic was is a mute point although Colquhoun grant was one of Wellington’s master spies and is worth investigating.
    I do like a good spy story, especially set in the time of horse and carriage. Even though the spies and others go thundering off across the landscape, or rather page of the book, they still have time to think, unlike today when they spend most of their time in airports and hotel rooms etc.

    Reply
  74. An organised spy network in England goes right back to the time of Elizabeth I with Sir Francis walshingham, and Christopher Marlowe was one of his spies, as was Sir Philip Sydney. However, how effective or controlled it was during the Napoleonic was is a mute point although Colquhoun grant was one of Wellington’s master spies and is worth investigating.
    I do like a good spy story, especially set in the time of horse and carriage. Even though the spies and others go thundering off across the landscape, or rather page of the book, they still have time to think, unlike today when they spend most of their time in airports and hotel rooms etc.

    Reply
  75. An organised spy network in England goes right back to the time of Elizabeth I with Sir Francis walshingham, and Christopher Marlowe was one of his spies, as was Sir Philip Sydney. However, how effective or controlled it was during the Napoleonic was is a mute point although Colquhoun grant was one of Wellington’s master spies and is worth investigating.
    I do like a good spy story, especially set in the time of horse and carriage. Even though the spies and others go thundering off across the landscape, or rather page of the book, they still have time to think, unlike today when they spend most of their time in airports and hotel rooms etc.

    Reply
  76. Thanks, Pat, for you post. It made me think why I prefer Regencies with a spy or two.
    My grandmother lived in Devon and I visited her every summer as a child. When I was 16, I insisted on returning back to the US early to attend some silly camp … thus missing the Charles and Di wedding event.
    So reading Regency for me takes me back to my Grandmother. But I have to have some meat to the story – perhaps I relate most to the spy stuff because I am a military veteran spouse. I don’t want to read too much about the carnage in the Napoleonic Wars, but I do want the hero or heroine to support God, Country, and King. Frankly, I can’t abide Regencies that just focus on the parties. They may be historically accurate as the Upper Ten Thousand cared little for anything else. But that attitude is so anti-American. Funny that Americans like to read about the nobility when we enjoy the freedom from it. So I will accept some inaccuracy in the characters’ behavior. I agree with other comments that turning off a light bulb or speedy travel to Bath are annoying. Having traveled throughout the British Isles, I know what to expect when a story unfolds in the countryside. I just hope the author has done the research … and I am pleased that the Word Wenches do their research!

    Reply
  77. Thanks, Pat, for you post. It made me think why I prefer Regencies with a spy or two.
    My grandmother lived in Devon and I visited her every summer as a child. When I was 16, I insisted on returning back to the US early to attend some silly camp … thus missing the Charles and Di wedding event.
    So reading Regency for me takes me back to my Grandmother. But I have to have some meat to the story – perhaps I relate most to the spy stuff because I am a military veteran spouse. I don’t want to read too much about the carnage in the Napoleonic Wars, but I do want the hero or heroine to support God, Country, and King. Frankly, I can’t abide Regencies that just focus on the parties. They may be historically accurate as the Upper Ten Thousand cared little for anything else. But that attitude is so anti-American. Funny that Americans like to read about the nobility when we enjoy the freedom from it. So I will accept some inaccuracy in the characters’ behavior. I agree with other comments that turning off a light bulb or speedy travel to Bath are annoying. Having traveled throughout the British Isles, I know what to expect when a story unfolds in the countryside. I just hope the author has done the research … and I am pleased that the Word Wenches do their research!

    Reply
  78. Thanks, Pat, for you post. It made me think why I prefer Regencies with a spy or two.
    My grandmother lived in Devon and I visited her every summer as a child. When I was 16, I insisted on returning back to the US early to attend some silly camp … thus missing the Charles and Di wedding event.
    So reading Regency for me takes me back to my Grandmother. But I have to have some meat to the story – perhaps I relate most to the spy stuff because I am a military veteran spouse. I don’t want to read too much about the carnage in the Napoleonic Wars, but I do want the hero or heroine to support God, Country, and King. Frankly, I can’t abide Regencies that just focus on the parties. They may be historically accurate as the Upper Ten Thousand cared little for anything else. But that attitude is so anti-American. Funny that Americans like to read about the nobility when we enjoy the freedom from it. So I will accept some inaccuracy in the characters’ behavior. I agree with other comments that turning off a light bulb or speedy travel to Bath are annoying. Having traveled throughout the British Isles, I know what to expect when a story unfolds in the countryside. I just hope the author has done the research … and I am pleased that the Word Wenches do their research!

    Reply
  79. Thanks, Pat, for you post. It made me think why I prefer Regencies with a spy or two.
    My grandmother lived in Devon and I visited her every summer as a child. When I was 16, I insisted on returning back to the US early to attend some silly camp … thus missing the Charles and Di wedding event.
    So reading Regency for me takes me back to my Grandmother. But I have to have some meat to the story – perhaps I relate most to the spy stuff because I am a military veteran spouse. I don’t want to read too much about the carnage in the Napoleonic Wars, but I do want the hero or heroine to support God, Country, and King. Frankly, I can’t abide Regencies that just focus on the parties. They may be historically accurate as the Upper Ten Thousand cared little for anything else. But that attitude is so anti-American. Funny that Americans like to read about the nobility when we enjoy the freedom from it. So I will accept some inaccuracy in the characters’ behavior. I agree with other comments that turning off a light bulb or speedy travel to Bath are annoying. Having traveled throughout the British Isles, I know what to expect when a story unfolds in the countryside. I just hope the author has done the research … and I am pleased that the Word Wenches do their research!

    Reply
  80. Thanks, Pat, for you post. It made me think why I prefer Regencies with a spy or two.
    My grandmother lived in Devon and I visited her every summer as a child. When I was 16, I insisted on returning back to the US early to attend some silly camp … thus missing the Charles and Di wedding event.
    So reading Regency for me takes me back to my Grandmother. But I have to have some meat to the story – perhaps I relate most to the spy stuff because I am a military veteran spouse. I don’t want to read too much about the carnage in the Napoleonic Wars, but I do want the hero or heroine to support God, Country, and King. Frankly, I can’t abide Regencies that just focus on the parties. They may be historically accurate as the Upper Ten Thousand cared little for anything else. But that attitude is so anti-American. Funny that Americans like to read about the nobility when we enjoy the freedom from it. So I will accept some inaccuracy in the characters’ behavior. I agree with other comments that turning off a light bulb or speedy travel to Bath are annoying. Having traveled throughout the British Isles, I know what to expect when a story unfolds in the countryside. I just hope the author has done the research … and I am pleased that the Word Wenches do their research!

    Reply
  81. I will have to concede that some excellent points are made in favor of dashing spies as romantic characters, and I particularly like the idea that it gives heroes time to be really heroic “G”.
    And certainly domestic espionage existed from time immemorial since it’s always so much easier to spy on the guy who opposes you politically! That does make for another entertaining angle. And it’s a whole lot easier to communicate within one’s country. The domestic spy office was humming in the Regency.
    I think I can safely say my characters don’t switch off lights (and really, even when electricity first came along, the switches weren’t the same as we know today!)and have a decent idea of how long it takes to get from one place to another–except when traffic and weather and all those nasty other inconveniences intervene! So maybe my tiny little walk-on spy will survive the edit process. Maybe. I’ve still got to get him past my editor!

    Reply
  82. I will have to concede that some excellent points are made in favor of dashing spies as romantic characters, and I particularly like the idea that it gives heroes time to be really heroic “G”.
    And certainly domestic espionage existed from time immemorial since it’s always so much easier to spy on the guy who opposes you politically! That does make for another entertaining angle. And it’s a whole lot easier to communicate within one’s country. The domestic spy office was humming in the Regency.
    I think I can safely say my characters don’t switch off lights (and really, even when electricity first came along, the switches weren’t the same as we know today!)and have a decent idea of how long it takes to get from one place to another–except when traffic and weather and all those nasty other inconveniences intervene! So maybe my tiny little walk-on spy will survive the edit process. Maybe. I’ve still got to get him past my editor!

    Reply
  83. I will have to concede that some excellent points are made in favor of dashing spies as romantic characters, and I particularly like the idea that it gives heroes time to be really heroic “G”.
    And certainly domestic espionage existed from time immemorial since it’s always so much easier to spy on the guy who opposes you politically! That does make for another entertaining angle. And it’s a whole lot easier to communicate within one’s country. The domestic spy office was humming in the Regency.
    I think I can safely say my characters don’t switch off lights (and really, even when electricity first came along, the switches weren’t the same as we know today!)and have a decent idea of how long it takes to get from one place to another–except when traffic and weather and all those nasty other inconveniences intervene! So maybe my tiny little walk-on spy will survive the edit process. Maybe. I’ve still got to get him past my editor!

    Reply
  84. I will have to concede that some excellent points are made in favor of dashing spies as romantic characters, and I particularly like the idea that it gives heroes time to be really heroic “G”.
    And certainly domestic espionage existed from time immemorial since it’s always so much easier to spy on the guy who opposes you politically! That does make for another entertaining angle. And it’s a whole lot easier to communicate within one’s country. The domestic spy office was humming in the Regency.
    I think I can safely say my characters don’t switch off lights (and really, even when electricity first came along, the switches weren’t the same as we know today!)and have a decent idea of how long it takes to get from one place to another–except when traffic and weather and all those nasty other inconveniences intervene! So maybe my tiny little walk-on spy will survive the edit process. Maybe. I’ve still got to get him past my editor!

    Reply
  85. I will have to concede that some excellent points are made in favor of dashing spies as romantic characters, and I particularly like the idea that it gives heroes time to be really heroic “G”.
    And certainly domestic espionage existed from time immemorial since it’s always so much easier to spy on the guy who opposes you politically! That does make for another entertaining angle. And it’s a whole lot easier to communicate within one’s country. The domestic spy office was humming in the Regency.
    I think I can safely say my characters don’t switch off lights (and really, even when electricity first came along, the switches weren’t the same as we know today!)and have a decent idea of how long it takes to get from one place to another–except when traffic and weather and all those nasty other inconveniences intervene! So maybe my tiny little walk-on spy will survive the edit process. Maybe. I’ve still got to get him past my editor!

    Reply
  86. Napoleon said ‘a spy in the right place is worth 40,000 men.’
    William Wickham formed the Aliens Office about the time French emigrés started arriving in England to escape the Terror. So there were plenty of spies and some of them could well have been sprigs of noble families – there was plenty of gold involved… Plenty of detail in Elizabeth Sparrow’s book:
    ‘Secret service: British Agents in France, 1792-1815’
    ISBN0851157645
    So breathe again, everyone and plot those spies into your Regency tales as necessary…
    er…did someone say tomatoes?

    Reply
  87. Napoleon said ‘a spy in the right place is worth 40,000 men.’
    William Wickham formed the Aliens Office about the time French emigrés started arriving in England to escape the Terror. So there were plenty of spies and some of them could well have been sprigs of noble families – there was plenty of gold involved… Plenty of detail in Elizabeth Sparrow’s book:
    ‘Secret service: British Agents in France, 1792-1815’
    ISBN0851157645
    So breathe again, everyone and plot those spies into your Regency tales as necessary…
    er…did someone say tomatoes?

    Reply
  88. Napoleon said ‘a spy in the right place is worth 40,000 men.’
    William Wickham formed the Aliens Office about the time French emigrés started arriving in England to escape the Terror. So there were plenty of spies and some of them could well have been sprigs of noble families – there was plenty of gold involved… Plenty of detail in Elizabeth Sparrow’s book:
    ‘Secret service: British Agents in France, 1792-1815’
    ISBN0851157645
    So breathe again, everyone and plot those spies into your Regency tales as necessary…
    er…did someone say tomatoes?

    Reply
  89. Napoleon said ‘a spy in the right place is worth 40,000 men.’
    William Wickham formed the Aliens Office about the time French emigrés started arriving in England to escape the Terror. So there were plenty of spies and some of them could well have been sprigs of noble families – there was plenty of gold involved… Plenty of detail in Elizabeth Sparrow’s book:
    ‘Secret service: British Agents in France, 1792-1815’
    ISBN0851157645
    So breathe again, everyone and plot those spies into your Regency tales as necessary…
    er…did someone say tomatoes?

    Reply
  90. Napoleon said ‘a spy in the right place is worth 40,000 men.’
    William Wickham formed the Aliens Office about the time French emigrés started arriving in England to escape the Terror. So there were plenty of spies and some of them could well have been sprigs of noble families – there was plenty of gold involved… Plenty of detail in Elizabeth Sparrow’s book:
    ‘Secret service: British Agents in France, 1792-1815’
    ISBN0851157645
    So breathe again, everyone and plot those spies into your Regency tales as necessary…
    er…did someone say tomatoes?

    Reply
  91. I prefer my historical romance to be more historical. I’m tired of so many dukes I could trip over them. I’m tired of spies. I’m tired of 90210 Virgins who seduce rakes and ignore every rule of society as if they couldn’t care about repercussions, which there never are any in these novels.
    There are always exceptions. I have my fair share of duke novels on my bookshelf, but they get tiresome.

    Reply
  92. I prefer my historical romance to be more historical. I’m tired of so many dukes I could trip over them. I’m tired of spies. I’m tired of 90210 Virgins who seduce rakes and ignore every rule of society as if they couldn’t care about repercussions, which there never are any in these novels.
    There are always exceptions. I have my fair share of duke novels on my bookshelf, but they get tiresome.

    Reply
  93. I prefer my historical romance to be more historical. I’m tired of so many dukes I could trip over them. I’m tired of spies. I’m tired of 90210 Virgins who seduce rakes and ignore every rule of society as if they couldn’t care about repercussions, which there never are any in these novels.
    There are always exceptions. I have my fair share of duke novels on my bookshelf, but they get tiresome.

    Reply
  94. I prefer my historical romance to be more historical. I’m tired of so many dukes I could trip over them. I’m tired of spies. I’m tired of 90210 Virgins who seduce rakes and ignore every rule of society as if they couldn’t care about repercussions, which there never are any in these novels.
    There are always exceptions. I have my fair share of duke novels on my bookshelf, but they get tiresome.

    Reply
  95. I prefer my historical romance to be more historical. I’m tired of so many dukes I could trip over them. I’m tired of spies. I’m tired of 90210 Virgins who seduce rakes and ignore every rule of society as if they couldn’t care about repercussions, which there never are any in these novels.
    There are always exceptions. I have my fair share of duke novels on my bookshelf, but they get tiresome.

    Reply
  96. MJP posting for Pat, who is being given the cut direct by Typepad:
    +++Beth, I’ll have to look into that Aliens Office because I haven’t come across it–of course, I’m not researching spies, right? “G” But feel free with the tomatoes or the rotten fruit, if you prefer. I love
    learning something new.
    +++Hellion, I do understand what you mean. Oh for the days of the good old cowboys. “wink”

    Reply
  97. MJP posting for Pat, who is being given the cut direct by Typepad:
    +++Beth, I’ll have to look into that Aliens Office because I haven’t come across it–of course, I’m not researching spies, right? “G” But feel free with the tomatoes or the rotten fruit, if you prefer. I love
    learning something new.
    +++Hellion, I do understand what you mean. Oh for the days of the good old cowboys. “wink”

    Reply
  98. MJP posting for Pat, who is being given the cut direct by Typepad:
    +++Beth, I’ll have to look into that Aliens Office because I haven’t come across it–of course, I’m not researching spies, right? “G” But feel free with the tomatoes or the rotten fruit, if you prefer. I love
    learning something new.
    +++Hellion, I do understand what you mean. Oh for the days of the good old cowboys. “wink”

    Reply
  99. MJP posting for Pat, who is being given the cut direct by Typepad:
    +++Beth, I’ll have to look into that Aliens Office because I haven’t come across it–of course, I’m not researching spies, right? “G” But feel free with the tomatoes or the rotten fruit, if you prefer. I love
    learning something new.
    +++Hellion, I do understand what you mean. Oh for the days of the good old cowboys. “wink”

    Reply
  100. MJP posting for Pat, who is being given the cut direct by Typepad:
    +++Beth, I’ll have to look into that Aliens Office because I haven’t come across it–of course, I’m not researching spies, right? “G” But feel free with the tomatoes or the rotten fruit, if you prefer. I love
    learning something new.
    +++Hellion, I do understand what you mean. Oh for the days of the good old cowboys. “wink”

    Reply
  101. I love coming here, there’s often something new to learn. Great post, Pat, and so are the comments everyone else made.
    Regency spy stories don’t bother me much, but that’s because I don’t honestly know that much about spying during that era. It’s much harder for me to swallow language or actions that aren’t true to an era. And zombies are right out!

    Reply
  102. I love coming here, there’s often something new to learn. Great post, Pat, and so are the comments everyone else made.
    Regency spy stories don’t bother me much, but that’s because I don’t honestly know that much about spying during that era. It’s much harder for me to swallow language or actions that aren’t true to an era. And zombies are right out!

    Reply
  103. I love coming here, there’s often something new to learn. Great post, Pat, and so are the comments everyone else made.
    Regency spy stories don’t bother me much, but that’s because I don’t honestly know that much about spying during that era. It’s much harder for me to swallow language or actions that aren’t true to an era. And zombies are right out!

    Reply
  104. I love coming here, there’s often something new to learn. Great post, Pat, and so are the comments everyone else made.
    Regency spy stories don’t bother me much, but that’s because I don’t honestly know that much about spying during that era. It’s much harder for me to swallow language or actions that aren’t true to an era. And zombies are right out!

    Reply
  105. I love coming here, there’s often something new to learn. Great post, Pat, and so are the comments everyone else made.
    Regency spy stories don’t bother me much, but that’s because I don’t honestly know that much about spying during that era. It’s much harder for me to swallow language or actions that aren’t true to an era. And zombies are right out!

    Reply
  106. Not a tomato, just for those interested:
    Title A mad, bad, and dangerous people?: England, 1783-1846 New Oxford history of England
    Author: Boyd Hilton
    Edition: illustrated
    Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2006
    ISBN: 0198228309, 9780198228301
    Length: 757 pages
    Information about William Wickham/Aliens Office on page 85.
    Dr. Hilton, a historian and fellow of Trinity College, has his sources referenced in the footnotes, one of them is Sparrow’s book mentioned by Beth and some others are primary sources

    Reply
  107. Not a tomato, just for those interested:
    Title A mad, bad, and dangerous people?: England, 1783-1846 New Oxford history of England
    Author: Boyd Hilton
    Edition: illustrated
    Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2006
    ISBN: 0198228309, 9780198228301
    Length: 757 pages
    Information about William Wickham/Aliens Office on page 85.
    Dr. Hilton, a historian and fellow of Trinity College, has his sources referenced in the footnotes, one of them is Sparrow’s book mentioned by Beth and some others are primary sources

    Reply
  108. Not a tomato, just for those interested:
    Title A mad, bad, and dangerous people?: England, 1783-1846 New Oxford history of England
    Author: Boyd Hilton
    Edition: illustrated
    Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2006
    ISBN: 0198228309, 9780198228301
    Length: 757 pages
    Information about William Wickham/Aliens Office on page 85.
    Dr. Hilton, a historian and fellow of Trinity College, has his sources referenced in the footnotes, one of them is Sparrow’s book mentioned by Beth and some others are primary sources

    Reply
  109. Not a tomato, just for those interested:
    Title A mad, bad, and dangerous people?: England, 1783-1846 New Oxford history of England
    Author: Boyd Hilton
    Edition: illustrated
    Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2006
    ISBN: 0198228309, 9780198228301
    Length: 757 pages
    Information about William Wickham/Aliens Office on page 85.
    Dr. Hilton, a historian and fellow of Trinity College, has his sources referenced in the footnotes, one of them is Sparrow’s book mentioned by Beth and some others are primary sources

    Reply
  110. Not a tomato, just for those interested:
    Title A mad, bad, and dangerous people?: England, 1783-1846 New Oxford history of England
    Author: Boyd Hilton
    Edition: illustrated
    Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2006
    ISBN: 0198228309, 9780198228301
    Length: 757 pages
    Information about William Wickham/Aliens Office on page 85.
    Dr. Hilton, a historian and fellow of Trinity College, has his sources referenced in the footnotes, one of them is Sparrow’s book mentioned by Beth and some others are primary sources

    Reply

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