Cara/Andrea here, musing today about historical heroines, and how it’s a challenge to give them ways to flex their intellectual muscle while still staying true to the temper of their times. The Regency era is easier, as it was a time of great change in all aspects of society. Still, giving a highborn lady a “job” tests an author’s imagination.
But that’s part of the fun of crafting the concept for a book! And actually, in my latest series I had one of those “ah-ha!” moments that had me off and running. In my “Hellions of High Street” trilogy, the three sisters all have a secret passion for writing. Sinfully Yours, which releases tomorrow, features Anna’s story. She’s the one who writes wildly adventurous—and racy—romance novels under a nom de plume, and as you can imagine, I had great fun with that! And that there was a real life role model for her added extra enjoyment to shaping her character. There were, of course, very few professions in 18th and early 19th century Britain in which women could compete on an equal footing with men. The creative arts offered the best opportunities—including writing. In fact, women authors were hugely influential in shaping the course of the novel, especially Ann Radcliffe.