“I’ll marry the first female I see!” Rejected by the Incomparable Isabella, finished with love but urgently needing to obtain his inheritance, Sherry, Viscount Sheringham makes a reckless decision and ends up married to his childhood friend Hero Wantage. Friday’s Child is one of Georgette Heyer’s most charming novels (although at times I want to smack a bit of sense into Sherry and tell Hero to find someone more deserving of her.) It also acted as an inspiration for any number of Regency historicals where young men intent on gaining control of their fortune marry an unlikely heroine. Possibly these days there are books where heiresses marry unsuitable men for the same reason and perhaps someone can recommend one to me.
This always seemed to me an unlikely if entertaining trope in historical romance. I say unlikely because I had an image of the world of aristocratic marriages tightly controlled by parents or guardians. Advantageous marriages, money in return for a title, carefully chaperoned young ladies… It didn’t seem to leave much space for the impulsive marriage. Then I came across Lady Diana Spencer.