The Truth About Dukes

200px-Coronet_of_a_British_Duke.svgNicola here, talking about dukes, as you do if you are an author of historical romance. I’ve live in Britain all my life and I’ve never met a duke. In fact they are the only rank of the peerage I haven’t met. There are currently only 24 of them in existence which in a population of 65 million must make them amongst the rarest creatures in the country on a par with the Scottish wild cat. At times during the UK's history there have been no more than two or three; at others – the mid 1700s – there were as many as forty so even at their height they were an endangered species.

That’s the reality, of course. In stories, particularly in historical romances, they pop up in London, Bath and various country towns and villages with a regularity that is rather fun. If only!

A little while ago, Mary Jo wrote a wonderful blog piece on billionaires, dukes, and hero inflation, looking at the reasons why a billionaire, or duke, or billionaire duke, is so appealing in our fiction. You can read it here. Today though, I’m talking about the fact behind the fiction, which is actually no less entertaining and contains some characters who, if they were fictional, would seem far too bizarre, eccentric and unlikely.

 The title of Duke is the rarest honour that the monarch may bestow on a person not of royal blood. There are royal dukes as well, Duke of Cambridgeof course – the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William (Duke of Cambridge) and the Dukes of Gloucester and Kent to name but a few.The guy in the photo is the Duke of Cambridge, an earlier one. The first English dukedom was created in 1337 and that was a royal one, the Dukedom of Cornwall.  This remains a title held by the heir to the throne. It isn’t the oldest title in the Peerage of England and so some barons and earls consider the dukes to be upstarts, the nouveaux aristocrats. Another interesting fact about dukes is their mode of address. To most of us they are “your grace” but the queen addresses them as “right trusty and entirely beloved cousin.” They call each other “duke” unless they are closely related, when they will use a first name. This could well get tricky when more than one of them is in a room at the same time.

Until the 19th century reforms put a stop to their feudal-style privileges, dukes enjoyed a lifestyle that now seems both incredible and indefensible. They could commit any crime and get away with it because no one had the power to arrest them. They could run up enormous debts and leave them unpaid because no one could enforce payment. They even had their own personal trumpeter.

William_the_conquerorBack in 1066, William I, as Duke of Normandy, had no desire to create a title in England that was of the same rank as the one he held in France, and it was almost three centuries before the title was introduced. Richard II created six dukes in a day in 1397 but none of them lasted more than a few years. In that turbulent period, four of the titles were forfeit and two, including the Duchess of Norfolk in her own right, became extinct upon death.

Only two of the dukedoms that exist today derive from the pre-Elizabethan era, mainly because few of those who wielded power died a natural death or lived long enough to pass on their titles.  (Up until the 19th century the most likely cause of death for a male aristocrat was quoted as being war, duelling or falling off a horse!) The Dukedom of Norfolk was re-created by Richard III in 1483 and is still in existence today. He is the premier duke in the peerage of England with precedence over all the other non-royal dukes. Second in the pecking order is the Duke of Somerset, created in 1547 by the 1st Duke of Somerset and conferred upon himself when he was Lord Protector of England in the reign of Edward VI. Both of these were dukes in the medieval sense of the word, leaders of men, soldiers, military and political players. Other dukedoms of the period have come and gone – Suffolk, for example.

The redoubtable Elizabethan noblewoman Bess of Hardwick was the common ancestress of two dukedoms, those of Devonshire and Hardwick_Hall_in_Doe_Lea_-_Derbyshire Portland. Her second son became the first Earl of Devonshire (later elevated to a dukedom) and he inherited the estates of Chatsworth and Hardwick from her. Her third son, the ancestor of the Duke of Portland, inherited Welbeck Abbey. The Duke of Devonshire, who, just to confuse matters, holds no land in Devon, still lives at Chatsworth today. Longevity seems to be a matter of luck and the ability to produce a male heir. As for the location of the title, a duke is often associated with an entire county – see Devonshire, or Northumberland or Norfolk or many more, but there is no necessity for him to live there, though he can if he wants, and own a large part of the land into the bargain.Some Dukes have titles that are towns, cities or even villages. A minority do not, hence my Duke of Kestrel in the Bluestocking Brides series. Incidentally, it would be perfectly fine to have a Regency duke called Tempest, Duke of Studley, since Tempest could be a family name used as a first name and Studley is a real place.

Duchess of clevelandThe seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were a good time for dukedoms. Charles II created 26 of them including two for his mistresses and six for his illegitimate sons. Four of these still exist including Buccleuch (pronounced buckloo) which was the dukedom given to Charles’ eldest son, James, Duke of Monmouth, upon his marriage. Royal mistress Barbara Villiers, herself granted the title of Duchess of Cleveland in 1670, was also the mother of Charles Fitzroy, later Duke of Southampton, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Grafton, and George Fitzroy, Duke of Northumberland. That is quite a haul of dukedoms for one family!

Of the others: Richmond, St Albans, Bedford, Beaufort, Marlborough, Rutland belong to the peerage of England, Hamilton, Argyll, Atholl, Montrose, Roxburghe, Lennox and Queensberry belong to the peerage of Scotland, Manchester, Northumberland and Brandon belong to the peerage of Great Britain, Leinster and Abercorn to the peerage of Ireland and Wellington, Sutherland, Westminster, Fife and Gordon to the peerage of the United Kingdom.  Yes, it's complicated. Plus, if anyone has counted up and come to more than twenty four, some are “double dukes” and hold two titles in one: Richmond and Lennox, for example, and Hamilton and Brandon. The most recent Dukedom to be created was Fife, in 1900, although Winston Churchill was offered a dukedom and graciously declined. As they are only created for exemplary service to the monarch – such as the titles offered to Marlborough or Wellington, for example – there is no great likelihood of lots of new ones.

What are the dukes like? Well, they didn't seem to rate themselves as very charismatic in the 19th century. “How dull! Bless me! We Duke of Wellington pub are eleven of us, dukes and duchesses, and most dukefully dull we are,” Sarah Spencer wrote in 1841 whilst accompanying Queen Victoria on a visit to Woburn Abbey. Possibly this was true when in the presence of the Queen; out of it, throughout their history, they have been more inclined towards a style of “what we can get away with” bad behaviour. Like the rest of the population there are re dukes who are eccentric and bizarre, dukes behaving badly, dukes who are shy and dukes who are entrepreneurs. Reserve and keeping a low profile is a quality only recently adopted. Back in the Regency day they were perhaps more newsworthy.

Marriage and the preservation of rank have always been a preoccupation of the aristocracy and never more so than at the top of the pile. A duke’s heir was generally expected to marry another duke’s daughter and often he did. In 1829 the Duchess of Baden visited England to find a husband for her daughter. She had her eye on the Duke of Buccleuch but hesitated because he only had three dukedoms and she was worried that a potential fourth son of the marriage would get nothing. She had not realised that the eldest son would get them all anyway. Occasionally an earl’s daughter would break into this exclusive club or, even more scandalously, an untitled lady. Sometimes there were even foreign brides! As a result of this inter-marrying, all the dukes are now related to one another in some degree, a quarter of them a close relationship such as a cousin or uncle or brother-in-law. Of course not all the blood running through ducal veins is blue and not all of it is legitimate either. As many marriages weren’t love matches, some children were not the offspring of their titular fathers. This was tolerated, even welcomed at times since it alleviated the inbreeding. When the Duchess of Gordon proposed that her daughter marry the heir to Lord Cornwallis, his lordship apparently protested because he said there was madness in the Gordon family. The Duchess was happy to reassure him that her daughter “did not have a drop of Gordon blood in her”.

220px-DuchessanneThere may well not be any new dukedoms created but equally those in existence cannot be removed except by an act of parliament. Not even the Queen can declare a dukedom extinct except for an act of high treason. For as long as there is an heir, there can be a dukedom. Most of these titles descend “in tail male” with succession to the legitimate male heirs of the original duke to hold the title. If the title is granted to “heirs general” it can descend through the female line. (The lady in the picture is Anne, Duchess of Hamilton.) Thirdly a “special remainder” can be granted, allowing the title to be passed to a nominee. It’s all vastly complicated and in all, 162 separate ducal titles have been created and less than 500 individuals have held them in their 660 plus year history.

What’s a duke to do? Where do they go from here? Only three dukes now retain a seat in the Blair-castle-edinburghHouse of Lords.  Some open their stately homes to the public and/or run high profile events. Some, such as the Duke of Argyll, are in business (in his case whisky distilling.) Life in the modern world is very different for them and their circumstances vary quite dramatically. The Duke of St Albans, for example, no longer has a family seat and although he retains his title of Hereditary Grand Falconer, a Labour government scrapped his entitlement to an annual haunch of venison from Richmond Park a few years ago. He works as an accountant. Meanwhile the new Duke of Westminster really is a billionaire as well as a duke. It must be a lonely business as well as a privileged one being at the top of the peerage. Are the privileges worth it? I imagine most of us would think they probably are.

What do you think? Is it better to be a duke in the present day or the Regency? Should they have duties as well as privileges, and what is it about the character of the duke that appeals in historical fiction?

135 thoughts on “The Truth About Dukes”

  1. I have often wondered why there were so many dukes running around in the HR world. I assume that the readers like it. It doesn’t matter so much to me. If it is a good story with well drawn characters it seems to me that the H/h could just as easily be Mr. or Miss. I know that class distinction is often important in these stories, but it still seems you could accomplish that without blessing them all with titles. At any rate, it is the love story that draws me in, so it really doesn’t matter one way or another if they have a title.
    I also found it interesting that they call each other “duke” unless they are closely related. I do remember reading a story a few years ago where the duke was directly addressed as “duke” rather “your grace”. I thought it was incorrect at the time, but I guess I was wrong there. At any rate every time the character was addressed “duke” all I could see in my minds eye was a big old German Shepard. I guess that’s the American in me (smile).

    Reply
  2. I have often wondered why there were so many dukes running around in the HR world. I assume that the readers like it. It doesn’t matter so much to me. If it is a good story with well drawn characters it seems to me that the H/h could just as easily be Mr. or Miss. I know that class distinction is often important in these stories, but it still seems you could accomplish that without blessing them all with titles. At any rate, it is the love story that draws me in, so it really doesn’t matter one way or another if they have a title.
    I also found it interesting that they call each other “duke” unless they are closely related. I do remember reading a story a few years ago where the duke was directly addressed as “duke” rather “your grace”. I thought it was incorrect at the time, but I guess I was wrong there. At any rate every time the character was addressed “duke” all I could see in my minds eye was a big old German Shepard. I guess that’s the American in me (smile).

    Reply
  3. I have often wondered why there were so many dukes running around in the HR world. I assume that the readers like it. It doesn’t matter so much to me. If it is a good story with well drawn characters it seems to me that the H/h could just as easily be Mr. or Miss. I know that class distinction is often important in these stories, but it still seems you could accomplish that without blessing them all with titles. At any rate, it is the love story that draws me in, so it really doesn’t matter one way or another if they have a title.
    I also found it interesting that they call each other “duke” unless they are closely related. I do remember reading a story a few years ago where the duke was directly addressed as “duke” rather “your grace”. I thought it was incorrect at the time, but I guess I was wrong there. At any rate every time the character was addressed “duke” all I could see in my minds eye was a big old German Shepard. I guess that’s the American in me (smile).

    Reply
  4. I have often wondered why there were so many dukes running around in the HR world. I assume that the readers like it. It doesn’t matter so much to me. If it is a good story with well drawn characters it seems to me that the H/h could just as easily be Mr. or Miss. I know that class distinction is often important in these stories, but it still seems you could accomplish that without blessing them all with titles. At any rate, it is the love story that draws me in, so it really doesn’t matter one way or another if they have a title.
    I also found it interesting that they call each other “duke” unless they are closely related. I do remember reading a story a few years ago where the duke was directly addressed as “duke” rather “your grace”. I thought it was incorrect at the time, but I guess I was wrong there. At any rate every time the character was addressed “duke” all I could see in my minds eye was a big old German Shepard. I guess that’s the American in me (smile).

    Reply
  5. I have often wondered why there were so many dukes running around in the HR world. I assume that the readers like it. It doesn’t matter so much to me. If it is a good story with well drawn characters it seems to me that the H/h could just as easily be Mr. or Miss. I know that class distinction is often important in these stories, but it still seems you could accomplish that without blessing them all with titles. At any rate, it is the love story that draws me in, so it really doesn’t matter one way or another if they have a title.
    I also found it interesting that they call each other “duke” unless they are closely related. I do remember reading a story a few years ago where the duke was directly addressed as “duke” rather “your grace”. I thought it was incorrect at the time, but I guess I was wrong there. At any rate every time the character was addressed “duke” all I could see in my minds eye was a big old German Shepard. I guess that’s the American in me (smile).

    Reply
  6. If one looks at a peerage such as Debtrett’s for 1842, it lists may of the offices held by peers. Dukes were on the privy council, headed government offices, oversaw estates that employed more people than many companies do today. Some were lord Lieutenants, some in charge of the JPs in the county. Some had hereditary positions as lord in waiting to the King . The Duke of Norfolk is, of course, the Earl marshal of England overseer of the College of Arms and in charge of all ceremonial occasions.
    The Duke of Devonshire in the regency had nine estates and seven houses or seven estates and nine houses . At one time he had the presentation to 27 livings in his power. Even with experienced and trust worthy employees , he would have to pay attention or be cheated.
    In books the dukes seem only to live on inherited money with out cares or to be on the brink of disaster. The regency dukes wee involved in many activities. There were some eccentrics among them as there were among all classes, but most had to spend time on business.
    No– criticism– just a question: where did you find the information that it wasn’t until the 19th c that dukes were subject to the law? They were always subject to the criminal law but couldn’t be arrested on civil writs such as for debts.People might have been afraid to charge a duke but that isn’t the same as saying they had legal right of avoiding the law, They had to pay their bills. They just couldn’t be put in jail just because they owed money.

    Reply
  7. If one looks at a peerage such as Debtrett’s for 1842, it lists may of the offices held by peers. Dukes were on the privy council, headed government offices, oversaw estates that employed more people than many companies do today. Some were lord Lieutenants, some in charge of the JPs in the county. Some had hereditary positions as lord in waiting to the King . The Duke of Norfolk is, of course, the Earl marshal of England overseer of the College of Arms and in charge of all ceremonial occasions.
    The Duke of Devonshire in the regency had nine estates and seven houses or seven estates and nine houses . At one time he had the presentation to 27 livings in his power. Even with experienced and trust worthy employees , he would have to pay attention or be cheated.
    In books the dukes seem only to live on inherited money with out cares or to be on the brink of disaster. The regency dukes wee involved in many activities. There were some eccentrics among them as there were among all classes, but most had to spend time on business.
    No– criticism– just a question: where did you find the information that it wasn’t until the 19th c that dukes were subject to the law? They were always subject to the criminal law but couldn’t be arrested on civil writs such as for debts.People might have been afraid to charge a duke but that isn’t the same as saying they had legal right of avoiding the law, They had to pay their bills. They just couldn’t be put in jail just because they owed money.

    Reply
  8. If one looks at a peerage such as Debtrett’s for 1842, it lists may of the offices held by peers. Dukes were on the privy council, headed government offices, oversaw estates that employed more people than many companies do today. Some were lord Lieutenants, some in charge of the JPs in the county. Some had hereditary positions as lord in waiting to the King . The Duke of Norfolk is, of course, the Earl marshal of England overseer of the College of Arms and in charge of all ceremonial occasions.
    The Duke of Devonshire in the regency had nine estates and seven houses or seven estates and nine houses . At one time he had the presentation to 27 livings in his power. Even with experienced and trust worthy employees , he would have to pay attention or be cheated.
    In books the dukes seem only to live on inherited money with out cares or to be on the brink of disaster. The regency dukes wee involved in many activities. There were some eccentrics among them as there were among all classes, but most had to spend time on business.
    No– criticism– just a question: where did you find the information that it wasn’t until the 19th c that dukes were subject to the law? They were always subject to the criminal law but couldn’t be arrested on civil writs such as for debts.People might have been afraid to charge a duke but that isn’t the same as saying they had legal right of avoiding the law, They had to pay their bills. They just couldn’t be put in jail just because they owed money.

    Reply
  9. If one looks at a peerage such as Debtrett’s for 1842, it lists may of the offices held by peers. Dukes were on the privy council, headed government offices, oversaw estates that employed more people than many companies do today. Some were lord Lieutenants, some in charge of the JPs in the county. Some had hereditary positions as lord in waiting to the King . The Duke of Norfolk is, of course, the Earl marshal of England overseer of the College of Arms and in charge of all ceremonial occasions.
    The Duke of Devonshire in the regency had nine estates and seven houses or seven estates and nine houses . At one time he had the presentation to 27 livings in his power. Even with experienced and trust worthy employees , he would have to pay attention or be cheated.
    In books the dukes seem only to live on inherited money with out cares or to be on the brink of disaster. The regency dukes wee involved in many activities. There were some eccentrics among them as there were among all classes, but most had to spend time on business.
    No– criticism– just a question: where did you find the information that it wasn’t until the 19th c that dukes were subject to the law? They were always subject to the criminal law but couldn’t be arrested on civil writs such as for debts.People might have been afraid to charge a duke but that isn’t the same as saying they had legal right of avoiding the law, They had to pay their bills. They just couldn’t be put in jail just because they owed money.

    Reply
  10. If one looks at a peerage such as Debtrett’s for 1842, it lists may of the offices held by peers. Dukes were on the privy council, headed government offices, oversaw estates that employed more people than many companies do today. Some were lord Lieutenants, some in charge of the JPs in the county. Some had hereditary positions as lord in waiting to the King . The Duke of Norfolk is, of course, the Earl marshal of England overseer of the College of Arms and in charge of all ceremonial occasions.
    The Duke of Devonshire in the regency had nine estates and seven houses or seven estates and nine houses . At one time he had the presentation to 27 livings in his power. Even with experienced and trust worthy employees , he would have to pay attention or be cheated.
    In books the dukes seem only to live on inherited money with out cares or to be on the brink of disaster. The regency dukes wee involved in many activities. There were some eccentrics among them as there were among all classes, but most had to spend time on business.
    No– criticism– just a question: where did you find the information that it wasn’t until the 19th c that dukes were subject to the law? They were always subject to the criminal law but couldn’t be arrested on civil writs such as for debts.People might have been afraid to charge a duke but that isn’t the same as saying they had legal right of avoiding the law, They had to pay their bills. They just couldn’t be put in jail just because they owed money.

    Reply
  11. Heck. I love fictional dukes in historical romance. It’s the closest you can get to a prince unless as a writer you want to create a new country. If I can’t marry a prince and live happily ever after, I’ll settle for a duke. Simple for me.

    Reply
  12. Heck. I love fictional dukes in historical romance. It’s the closest you can get to a prince unless as a writer you want to create a new country. If I can’t marry a prince and live happily ever after, I’ll settle for a duke. Simple for me.

    Reply
  13. Heck. I love fictional dukes in historical romance. It’s the closest you can get to a prince unless as a writer you want to create a new country. If I can’t marry a prince and live happily ever after, I’ll settle for a duke. Simple for me.

    Reply
  14. Heck. I love fictional dukes in historical romance. It’s the closest you can get to a prince unless as a writer you want to create a new country. If I can’t marry a prince and live happily ever after, I’ll settle for a duke. Simple for me.

    Reply
  15. Heck. I love fictional dukes in historical romance. It’s the closest you can get to a prince unless as a writer you want to create a new country. If I can’t marry a prince and live happily ever after, I’ll settle for a duke. Simple for me.

    Reply
  16. LOL, Mary! I feel like that when I meet a dog called Prince! Very funny!
    I think you are right and readers like it. Well, I like it myself in fiction! It’s just interesting to look at the reality sometimes as well.

    Reply
  17. LOL, Mary! I feel like that when I meet a dog called Prince! Very funny!
    I think you are right and readers like it. Well, I like it myself in fiction! It’s just interesting to look at the reality sometimes as well.

    Reply
  18. LOL, Mary! I feel like that when I meet a dog called Prince! Very funny!
    I think you are right and readers like it. Well, I like it myself in fiction! It’s just interesting to look at the reality sometimes as well.

    Reply
  19. LOL, Mary! I feel like that when I meet a dog called Prince! Very funny!
    I think you are right and readers like it. Well, I like it myself in fiction! It’s just interesting to look at the reality sometimes as well.

    Reply
  20. LOL, Mary! I feel like that when I meet a dog called Prince! Very funny!
    I think you are right and readers like it. Well, I like it myself in fiction! It’s just interesting to look at the reality sometimes as well.

    Reply
  21. Hi Nancy. Yes, I think historically dukes had a great many responsibilities and even with a staff, would as you say have to attend to a great deal of serious business. I imagine some were very good at it, and others not so much, like everyone else.
    Thank you for the clarification on the point about being above the law. One of my references, Brian Masters, The Dukes, expressed it in that way but I see that is inaccurate.

    Reply
  22. Hi Nancy. Yes, I think historically dukes had a great many responsibilities and even with a staff, would as you say have to attend to a great deal of serious business. I imagine some were very good at it, and others not so much, like everyone else.
    Thank you for the clarification on the point about being above the law. One of my references, Brian Masters, The Dukes, expressed it in that way but I see that is inaccurate.

    Reply
  23. Hi Nancy. Yes, I think historically dukes had a great many responsibilities and even with a staff, would as you say have to attend to a great deal of serious business. I imagine some were very good at it, and others not so much, like everyone else.
    Thank you for the clarification on the point about being above the law. One of my references, Brian Masters, The Dukes, expressed it in that way but I see that is inaccurate.

    Reply
  24. Hi Nancy. Yes, I think historically dukes had a great many responsibilities and even with a staff, would as you say have to attend to a great deal of serious business. I imagine some were very good at it, and others not so much, like everyone else.
    Thank you for the clarification on the point about being above the law. One of my references, Brian Masters, The Dukes, expressed it in that way but I see that is inaccurate.

    Reply
  25. Hi Nancy. Yes, I think historically dukes had a great many responsibilities and even with a staff, would as you say have to attend to a great deal of serious business. I imagine some were very good at it, and others not so much, like everyone else.
    Thank you for the clarification on the point about being above the law. One of my references, Brian Masters, The Dukes, expressed it in that way but I see that is inaccurate.

    Reply
  26. I think it would be easier in the Regency to be a duke because of the power of the aristocracy at that time, but I would rather see dukes in the present day. They wouldn’t get away with anything in today’s world.
    Anyone with the title of duke and who is wealthy should be involved in philanthropic duties. There are so many privileges that come with wealth it would balance it out nicely.
    If you can’t get a prince, the next best thing is a duke. Even though there were not too many, the next step up would be even less available. Who wouldn’t want to be called your grace? What an elegant title.

    Reply
  27. I think it would be easier in the Regency to be a duke because of the power of the aristocracy at that time, but I would rather see dukes in the present day. They wouldn’t get away with anything in today’s world.
    Anyone with the title of duke and who is wealthy should be involved in philanthropic duties. There are so many privileges that come with wealth it would balance it out nicely.
    If you can’t get a prince, the next best thing is a duke. Even though there were not too many, the next step up would be even less available. Who wouldn’t want to be called your grace? What an elegant title.

    Reply
  28. I think it would be easier in the Regency to be a duke because of the power of the aristocracy at that time, but I would rather see dukes in the present day. They wouldn’t get away with anything in today’s world.
    Anyone with the title of duke and who is wealthy should be involved in philanthropic duties. There are so many privileges that come with wealth it would balance it out nicely.
    If you can’t get a prince, the next best thing is a duke. Even though there were not too many, the next step up would be even less available. Who wouldn’t want to be called your grace? What an elegant title.

    Reply
  29. I think it would be easier in the Regency to be a duke because of the power of the aristocracy at that time, but I would rather see dukes in the present day. They wouldn’t get away with anything in today’s world.
    Anyone with the title of duke and who is wealthy should be involved in philanthropic duties. There are so many privileges that come with wealth it would balance it out nicely.
    If you can’t get a prince, the next best thing is a duke. Even though there were not too many, the next step up would be even less available. Who wouldn’t want to be called your grace? What an elegant title.

    Reply
  30. I think it would be easier in the Regency to be a duke because of the power of the aristocracy at that time, but I would rather see dukes in the present day. They wouldn’t get away with anything in today’s world.
    Anyone with the title of duke and who is wealthy should be involved in philanthropic duties. There are so many privileges that come with wealth it would balance it out nicely.
    If you can’t get a prince, the next best thing is a duke. Even though there were not too many, the next step up would be even less available. Who wouldn’t want to be called your grace? What an elegant title.

    Reply
  31. I actually don’t care for the title inflation of the past few year and go out of my way to try to find books with non-aristocratic heroes — or at least somewhat lower in the hierarchy (where have all the barons gone?). I want a fairy tale romance where the heroine is well-cared for economically as well as romantically, but for whatever reason I have a harder time suspending disbelief and entering the story if the hero is a duke. Since it seems as if 90% of the new releases have duke in the title, obviously they can’t be completely ignored or I’d stop reading romance at all, but I do wish there was a bit more variety. Partly it seems as if the dukedom puts such constraints on the characters, and if the hero is a mere baronet or viscount he and the heroine have a bit more freedom to follow their passion, whatever it may be. So I want the heroine to be Cinderella, but she doesn’t need to end up with a prince or duke.
    P.S. I never, ever buy books where the hero is a prince or the heroine a princess, but I made an exception for Nicola’s book and liked it very much.

    Reply
  32. I actually don’t care for the title inflation of the past few year and go out of my way to try to find books with non-aristocratic heroes — or at least somewhat lower in the hierarchy (where have all the barons gone?). I want a fairy tale romance where the heroine is well-cared for economically as well as romantically, but for whatever reason I have a harder time suspending disbelief and entering the story if the hero is a duke. Since it seems as if 90% of the new releases have duke in the title, obviously they can’t be completely ignored or I’d stop reading romance at all, but I do wish there was a bit more variety. Partly it seems as if the dukedom puts such constraints on the characters, and if the hero is a mere baronet or viscount he and the heroine have a bit more freedom to follow their passion, whatever it may be. So I want the heroine to be Cinderella, but she doesn’t need to end up with a prince or duke.
    P.S. I never, ever buy books where the hero is a prince or the heroine a princess, but I made an exception for Nicola’s book and liked it very much.

    Reply
  33. I actually don’t care for the title inflation of the past few year and go out of my way to try to find books with non-aristocratic heroes — or at least somewhat lower in the hierarchy (where have all the barons gone?). I want a fairy tale romance where the heroine is well-cared for economically as well as romantically, but for whatever reason I have a harder time suspending disbelief and entering the story if the hero is a duke. Since it seems as if 90% of the new releases have duke in the title, obviously they can’t be completely ignored or I’d stop reading romance at all, but I do wish there was a bit more variety. Partly it seems as if the dukedom puts such constraints on the characters, and if the hero is a mere baronet or viscount he and the heroine have a bit more freedom to follow their passion, whatever it may be. So I want the heroine to be Cinderella, but she doesn’t need to end up with a prince or duke.
    P.S. I never, ever buy books where the hero is a prince or the heroine a princess, but I made an exception for Nicola’s book and liked it very much.

    Reply
  34. I actually don’t care for the title inflation of the past few year and go out of my way to try to find books with non-aristocratic heroes — or at least somewhat lower in the hierarchy (where have all the barons gone?). I want a fairy tale romance where the heroine is well-cared for economically as well as romantically, but for whatever reason I have a harder time suspending disbelief and entering the story if the hero is a duke. Since it seems as if 90% of the new releases have duke in the title, obviously they can’t be completely ignored or I’d stop reading romance at all, but I do wish there was a bit more variety. Partly it seems as if the dukedom puts such constraints on the characters, and if the hero is a mere baronet or viscount he and the heroine have a bit more freedom to follow their passion, whatever it may be. So I want the heroine to be Cinderella, but she doesn’t need to end up with a prince or duke.
    P.S. I never, ever buy books where the hero is a prince or the heroine a princess, but I made an exception for Nicola’s book and liked it very much.

    Reply
  35. I actually don’t care for the title inflation of the past few year and go out of my way to try to find books with non-aristocratic heroes — or at least somewhat lower in the hierarchy (where have all the barons gone?). I want a fairy tale romance where the heroine is well-cared for economically as well as romantically, but for whatever reason I have a harder time suspending disbelief and entering the story if the hero is a duke. Since it seems as if 90% of the new releases have duke in the title, obviously they can’t be completely ignored or I’d stop reading romance at all, but I do wish there was a bit more variety. Partly it seems as if the dukedom puts such constraints on the characters, and if the hero is a mere baronet or viscount he and the heroine have a bit more freedom to follow their passion, whatever it may be. So I want the heroine to be Cinderella, but she doesn’t need to end up with a prince or duke.
    P.S. I never, ever buy books where the hero is a prince or the heroine a princess, but I made an exception for Nicola’s book and liked it very much.

    Reply
  36. I’m tired of reading about rich noblemen. I don’t like those contemporary billionaire romances because most real billionaires are slime, and I can’t believe a fantasy about a billionaire with a heart of gold. A rich duke is a Regency billionaire, so he’s also slime.
    I came to historical romance because I want to get away from the real world. At first, all those rich nobles didn’t make much of an impression, and I just read for the romance. But, the more I read historical romance, the more the Cinderella trope irritates me. I don’t want to read about women who are rescued by men. I want women who make their own lives. But there’s the rub. Historically, women couldn’t make their own lives and had to depend on a man. (Think Jane Austen). Unfortunately, that’s still the case for many women today.
    So, I don’t like rich noblemen, but you can’t get away from them in historical romance. The Cinderella trope is that popular. I think stories about the gentry, but maybe a second son who has to make his own way, won’t be as popular as those rich dukes.

    Reply
  37. I’m tired of reading about rich noblemen. I don’t like those contemporary billionaire romances because most real billionaires are slime, and I can’t believe a fantasy about a billionaire with a heart of gold. A rich duke is a Regency billionaire, so he’s also slime.
    I came to historical romance because I want to get away from the real world. At first, all those rich nobles didn’t make much of an impression, and I just read for the romance. But, the more I read historical romance, the more the Cinderella trope irritates me. I don’t want to read about women who are rescued by men. I want women who make their own lives. But there’s the rub. Historically, women couldn’t make their own lives and had to depend on a man. (Think Jane Austen). Unfortunately, that’s still the case for many women today.
    So, I don’t like rich noblemen, but you can’t get away from them in historical romance. The Cinderella trope is that popular. I think stories about the gentry, but maybe a second son who has to make his own way, won’t be as popular as those rich dukes.

    Reply
  38. I’m tired of reading about rich noblemen. I don’t like those contemporary billionaire romances because most real billionaires are slime, and I can’t believe a fantasy about a billionaire with a heart of gold. A rich duke is a Regency billionaire, so he’s also slime.
    I came to historical romance because I want to get away from the real world. At first, all those rich nobles didn’t make much of an impression, and I just read for the romance. But, the more I read historical romance, the more the Cinderella trope irritates me. I don’t want to read about women who are rescued by men. I want women who make their own lives. But there’s the rub. Historically, women couldn’t make their own lives and had to depend on a man. (Think Jane Austen). Unfortunately, that’s still the case for many women today.
    So, I don’t like rich noblemen, but you can’t get away from them in historical romance. The Cinderella trope is that popular. I think stories about the gentry, but maybe a second son who has to make his own way, won’t be as popular as those rich dukes.

    Reply
  39. I’m tired of reading about rich noblemen. I don’t like those contemporary billionaire romances because most real billionaires are slime, and I can’t believe a fantasy about a billionaire with a heart of gold. A rich duke is a Regency billionaire, so he’s also slime.
    I came to historical romance because I want to get away from the real world. At first, all those rich nobles didn’t make much of an impression, and I just read for the romance. But, the more I read historical romance, the more the Cinderella trope irritates me. I don’t want to read about women who are rescued by men. I want women who make their own lives. But there’s the rub. Historically, women couldn’t make their own lives and had to depend on a man. (Think Jane Austen). Unfortunately, that’s still the case for many women today.
    So, I don’t like rich noblemen, but you can’t get away from them in historical romance. The Cinderella trope is that popular. I think stories about the gentry, but maybe a second son who has to make his own way, won’t be as popular as those rich dukes.

    Reply
  40. I’m tired of reading about rich noblemen. I don’t like those contemporary billionaire romances because most real billionaires are slime, and I can’t believe a fantasy about a billionaire with a heart of gold. A rich duke is a Regency billionaire, so he’s also slime.
    I came to historical romance because I want to get away from the real world. At first, all those rich nobles didn’t make much of an impression, and I just read for the romance. But, the more I read historical romance, the more the Cinderella trope irritates me. I don’t want to read about women who are rescued by men. I want women who make their own lives. But there’s the rub. Historically, women couldn’t make their own lives and had to depend on a man. (Think Jane Austen). Unfortunately, that’s still the case for many women today.
    So, I don’t like rich noblemen, but you can’t get away from them in historical romance. The Cinderella trope is that popular. I think stories about the gentry, but maybe a second son who has to make his own way, won’t be as popular as those rich dukes.

    Reply
  41. In France, a nobleman could literally get away with anything, even murder. That’s part of the reason for the French Revolution. English nobles did have some restrictions on them, which is probably why there was no revolution there.

    Reply
  42. In France, a nobleman could literally get away with anything, even murder. That’s part of the reason for the French Revolution. English nobles did have some restrictions on them, which is probably why there was no revolution there.

    Reply
  43. In France, a nobleman could literally get away with anything, even murder. That’s part of the reason for the French Revolution. English nobles did have some restrictions on them, which is probably why there was no revolution there.

    Reply
  44. In France, a nobleman could literally get away with anything, even murder. That’s part of the reason for the French Revolution. English nobles did have some restrictions on them, which is probably why there was no revolution there.

    Reply
  45. In France, a nobleman could literally get away with anything, even murder. That’s part of the reason for the French Revolution. English nobles did have some restrictions on them, which is probably why there was no revolution there.

    Reply
  46. Carla Kelly is the one who writes dukeless regencies about regular people. I can recommend her books, and especially like the ones that are “medical” because I am a physician (retired). I enjoy any well-written romance, duke or no, but there are many that I give away without having read the middle of the book because I got bored, checked the ending, and gave up. Of course, none of the Wenches are in that category!

    Reply
  47. Carla Kelly is the one who writes dukeless regencies about regular people. I can recommend her books, and especially like the ones that are “medical” because I am a physician (retired). I enjoy any well-written romance, duke or no, but there are many that I give away without having read the middle of the book because I got bored, checked the ending, and gave up. Of course, none of the Wenches are in that category!

    Reply
  48. Carla Kelly is the one who writes dukeless regencies about regular people. I can recommend her books, and especially like the ones that are “medical” because I am a physician (retired). I enjoy any well-written romance, duke or no, but there are many that I give away without having read the middle of the book because I got bored, checked the ending, and gave up. Of course, none of the Wenches are in that category!

    Reply
  49. Carla Kelly is the one who writes dukeless regencies about regular people. I can recommend her books, and especially like the ones that are “medical” because I am a physician (retired). I enjoy any well-written romance, duke or no, but there are many that I give away without having read the middle of the book because I got bored, checked the ending, and gave up. Of course, none of the Wenches are in that category!

    Reply
  50. Carla Kelly is the one who writes dukeless regencies about regular people. I can recommend her books, and especially like the ones that are “medical” because I am a physician (retired). I enjoy any well-written romance, duke or no, but there are many that I give away without having read the middle of the book because I got bored, checked the ending, and gave up. Of course, none of the Wenches are in that category!

    Reply
  51. I had the same response to a story. Sooo glad I’m not alone in this. (However, in my case, I kept seeing John Wayne . . .)

    Reply
  52. I had the same response to a story. Sooo glad I’m not alone in this. (However, in my case, I kept seeing John Wayne . . .)

    Reply
  53. I had the same response to a story. Sooo glad I’m not alone in this. (However, in my case, I kept seeing John Wayne . . .)

    Reply
  54. I had the same response to a story. Sooo glad I’m not alone in this. (However, in my case, I kept seeing John Wayne . . .)

    Reply
  55. I had the same response to a story. Sooo glad I’m not alone in this. (However, in my case, I kept seeing John Wayne . . .)

    Reply
  56. I can overlook the fact that there are so many Dukes in historical romance, and that so many are young and handsome! But what does irk me are princes and princesses of imaginary European countries. I guess I know too much geography and it takes me right out of the story.
    Being a Duke did seem to have more privileges in the Regency era. But the decent ones at least, also had more responsibilities taking care of the people and lands surrounding their estates, and I’m sure that’s no longer true. Nowadays, what is a Duke to do?

    Reply
  57. I can overlook the fact that there are so many Dukes in historical romance, and that so many are young and handsome! But what does irk me are princes and princesses of imaginary European countries. I guess I know too much geography and it takes me right out of the story.
    Being a Duke did seem to have more privileges in the Regency era. But the decent ones at least, also had more responsibilities taking care of the people and lands surrounding their estates, and I’m sure that’s no longer true. Nowadays, what is a Duke to do?

    Reply
  58. I can overlook the fact that there are so many Dukes in historical romance, and that so many are young and handsome! But what does irk me are princes and princesses of imaginary European countries. I guess I know too much geography and it takes me right out of the story.
    Being a Duke did seem to have more privileges in the Regency era. But the decent ones at least, also had more responsibilities taking care of the people and lands surrounding their estates, and I’m sure that’s no longer true. Nowadays, what is a Duke to do?

    Reply
  59. I can overlook the fact that there are so many Dukes in historical romance, and that so many are young and handsome! But what does irk me are princes and princesses of imaginary European countries. I guess I know too much geography and it takes me right out of the story.
    Being a Duke did seem to have more privileges in the Regency era. But the decent ones at least, also had more responsibilities taking care of the people and lands surrounding their estates, and I’m sure that’s no longer true. Nowadays, what is a Duke to do?

    Reply
  60. I can overlook the fact that there are so many Dukes in historical romance, and that so many are young and handsome! But what does irk me are princes and princesses of imaginary European countries. I guess I know too much geography and it takes me right out of the story.
    Being a Duke did seem to have more privileges in the Regency era. But the decent ones at least, also had more responsibilities taking care of the people and lands surrounding their estates, and I’m sure that’s no longer true. Nowadays, what is a Duke to do?

    Reply
  61. My head is spinning after reading about all the Dukes!! I’ll have to read it again to make sense of it.

    Reply
  62. My head is spinning after reading about all the Dukes!! I’ll have to read it again to make sense of it.

    Reply
  63. My head is spinning after reading about all the Dukes!! I’ll have to read it again to make sense of it.

    Reply
  64. My head is spinning after reading about all the Dukes!! I’ll have to read it again to make sense of it.

    Reply
  65. My head is spinning after reading about all the Dukes!! I’ll have to read it again to make sense of it.

    Reply
  66. Actually rank does not make a huge difference to me….but then I live in a country which fought two wars to get away from that sort of thing.
    I like any story about a man – duke, earl or whatever who has a strong work ethic and is aware of his responsibilities. Those responsibilities can be to his family or all the families who depend on him for their living.
    And yes, at times the stories about some Duke of West Omaha seems sort of silly if you think about the title. But, I read romance to find a world where things do not have to make exact sense, as long as people find happiness in the end.
    In short, as you can see, I am not a stickler for absolute accuracy. And it seems the dukes of old had easier lives because I don’t think their economic situations required as much hard work to maintain things.

    Reply
  67. Actually rank does not make a huge difference to me….but then I live in a country which fought two wars to get away from that sort of thing.
    I like any story about a man – duke, earl or whatever who has a strong work ethic and is aware of his responsibilities. Those responsibilities can be to his family or all the families who depend on him for their living.
    And yes, at times the stories about some Duke of West Omaha seems sort of silly if you think about the title. But, I read romance to find a world where things do not have to make exact sense, as long as people find happiness in the end.
    In short, as you can see, I am not a stickler for absolute accuracy. And it seems the dukes of old had easier lives because I don’t think their economic situations required as much hard work to maintain things.

    Reply
  68. Actually rank does not make a huge difference to me….but then I live in a country which fought two wars to get away from that sort of thing.
    I like any story about a man – duke, earl or whatever who has a strong work ethic and is aware of his responsibilities. Those responsibilities can be to his family or all the families who depend on him for their living.
    And yes, at times the stories about some Duke of West Omaha seems sort of silly if you think about the title. But, I read romance to find a world where things do not have to make exact sense, as long as people find happiness in the end.
    In short, as you can see, I am not a stickler for absolute accuracy. And it seems the dukes of old had easier lives because I don’t think their economic situations required as much hard work to maintain things.

    Reply
  69. Actually rank does not make a huge difference to me….but then I live in a country which fought two wars to get away from that sort of thing.
    I like any story about a man – duke, earl or whatever who has a strong work ethic and is aware of his responsibilities. Those responsibilities can be to his family or all the families who depend on him for their living.
    And yes, at times the stories about some Duke of West Omaha seems sort of silly if you think about the title. But, I read romance to find a world where things do not have to make exact sense, as long as people find happiness in the end.
    In short, as you can see, I am not a stickler for absolute accuracy. And it seems the dukes of old had easier lives because I don’t think their economic situations required as much hard work to maintain things.

    Reply
  70. Actually rank does not make a huge difference to me….but then I live in a country which fought two wars to get away from that sort of thing.
    I like any story about a man – duke, earl or whatever who has a strong work ethic and is aware of his responsibilities. Those responsibilities can be to his family or all the families who depend on him for their living.
    And yes, at times the stories about some Duke of West Omaha seems sort of silly if you think about the title. But, I read romance to find a world where things do not have to make exact sense, as long as people find happiness in the end.
    In short, as you can see, I am not a stickler for absolute accuracy. And it seems the dukes of old had easier lives because I don’t think their economic situations required as much hard work to maintain things.

    Reply
  71. Well, there’s dukes and then there’s dukes. There are dukes called dukes because editors and marketers insisted that a mere baronet (or heavens! a man with no title at all!) cannot sell a book. It is of a piece with the faceless women whose flowing silky gowns drip all the way down the staircase. It is the fantasy which so many seem to crave right now.
    Then there are dukes who really act like dukes. They have enormous responsibilities for their estates and the people who derive a living from them; governing; administering; in wartime (raising troops and in earlier times personally fighting and all that); to the culture (collecting art and books before there were museums). I like to read about these men. I am tired of reading about guys called dukes who do no duking; they just run about being spies, collecting mistresses and marrying plain, poor, unconnected women just because.
    One of the things I like best about Heyer’s The Foundling is that it shows how hemmed about with obligation and duty Gilly was; how much freer a life his handsome cousin Gideon lived; how hard it was for Gilly to slip the leash and become plain Mr. Dash from Nowhere; and how he found his authority at last.

    Reply
  72. Well, there’s dukes and then there’s dukes. There are dukes called dukes because editors and marketers insisted that a mere baronet (or heavens! a man with no title at all!) cannot sell a book. It is of a piece with the faceless women whose flowing silky gowns drip all the way down the staircase. It is the fantasy which so many seem to crave right now.
    Then there are dukes who really act like dukes. They have enormous responsibilities for their estates and the people who derive a living from them; governing; administering; in wartime (raising troops and in earlier times personally fighting and all that); to the culture (collecting art and books before there were museums). I like to read about these men. I am tired of reading about guys called dukes who do no duking; they just run about being spies, collecting mistresses and marrying plain, poor, unconnected women just because.
    One of the things I like best about Heyer’s The Foundling is that it shows how hemmed about with obligation and duty Gilly was; how much freer a life his handsome cousin Gideon lived; how hard it was for Gilly to slip the leash and become plain Mr. Dash from Nowhere; and how he found his authority at last.

    Reply
  73. Well, there’s dukes and then there’s dukes. There are dukes called dukes because editors and marketers insisted that a mere baronet (or heavens! a man with no title at all!) cannot sell a book. It is of a piece with the faceless women whose flowing silky gowns drip all the way down the staircase. It is the fantasy which so many seem to crave right now.
    Then there are dukes who really act like dukes. They have enormous responsibilities for their estates and the people who derive a living from them; governing; administering; in wartime (raising troops and in earlier times personally fighting and all that); to the culture (collecting art and books before there were museums). I like to read about these men. I am tired of reading about guys called dukes who do no duking; they just run about being spies, collecting mistresses and marrying plain, poor, unconnected women just because.
    One of the things I like best about Heyer’s The Foundling is that it shows how hemmed about with obligation and duty Gilly was; how much freer a life his handsome cousin Gideon lived; how hard it was for Gilly to slip the leash and become plain Mr. Dash from Nowhere; and how he found his authority at last.

    Reply
  74. Well, there’s dukes and then there’s dukes. There are dukes called dukes because editors and marketers insisted that a mere baronet (or heavens! a man with no title at all!) cannot sell a book. It is of a piece with the faceless women whose flowing silky gowns drip all the way down the staircase. It is the fantasy which so many seem to crave right now.
    Then there are dukes who really act like dukes. They have enormous responsibilities for their estates and the people who derive a living from them; governing; administering; in wartime (raising troops and in earlier times personally fighting and all that); to the culture (collecting art and books before there were museums). I like to read about these men. I am tired of reading about guys called dukes who do no duking; they just run about being spies, collecting mistresses and marrying plain, poor, unconnected women just because.
    One of the things I like best about Heyer’s The Foundling is that it shows how hemmed about with obligation and duty Gilly was; how much freer a life his handsome cousin Gideon lived; how hard it was for Gilly to slip the leash and become plain Mr. Dash from Nowhere; and how he found his authority at last.

    Reply
  75. Well, there’s dukes and then there’s dukes. There are dukes called dukes because editors and marketers insisted that a mere baronet (or heavens! a man with no title at all!) cannot sell a book. It is of a piece with the faceless women whose flowing silky gowns drip all the way down the staircase. It is the fantasy which so many seem to crave right now.
    Then there are dukes who really act like dukes. They have enormous responsibilities for their estates and the people who derive a living from them; governing; administering; in wartime (raising troops and in earlier times personally fighting and all that); to the culture (collecting art and books before there were museums). I like to read about these men. I am tired of reading about guys called dukes who do no duking; they just run about being spies, collecting mistresses and marrying plain, poor, unconnected women just because.
    One of the things I like best about Heyer’s The Foundling is that it shows how hemmed about with obligation and duty Gilly was; how much freer a life his handsome cousin Gideon lived; how hard it was for Gilly to slip the leash and become plain Mr. Dash from Nowhere; and how he found his authority at last.

    Reply
  76. I don’t care whether a Romance involves the powerful or not; nor need the people be wealthy. BUT, in historical romance, power and wealth are basically where history was made. In the alternate history series started and edited by Eric Flint (I believe it is called “Ring of Fire” Series; you can find it by looking for Titles starting with “163x” something); an American town is transported to Europe in the 17th century. The Americans have average America Middle Class positions and many of the “down-timers” do also; but changing the world requires working with crowned heads and aristocracy also. You really cannot to history without the powerful people.
    BUT, as long as the story is well told and character driven, I truly don’t care what the trimmings are.
    And thank you for an enlightening rundown of Dukes in the modern world.

    Reply
  77. I don’t care whether a Romance involves the powerful or not; nor need the people be wealthy. BUT, in historical romance, power and wealth are basically where history was made. In the alternate history series started and edited by Eric Flint (I believe it is called “Ring of Fire” Series; you can find it by looking for Titles starting with “163x” something); an American town is transported to Europe in the 17th century. The Americans have average America Middle Class positions and many of the “down-timers” do also; but changing the world requires working with crowned heads and aristocracy also. You really cannot to history without the powerful people.
    BUT, as long as the story is well told and character driven, I truly don’t care what the trimmings are.
    And thank you for an enlightening rundown of Dukes in the modern world.

    Reply
  78. I don’t care whether a Romance involves the powerful or not; nor need the people be wealthy. BUT, in historical romance, power and wealth are basically where history was made. In the alternate history series started and edited by Eric Flint (I believe it is called “Ring of Fire” Series; you can find it by looking for Titles starting with “163x” something); an American town is transported to Europe in the 17th century. The Americans have average America Middle Class positions and many of the “down-timers” do also; but changing the world requires working with crowned heads and aristocracy also. You really cannot to history without the powerful people.
    BUT, as long as the story is well told and character driven, I truly don’t care what the trimmings are.
    And thank you for an enlightening rundown of Dukes in the modern world.

    Reply
  79. I don’t care whether a Romance involves the powerful or not; nor need the people be wealthy. BUT, in historical romance, power and wealth are basically where history was made. In the alternate history series started and edited by Eric Flint (I believe it is called “Ring of Fire” Series; you can find it by looking for Titles starting with “163x” something); an American town is transported to Europe in the 17th century. The Americans have average America Middle Class positions and many of the “down-timers” do also; but changing the world requires working with crowned heads and aristocracy also. You really cannot to history without the powerful people.
    BUT, as long as the story is well told and character driven, I truly don’t care what the trimmings are.
    And thank you for an enlightening rundown of Dukes in the modern world.

    Reply
  80. I don’t care whether a Romance involves the powerful or not; nor need the people be wealthy. BUT, in historical romance, power and wealth are basically where history was made. In the alternate history series started and edited by Eric Flint (I believe it is called “Ring of Fire” Series; you can find it by looking for Titles starting with “163x” something); an American town is transported to Europe in the 17th century. The Americans have average America Middle Class positions and many of the “down-timers” do also; but changing the world requires working with crowned heads and aristocracy also. You really cannot to history without the powerful people.
    BUT, as long as the story is well told and character driven, I truly don’t care what the trimmings are.
    And thank you for an enlightening rundown of Dukes in the modern world.

    Reply
  81. Hi Patricia! Yes, it’s true that dukes are so much more accountable today, thank goodness! Although I think status still brings huge privileges even if it is only to be able to get a table in a packed restaurant! Your grace is a very elegant title and one would hope they live up to it!

    Reply
  82. Hi Patricia! Yes, it’s true that dukes are so much more accountable today, thank goodness! Although I think status still brings huge privileges even if it is only to be able to get a table in a packed restaurant! Your grace is a very elegant title and one would hope they live up to it!

    Reply
  83. Hi Patricia! Yes, it’s true that dukes are so much more accountable today, thank goodness! Although I think status still brings huge privileges even if it is only to be able to get a table in a packed restaurant! Your grace is a very elegant title and one would hope they live up to it!

    Reply
  84. Hi Patricia! Yes, it’s true that dukes are so much more accountable today, thank goodness! Although I think status still brings huge privileges even if it is only to be able to get a table in a packed restaurant! Your grace is a very elegant title and one would hope they live up to it!

    Reply
  85. Hi Patricia! Yes, it’s true that dukes are so much more accountable today, thank goodness! Although I think status still brings huge privileges even if it is only to be able to get a table in a packed restaurant! Your grace is a very elegant title and one would hope they live up to it!

    Reply
  86. That’s an interesting perspective about lesser titles having more freedom, Susan, and I too would love to see more emphasis on this. I think the constraints on a duke are also interesting and have been well-explored; i do like looking at characters’ behaviour through the prsim of their position. Will being a duke make them responsible or hedonistic? Or something else?
    Thank you very much for the compliment about Deceived as well.

    Reply
  87. That’s an interesting perspective about lesser titles having more freedom, Susan, and I too would love to see more emphasis on this. I think the constraints on a duke are also interesting and have been well-explored; i do like looking at characters’ behaviour through the prsim of their position. Will being a duke make them responsible or hedonistic? Or something else?
    Thank you very much for the compliment about Deceived as well.

    Reply
  88. That’s an interesting perspective about lesser titles having more freedom, Susan, and I too would love to see more emphasis on this. I think the constraints on a duke are also interesting and have been well-explored; i do like looking at characters’ behaviour through the prsim of their position. Will being a duke make them responsible or hedonistic? Or something else?
    Thank you very much for the compliment about Deceived as well.

    Reply
  89. That’s an interesting perspective about lesser titles having more freedom, Susan, and I too would love to see more emphasis on this. I think the constraints on a duke are also interesting and have been well-explored; i do like looking at characters’ behaviour through the prsim of their position. Will being a duke make them responsible or hedonistic? Or something else?
    Thank you very much for the compliment about Deceived as well.

    Reply
  90. That’s an interesting perspective about lesser titles having more freedom, Susan, and I too would love to see more emphasis on this. I think the constraints on a duke are also interesting and have been well-explored; i do like looking at characters’ behaviour through the prsim of their position. Will being a duke make them responsible or hedonistic? Or something else?
    Thank you very much for the compliment about Deceived as well.

    Reply
  91. I agree, that’s spot on, Linda. Whilst there are quite a lot of us who enjoy reading about other ranks and different aspects of society, the Cinderella trope and the duke/billionaire will always appeal to a lot of readers.

    Reply
  92. I agree, that’s spot on, Linda. Whilst there are quite a lot of us who enjoy reading about other ranks and different aspects of society, the Cinderella trope and the duke/billionaire will always appeal to a lot of readers.

    Reply
  93. I agree, that’s spot on, Linda. Whilst there are quite a lot of us who enjoy reading about other ranks and different aspects of society, the Cinderella trope and the duke/billionaire will always appeal to a lot of readers.

    Reply
  94. I agree, that’s spot on, Linda. Whilst there are quite a lot of us who enjoy reading about other ranks and different aspects of society, the Cinderella trope and the duke/billionaire will always appeal to a lot of readers.

    Reply
  95. I agree, that’s spot on, Linda. Whilst there are quite a lot of us who enjoy reading about other ranks and different aspects of society, the Cinderella trope and the duke/billionaire will always appeal to a lot of readers.

    Reply
  96. Definitely I think the crop of dukes in current historicals are part of that lovely world that we specifically want to step into knowing it is different from real life. I find it curious that I can quite happily write about a society riven with such class distinctions when in person I am very keen on respect and status being earned or worked for.

    Reply
  97. Definitely I think the crop of dukes in current historicals are part of that lovely world that we specifically want to step into knowing it is different from real life. I find it curious that I can quite happily write about a society riven with such class distinctions when in person I am very keen on respect and status being earned or worked for.

    Reply
  98. Definitely I think the crop of dukes in current historicals are part of that lovely world that we specifically want to step into knowing it is different from real life. I find it curious that I can quite happily write about a society riven with such class distinctions when in person I am very keen on respect and status being earned or worked for.

    Reply
  99. Definitely I think the crop of dukes in current historicals are part of that lovely world that we specifically want to step into knowing it is different from real life. I find it curious that I can quite happily write about a society riven with such class distinctions when in person I am very keen on respect and status being earned or worked for.

    Reply
  100. Definitely I think the crop of dukes in current historicals are part of that lovely world that we specifically want to step into knowing it is different from real life. I find it curious that I can quite happily write about a society riven with such class distinctions when in person I am very keen on respect and status being earned or worked for.

    Reply
  101. Thank you for reminding me about The Foundling, Janice. I must re-read it. I really like the way Heyer show that a dukedom can be a stifling burden as well as a privilege and also the way that other people relate differently to you when they perceive you as “powerful.” A very interesting character study.

    Reply
  102. Thank you for reminding me about The Foundling, Janice. I must re-read it. I really like the way Heyer show that a dukedom can be a stifling burden as well as a privilege and also the way that other people relate differently to you when they perceive you as “powerful.” A very interesting character study.

    Reply
  103. Thank you for reminding me about The Foundling, Janice. I must re-read it. I really like the way Heyer show that a dukedom can be a stifling burden as well as a privilege and also the way that other people relate differently to you when they perceive you as “powerful.” A very interesting character study.

    Reply
  104. Thank you for reminding me about The Foundling, Janice. I must re-read it. I really like the way Heyer show that a dukedom can be a stifling burden as well as a privilege and also the way that other people relate differently to you when they perceive you as “powerful.” A very interesting character study.

    Reply
  105. Thank you for reminding me about The Foundling, Janice. I must re-read it. I really like the way Heyer show that a dukedom can be a stifling burden as well as a privilege and also the way that other people relate differently to you when they perceive you as “powerful.” A very interesting character study.

    Reply
  106. Gosh, that sounds like a fascinating premise for a series, Sue. I will look out for those books. yes it is so true that throughout history societies operated on money power and wealth and in a different way they still do to a great extent, some more than others. Dukes were a big part of that in the past in Britain. It’s interesting that when the do programmes where they interivew the aristocracy some of them say that they still feel that sense of obligation as a hangover from the past.

    Reply
  107. Gosh, that sounds like a fascinating premise for a series, Sue. I will look out for those books. yes it is so true that throughout history societies operated on money power and wealth and in a different way they still do to a great extent, some more than others. Dukes were a big part of that in the past in Britain. It’s interesting that when the do programmes where they interivew the aristocracy some of them say that they still feel that sense of obligation as a hangover from the past.

    Reply
  108. Gosh, that sounds like a fascinating premise for a series, Sue. I will look out for those books. yes it is so true that throughout history societies operated on money power and wealth and in a different way they still do to a great extent, some more than others. Dukes were a big part of that in the past in Britain. It’s interesting that when the do programmes where they interivew the aristocracy some of them say that they still feel that sense of obligation as a hangover from the past.

    Reply
  109. Gosh, that sounds like a fascinating premise for a series, Sue. I will look out for those books. yes it is so true that throughout history societies operated on money power and wealth and in a different way they still do to a great extent, some more than others. Dukes were a big part of that in the past in Britain. It’s interesting that when the do programmes where they interivew the aristocracy some of them say that they still feel that sense of obligation as a hangover from the past.

    Reply
  110. Gosh, that sounds like a fascinating premise for a series, Sue. I will look out for those books. yes it is so true that throughout history societies operated on money power and wealth and in a different way they still do to a great extent, some more than others. Dukes were a big part of that in the past in Britain. It’s interesting that when the do programmes where they interivew the aristocracy some of them say that they still feel that sense of obligation as a hangover from the past.

    Reply

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