The Victorian Origins of the Firefighter Hero

House of parl fireNicola here. The firefighter is a popular hero – and increasingly heroine – in romantic fiction. It’s easy to see why the trope appeals; fire is an ever-present danger and those who fight it demonstrate courage, compassion for others and even self-sacrifice. To be a firefighter embodies many character ideals. Interestingly it isn’t a character type commonly found in historical fiction which is surprising in a way because fire-fighting has a long and noble history. I’m not going back all the way to Ancient Rome and the first fire brigades in this blog because I mentioned them in a previous blog here. I’m starting this story on 16th October 1834 when the Houses of Parliament in London burned down.

The 1834 fire was caused by accounting! The Exchequer needed to dispose of two cartloads of tally sticks which were an obsolete accounting system that hadn’t been used since 1826. They thought that burning them in the furnaces beneath the House of Lords would be a good way of getting rid of them. Unfortunately the system overheated and two chimney flues caught fire. At 6pm in the evening the cry went up that the House of Lords was on fire. Both houses of parliament and most of the other buildings on the site were burned down.

The private London Fire Establishment had recently been set up, replacing the 10 private brigades that had previously put out fires Braidwood in the city. James Braidwood who had founded the world’s first municipal fire service in Edinburgh in 1824 was its chief officer. He brought 12 engines and 64 officers with him even though the Houses of Parliament were not covered by insurance. Braidwood was the first man to venture into the heart of the building and attack the fire at its source. In doing so he was able to save the medieval Westminster Hall. The blaze attracted a huge crowd and was recorded for posterity by artists such as Constable and Turner.

BallantyneJames Braidwood was the first firefighter hero, the embodiment of Victorian heroism. He was killed in 1861 during a fire at a gunpowder factory when he went inside to check all his men were safe and the building collapsed. This led to renewed calls for a public fire service and in 1866 the London Metropolitan Fire Brigade was established. It was the forerunner of the London Fire Brigade. Braidwood’s death led to a fascination with fire-fighting in print culture and a number of novels extolled the virtues of the heroic fireman. RM Ballantyne, author of Coral Island, wrote “Fighting the Flames” in 1867. It was a tale of the London Fire Brigade with Braidwood as an urban, working-class hero. The artists Millais and Vigo also based some of their work on images of fire-fighting, with Millais’ The Rescue embodying the story of a courageous fireman saving the lives of children.

The fireman was not an aristocratic hero but he embodied the Victorian ideal of masculinity; a real man and a protector. The cult of the heroic fireman grew over the period and manufacturers took advantage of the merchandising opportunities with toy fire engines and other items for children and for the home. Two World Wars in the twentieth century only served to re-inforce the idea of the fireman as an ideal. “Heroes with grimy faces” as Churchill called them. The Eagle comic for boys ran a series about firefighters and the cult of the firefighter hero grew.

Today’s contemporary romance books with heroes – and heroines – who are firefighters are descended directly The rescue from the Victorian tradition and from James Braidwood, the first firefighter hero. The same qualities of courage and compassion attract readers today. It’s interesting that it isn’t a trope that is generally seen in historical romance. I wonder if this is because heroes of historical romance generally are aristocratic and it was a working class profession, even before the Victorian era. Would you read a historical romance with a firefighter hero – or heroine, if historical accuracy was stretched that far?

105 thoughts on “The Victorian Origins of the Firefighter Hero”

  1. I would absolutely read a firefighter hero in historical romance. Many of my all-time favourite historical reads (romance or just general fiction) have been about non-aristocratic people.
    I do get the love affair with historical aristocrats (I read so many of these books!), but so much of the 19th century is lost because that’s the *only* group of people most want to read about.
    Fire was such a huge danger in the past. It’s a little surprising it took so long to organise something official to deal with it – look at 1666!

    Reply
  2. I would absolutely read a firefighter hero in historical romance. Many of my all-time favourite historical reads (romance or just general fiction) have been about non-aristocratic people.
    I do get the love affair with historical aristocrats (I read so many of these books!), but so much of the 19th century is lost because that’s the *only* group of people most want to read about.
    Fire was such a huge danger in the past. It’s a little surprising it took so long to organise something official to deal with it – look at 1666!

    Reply
  3. I would absolutely read a firefighter hero in historical romance. Many of my all-time favourite historical reads (romance or just general fiction) have been about non-aristocratic people.
    I do get the love affair with historical aristocrats (I read so many of these books!), but so much of the 19th century is lost because that’s the *only* group of people most want to read about.
    Fire was such a huge danger in the past. It’s a little surprising it took so long to organise something official to deal with it – look at 1666!

    Reply
  4. I would absolutely read a firefighter hero in historical romance. Many of my all-time favourite historical reads (romance or just general fiction) have been about non-aristocratic people.
    I do get the love affair with historical aristocrats (I read so many of these books!), but so much of the 19th century is lost because that’s the *only* group of people most want to read about.
    Fire was such a huge danger in the past. It’s a little surprising it took so long to organise something official to deal with it – look at 1666!

    Reply
  5. I would absolutely read a firefighter hero in historical romance. Many of my all-time favourite historical reads (romance or just general fiction) have been about non-aristocratic people.
    I do get the love affair with historical aristocrats (I read so many of these books!), but so much of the 19th century is lost because that’s the *only* group of people most want to read about.
    Fire was such a huge danger in the past. It’s a little surprising it took so long to organise something official to deal with it – look at 1666!

    Reply
  6. Fascinating blog, Nicola. I love learning about people and traditions like this. It’s what makes history come alive.
    And yes, I would definitely read a book about a historical hero firefighter. Oh, the plot possibilities are delicious! The duke’s Berkeley Square residence is on fire, and a handsome firefighter rescues his daughter. . .

    Reply
  7. Fascinating blog, Nicola. I love learning about people and traditions like this. It’s what makes history come alive.
    And yes, I would definitely read a book about a historical hero firefighter. Oh, the plot possibilities are delicious! The duke’s Berkeley Square residence is on fire, and a handsome firefighter rescues his daughter. . .

    Reply
  8. Fascinating blog, Nicola. I love learning about people and traditions like this. It’s what makes history come alive.
    And yes, I would definitely read a book about a historical hero firefighter. Oh, the plot possibilities are delicious! The duke’s Berkeley Square residence is on fire, and a handsome firefighter rescues his daughter. . .

    Reply
  9. Fascinating blog, Nicola. I love learning about people and traditions like this. It’s what makes history come alive.
    And yes, I would definitely read a book about a historical hero firefighter. Oh, the plot possibilities are delicious! The duke’s Berkeley Square residence is on fire, and a handsome firefighter rescues his daughter. . .

    Reply
  10. Fascinating blog, Nicola. I love learning about people and traditions like this. It’s what makes history come alive.
    And yes, I would definitely read a book about a historical hero firefighter. Oh, the plot possibilities are delicious! The duke’s Berkeley Square residence is on fire, and a handsome firefighter rescues his daughter. . .

    Reply
  11. What a wonderful glimpse into the past. James Braidwood sounds like a fascinating person, and how intriguing that it was Edinburgh that had the first municipal firefighting service. The Scots do have a tendency to lead the way, don’t they?

    Reply
  12. What a wonderful glimpse into the past. James Braidwood sounds like a fascinating person, and how intriguing that it was Edinburgh that had the first municipal firefighting service. The Scots do have a tendency to lead the way, don’t they?

    Reply
  13. What a wonderful glimpse into the past. James Braidwood sounds like a fascinating person, and how intriguing that it was Edinburgh that had the first municipal firefighting service. The Scots do have a tendency to lead the way, don’t they?

    Reply
  14. What a wonderful glimpse into the past. James Braidwood sounds like a fascinating person, and how intriguing that it was Edinburgh that had the first municipal firefighting service. The Scots do have a tendency to lead the way, don’t they?

    Reply
  15. What a wonderful glimpse into the past. James Braidwood sounds like a fascinating person, and how intriguing that it was Edinburgh that had the first municipal firefighting service. The Scots do have a tendency to lead the way, don’t they?

    Reply
  16. Hi Sonya. It is interesting to read a variety of historical characters, isn’t it. I do think it would be a different slant to explore in a historical romance. Even now the power of fire can be terrifying and it’s no wonder it was so feared in the past.

    Reply
  17. Hi Sonya. It is interesting to read a variety of historical characters, isn’t it. I do think it would be a different slant to explore in a historical romance. Even now the power of fire can be terrifying and it’s no wonder it was so feared in the past.

    Reply
  18. Hi Sonya. It is interesting to read a variety of historical characters, isn’t it. I do think it would be a different slant to explore in a historical romance. Even now the power of fire can be terrifying and it’s no wonder it was so feared in the past.

    Reply
  19. Hi Sonya. It is interesting to read a variety of historical characters, isn’t it. I do think it would be a different slant to explore in a historical romance. Even now the power of fire can be terrifying and it’s no wonder it was so feared in the past.

    Reply
  20. Hi Sonya. It is interesting to read a variety of historical characters, isn’t it. I do think it would be a different slant to explore in a historical romance. Even now the power of fire can be terrifying and it’s no wonder it was so feared in the past.

    Reply
  21. Yes they do, Lillian. Braidwood wasn’t someone I had come across until I saw a programme about the history of the fire service and although his story has become a bit of a legend it sounds as though he possessed all the qualities we admire in a fire fighter hero to this day.

    Reply
  22. Yes they do, Lillian. Braidwood wasn’t someone I had come across until I saw a programme about the history of the fire service and although his story has become a bit of a legend it sounds as though he possessed all the qualities we admire in a fire fighter hero to this day.

    Reply
  23. Yes they do, Lillian. Braidwood wasn’t someone I had come across until I saw a programme about the history of the fire service and although his story has become a bit of a legend it sounds as though he possessed all the qualities we admire in a fire fighter hero to this day.

    Reply
  24. Yes they do, Lillian. Braidwood wasn’t someone I had come across until I saw a programme about the history of the fire service and although his story has become a bit of a legend it sounds as though he possessed all the qualities we admire in a fire fighter hero to this day.

    Reply
  25. Yes they do, Lillian. Braidwood wasn’t someone I had come across until I saw a programme about the history of the fire service and although his story has become a bit of a legend it sounds as though he possessed all the qualities we admire in a fire fighter hero to this day.

    Reply
  26. I like variety, and I don’t mind when characters step out of the box. I usually find it interesting. So, it wouldn’t bother me at all if the hero was a nineteenth century fire fighter, or any other working class occupation for that matter. The important thing is how well the characters are drawn and how interesting the story is. And of course, historical accuracy is a must.
    I love HR but I have often wondered why almost all of the heroes and heroines have to be members of the aristocracy. More that once, I have thought that there just couldn’t be that many dukes running around over there (smile).
    Interesting account of the 1834 House of Parliament fire. I learn something new every time I read this blog.

    Reply
  27. I like variety, and I don’t mind when characters step out of the box. I usually find it interesting. So, it wouldn’t bother me at all if the hero was a nineteenth century fire fighter, or any other working class occupation for that matter. The important thing is how well the characters are drawn and how interesting the story is. And of course, historical accuracy is a must.
    I love HR but I have often wondered why almost all of the heroes and heroines have to be members of the aristocracy. More that once, I have thought that there just couldn’t be that many dukes running around over there (smile).
    Interesting account of the 1834 House of Parliament fire. I learn something new every time I read this blog.

    Reply
  28. I like variety, and I don’t mind when characters step out of the box. I usually find it interesting. So, it wouldn’t bother me at all if the hero was a nineteenth century fire fighter, or any other working class occupation for that matter. The important thing is how well the characters are drawn and how interesting the story is. And of course, historical accuracy is a must.
    I love HR but I have often wondered why almost all of the heroes and heroines have to be members of the aristocracy. More that once, I have thought that there just couldn’t be that many dukes running around over there (smile).
    Interesting account of the 1834 House of Parliament fire. I learn something new every time I read this blog.

    Reply
  29. I like variety, and I don’t mind when characters step out of the box. I usually find it interesting. So, it wouldn’t bother me at all if the hero was a nineteenth century fire fighter, or any other working class occupation for that matter. The important thing is how well the characters are drawn and how interesting the story is. And of course, historical accuracy is a must.
    I love HR but I have often wondered why almost all of the heroes and heroines have to be members of the aristocracy. More that once, I have thought that there just couldn’t be that many dukes running around over there (smile).
    Interesting account of the 1834 House of Parliament fire. I learn something new every time I read this blog.

    Reply
  30. I like variety, and I don’t mind when characters step out of the box. I usually find it interesting. So, it wouldn’t bother me at all if the hero was a nineteenth century fire fighter, or any other working class occupation for that matter. The important thing is how well the characters are drawn and how interesting the story is. And of course, historical accuracy is a must.
    I love HR but I have often wondered why almost all of the heroes and heroines have to be members of the aristocracy. More that once, I have thought that there just couldn’t be that many dukes running around over there (smile).
    Interesting account of the 1834 House of Parliament fire. I learn something new every time I read this blog.

    Reply
  31. I would read any well-written historical romance. Character driven and historical accuracy are a must (as mentioned above). But the middle class, the working class (and the lower class — but they would have fewer opportunities to shine) all would have good stories.
    After all, one of my first “historical” novels (fantasies) would have been Mark Twain’s the Prince and the Pauper. At 10 I didn’t know yet to check on the accuracy — ut not too young to recognized the fantasy aspects.
    I didn’t think of historical novels 80 years ago when this book was a Christmas present and Of Course I don’t put it in that category now! But it probably is a spark in my early fascination with historical novels. Altshuler’s works and Laura Ingles Wilder get a lot more credit though. As does Little Women — a contemporary which became historical, like Austen and Charlotte Bronte.

    Reply
  32. I would read any well-written historical romance. Character driven and historical accuracy are a must (as mentioned above). But the middle class, the working class (and the lower class — but they would have fewer opportunities to shine) all would have good stories.
    After all, one of my first “historical” novels (fantasies) would have been Mark Twain’s the Prince and the Pauper. At 10 I didn’t know yet to check on the accuracy — ut not too young to recognized the fantasy aspects.
    I didn’t think of historical novels 80 years ago when this book was a Christmas present and Of Course I don’t put it in that category now! But it probably is a spark in my early fascination with historical novels. Altshuler’s works and Laura Ingles Wilder get a lot more credit though. As does Little Women — a contemporary which became historical, like Austen and Charlotte Bronte.

    Reply
  33. I would read any well-written historical romance. Character driven and historical accuracy are a must (as mentioned above). But the middle class, the working class (and the lower class — but they would have fewer opportunities to shine) all would have good stories.
    After all, one of my first “historical” novels (fantasies) would have been Mark Twain’s the Prince and the Pauper. At 10 I didn’t know yet to check on the accuracy — ut not too young to recognized the fantasy aspects.
    I didn’t think of historical novels 80 years ago when this book was a Christmas present and Of Course I don’t put it in that category now! But it probably is a spark in my early fascination with historical novels. Altshuler’s works and Laura Ingles Wilder get a lot more credit though. As does Little Women — a contemporary which became historical, like Austen and Charlotte Bronte.

    Reply
  34. I would read any well-written historical romance. Character driven and historical accuracy are a must (as mentioned above). But the middle class, the working class (and the lower class — but they would have fewer opportunities to shine) all would have good stories.
    After all, one of my first “historical” novels (fantasies) would have been Mark Twain’s the Prince and the Pauper. At 10 I didn’t know yet to check on the accuracy — ut not too young to recognized the fantasy aspects.
    I didn’t think of historical novels 80 years ago when this book was a Christmas present and Of Course I don’t put it in that category now! But it probably is a spark in my early fascination with historical novels. Altshuler’s works and Laura Ingles Wilder get a lot more credit though. As does Little Women — a contemporary which became historical, like Austen and Charlotte Bronte.

    Reply
  35. I would read any well-written historical romance. Character driven and historical accuracy are a must (as mentioned above). But the middle class, the working class (and the lower class — but they would have fewer opportunities to shine) all would have good stories.
    After all, one of my first “historical” novels (fantasies) would have been Mark Twain’s the Prince and the Pauper. At 10 I didn’t know yet to check on the accuracy — ut not too young to recognized the fantasy aspects.
    I didn’t think of historical novels 80 years ago when this book was a Christmas present and Of Course I don’t put it in that category now! But it probably is a spark in my early fascination with historical novels. Altshuler’s works and Laura Ingles Wilder get a lot more credit though. As does Little Women — a contemporary which became historical, like Austen and Charlotte Bronte.

    Reply
  36. It would be a great idea to read about a firefighter in historical fiction. I think it would be a more interesting story to explore more of the working class than the usual aristocrat, no matter how many problems he or she is given to deal with.
    Most of their stories don’t deal with a fear of being homeless if they can’t find work. There’s some other way that opens up for them because of their connections.
    Those who worked had a greater liability of losing what little they did have and abuse at the hands of an aristocrat.
    What they did have was more freedom from the strictures of society to follow a particular set of rules of behavior.
    The bravery of Braidwood is astounding and follows what firefighters have always done in a such a hazardous job.

    Reply
  37. It would be a great idea to read about a firefighter in historical fiction. I think it would be a more interesting story to explore more of the working class than the usual aristocrat, no matter how many problems he or she is given to deal with.
    Most of their stories don’t deal with a fear of being homeless if they can’t find work. There’s some other way that opens up for them because of their connections.
    Those who worked had a greater liability of losing what little they did have and abuse at the hands of an aristocrat.
    What they did have was more freedom from the strictures of society to follow a particular set of rules of behavior.
    The bravery of Braidwood is astounding and follows what firefighters have always done in a such a hazardous job.

    Reply
  38. It would be a great idea to read about a firefighter in historical fiction. I think it would be a more interesting story to explore more of the working class than the usual aristocrat, no matter how many problems he or she is given to deal with.
    Most of their stories don’t deal with a fear of being homeless if they can’t find work. There’s some other way that opens up for them because of their connections.
    Those who worked had a greater liability of losing what little they did have and abuse at the hands of an aristocrat.
    What they did have was more freedom from the strictures of society to follow a particular set of rules of behavior.
    The bravery of Braidwood is astounding and follows what firefighters have always done in a such a hazardous job.

    Reply
  39. It would be a great idea to read about a firefighter in historical fiction. I think it would be a more interesting story to explore more of the working class than the usual aristocrat, no matter how many problems he or she is given to deal with.
    Most of their stories don’t deal with a fear of being homeless if they can’t find work. There’s some other way that opens up for them because of their connections.
    Those who worked had a greater liability of losing what little they did have and abuse at the hands of an aristocrat.
    What they did have was more freedom from the strictures of society to follow a particular set of rules of behavior.
    The bravery of Braidwood is astounding and follows what firefighters have always done in a such a hazardous job.

    Reply
  40. It would be a great idea to read about a firefighter in historical fiction. I think it would be a more interesting story to explore more of the working class than the usual aristocrat, no matter how many problems he or she is given to deal with.
    Most of their stories don’t deal with a fear of being homeless if they can’t find work. There’s some other way that opens up for them because of their connections.
    Those who worked had a greater liability of losing what little they did have and abuse at the hands of an aristocrat.
    What they did have was more freedom from the strictures of society to follow a particular set of rules of behavior.
    The bravery of Braidwood is astounding and follows what firefighters have always done in a such a hazardous job.

    Reply
  41. So true that the country would have been overrun by Dukes if it had really been like the books, Mary! I think quote a few people would be open to the idea of a working class hero and it would certainly be an interesting dynamic in a story.
    Yes, the Houses of Parliament burning down was a huge event and of course explains why the current one is Victorian with only a bit of medieval left!

    Reply
  42. So true that the country would have been overrun by Dukes if it had really been like the books, Mary! I think quote a few people would be open to the idea of a working class hero and it would certainly be an interesting dynamic in a story.
    Yes, the Houses of Parliament burning down was a huge event and of course explains why the current one is Victorian with only a bit of medieval left!

    Reply
  43. So true that the country would have been overrun by Dukes if it had really been like the books, Mary! I think quote a few people would be open to the idea of a working class hero and it would certainly be an interesting dynamic in a story.
    Yes, the Houses of Parliament burning down was a huge event and of course explains why the current one is Victorian with only a bit of medieval left!

    Reply
  44. So true that the country would have been overrun by Dukes if it had really been like the books, Mary! I think quote a few people would be open to the idea of a working class hero and it would certainly be an interesting dynamic in a story.
    Yes, the Houses of Parliament burning down was a huge event and of course explains why the current one is Victorian with only a bit of medieval left!

    Reply
  45. So true that the country would have been overrun by Dukes if it had really been like the books, Mary! I think quote a few people would be open to the idea of a working class hero and it would certainly be an interesting dynamic in a story.
    Yes, the Houses of Parliament burning down was a huge event and of course explains why the current one is Victorian with only a bit of medieval left!

    Reply
  46. It’s very interesting, Sue, how all our reading and indeed all books have some sort of pedigree that you can trace back either on a personal basis or as part of the tradition of historical novels, for example. Fascinating stuff!

    Reply
  47. It’s very interesting, Sue, how all our reading and indeed all books have some sort of pedigree that you can trace back either on a personal basis or as part of the tradition of historical novels, for example. Fascinating stuff!

    Reply
  48. It’s very interesting, Sue, how all our reading and indeed all books have some sort of pedigree that you can trace back either on a personal basis or as part of the tradition of historical novels, for example. Fascinating stuff!

    Reply
  49. It’s very interesting, Sue, how all our reading and indeed all books have some sort of pedigree that you can trace back either on a personal basis or as part of the tradition of historical novels, for example. Fascinating stuff!

    Reply
  50. It’s very interesting, Sue, how all our reading and indeed all books have some sort of pedigree that you can trace back either on a personal basis or as part of the tradition of historical novels, for example. Fascinating stuff!

    Reply
  51. Thanks for your comment, Patricia. I do think the dynamic of a working class hero would bring a very different perspective to a historical romance. I can see what Braidwood was such a heroic figure, not just through his personal bravery but also in his concern for his men. He really embodied so many ideals.

    Reply
  52. Thanks for your comment, Patricia. I do think the dynamic of a working class hero would bring a very different perspective to a historical romance. I can see what Braidwood was such a heroic figure, not just through his personal bravery but also in his concern for his men. He really embodied so many ideals.

    Reply
  53. Thanks for your comment, Patricia. I do think the dynamic of a working class hero would bring a very different perspective to a historical romance. I can see what Braidwood was such a heroic figure, not just through his personal bravery but also in his concern for his men. He really embodied so many ideals.

    Reply
  54. Thanks for your comment, Patricia. I do think the dynamic of a working class hero would bring a very different perspective to a historical romance. I can see what Braidwood was such a heroic figure, not just through his personal bravery but also in his concern for his men. He really embodied so many ideals.

    Reply
  55. Thanks for your comment, Patricia. I do think the dynamic of a working class hero would bring a very different perspective to a historical romance. I can see what Braidwood was such a heroic figure, not just through his personal bravery but also in his concern for his men. He really embodied so many ideals.

    Reply
  56. Mr Braidwood is a hero in the truest sense of the word. Thank you for introducing him.
    I would like to read historicals about firemen or any other occupation which would be heroic and romantic. I think that there is a sort of romance in most honest occupations.
    And aren’t we fortunate to have had a Mr Braidwood to lead the way to men and women who run into a burning building rather than running away.

    Reply
  57. Mr Braidwood is a hero in the truest sense of the word. Thank you for introducing him.
    I would like to read historicals about firemen or any other occupation which would be heroic and romantic. I think that there is a sort of romance in most honest occupations.
    And aren’t we fortunate to have had a Mr Braidwood to lead the way to men and women who run into a burning building rather than running away.

    Reply
  58. Mr Braidwood is a hero in the truest sense of the word. Thank you for introducing him.
    I would like to read historicals about firemen or any other occupation which would be heroic and romantic. I think that there is a sort of romance in most honest occupations.
    And aren’t we fortunate to have had a Mr Braidwood to lead the way to men and women who run into a burning building rather than running away.

    Reply
  59. Mr Braidwood is a hero in the truest sense of the word. Thank you for introducing him.
    I would like to read historicals about firemen or any other occupation which would be heroic and romantic. I think that there is a sort of romance in most honest occupations.
    And aren’t we fortunate to have had a Mr Braidwood to lead the way to men and women who run into a burning building rather than running away.

    Reply
  60. Mr Braidwood is a hero in the truest sense of the word. Thank you for introducing him.
    I would like to read historicals about firemen or any other occupation which would be heroic and romantic. I think that there is a sort of romance in most honest occupations.
    And aren’t we fortunate to have had a Mr Braidwood to lead the way to men and women who run into a burning building rather than running away.

    Reply
  61. What an intriguing post, so thank you, Nicola. Count me in as another who would happily read a historical romance with a firefighter hero.

    Reply
  62. What an intriguing post, so thank you, Nicola. Count me in as another who would happily read a historical romance with a firefighter hero.

    Reply
  63. What an intriguing post, so thank you, Nicola. Count me in as another who would happily read a historical romance with a firefighter hero.

    Reply
  64. What an intriguing post, so thank you, Nicola. Count me in as another who would happily read a historical romance with a firefighter hero.

    Reply
  65. What an intriguing post, so thank you, Nicola. Count me in as another who would happily read a historical romance with a firefighter hero.

    Reply
  66. I would certainly read a historical romance with a firefighting hero. I have enjoyed many of the books by Carla Kelly, whose heroes were often more of the middle class than the aristocracy. I don’t know if England or Great Briton has such a book, but an interesting source of American history comes from a book called “Ordinary Americans” which is a collection of letters, diary entries, etc. from people in the book’s title giving a different point of view than the more common papers, etc. of the George Washingtons and Thomas Jeffersons of my country.

    Reply
  67. I would certainly read a historical romance with a firefighting hero. I have enjoyed many of the books by Carla Kelly, whose heroes were often more of the middle class than the aristocracy. I don’t know if England or Great Briton has such a book, but an interesting source of American history comes from a book called “Ordinary Americans” which is a collection of letters, diary entries, etc. from people in the book’s title giving a different point of view than the more common papers, etc. of the George Washingtons and Thomas Jeffersons of my country.

    Reply
  68. I would certainly read a historical romance with a firefighting hero. I have enjoyed many of the books by Carla Kelly, whose heroes were often more of the middle class than the aristocracy. I don’t know if England or Great Briton has such a book, but an interesting source of American history comes from a book called “Ordinary Americans” which is a collection of letters, diary entries, etc. from people in the book’s title giving a different point of view than the more common papers, etc. of the George Washingtons and Thomas Jeffersons of my country.

    Reply
  69. I would certainly read a historical romance with a firefighting hero. I have enjoyed many of the books by Carla Kelly, whose heroes were often more of the middle class than the aristocracy. I don’t know if England or Great Briton has such a book, but an interesting source of American history comes from a book called “Ordinary Americans” which is a collection of letters, diary entries, etc. from people in the book’s title giving a different point of view than the more common papers, etc. of the George Washingtons and Thomas Jeffersons of my country.

    Reply
  70. I would certainly read a historical romance with a firefighting hero. I have enjoyed many of the books by Carla Kelly, whose heroes were often more of the middle class than the aristocracy. I don’t know if England or Great Briton has such a book, but an interesting source of American history comes from a book called “Ordinary Americans” which is a collection of letters, diary entries, etc. from people in the book’s title giving a different point of view than the more common papers, etc. of the George Washingtons and Thomas Jeffersons of my country.

    Reply
  71. Indeed he was, Annette! A true hero by character and yes, a great example of valour to those brave fire fighters who came after. You are spot on that that there can be romance in honest occupations. They can be very appealing.

    Reply
  72. Indeed he was, Annette! A true hero by character and yes, a great example of valour to those brave fire fighters who came after. You are spot on that that there can be romance in honest occupations. They can be very appealing.

    Reply
  73. Indeed he was, Annette! A true hero by character and yes, a great example of valour to those brave fire fighters who came after. You are spot on that that there can be romance in honest occupations. They can be very appealing.

    Reply
  74. Indeed he was, Annette! A true hero by character and yes, a great example of valour to those brave fire fighters who came after. You are spot on that that there can be romance in honest occupations. They can be very appealing.

    Reply
  75. Indeed he was, Annette! A true hero by character and yes, a great example of valour to those brave fire fighters who came after. You are spot on that that there can be romance in honest occupations. They can be very appealing.

    Reply
  76. Thank you very much for recommending Ordinary Americans, Jeanette. I will see if there is a UK equivalent. It sounds a great idea for a different perspective.
    I’ve really enjoyed Carla Kelly’s heroes. Definitely it’s good to see some non-aristocratic contenders!

    Reply
  77. Thank you very much for recommending Ordinary Americans, Jeanette. I will see if there is a UK equivalent. It sounds a great idea for a different perspective.
    I’ve really enjoyed Carla Kelly’s heroes. Definitely it’s good to see some non-aristocratic contenders!

    Reply
  78. Thank you very much for recommending Ordinary Americans, Jeanette. I will see if there is a UK equivalent. It sounds a great idea for a different perspective.
    I’ve really enjoyed Carla Kelly’s heroes. Definitely it’s good to see some non-aristocratic contenders!

    Reply
  79. Thank you very much for recommending Ordinary Americans, Jeanette. I will see if there is a UK equivalent. It sounds a great idea for a different perspective.
    I’ve really enjoyed Carla Kelly’s heroes. Definitely it’s good to see some non-aristocratic contenders!

    Reply
  80. Thank you very much for recommending Ordinary Americans, Jeanette. I will see if there is a UK equivalent. It sounds a great idea for a different perspective.
    I’ve really enjoyed Carla Kelly’s heroes. Definitely it’s good to see some non-aristocratic contenders!

    Reply
  81. There were fire fighters elsewhere than London. Each large estate usually had to have some sort of plan for fighting fires. The fire fighters were usually employed by the insurance companies– if you didn’t hold their policy you usually didn’t get a fire fighter though every one was supposed to help keep a fire from spreading. Sometimes 1666 didn’t seem that long ago. However, while a wealthy man or his son might not be a firefighter in a large urban area, either could be in a volunteer fire department in the country. The younger son of a duke could arrange a fire fighting service in his county. carla Kelly does ordinary people very well. She isn’t as good with aristocrats or nobles,I am rather snobbish in my reading as I want the characters to all be At least gentry unless the book is a Western.

    Reply
  82. There were fire fighters elsewhere than London. Each large estate usually had to have some sort of plan for fighting fires. The fire fighters were usually employed by the insurance companies– if you didn’t hold their policy you usually didn’t get a fire fighter though every one was supposed to help keep a fire from spreading. Sometimes 1666 didn’t seem that long ago. However, while a wealthy man or his son might not be a firefighter in a large urban area, either could be in a volunteer fire department in the country. The younger son of a duke could arrange a fire fighting service in his county. carla Kelly does ordinary people very well. She isn’t as good with aristocrats or nobles,I am rather snobbish in my reading as I want the characters to all be At least gentry unless the book is a Western.

    Reply
  83. There were fire fighters elsewhere than London. Each large estate usually had to have some sort of plan for fighting fires. The fire fighters were usually employed by the insurance companies– if you didn’t hold their policy you usually didn’t get a fire fighter though every one was supposed to help keep a fire from spreading. Sometimes 1666 didn’t seem that long ago. However, while a wealthy man or his son might not be a firefighter in a large urban area, either could be in a volunteer fire department in the country. The younger son of a duke could arrange a fire fighting service in his county. carla Kelly does ordinary people very well. She isn’t as good with aristocrats or nobles,I am rather snobbish in my reading as I want the characters to all be At least gentry unless the book is a Western.

    Reply
  84. There were fire fighters elsewhere than London. Each large estate usually had to have some sort of plan for fighting fires. The fire fighters were usually employed by the insurance companies– if you didn’t hold their policy you usually didn’t get a fire fighter though every one was supposed to help keep a fire from spreading. Sometimes 1666 didn’t seem that long ago. However, while a wealthy man or his son might not be a firefighter in a large urban area, either could be in a volunteer fire department in the country. The younger son of a duke could arrange a fire fighting service in his county. carla Kelly does ordinary people very well. She isn’t as good with aristocrats or nobles,I am rather snobbish in my reading as I want the characters to all be At least gentry unless the book is a Western.

    Reply
  85. There were fire fighters elsewhere than London. Each large estate usually had to have some sort of plan for fighting fires. The fire fighters were usually employed by the insurance companies– if you didn’t hold their policy you usually didn’t get a fire fighter though every one was supposed to help keep a fire from spreading. Sometimes 1666 didn’t seem that long ago. However, while a wealthy man or his son might not be a firefighter in a large urban area, either could be in a volunteer fire department in the country. The younger son of a duke could arrange a fire fighting service in his county. carla Kelly does ordinary people very well. She isn’t as good with aristocrats or nobles,I am rather snobbish in my reading as I want the characters to all be At least gentry unless the book is a Western.

    Reply
  86. Indeed, Nancy, and of course that is where “fire marks” originate from; you had to display the one that represented your insurance company or the fire fighters wouldn’t put out the flames. Braidwood came originally from Edinburgh where he had set up the first municipal as opposed to private fire company in the UK.
    I think there is a strong preference amongst a lot of readers for upper class characters in historical romance which is perhaps why middle or lower class ones don’t succeed so well although, as you say, Carla Kelly does write excellent ones.

    Reply
  87. Indeed, Nancy, and of course that is where “fire marks” originate from; you had to display the one that represented your insurance company or the fire fighters wouldn’t put out the flames. Braidwood came originally from Edinburgh where he had set up the first municipal as opposed to private fire company in the UK.
    I think there is a strong preference amongst a lot of readers for upper class characters in historical romance which is perhaps why middle or lower class ones don’t succeed so well although, as you say, Carla Kelly does write excellent ones.

    Reply
  88. Indeed, Nancy, and of course that is where “fire marks” originate from; you had to display the one that represented your insurance company or the fire fighters wouldn’t put out the flames. Braidwood came originally from Edinburgh where he had set up the first municipal as opposed to private fire company in the UK.
    I think there is a strong preference amongst a lot of readers for upper class characters in historical romance which is perhaps why middle or lower class ones don’t succeed so well although, as you say, Carla Kelly does write excellent ones.

    Reply
  89. Indeed, Nancy, and of course that is where “fire marks” originate from; you had to display the one that represented your insurance company or the fire fighters wouldn’t put out the flames. Braidwood came originally from Edinburgh where he had set up the first municipal as opposed to private fire company in the UK.
    I think there is a strong preference amongst a lot of readers for upper class characters in historical romance which is perhaps why middle or lower class ones don’t succeed so well although, as you say, Carla Kelly does write excellent ones.

    Reply
  90. Indeed, Nancy, and of course that is where “fire marks” originate from; you had to display the one that represented your insurance company or the fire fighters wouldn’t put out the flames. Braidwood came originally from Edinburgh where he had set up the first municipal as opposed to private fire company in the UK.
    I think there is a strong preference amongst a lot of readers for upper class characters in historical romance which is perhaps why middle or lower class ones don’t succeed so well although, as you say, Carla Kelly does write excellent ones.

    Reply

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