We Do Love A Lord

Cat_243_dover by Mary Jo

Wench Jo Beverley has been known to call the Regency historical “the setting that ate a genre.”  And it’s true.  When I first started reading historical romance, settings were all over the map.  Lots of medievals and Westerns, American colonials, Victorians, et al.  Granted, most books were set in English speaking places but there was a wide variety, plus globe trotting books where the protagonists bounced all over the place. At that time, Regencies were the traditional sort, descendents of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, generally comedies of manners with clever dialogue and no explicit sex. 

Judith McNaught says she had trouble selling her Regency historical, Whitney, My Love, because editors thought of Regencies as ‘those little books.”  Nonetheless, she sold her book, it became a huge hit, and the race toward market saturation of Regency historicals was on.

Wouldbe_widow Mind you, I love the Regency, as attested by my backlist.  It’s a great setting with lots going on: a “good war” against a evil tyrant, wearable fashions, and an exciting period of reformation and creativity as the industrial revolution helped turn society upside down.

But what the really big appeal of the period?  I’ve long suspected it’s all those lords and ladies.  Americans, having broken free of the British empire and banned all hereditary titles, turned around and fell in love with the idea of an aristocracy. 

American heiresses visiting in England fought for the right to be presented at court.  I once wrote a novella for Harlequin under the title “The Wedding of the Century,” and a major source of Gilded Age material came from the delightful book To Marry an English Lord.  It is now sadly out of print, but if you can find a copy, it’s chock full of details about the intersection of American money and impoverished English aristocrats.  (With great pictures and sidebars!)  My story was inspired by the marriage of Consuelo Vanderbilt and the Duke of Marlborough, but mine had a happy ending, naturally. 

Duke_of_buckingham Why are we so fascinated by people with titles?  Why has a presumption that they are somehow superior lasted into our democratic age?  Maybe it’s the sheer exclusivity of the aristocracy.  According to Laura A. Wallace, who did the excellent title site http://laura.chinet.com//html/titles02.html ,in 1996 about 1200 people were entitled to sit in Britain’s House of Lords, and some of those were Law Lords, Archbishops and Bishops, who aren’t hereditary peers.   

The fact that there aren’t many real life lords doesn’t mean that we can’t stock our books to overflowing with fictional peers.  (I recall one publisher wouldn’t buy a Regency set historical unless the hero was a lord.  That may still be true.)  There is a particular oversupply of dukes, the highest rank of the peerage.  Personally, I don’t like to use dukes very often because they are supposed to be addressed as “your grace,” which is clumsy.  The four lower ranks—marquess, earl, viscount, and baron—can be called ‘my lord,’ which is much easier. 

As to that presumption of superiority—a lot of real life Regency lords were raised with a vast sense of entitlement, and at the same time were wrenched from their homes at tender ages and sent to brutal Eton schools where they were subject to all manner of abuse, and sometimes rioted most ferociously against the masters.  (That’s Eton on the left.)  I suspect that a lot of them were not very nice people as a consequence of their upbringings—certainly not the sensitive studmuffins who populate our books.  Which is why I so frequently torture my heroes—I figure that some suffering will make them better better men and more perceptive lovers. <G>

For a writer, it’s important to know correct title usage, since some readers have a very low tolerance for sloppy usage.  When I started writing Regencies, title information was harder to come by (though I did make the effort), but these days, it’s easy to find on the internet, so there’s no excuse for egregious errors. 

Briefly, from lowest to highest, the hereditary peerage in Britain is baron, viscount, earl, marquess (or Houses_of_parliament marquis), and duke.  (The title of baronet is hereditary, but they’re not Peers of the Realm, which is quite a different matter.  James I invented baronetcies to sell to rich merchants so he could raise money.  It was considered something of a cut-rate title since it was acquired by money rather than force of arms, but better than nothing.)

Let’s start with the Baron.  According to Wikipedia.com, “William I introduced "baron" as a rank into England to distinguish the men who had pledged their loyalty to him (see Feudalism)."  In the middle ages, "barons" was sometimes used as a general term for the nobility—King John the Only was forced to Magna20carta sign the Magna Carta by his barons.

Next up is the Viscount, which can be construed as lieutenant to a Count, who ruled a county.  (More below.)  I once read that the title was imported to England when a weak king gave it to one of his favorites, thereby infuriating all the barons who had to yield precedence to a good-for-nothing upstart.  (May have read it in one of Thomas Costain’s history books, but cannot vouch for the accuracy of my memory.)

Onward to the Earl, perhaps my favorite title—high, but not stuffily so.  Wikipedia again:  “in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of England, the king’s companions held the title of earls and in Scotland, the title of thane.”  (Think “Thane of Glamis and Thane of Cawdor” for you fans of Macbeth.)  “Jarl” was a Scandinavian variant of “eorl” or “earl.”  In England, a lot of the early earls were in charge of counties, and they bore those names for their titles: Earl of Suffolk, Earl of Lincoln, etc. 

An English earl is equivalent in rank to a French count—and since there is no earless, the wife of an earl is a countess.  No one ever claimed this stuff is logical!

My one medieval, Uncommon Vows. featured two men, hero and villain, vying for control of Shropshire, one loyal to Queen Matilda and the other to King Stephen.  My research had revealed that at that point there was no formal Earl of Shropshire, so why not let my guys fight it out?   

Next up: Marquess (the usual English form) or Marquis (French and Scottish) is derived from the German title Margrave.  The distant ancestor word was “marca” for a frontier or borderland.  (Think “mark.”)  A lord who had extra responsibilities for maintaining order on the frontier got a title that reflected that.  In England, there were “Marcher Lords” who maintained the frontier between England and Wales.  (Those rowdy Welsh!) 

Duke_of_wellington The highest title, Duke, is derived from the Latin “dux,” for leader or war leader.  Historical romances have created enough fictional dukes to fill a football stadium.  Royal Dukes are another matter, being members of the royal family, and include traditional titles like Duke of York and Duke of Cumberland.  On the Continent, there were principalities headed by dukes, like the Duke of Burgundy.

That’s Thomas Lawrence’s famous portrait of the Duke of Wellington, a favorite of mine because he earned the title through blazing merit.  Winston Churchill was offered the title of Duke of Dover for his achievements in leading Britain through WWII, but he turned it down.  As the grandson (and cousin) of Dukes of Marlborough, he might have figured he didn’t need any additional titles.

So those are the lords.  There’s no question that noblemen are great fantasy objects, so I expect that we writers will continue to create them.  Including that delightful subgenre of the stable boy who proves to be a duke, or variants thereof.  (Guilty!!!) 

And if you want to carry the fantasy further—or perhaps give a gift to an Anglophile, here’s your chance:  http://moonestates.com/shop-kincavel.php

For a mere $65 or so, depending on the exchange rate, you can become a Laird or Lady of Kincavel, an Isle_of_mull estate on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula in far western Scotland, with views across the sea to the lovely Isle of Mull.  (I’ve visited, and Mull was one of my favorite places in Scotland.) 

You will own one square foot of land.  It’s in a conservation area so you can’t build on it, but you can visit, and maybe picnic on the seashore.  You will also have the right to call yourself Laird (or Lady) of Kincavel, which is an ancient title attached to ownership of land rather than a rank of the peerage.

From what I can tell, this is entirely legal, and really kind of fun.  The land was originally owned by the Sonachan Hotel,  http://www.sonachan.com/ , which looks like a nice place to stay when you visit your mini-estate.  The whole program is a clever way for the original owners of the land to generate some income toward the conservation of native flora and fauna.  So this is your chance to become a Scottish Lady!  The perfect gift for that hard-to-buy for Laird in your life!

AfDuke_of_marlborough_family720954ter all, why can’t we make some or our fantasies come true? <g>  Left is a picture of Consuelo Vanderbilt, Duchess of Marlborough, and her family.  She later divorced the duke.  Some fantasies are better left in the imagination.

So how do you feel about all those lords and ladies?  And to you have some favorite Regencies where the hero isn’t an aristocrat?  There are some out there!

Lairdly yours—

Mary Jo

170 thoughts on “We Do Love A Lord”

  1. What a great post! I confess I succumb to a title just like the next girl. I guess I’m a snob. Thanks for pointing out how easy it is to get titles right. It drives me crazy when I read Sir Jones when they really mean Sir John for that studly baronet Sir John Jones.

    Reply
  2. What a great post! I confess I succumb to a title just like the next girl. I guess I’m a snob. Thanks for pointing out how easy it is to get titles right. It drives me crazy when I read Sir Jones when they really mean Sir John for that studly baronet Sir John Jones.

    Reply
  3. What a great post! I confess I succumb to a title just like the next girl. I guess I’m a snob. Thanks for pointing out how easy it is to get titles right. It drives me crazy when I read Sir Jones when they really mean Sir John for that studly baronet Sir John Jones.

    Reply
  4. What a great post! I confess I succumb to a title just like the next girl. I guess I’m a snob. Thanks for pointing out how easy it is to get titles right. It drives me crazy when I read Sir Jones when they really mean Sir John for that studly baronet Sir John Jones.

    Reply
  5. What a great post! I confess I succumb to a title just like the next girl. I guess I’m a snob. Thanks for pointing out how easy it is to get titles right. It drives me crazy when I read Sir Jones when they really mean Sir John for that studly baronet Sir John Jones.

    Reply
  6. What an interesting blog today, Mary Jo. Now,I’m contemplating becoming a Scottish lady. Just as soon as I don’t need the $65 to buy gasoline or something equally frivolous.
    I enlarged the Marlborough/Vanderbilt painting and studied for a few moments. Talk about body language. The duke and dutchess are as far apart as they can be and still be in the work. The dutchess is clinging to the heir. And the spare is sort of shuffled off to one side. Even a dog is closer to his parents than he is. Sad.
    Maybe the artist just posed them that way and family dynamics had nothing to do with it. It certainly is a lush painting at the very least. I like it.
    BTW, the duke looks a great deal like my oldest step-son.

    Reply
  7. What an interesting blog today, Mary Jo. Now,I’m contemplating becoming a Scottish lady. Just as soon as I don’t need the $65 to buy gasoline or something equally frivolous.
    I enlarged the Marlborough/Vanderbilt painting and studied for a few moments. Talk about body language. The duke and dutchess are as far apart as they can be and still be in the work. The dutchess is clinging to the heir. And the spare is sort of shuffled off to one side. Even a dog is closer to his parents than he is. Sad.
    Maybe the artist just posed them that way and family dynamics had nothing to do with it. It certainly is a lush painting at the very least. I like it.
    BTW, the duke looks a great deal like my oldest step-son.

    Reply
  8. What an interesting blog today, Mary Jo. Now,I’m contemplating becoming a Scottish lady. Just as soon as I don’t need the $65 to buy gasoline or something equally frivolous.
    I enlarged the Marlborough/Vanderbilt painting and studied for a few moments. Talk about body language. The duke and dutchess are as far apart as they can be and still be in the work. The dutchess is clinging to the heir. And the spare is sort of shuffled off to one side. Even a dog is closer to his parents than he is. Sad.
    Maybe the artist just posed them that way and family dynamics had nothing to do with it. It certainly is a lush painting at the very least. I like it.
    BTW, the duke looks a great deal like my oldest step-son.

    Reply
  9. What an interesting blog today, Mary Jo. Now,I’m contemplating becoming a Scottish lady. Just as soon as I don’t need the $65 to buy gasoline or something equally frivolous.
    I enlarged the Marlborough/Vanderbilt painting and studied for a few moments. Talk about body language. The duke and dutchess are as far apart as they can be and still be in the work. The dutchess is clinging to the heir. And the spare is sort of shuffled off to one side. Even a dog is closer to his parents than he is. Sad.
    Maybe the artist just posed them that way and family dynamics had nothing to do with it. It certainly is a lush painting at the very least. I like it.
    BTW, the duke looks a great deal like my oldest step-son.

    Reply
  10. What an interesting blog today, Mary Jo. Now,I’m contemplating becoming a Scottish lady. Just as soon as I don’t need the $65 to buy gasoline or something equally frivolous.
    I enlarged the Marlborough/Vanderbilt painting and studied for a few moments. Talk about body language. The duke and dutchess are as far apart as they can be and still be in the work. The dutchess is clinging to the heir. And the spare is sort of shuffled off to one side. Even a dog is closer to his parents than he is. Sad.
    Maybe the artist just posed them that way and family dynamics had nothing to do with it. It certainly is a lush painting at the very least. I like it.
    BTW, the duke looks a great deal like my oldest step-son.

    Reply
  11. I love made up aristocracy, especially regency. I’m not sure why Regency, maybe it’s the tight pants. Or maybe it’s the last hurrah before the Victorians took over. I found a painting by Gainsborough of John Hayes St. Leger, who was a drinking buddy of the Prince. (apology for those of you that have heard this story.) Anyway, in my opinion he is/was extremely good looking and I became fascinated with him. After years of research, I found out that he was really quite wild, a drunk, a womanizer, never married, died young and I probably wouldn’t have like him, but he’s taped to my cubicle. He was always listed in biographical books as a footnote. How sad to be a footnote in someone else’s story.

    Reply
  12. I love made up aristocracy, especially regency. I’m not sure why Regency, maybe it’s the tight pants. Or maybe it’s the last hurrah before the Victorians took over. I found a painting by Gainsborough of John Hayes St. Leger, who was a drinking buddy of the Prince. (apology for those of you that have heard this story.) Anyway, in my opinion he is/was extremely good looking and I became fascinated with him. After years of research, I found out that he was really quite wild, a drunk, a womanizer, never married, died young and I probably wouldn’t have like him, but he’s taped to my cubicle. He was always listed in biographical books as a footnote. How sad to be a footnote in someone else’s story.

    Reply
  13. I love made up aristocracy, especially regency. I’m not sure why Regency, maybe it’s the tight pants. Or maybe it’s the last hurrah before the Victorians took over. I found a painting by Gainsborough of John Hayes St. Leger, who was a drinking buddy of the Prince. (apology for those of you that have heard this story.) Anyway, in my opinion he is/was extremely good looking and I became fascinated with him. After years of research, I found out that he was really quite wild, a drunk, a womanizer, never married, died young and I probably wouldn’t have like him, but he’s taped to my cubicle. He was always listed in biographical books as a footnote. How sad to be a footnote in someone else’s story.

    Reply
  14. I love made up aristocracy, especially regency. I’m not sure why Regency, maybe it’s the tight pants. Or maybe it’s the last hurrah before the Victorians took over. I found a painting by Gainsborough of John Hayes St. Leger, who was a drinking buddy of the Prince. (apology for those of you that have heard this story.) Anyway, in my opinion he is/was extremely good looking and I became fascinated with him. After years of research, I found out that he was really quite wild, a drunk, a womanizer, never married, died young and I probably wouldn’t have like him, but he’s taped to my cubicle. He was always listed in biographical books as a footnote. How sad to be a footnote in someone else’s story.

    Reply
  15. I love made up aristocracy, especially regency. I’m not sure why Regency, maybe it’s the tight pants. Or maybe it’s the last hurrah before the Victorians took over. I found a painting by Gainsborough of John Hayes St. Leger, who was a drinking buddy of the Prince. (apology for those of you that have heard this story.) Anyway, in my opinion he is/was extremely good looking and I became fascinated with him. After years of research, I found out that he was really quite wild, a drunk, a womanizer, never married, died young and I probably wouldn’t have like him, but he’s taped to my cubicle. He was always listed in biographical books as a footnote. How sad to be a footnote in someone else’s story.

    Reply
  16. Kay, I had to go look up that painting. You are right. John Hayes St. Leger was a fine looking man. Like the pants. I wonder if he’s leaning on his horse because it’s the morning after and he cant stand on his own w/o a bit of help.
    It’s nice that he did the women of his time a favor by not marrying. I wonder how old he was in this painting?

    Reply
  17. Kay, I had to go look up that painting. You are right. John Hayes St. Leger was a fine looking man. Like the pants. I wonder if he’s leaning on his horse because it’s the morning after and he cant stand on his own w/o a bit of help.
    It’s nice that he did the women of his time a favor by not marrying. I wonder how old he was in this painting?

    Reply
  18. Kay, I had to go look up that painting. You are right. John Hayes St. Leger was a fine looking man. Like the pants. I wonder if he’s leaning on his horse because it’s the morning after and he cant stand on his own w/o a bit of help.
    It’s nice that he did the women of his time a favor by not marrying. I wonder how old he was in this painting?

    Reply
  19. Kay, I had to go look up that painting. You are right. John Hayes St. Leger was a fine looking man. Like the pants. I wonder if he’s leaning on his horse because it’s the morning after and he cant stand on his own w/o a bit of help.
    It’s nice that he did the women of his time a favor by not marrying. I wonder how old he was in this painting?

    Reply
  20. Kay, I had to go look up that painting. You are right. John Hayes St. Leger was a fine looking man. Like the pants. I wonder if he’s leaning on his horse because it’s the morning after and he cant stand on his own w/o a bit of help.
    It’s nice that he did the women of his time a favor by not marrying. I wonder how old he was in this painting?

    Reply
  21. I think lord pretty much = millionaire (billionaire?) CEO-type in a modern romance (and category is awash in those). It’s shorthand for wealth, power, prestige, etc. (and the ultimate security such stability can offer). It’s not hard to understand why that appeals to women. *grin*
    As for commoner heroes we love? Fitzroger in Jo’s A MOST UNSUITABLE MAN comes to mind (man do I LOVE him). And Dovenby in Julia Ross’s THE WICKED LOVER is another all-time fav.

    Reply
  22. I think lord pretty much = millionaire (billionaire?) CEO-type in a modern romance (and category is awash in those). It’s shorthand for wealth, power, prestige, etc. (and the ultimate security such stability can offer). It’s not hard to understand why that appeals to women. *grin*
    As for commoner heroes we love? Fitzroger in Jo’s A MOST UNSUITABLE MAN comes to mind (man do I LOVE him). And Dovenby in Julia Ross’s THE WICKED LOVER is another all-time fav.

    Reply
  23. I think lord pretty much = millionaire (billionaire?) CEO-type in a modern romance (and category is awash in those). It’s shorthand for wealth, power, prestige, etc. (and the ultimate security such stability can offer). It’s not hard to understand why that appeals to women. *grin*
    As for commoner heroes we love? Fitzroger in Jo’s A MOST UNSUITABLE MAN comes to mind (man do I LOVE him). And Dovenby in Julia Ross’s THE WICKED LOVER is another all-time fav.

    Reply
  24. I think lord pretty much = millionaire (billionaire?) CEO-type in a modern romance (and category is awash in those). It’s shorthand for wealth, power, prestige, etc. (and the ultimate security such stability can offer). It’s not hard to understand why that appeals to women. *grin*
    As for commoner heroes we love? Fitzroger in Jo’s A MOST UNSUITABLE MAN comes to mind (man do I LOVE him). And Dovenby in Julia Ross’s THE WICKED LOVER is another all-time fav.

    Reply
  25. I think lord pretty much = millionaire (billionaire?) CEO-type in a modern romance (and category is awash in those). It’s shorthand for wealth, power, prestige, etc. (and the ultimate security such stability can offer). It’s not hard to understand why that appeals to women. *grin*
    As for commoner heroes we love? Fitzroger in Jo’s A MOST UNSUITABLE MAN comes to mind (man do I LOVE him). And Dovenby in Julia Ross’s THE WICKED LOVER is another all-time fav.

    Reply
  26. Seems like lords make natural heros for Regencies because they need to secure the succession. How many romances turning on that fact have there been already? Must be thousands by this time, and still going strong.
    Another thing about the upper reaches of society is that the ton provides a community where approval is all-imporant, a fertile ground for plotting. It also makes it easy to introduce hero and heroine. Any of us who have ever been single can no doubt appreciate the usefulness of all those balls, routs, etc., not to mention Almacks.
    I know I’ve read Regencies where the hero wasn’t a lord, or even related to one, but titles are not springing to mind. Though of course none of Jane Austen’s heros were of the nobility!
    It has just occurred to me that War and Peace might well be considered a Regency romance! A thought to conjure with.

    Reply
  27. Seems like lords make natural heros for Regencies because they need to secure the succession. How many romances turning on that fact have there been already? Must be thousands by this time, and still going strong.
    Another thing about the upper reaches of society is that the ton provides a community where approval is all-imporant, a fertile ground for plotting. It also makes it easy to introduce hero and heroine. Any of us who have ever been single can no doubt appreciate the usefulness of all those balls, routs, etc., not to mention Almacks.
    I know I’ve read Regencies where the hero wasn’t a lord, or even related to one, but titles are not springing to mind. Though of course none of Jane Austen’s heros were of the nobility!
    It has just occurred to me that War and Peace might well be considered a Regency romance! A thought to conjure with.

    Reply
  28. Seems like lords make natural heros for Regencies because they need to secure the succession. How many romances turning on that fact have there been already? Must be thousands by this time, and still going strong.
    Another thing about the upper reaches of society is that the ton provides a community where approval is all-imporant, a fertile ground for plotting. It also makes it easy to introduce hero and heroine. Any of us who have ever been single can no doubt appreciate the usefulness of all those balls, routs, etc., not to mention Almacks.
    I know I’ve read Regencies where the hero wasn’t a lord, or even related to one, but titles are not springing to mind. Though of course none of Jane Austen’s heros were of the nobility!
    It has just occurred to me that War and Peace might well be considered a Regency romance! A thought to conjure with.

    Reply
  29. Seems like lords make natural heros for Regencies because they need to secure the succession. How many romances turning on that fact have there been already? Must be thousands by this time, and still going strong.
    Another thing about the upper reaches of society is that the ton provides a community where approval is all-imporant, a fertile ground for plotting. It also makes it easy to introduce hero and heroine. Any of us who have ever been single can no doubt appreciate the usefulness of all those balls, routs, etc., not to mention Almacks.
    I know I’ve read Regencies where the hero wasn’t a lord, or even related to one, but titles are not springing to mind. Though of course none of Jane Austen’s heros were of the nobility!
    It has just occurred to me that War and Peace might well be considered a Regency romance! A thought to conjure with.

    Reply
  30. Seems like lords make natural heros for Regencies because they need to secure the succession. How many romances turning on that fact have there been already? Must be thousands by this time, and still going strong.
    Another thing about the upper reaches of society is that the ton provides a community where approval is all-imporant, a fertile ground for plotting. It also makes it easy to introduce hero and heroine. Any of us who have ever been single can no doubt appreciate the usefulness of all those balls, routs, etc., not to mention Almacks.
    I know I’ve read Regencies where the hero wasn’t a lord, or even related to one, but titles are not springing to mind. Though of course none of Jane Austen’s heros were of the nobility!
    It has just occurred to me that War and Peace might well be considered a Regency romance! A thought to conjure with.

    Reply
  31. I think for me, the appeal of the Regency is that it is curiously modern. Somehow it feels more modern to me than the later Victorian period. Perhaps it’s because it predates Victorian morality; perhaps it’s because women’s clothes were slightly freer. I don’t know. But it definitely isn’t the peers. I get really teed off when a hero is a duke – there were only ever a handful of these so I find it immediately stretches believability for me. Personally I love a non-peer hero such as Mr Darcy of P&P (of course – as well as other Austen heroes) and Connie Brockway’s hero in All Through the Night. I also really like ‘younger son heroes’ – i.e the guy who isn’t going to inherit the vast estate but has to find something else to do with his life – like a couple of Loretta Chase’s Carsington boys.

    Reply
  32. I think for me, the appeal of the Regency is that it is curiously modern. Somehow it feels more modern to me than the later Victorian period. Perhaps it’s because it predates Victorian morality; perhaps it’s because women’s clothes were slightly freer. I don’t know. But it definitely isn’t the peers. I get really teed off when a hero is a duke – there were only ever a handful of these so I find it immediately stretches believability for me. Personally I love a non-peer hero such as Mr Darcy of P&P (of course – as well as other Austen heroes) and Connie Brockway’s hero in All Through the Night. I also really like ‘younger son heroes’ – i.e the guy who isn’t going to inherit the vast estate but has to find something else to do with his life – like a couple of Loretta Chase’s Carsington boys.

    Reply
  33. I think for me, the appeal of the Regency is that it is curiously modern. Somehow it feels more modern to me than the later Victorian period. Perhaps it’s because it predates Victorian morality; perhaps it’s because women’s clothes were slightly freer. I don’t know. But it definitely isn’t the peers. I get really teed off when a hero is a duke – there were only ever a handful of these so I find it immediately stretches believability for me. Personally I love a non-peer hero such as Mr Darcy of P&P (of course – as well as other Austen heroes) and Connie Brockway’s hero in All Through the Night. I also really like ‘younger son heroes’ – i.e the guy who isn’t going to inherit the vast estate but has to find something else to do with his life – like a couple of Loretta Chase’s Carsington boys.

    Reply
  34. I think for me, the appeal of the Regency is that it is curiously modern. Somehow it feels more modern to me than the later Victorian period. Perhaps it’s because it predates Victorian morality; perhaps it’s because women’s clothes were slightly freer. I don’t know. But it definitely isn’t the peers. I get really teed off when a hero is a duke – there were only ever a handful of these so I find it immediately stretches believability for me. Personally I love a non-peer hero such as Mr Darcy of P&P (of course – as well as other Austen heroes) and Connie Brockway’s hero in All Through the Night. I also really like ‘younger son heroes’ – i.e the guy who isn’t going to inherit the vast estate but has to find something else to do with his life – like a couple of Loretta Chase’s Carsington boys.

    Reply
  35. I think for me, the appeal of the Regency is that it is curiously modern. Somehow it feels more modern to me than the later Victorian period. Perhaps it’s because it predates Victorian morality; perhaps it’s because women’s clothes were slightly freer. I don’t know. But it definitely isn’t the peers. I get really teed off when a hero is a duke – there were only ever a handful of these so I find it immediately stretches believability for me. Personally I love a non-peer hero such as Mr Darcy of P&P (of course – as well as other Austen heroes) and Connie Brockway’s hero in All Through the Night. I also really like ‘younger son heroes’ – i.e the guy who isn’t going to inherit the vast estate but has to find something else to do with his life – like a couple of Loretta Chase’s Carsington boys.

    Reply
  36. Great post, Mary Jo.
    IMHO, we’ve fallen in love with English history because we already know where the skeletons are in our own. It’s no fun looking at those.
    We also want to be transported to a land where mere existence (not the evaporative Dollar) means something. The aristocracy didn’t need to scratch their way to the top. They were born there. Who wouldn’t want that kind of security and prestige? To receive deference from so many simply because of your bloodline. Though title did not equal money and there was much to do if the family fortune was to continue into the next generation.
    If I were transported back and endowed with title, without a doubt, my poor duke of a husband would be quickly reminded of just how rebellious Americans can be. 🙂 But, it’s fun to dream. And, for the sake of history, I’ll leave it right there.
    Nina, who descends from a long ago defunked earldom.

    Reply
  37. Great post, Mary Jo.
    IMHO, we’ve fallen in love with English history because we already know where the skeletons are in our own. It’s no fun looking at those.
    We also want to be transported to a land where mere existence (not the evaporative Dollar) means something. The aristocracy didn’t need to scratch their way to the top. They were born there. Who wouldn’t want that kind of security and prestige? To receive deference from so many simply because of your bloodline. Though title did not equal money and there was much to do if the family fortune was to continue into the next generation.
    If I were transported back and endowed with title, without a doubt, my poor duke of a husband would be quickly reminded of just how rebellious Americans can be. 🙂 But, it’s fun to dream. And, for the sake of history, I’ll leave it right there.
    Nina, who descends from a long ago defunked earldom.

    Reply
  38. Great post, Mary Jo.
    IMHO, we’ve fallen in love with English history because we already know where the skeletons are in our own. It’s no fun looking at those.
    We also want to be transported to a land where mere existence (not the evaporative Dollar) means something. The aristocracy didn’t need to scratch their way to the top. They were born there. Who wouldn’t want that kind of security and prestige? To receive deference from so many simply because of your bloodline. Though title did not equal money and there was much to do if the family fortune was to continue into the next generation.
    If I were transported back and endowed with title, without a doubt, my poor duke of a husband would be quickly reminded of just how rebellious Americans can be. 🙂 But, it’s fun to dream. And, for the sake of history, I’ll leave it right there.
    Nina, who descends from a long ago defunked earldom.

    Reply
  39. Great post, Mary Jo.
    IMHO, we’ve fallen in love with English history because we already know where the skeletons are in our own. It’s no fun looking at those.
    We also want to be transported to a land where mere existence (not the evaporative Dollar) means something. The aristocracy didn’t need to scratch their way to the top. They were born there. Who wouldn’t want that kind of security and prestige? To receive deference from so many simply because of your bloodline. Though title did not equal money and there was much to do if the family fortune was to continue into the next generation.
    If I were transported back and endowed with title, without a doubt, my poor duke of a husband would be quickly reminded of just how rebellious Americans can be. 🙂 But, it’s fun to dream. And, for the sake of history, I’ll leave it right there.
    Nina, who descends from a long ago defunked earldom.

    Reply
  40. Great post, Mary Jo.
    IMHO, we’ve fallen in love with English history because we already know where the skeletons are in our own. It’s no fun looking at those.
    We also want to be transported to a land where mere existence (not the evaporative Dollar) means something. The aristocracy didn’t need to scratch their way to the top. They were born there. Who wouldn’t want that kind of security and prestige? To receive deference from so many simply because of your bloodline. Though title did not equal money and there was much to do if the family fortune was to continue into the next generation.
    If I were transported back and endowed with title, without a doubt, my poor duke of a husband would be quickly reminded of just how rebellious Americans can be. 🙂 But, it’s fun to dream. And, for the sake of history, I’ll leave it right there.
    Nina, who descends from a long ago defunked earldom.

    Reply
  41. Oh what an informative post. I agree with what everyone else said lol. I love historicals the most and I do think part of it is that it’s a completely different time. And thank goodness for fantasy. I doubt very much if I’d really like a real lord!!!

    Reply
  42. Oh what an informative post. I agree with what everyone else said lol. I love historicals the most and I do think part of it is that it’s a completely different time. And thank goodness for fantasy. I doubt very much if I’d really like a real lord!!!

    Reply
  43. Oh what an informative post. I agree with what everyone else said lol. I love historicals the most and I do think part of it is that it’s a completely different time. And thank goodness for fantasy. I doubt very much if I’d really like a real lord!!!

    Reply
  44. Oh what an informative post. I agree with what everyone else said lol. I love historicals the most and I do think part of it is that it’s a completely different time. And thank goodness for fantasy. I doubt very much if I’d really like a real lord!!!

    Reply
  45. Oh what an informative post. I agree with what everyone else said lol. I love historicals the most and I do think part of it is that it’s a completely different time. And thank goodness for fantasy. I doubt very much if I’d really like a real lord!!!

    Reply
  46. and let us not forget that the “real” Dukes, while few and far between were probably not young, gorgeous and with all their teethand hair. Yes, I do think I like to read about the so-called upper class, but find it easier to accept the lesser titles than the multitude of dukes I find. How come most of the heroes have all lost their parents so as to carry the title into the story? What’s wrong with making the heir the story?

    Reply
  47. and let us not forget that the “real” Dukes, while few and far between were probably not young, gorgeous and with all their teethand hair. Yes, I do think I like to read about the so-called upper class, but find it easier to accept the lesser titles than the multitude of dukes I find. How come most of the heroes have all lost their parents so as to carry the title into the story? What’s wrong with making the heir the story?

    Reply
  48. and let us not forget that the “real” Dukes, while few and far between were probably not young, gorgeous and with all their teethand hair. Yes, I do think I like to read about the so-called upper class, but find it easier to accept the lesser titles than the multitude of dukes I find. How come most of the heroes have all lost their parents so as to carry the title into the story? What’s wrong with making the heir the story?

    Reply
  49. and let us not forget that the “real” Dukes, while few and far between were probably not young, gorgeous and with all their teethand hair. Yes, I do think I like to read about the so-called upper class, but find it easier to accept the lesser titles than the multitude of dukes I find. How come most of the heroes have all lost their parents so as to carry the title into the story? What’s wrong with making the heir the story?

    Reply
  50. and let us not forget that the “real” Dukes, while few and far between were probably not young, gorgeous and with all their teethand hair. Yes, I do think I like to read about the so-called upper class, but find it easier to accept the lesser titles than the multitude of dukes I find. How come most of the heroes have all lost their parents so as to carry the title into the story? What’s wrong with making the heir the story?

    Reply
  51. Margaret: Glad you asked. John Hayes St. Leger or “handsome jack” lived from 1765-1800. This painting was done in 1782, so that makes him about 17, yikes. He had an affair with the Duchess of Rutland and was also a member of the Dublin Hellfire Club (not the original). His family is the St. Leger race family.

    Reply
  52. Margaret: Glad you asked. John Hayes St. Leger or “handsome jack” lived from 1765-1800. This painting was done in 1782, so that makes him about 17, yikes. He had an affair with the Duchess of Rutland and was also a member of the Dublin Hellfire Club (not the original). His family is the St. Leger race family.

    Reply
  53. Margaret: Glad you asked. John Hayes St. Leger or “handsome jack” lived from 1765-1800. This painting was done in 1782, so that makes him about 17, yikes. He had an affair with the Duchess of Rutland and was also a member of the Dublin Hellfire Club (not the original). His family is the St. Leger race family.

    Reply
  54. Margaret: Glad you asked. John Hayes St. Leger or “handsome jack” lived from 1765-1800. This painting was done in 1782, so that makes him about 17, yikes. He had an affair with the Duchess of Rutland and was also a member of the Dublin Hellfire Club (not the original). His family is the St. Leger race family.

    Reply
  55. Margaret: Glad you asked. John Hayes St. Leger or “handsome jack” lived from 1765-1800. This painting was done in 1782, so that makes him about 17, yikes. He had an affair with the Duchess of Rutland and was also a member of the Dublin Hellfire Club (not the original). His family is the St. Leger race family.

    Reply
  56. I love Regency nobility for many of the reasons stated above – who wouldn’t want to be part of (and read about) the elite? Commoners’ stories don’t appeal to me, modern or ancient. They’re too grim. The Regency strikes a nice balance between a modern outlook for the witty conversation, and a restrictive society that makes for good plot points.
    If it gets too boring, take them abroad like “The Lion’s Daughter”. (though on a different subject I’d love to see Loretta write in a different time period. Not out of discontent, just curiosity. Through any number of authors I am getting ridiculously familiar with the Regency period. Managed to answer some University Challenge questions on Waterloo the other day purely from reading romances.)

    Reply
  57. I love Regency nobility for many of the reasons stated above – who wouldn’t want to be part of (and read about) the elite? Commoners’ stories don’t appeal to me, modern or ancient. They’re too grim. The Regency strikes a nice balance between a modern outlook for the witty conversation, and a restrictive society that makes for good plot points.
    If it gets too boring, take them abroad like “The Lion’s Daughter”. (though on a different subject I’d love to see Loretta write in a different time period. Not out of discontent, just curiosity. Through any number of authors I am getting ridiculously familiar with the Regency period. Managed to answer some University Challenge questions on Waterloo the other day purely from reading romances.)

    Reply
  58. I love Regency nobility for many of the reasons stated above – who wouldn’t want to be part of (and read about) the elite? Commoners’ stories don’t appeal to me, modern or ancient. They’re too grim. The Regency strikes a nice balance between a modern outlook for the witty conversation, and a restrictive society that makes for good plot points.
    If it gets too boring, take them abroad like “The Lion’s Daughter”. (though on a different subject I’d love to see Loretta write in a different time period. Not out of discontent, just curiosity. Through any number of authors I am getting ridiculously familiar with the Regency period. Managed to answer some University Challenge questions on Waterloo the other day purely from reading romances.)

    Reply
  59. I love Regency nobility for many of the reasons stated above – who wouldn’t want to be part of (and read about) the elite? Commoners’ stories don’t appeal to me, modern or ancient. They’re too grim. The Regency strikes a nice balance between a modern outlook for the witty conversation, and a restrictive society that makes for good plot points.
    If it gets too boring, take them abroad like “The Lion’s Daughter”. (though on a different subject I’d love to see Loretta write in a different time period. Not out of discontent, just curiosity. Through any number of authors I am getting ridiculously familiar with the Regency period. Managed to answer some University Challenge questions on Waterloo the other day purely from reading romances.)

    Reply
  60. I love Regency nobility for many of the reasons stated above – who wouldn’t want to be part of (and read about) the elite? Commoners’ stories don’t appeal to me, modern or ancient. They’re too grim. The Regency strikes a nice balance between a modern outlook for the witty conversation, and a restrictive society that makes for good plot points.
    If it gets too boring, take them abroad like “The Lion’s Daughter”. (though on a different subject I’d love to see Loretta write in a different time period. Not out of discontent, just curiosity. Through any number of authors I am getting ridiculously familiar with the Regency period. Managed to answer some University Challenge questions on Waterloo the other day purely from reading romances.)

    Reply
  61. From MJP:
    Margaret, the Typepad time clock is indeed Pacific time. Looking at the times they post is the closest I come to feeling like a morning person.
    You’re so right about the body language in the Marlborough portrait. They were probably well along the path of estrangement by then. It’s been a long time since I visited Blenheim Palace, but IIRC, the portrait is very large, and very prominently displayed for visitors when one enters. It’s a terrific bit of painting. (Say I, the non-art history major!)
    Kalen, while being a lord is a nice symbol of status and security, I still think that having a title adds a definite bit of gilding!
    Fitzroger is indeed totally cool. Also, Carla Kelly had some fine, non-titled heroes. I had a few who didn’t have titles (the infamous Reggie Davenport prominent among them), but they’re definitely a minority.
    Elaine, you’re right that ‘securing the succession’ is the kick-off point for any number of Regencies–including my first, The Diabolical Baron. Historical novels have lots more convenient conflicts available!
    Handsome Jack is indeed handsome, but I’m reminded of a book I picked up called BLACK SHEEP, not the Heyer novel but non-ficion about real Georgian rakes. I hoped for some good research material, but instead the book was infinitely depressing–a listing of the exploits of cruel, selfish men who betrayed everyone who believed in them and took others down in their destruction. A reminder of how much we romanticise such things….
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  62. From MJP:
    Margaret, the Typepad time clock is indeed Pacific time. Looking at the times they post is the closest I come to feeling like a morning person.
    You’re so right about the body language in the Marlborough portrait. They were probably well along the path of estrangement by then. It’s been a long time since I visited Blenheim Palace, but IIRC, the portrait is very large, and very prominently displayed for visitors when one enters. It’s a terrific bit of painting. (Say I, the non-art history major!)
    Kalen, while being a lord is a nice symbol of status and security, I still think that having a title adds a definite bit of gilding!
    Fitzroger is indeed totally cool. Also, Carla Kelly had some fine, non-titled heroes. I had a few who didn’t have titles (the infamous Reggie Davenport prominent among them), but they’re definitely a minority.
    Elaine, you’re right that ‘securing the succession’ is the kick-off point for any number of Regencies–including my first, The Diabolical Baron. Historical novels have lots more convenient conflicts available!
    Handsome Jack is indeed handsome, but I’m reminded of a book I picked up called BLACK SHEEP, not the Heyer novel but non-ficion about real Georgian rakes. I hoped for some good research material, but instead the book was infinitely depressing–a listing of the exploits of cruel, selfish men who betrayed everyone who believed in them and took others down in their destruction. A reminder of how much we romanticise such things….
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  63. From MJP:
    Margaret, the Typepad time clock is indeed Pacific time. Looking at the times they post is the closest I come to feeling like a morning person.
    You’re so right about the body language in the Marlborough portrait. They were probably well along the path of estrangement by then. It’s been a long time since I visited Blenheim Palace, but IIRC, the portrait is very large, and very prominently displayed for visitors when one enters. It’s a terrific bit of painting. (Say I, the non-art history major!)
    Kalen, while being a lord is a nice symbol of status and security, I still think that having a title adds a definite bit of gilding!
    Fitzroger is indeed totally cool. Also, Carla Kelly had some fine, non-titled heroes. I had a few who didn’t have titles (the infamous Reggie Davenport prominent among them), but they’re definitely a minority.
    Elaine, you’re right that ‘securing the succession’ is the kick-off point for any number of Regencies–including my first, The Diabolical Baron. Historical novels have lots more convenient conflicts available!
    Handsome Jack is indeed handsome, but I’m reminded of a book I picked up called BLACK SHEEP, not the Heyer novel but non-ficion about real Georgian rakes. I hoped for some good research material, but instead the book was infinitely depressing–a listing of the exploits of cruel, selfish men who betrayed everyone who believed in them and took others down in their destruction. A reminder of how much we romanticise such things….
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  64. From MJP:
    Margaret, the Typepad time clock is indeed Pacific time. Looking at the times they post is the closest I come to feeling like a morning person.
    You’re so right about the body language in the Marlborough portrait. They were probably well along the path of estrangement by then. It’s been a long time since I visited Blenheim Palace, but IIRC, the portrait is very large, and very prominently displayed for visitors when one enters. It’s a terrific bit of painting. (Say I, the non-art history major!)
    Kalen, while being a lord is a nice symbol of status and security, I still think that having a title adds a definite bit of gilding!
    Fitzroger is indeed totally cool. Also, Carla Kelly had some fine, non-titled heroes. I had a few who didn’t have titles (the infamous Reggie Davenport prominent among them), but they’re definitely a minority.
    Elaine, you’re right that ‘securing the succession’ is the kick-off point for any number of Regencies–including my first, The Diabolical Baron. Historical novels have lots more convenient conflicts available!
    Handsome Jack is indeed handsome, but I’m reminded of a book I picked up called BLACK SHEEP, not the Heyer novel but non-ficion about real Georgian rakes. I hoped for some good research material, but instead the book was infinitely depressing–a listing of the exploits of cruel, selfish men who betrayed everyone who believed in them and took others down in their destruction. A reminder of how much we romanticise such things….
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  65. From MJP:
    Margaret, the Typepad time clock is indeed Pacific time. Looking at the times they post is the closest I come to feeling like a morning person.
    You’re so right about the body language in the Marlborough portrait. They were probably well along the path of estrangement by then. It’s been a long time since I visited Blenheim Palace, but IIRC, the portrait is very large, and very prominently displayed for visitors when one enters. It’s a terrific bit of painting. (Say I, the non-art history major!)
    Kalen, while being a lord is a nice symbol of status and security, I still think that having a title adds a definite bit of gilding!
    Fitzroger is indeed totally cool. Also, Carla Kelly had some fine, non-titled heroes. I had a few who didn’t have titles (the infamous Reggie Davenport prominent among them), but they’re definitely a minority.
    Elaine, you’re right that ‘securing the succession’ is the kick-off point for any number of Regencies–including my first, The Diabolical Baron. Historical novels have lots more convenient conflicts available!
    Handsome Jack is indeed handsome, but I’m reminded of a book I picked up called BLACK SHEEP, not the Heyer novel but non-ficion about real Georgian rakes. I hoped for some good research material, but instead the book was infinitely depressing–a listing of the exploits of cruel, selfish men who betrayed everyone who believed in them and took others down in their destruction. A reminder of how much we romanticise such things….
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  66. I like the Regency in part because I like the esthetics: classically inspired houses, empire waists, simple but elegant lines. However, I don’t insist on titled characters, as I loved a number of books with commoners as characters. Carla Kelly is always a favorite, as was a Nancy Butler about the third son of a duke, which I loved both for the romance but also because she portrayed the dilemma of a younger son so well. Plus several of the Wenches have also had wonderful heroes without a title (Reggie and Fitzroger are prime examples).
    As for Mr. Darcy, he had no title himself, but I thought he was connected to the aristocracy since Lady Catherine was his aunt.

    Reply
  67. I like the Regency in part because I like the esthetics: classically inspired houses, empire waists, simple but elegant lines. However, I don’t insist on titled characters, as I loved a number of books with commoners as characters. Carla Kelly is always a favorite, as was a Nancy Butler about the third son of a duke, which I loved both for the romance but also because she portrayed the dilemma of a younger son so well. Plus several of the Wenches have also had wonderful heroes without a title (Reggie and Fitzroger are prime examples).
    As for Mr. Darcy, he had no title himself, but I thought he was connected to the aristocracy since Lady Catherine was his aunt.

    Reply
  68. I like the Regency in part because I like the esthetics: classically inspired houses, empire waists, simple but elegant lines. However, I don’t insist on titled characters, as I loved a number of books with commoners as characters. Carla Kelly is always a favorite, as was a Nancy Butler about the third son of a duke, which I loved both for the romance but also because she portrayed the dilemma of a younger son so well. Plus several of the Wenches have also had wonderful heroes without a title (Reggie and Fitzroger are prime examples).
    As for Mr. Darcy, he had no title himself, but I thought he was connected to the aristocracy since Lady Catherine was his aunt.

    Reply
  69. I like the Regency in part because I like the esthetics: classically inspired houses, empire waists, simple but elegant lines. However, I don’t insist on titled characters, as I loved a number of books with commoners as characters. Carla Kelly is always a favorite, as was a Nancy Butler about the third son of a duke, which I loved both for the romance but also because she portrayed the dilemma of a younger son so well. Plus several of the Wenches have also had wonderful heroes without a title (Reggie and Fitzroger are prime examples).
    As for Mr. Darcy, he had no title himself, but I thought he was connected to the aristocracy since Lady Catherine was his aunt.

    Reply
  70. I like the Regency in part because I like the esthetics: classically inspired houses, empire waists, simple but elegant lines. However, I don’t insist on titled characters, as I loved a number of books with commoners as characters. Carla Kelly is always a favorite, as was a Nancy Butler about the third son of a duke, which I loved both for the romance but also because she portrayed the dilemma of a younger son so well. Plus several of the Wenches have also had wonderful heroes without a title (Reggie and Fitzroger are prime examples).
    As for Mr. Darcy, he had no title himself, but I thought he was connected to the aristocracy since Lady Catherine was his aunt.

    Reply
  71. Thanks, Mary Jo. It’s always helpful to get a nice summation like this once in a while so that we can keep our lords and ladies straight.
    I’ve had the same thought: novelists must have created enough nobles to fill all of England for all time.
    Of course, since we are talking about novels, romances, fantasies, we like to move in noble circles just as in modern romances we long moved as Cinderellas with wealthy men to fulfill all our dreams.
    I currently yearn for someone to take me away from the humdrum of the everyday world. I’m happy to have your novels and romances rather than the depressing stories of people fighting for their lives. I know others who shun the genre and prefer more “edifying” literature. I guess there has to be something for everyone and for every mood.

    Reply
  72. Thanks, Mary Jo. It’s always helpful to get a nice summation like this once in a while so that we can keep our lords and ladies straight.
    I’ve had the same thought: novelists must have created enough nobles to fill all of England for all time.
    Of course, since we are talking about novels, romances, fantasies, we like to move in noble circles just as in modern romances we long moved as Cinderellas with wealthy men to fulfill all our dreams.
    I currently yearn for someone to take me away from the humdrum of the everyday world. I’m happy to have your novels and romances rather than the depressing stories of people fighting for their lives. I know others who shun the genre and prefer more “edifying” literature. I guess there has to be something for everyone and for every mood.

    Reply
  73. Thanks, Mary Jo. It’s always helpful to get a nice summation like this once in a while so that we can keep our lords and ladies straight.
    I’ve had the same thought: novelists must have created enough nobles to fill all of England for all time.
    Of course, since we are talking about novels, romances, fantasies, we like to move in noble circles just as in modern romances we long moved as Cinderellas with wealthy men to fulfill all our dreams.
    I currently yearn for someone to take me away from the humdrum of the everyday world. I’m happy to have your novels and romances rather than the depressing stories of people fighting for their lives. I know others who shun the genre and prefer more “edifying” literature. I guess there has to be something for everyone and for every mood.

    Reply
  74. Thanks, Mary Jo. It’s always helpful to get a nice summation like this once in a while so that we can keep our lords and ladies straight.
    I’ve had the same thought: novelists must have created enough nobles to fill all of England for all time.
    Of course, since we are talking about novels, romances, fantasies, we like to move in noble circles just as in modern romances we long moved as Cinderellas with wealthy men to fulfill all our dreams.
    I currently yearn for someone to take me away from the humdrum of the everyday world. I’m happy to have your novels and romances rather than the depressing stories of people fighting for their lives. I know others who shun the genre and prefer more “edifying” literature. I guess there has to be something for everyone and for every mood.

    Reply
  75. Thanks, Mary Jo. It’s always helpful to get a nice summation like this once in a while so that we can keep our lords and ladies straight.
    I’ve had the same thought: novelists must have created enough nobles to fill all of England for all time.
    Of course, since we are talking about novels, romances, fantasies, we like to move in noble circles just as in modern romances we long moved as Cinderellas with wealthy men to fulfill all our dreams.
    I currently yearn for someone to take me away from the humdrum of the everyday world. I’m happy to have your novels and romances rather than the depressing stories of people fighting for their lives. I know others who shun the genre and prefer more “edifying” literature. I guess there has to be something for everyone and for every mood.

    Reply
  76. I guess for it’s because it is a time and culture so different from what I know, the fantasy, like Cinderella at the ball.
    I do like the common heros, and agree Reggie and Fitzroger are two of my favorites, as well as Brockway’s Jack Seward.

    Reply
  77. I guess for it’s because it is a time and culture so different from what I know, the fantasy, like Cinderella at the ball.
    I do like the common heros, and agree Reggie and Fitzroger are two of my favorites, as well as Brockway’s Jack Seward.

    Reply
  78. I guess for it’s because it is a time and culture so different from what I know, the fantasy, like Cinderella at the ball.
    I do like the common heros, and agree Reggie and Fitzroger are two of my favorites, as well as Brockway’s Jack Seward.

    Reply
  79. I guess for it’s because it is a time and culture so different from what I know, the fantasy, like Cinderella at the ball.
    I do like the common heros, and agree Reggie and Fitzroger are two of my favorites, as well as Brockway’s Jack Seward.

    Reply
  80. I guess for it’s because it is a time and culture so different from what I know, the fantasy, like Cinderella at the ball.
    I do like the common heros, and agree Reggie and Fitzroger are two of my favorites, as well as Brockway’s Jack Seward.

    Reply
  81. What a timely post. I was just telling someone a couple weeks ago that I was feeling really burnt out on Regencies. I’ll still read the ones by my favorite authors (the Wenches), but otherwise, I’m trying to find books set in other periods. How happy was I when I picked up “Uncommon Vows” from my “Unread Mary Jo Putney Shelf” last week & found it to be a medieval? Very. Just finished it and loved it. By the way, Mary Jo – there are a couple guys and a lady in that book who could conceivably have a story of their own – any plans to revisit that period?
    Anyway, I just started “When Christ and His Saints Slept” by Sharon Kay Penman, which is set at the same time as “Uncommon Vows”, so lots of the historical characters are the same. In this book, however, Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?
    As for non-aristocratic heroes, Lisa Kleypas has several books that feature heroes who are well off, but not aristocrats. A couple of them are on the seedier side, even.

    Reply
  82. What a timely post. I was just telling someone a couple weeks ago that I was feeling really burnt out on Regencies. I’ll still read the ones by my favorite authors (the Wenches), but otherwise, I’m trying to find books set in other periods. How happy was I when I picked up “Uncommon Vows” from my “Unread Mary Jo Putney Shelf” last week & found it to be a medieval? Very. Just finished it and loved it. By the way, Mary Jo – there are a couple guys and a lady in that book who could conceivably have a story of their own – any plans to revisit that period?
    Anyway, I just started “When Christ and His Saints Slept” by Sharon Kay Penman, which is set at the same time as “Uncommon Vows”, so lots of the historical characters are the same. In this book, however, Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?
    As for non-aristocratic heroes, Lisa Kleypas has several books that feature heroes who are well off, but not aristocrats. A couple of them are on the seedier side, even.

    Reply
  83. What a timely post. I was just telling someone a couple weeks ago that I was feeling really burnt out on Regencies. I’ll still read the ones by my favorite authors (the Wenches), but otherwise, I’m trying to find books set in other periods. How happy was I when I picked up “Uncommon Vows” from my “Unread Mary Jo Putney Shelf” last week & found it to be a medieval? Very. Just finished it and loved it. By the way, Mary Jo – there are a couple guys and a lady in that book who could conceivably have a story of their own – any plans to revisit that period?
    Anyway, I just started “When Christ and His Saints Slept” by Sharon Kay Penman, which is set at the same time as “Uncommon Vows”, so lots of the historical characters are the same. In this book, however, Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?
    As for non-aristocratic heroes, Lisa Kleypas has several books that feature heroes who are well off, but not aristocrats. A couple of them are on the seedier side, even.

    Reply
  84. What a timely post. I was just telling someone a couple weeks ago that I was feeling really burnt out on Regencies. I’ll still read the ones by my favorite authors (the Wenches), but otherwise, I’m trying to find books set in other periods. How happy was I when I picked up “Uncommon Vows” from my “Unread Mary Jo Putney Shelf” last week & found it to be a medieval? Very. Just finished it and loved it. By the way, Mary Jo – there are a couple guys and a lady in that book who could conceivably have a story of their own – any plans to revisit that period?
    Anyway, I just started “When Christ and His Saints Slept” by Sharon Kay Penman, which is set at the same time as “Uncommon Vows”, so lots of the historical characters are the same. In this book, however, Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?
    As for non-aristocratic heroes, Lisa Kleypas has several books that feature heroes who are well off, but not aristocrats. A couple of them are on the seedier side, even.

    Reply
  85. What a timely post. I was just telling someone a couple weeks ago that I was feeling really burnt out on Regencies. I’ll still read the ones by my favorite authors (the Wenches), but otherwise, I’m trying to find books set in other periods. How happy was I when I picked up “Uncommon Vows” from my “Unread Mary Jo Putney Shelf” last week & found it to be a medieval? Very. Just finished it and loved it. By the way, Mary Jo – there are a couple guys and a lady in that book who could conceivably have a story of their own – any plans to revisit that period?
    Anyway, I just started “When Christ and His Saints Slept” by Sharon Kay Penman, which is set at the same time as “Uncommon Vows”, so lots of the historical characters are the same. In this book, however, Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?
    As for non-aristocratic heroes, Lisa Kleypas has several books that feature heroes who are well off, but not aristocrats. A couple of them are on the seedier side, even.

    Reply
  86. after all these years of reading historicals, i finally learn the pecking order. excellent.
    i’m trying to figure out how these titles relate to the german ones.

    Reply
  87. after all these years of reading historicals, i finally learn the pecking order. excellent.
    i’m trying to figure out how these titles relate to the german ones.

    Reply
  88. after all these years of reading historicals, i finally learn the pecking order. excellent.
    i’m trying to figure out how these titles relate to the german ones.

    Reply
  89. after all these years of reading historicals, i finally learn the pecking order. excellent.
    i’m trying to figure out how these titles relate to the german ones.

    Reply
  90. after all these years of reading historicals, i finally learn the pecking order. excellent.
    i’m trying to figure out how these titles relate to the german ones.

    Reply
  91. Anne Gracie is another who has used untitled heroes in several of her books, including Major Jack Carstairs of Gallant Waif, one of my favorite heroes, and the hero of her latest novel, The Stolen Princess, Gabriel Renfrew, third son of an earl.

    Reply
  92. Anne Gracie is another who has used untitled heroes in several of her books, including Major Jack Carstairs of Gallant Waif, one of my favorite heroes, and the hero of her latest novel, The Stolen Princess, Gabriel Renfrew, third son of an earl.

    Reply
  93. Anne Gracie is another who has used untitled heroes in several of her books, including Major Jack Carstairs of Gallant Waif, one of my favorite heroes, and the hero of her latest novel, The Stolen Princess, Gabriel Renfrew, third son of an earl.

    Reply
  94. Anne Gracie is another who has used untitled heroes in several of her books, including Major Jack Carstairs of Gallant Waif, one of my favorite heroes, and the hero of her latest novel, The Stolen Princess, Gabriel Renfrew, third son of an earl.

    Reply
  95. Anne Gracie is another who has used untitled heroes in several of her books, including Major Jack Carstairs of Gallant Waif, one of my favorite heroes, and the hero of her latest novel, The Stolen Princess, Gabriel Renfrew, third son of an earl.

    Reply
  96. Great post, Mary Jo. I agree that getting the basics of titles right is so little effort that it is as necessary as basic punctuation, IMO.
    Some of the more isoteric parts can get really tricky, though.
    CJ Prince asked “Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?”
    I’m not sure about an explanation except that the two names seem to be interchangeable, as with Margaret/Peggy, which I’ve never understood.
    There are other Matilda/Mauds, though I’m forgetting which they are now.
    Thanks to the people who like Fitzroger (II, because he’s a descendant of Fitzroger I in Dark Champion, who also isn’t born into a title.)
    Piper, I have to say that
    I worry more than I should about the gene pool of these guys who’ve all inherited titles in their twenties. Their fathers could be under 50! When I have that situation, I usually have the father die in some sort of accident or by violence.
    Jo, probably too reality based for her own good. *G*

    Reply
  97. Great post, Mary Jo. I agree that getting the basics of titles right is so little effort that it is as necessary as basic punctuation, IMO.
    Some of the more isoteric parts can get really tricky, though.
    CJ Prince asked “Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?”
    I’m not sure about an explanation except that the two names seem to be interchangeable, as with Margaret/Peggy, which I’ve never understood.
    There are other Matilda/Mauds, though I’m forgetting which they are now.
    Thanks to the people who like Fitzroger (II, because he’s a descendant of Fitzroger I in Dark Champion, who also isn’t born into a title.)
    Piper, I have to say that
    I worry more than I should about the gene pool of these guys who’ve all inherited titles in their twenties. Their fathers could be under 50! When I have that situation, I usually have the father die in some sort of accident or by violence.
    Jo, probably too reality based for her own good. *G*

    Reply
  98. Great post, Mary Jo. I agree that getting the basics of titles right is so little effort that it is as necessary as basic punctuation, IMO.
    Some of the more isoteric parts can get really tricky, though.
    CJ Prince asked “Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?”
    I’m not sure about an explanation except that the two names seem to be interchangeable, as with Margaret/Peggy, which I’ve never understood.
    There are other Matilda/Mauds, though I’m forgetting which they are now.
    Thanks to the people who like Fitzroger (II, because he’s a descendant of Fitzroger I in Dark Champion, who also isn’t born into a title.)
    Piper, I have to say that
    I worry more than I should about the gene pool of these guys who’ve all inherited titles in their twenties. Their fathers could be under 50! When I have that situation, I usually have the father die in some sort of accident or by violence.
    Jo, probably too reality based for her own good. *G*

    Reply
  99. Great post, Mary Jo. I agree that getting the basics of titles right is so little effort that it is as necessary as basic punctuation, IMO.
    Some of the more isoteric parts can get really tricky, though.
    CJ Prince asked “Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?”
    I’m not sure about an explanation except that the two names seem to be interchangeable, as with Margaret/Peggy, which I’ve never understood.
    There are other Matilda/Mauds, though I’m forgetting which they are now.
    Thanks to the people who like Fitzroger (II, because he’s a descendant of Fitzroger I in Dark Champion, who also isn’t born into a title.)
    Piper, I have to say that
    I worry more than I should about the gene pool of these guys who’ve all inherited titles in their twenties. Their fathers could be under 50! When I have that situation, I usually have the father die in some sort of accident or by violence.
    Jo, probably too reality based for her own good. *G*

    Reply
  100. Great post, Mary Jo. I agree that getting the basics of titles right is so little effort that it is as necessary as basic punctuation, IMO.
    Some of the more isoteric parts can get really tricky, though.
    CJ Prince asked “Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?”
    I’m not sure about an explanation except that the two names seem to be interchangeable, as with Margaret/Peggy, which I’ve never understood.
    There are other Matilda/Mauds, though I’m forgetting which they are now.
    Thanks to the people who like Fitzroger (II, because he’s a descendant of Fitzroger I in Dark Champion, who also isn’t born into a title.)
    Piper, I have to say that
    I worry more than I should about the gene pool of these guys who’ve all inherited titles in their twenties. Their fathers could be under 50! When I have that situation, I usually have the father die in some sort of accident or by violence.
    Jo, probably too reality based for her own good. *G*

    Reply
  101. From MJP:
    I’m glad everyone is having fun with this! To answer some of the questions:
    From Piper: “How come most of the heroes have all lost their parents so as to carry the title into the story? What’s wrong with making the heir the story?”
    It can be done, but it’s a matter of authority. A hero who has to obey someone else is less alpha. In contemporaries, this usually means guys who are self-employed or own their own (wildly successful :)) businesses. In historicals, it’s easiest when the hero is The Man. Remember in Heyer’s DEVIL’S CUB, how Dominick is the dangerous, dashing marquis until his father the duke shows up and all of a sudden he’s straightening his back, clicking his heels and saying, “Yes, sir?” 🙂 It introduces another powerful relationship into the the story, which can change the focus. Heyer made it work fine, but not having a lot of family around is simplifying.
    From Susan/DC:”As for Mr. Darcy, he had no title himself, but I thought he was connected to the aristocracy since Lady Catherine was his aunt.”
    I think Austen was being more realistic in that there weren’t that many people around with titles, but there were a fair number of members of the ‘ruling class’ who had money and land but were title-less.
    From CJPrince: “Uncommon Vows” from my “Unread Mary Jo Putney Shelf” last week & found it to be a medieval? Very. Just finished it and loved it. By the way, Mary Jo – there are a couple guys and a lady in that book who could conceivably have a story of their own – any plans to revisit that period?
    I thought about it, and even had rough ideas for story lines, but at heart, I do not love writing medievals. Too brutal a period. The characters are still in the back of my mind, though. Maybe they’ll turn up in novellas. FWIW, Richard ended up marrying Lady Cecily to help her defend her property, and I’m sure you know how that worked out. 🙂
    Also CJPrince: “Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?
    For that, I’ll quote Wikipedia, since they explain it so succinctly: ”
    “As many of her contemporaries or near contemporaries were also called Matilda in Latin texts, she is sometimes called Maude to distinguish her. This is merely a modernised spelling of the Norman-French form of her name, Mahaut.”
    In histories of the period, she’s called Matilda and Maude more or less interchangeably.
    I also think about all these young lords, though mine tend to be several years older than Jo’s. 🙂 Often their fathers have died in accidents, or sometimes disease. Both could happen to anyone at anytime, so even if the gene pool is good, an heir might inherit at a tender age. In my WIP, the hero’s father died of a fever in India when hero was ten.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  102. From MJP:
    I’m glad everyone is having fun with this! To answer some of the questions:
    From Piper: “How come most of the heroes have all lost their parents so as to carry the title into the story? What’s wrong with making the heir the story?”
    It can be done, but it’s a matter of authority. A hero who has to obey someone else is less alpha. In contemporaries, this usually means guys who are self-employed or own their own (wildly successful :)) businesses. In historicals, it’s easiest when the hero is The Man. Remember in Heyer’s DEVIL’S CUB, how Dominick is the dangerous, dashing marquis until his father the duke shows up and all of a sudden he’s straightening his back, clicking his heels and saying, “Yes, sir?” 🙂 It introduces another powerful relationship into the the story, which can change the focus. Heyer made it work fine, but not having a lot of family around is simplifying.
    From Susan/DC:”As for Mr. Darcy, he had no title himself, but I thought he was connected to the aristocracy since Lady Catherine was his aunt.”
    I think Austen was being more realistic in that there weren’t that many people around with titles, but there were a fair number of members of the ‘ruling class’ who had money and land but were title-less.
    From CJPrince: “Uncommon Vows” from my “Unread Mary Jo Putney Shelf” last week & found it to be a medieval? Very. Just finished it and loved it. By the way, Mary Jo – there are a couple guys and a lady in that book who could conceivably have a story of their own – any plans to revisit that period?
    I thought about it, and even had rough ideas for story lines, but at heart, I do not love writing medievals. Too brutal a period. The characters are still in the back of my mind, though. Maybe they’ll turn up in novellas. FWIW, Richard ended up marrying Lady Cecily to help her defend her property, and I’m sure you know how that worked out. 🙂
    Also CJPrince: “Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?
    For that, I’ll quote Wikipedia, since they explain it so succinctly: ”
    “As many of her contemporaries or near contemporaries were also called Matilda in Latin texts, she is sometimes called Maude to distinguish her. This is merely a modernised spelling of the Norman-French form of her name, Mahaut.”
    In histories of the period, she’s called Matilda and Maude more or less interchangeably.
    I also think about all these young lords, though mine tend to be several years older than Jo’s. 🙂 Often their fathers have died in accidents, or sometimes disease. Both could happen to anyone at anytime, so even if the gene pool is good, an heir might inherit at a tender age. In my WIP, the hero’s father died of a fever in India when hero was ten.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  103. From MJP:
    I’m glad everyone is having fun with this! To answer some of the questions:
    From Piper: “How come most of the heroes have all lost their parents so as to carry the title into the story? What’s wrong with making the heir the story?”
    It can be done, but it’s a matter of authority. A hero who has to obey someone else is less alpha. In contemporaries, this usually means guys who are self-employed or own their own (wildly successful :)) businesses. In historicals, it’s easiest when the hero is The Man. Remember in Heyer’s DEVIL’S CUB, how Dominick is the dangerous, dashing marquis until his father the duke shows up and all of a sudden he’s straightening his back, clicking his heels and saying, “Yes, sir?” 🙂 It introduces another powerful relationship into the the story, which can change the focus. Heyer made it work fine, but not having a lot of family around is simplifying.
    From Susan/DC:”As for Mr. Darcy, he had no title himself, but I thought he was connected to the aristocracy since Lady Catherine was his aunt.”
    I think Austen was being more realistic in that there weren’t that many people around with titles, but there were a fair number of members of the ‘ruling class’ who had money and land but were title-less.
    From CJPrince: “Uncommon Vows” from my “Unread Mary Jo Putney Shelf” last week & found it to be a medieval? Very. Just finished it and loved it. By the way, Mary Jo – there are a couple guys and a lady in that book who could conceivably have a story of their own – any plans to revisit that period?
    I thought about it, and even had rough ideas for story lines, but at heart, I do not love writing medievals. Too brutal a period. The characters are still in the back of my mind, though. Maybe they’ll turn up in novellas. FWIW, Richard ended up marrying Lady Cecily to help her defend her property, and I’m sure you know how that worked out. 🙂
    Also CJPrince: “Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?
    For that, I’ll quote Wikipedia, since they explain it so succinctly: ”
    “As many of her contemporaries or near contemporaries were also called Matilda in Latin texts, she is sometimes called Maude to distinguish her. This is merely a modernised spelling of the Norman-French form of her name, Mahaut.”
    In histories of the period, she’s called Matilda and Maude more or less interchangeably.
    I also think about all these young lords, though mine tend to be several years older than Jo’s. 🙂 Often their fathers have died in accidents, or sometimes disease. Both could happen to anyone at anytime, so even if the gene pool is good, an heir might inherit at a tender age. In my WIP, the hero’s father died of a fever in India when hero was ten.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  104. From MJP:
    I’m glad everyone is having fun with this! To answer some of the questions:
    From Piper: “How come most of the heroes have all lost their parents so as to carry the title into the story? What’s wrong with making the heir the story?”
    It can be done, but it’s a matter of authority. A hero who has to obey someone else is less alpha. In contemporaries, this usually means guys who are self-employed or own their own (wildly successful :)) businesses. In historicals, it’s easiest when the hero is The Man. Remember in Heyer’s DEVIL’S CUB, how Dominick is the dangerous, dashing marquis until his father the duke shows up and all of a sudden he’s straightening his back, clicking his heels and saying, “Yes, sir?” 🙂 It introduces another powerful relationship into the the story, which can change the focus. Heyer made it work fine, but not having a lot of family around is simplifying.
    From Susan/DC:”As for Mr. Darcy, he had no title himself, but I thought he was connected to the aristocracy since Lady Catherine was his aunt.”
    I think Austen was being more realistic in that there weren’t that many people around with titles, but there were a fair number of members of the ‘ruling class’ who had money and land but were title-less.
    From CJPrince: “Uncommon Vows” from my “Unread Mary Jo Putney Shelf” last week & found it to be a medieval? Very. Just finished it and loved it. By the way, Mary Jo – there are a couple guys and a lady in that book who could conceivably have a story of their own – any plans to revisit that period?
    I thought about it, and even had rough ideas for story lines, but at heart, I do not love writing medievals. Too brutal a period. The characters are still in the back of my mind, though. Maybe they’ll turn up in novellas. FWIW, Richard ended up marrying Lady Cecily to help her defend her property, and I’m sure you know how that worked out. 🙂
    Also CJPrince: “Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?
    For that, I’ll quote Wikipedia, since they explain it so succinctly: ”
    “As many of her contemporaries or near contemporaries were also called Matilda in Latin texts, she is sometimes called Maude to distinguish her. This is merely a modernised spelling of the Norman-French form of her name, Mahaut.”
    In histories of the period, she’s called Matilda and Maude more or less interchangeably.
    I also think about all these young lords, though mine tend to be several years older than Jo’s. 🙂 Often their fathers have died in accidents, or sometimes disease. Both could happen to anyone at anytime, so even if the gene pool is good, an heir might inherit at a tender age. In my WIP, the hero’s father died of a fever in India when hero was ten.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  105. From MJP:
    I’m glad everyone is having fun with this! To answer some of the questions:
    From Piper: “How come most of the heroes have all lost their parents so as to carry the title into the story? What’s wrong with making the heir the story?”
    It can be done, but it’s a matter of authority. A hero who has to obey someone else is less alpha. In contemporaries, this usually means guys who are self-employed or own their own (wildly successful :)) businesses. In historicals, it’s easiest when the hero is The Man. Remember in Heyer’s DEVIL’S CUB, how Dominick is the dangerous, dashing marquis until his father the duke shows up and all of a sudden he’s straightening his back, clicking his heels and saying, “Yes, sir?” 🙂 It introduces another powerful relationship into the the story, which can change the focus. Heyer made it work fine, but not having a lot of family around is simplifying.
    From Susan/DC:”As for Mr. Darcy, he had no title himself, but I thought he was connected to the aristocracy since Lady Catherine was his aunt.”
    I think Austen was being more realistic in that there weren’t that many people around with titles, but there were a fair number of members of the ‘ruling class’ who had money and land but were title-less.
    From CJPrince: “Uncommon Vows” from my “Unread Mary Jo Putney Shelf” last week & found it to be a medieval? Very. Just finished it and loved it. By the way, Mary Jo – there are a couple guys and a lady in that book who could conceivably have a story of their own – any plans to revisit that period?
    I thought about it, and even had rough ideas for story lines, but at heart, I do not love writing medievals. Too brutal a period. The characters are still in the back of my mind, though. Maybe they’ll turn up in novellas. FWIW, Richard ended up marrying Lady Cecily to help her defend her property, and I’m sure you know how that worked out. 🙂
    Also CJPrince: “Queen Matilda is referred to as Maude. Does anyone have any insight as to why she had two names?
    For that, I’ll quote Wikipedia, since they explain it so succinctly: ”
    “As many of her contemporaries or near contemporaries were also called Matilda in Latin texts, she is sometimes called Maude to distinguish her. This is merely a modernised spelling of the Norman-French form of her name, Mahaut.”
    In histories of the period, she’s called Matilda and Maude more or less interchangeably.
    I also think about all these young lords, though mine tend to be several years older than Jo’s. 🙂 Often their fathers have died in accidents, or sometimes disease. Both could happen to anyone at anytime, so even if the gene pool is good, an heir might inherit at a tender age. In my WIP, the hero’s father died of a fever in India when hero was ten.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  106. A side note on commoners – it is a really misleading naming as it says absolutely nothing about the social status of a person, except that he/she is not a member of the aristocracy. The way the English system works, a commoner might be a weathly landowner, a doctor, a servant, the grandson of a duke, a merchant, a mine worker…. whatever. So there is no way of saying a commoners life was “grim”. Some people’s lifes were, but some were not. I always felt that romances put too much emphasis on the aristocracy while ignoring the gentry, which was enormously important yet less “exclusive” and more accessible. Personally I never quite got the appeal of all those titles. Over here in Austria, the general opinion is that most Aristocrats are somewhat inbred and stupid (we have many jokes about “Graf Bobby”, who is extremely iditish. I only met a real life Graf (which equals earl/count) once and he was as stupid as this invented figure, so I guess that disillusioned me…)

    Reply
  107. A side note on commoners – it is a really misleading naming as it says absolutely nothing about the social status of a person, except that he/she is not a member of the aristocracy. The way the English system works, a commoner might be a weathly landowner, a doctor, a servant, the grandson of a duke, a merchant, a mine worker…. whatever. So there is no way of saying a commoners life was “grim”. Some people’s lifes were, but some were not. I always felt that romances put too much emphasis on the aristocracy while ignoring the gentry, which was enormously important yet less “exclusive” and more accessible. Personally I never quite got the appeal of all those titles. Over here in Austria, the general opinion is that most Aristocrats are somewhat inbred and stupid (we have many jokes about “Graf Bobby”, who is extremely iditish. I only met a real life Graf (which equals earl/count) once and he was as stupid as this invented figure, so I guess that disillusioned me…)

    Reply
  108. A side note on commoners – it is a really misleading naming as it says absolutely nothing about the social status of a person, except that he/she is not a member of the aristocracy. The way the English system works, a commoner might be a weathly landowner, a doctor, a servant, the grandson of a duke, a merchant, a mine worker…. whatever. So there is no way of saying a commoners life was “grim”. Some people’s lifes were, but some were not. I always felt that romances put too much emphasis on the aristocracy while ignoring the gentry, which was enormously important yet less “exclusive” and more accessible. Personally I never quite got the appeal of all those titles. Over here in Austria, the general opinion is that most Aristocrats are somewhat inbred and stupid (we have many jokes about “Graf Bobby”, who is extremely iditish. I only met a real life Graf (which equals earl/count) once and he was as stupid as this invented figure, so I guess that disillusioned me…)

    Reply
  109. A side note on commoners – it is a really misleading naming as it says absolutely nothing about the social status of a person, except that he/she is not a member of the aristocracy. The way the English system works, a commoner might be a weathly landowner, a doctor, a servant, the grandson of a duke, a merchant, a mine worker…. whatever. So there is no way of saying a commoners life was “grim”. Some people’s lifes were, but some were not. I always felt that romances put too much emphasis on the aristocracy while ignoring the gentry, which was enormously important yet less “exclusive” and more accessible. Personally I never quite got the appeal of all those titles. Over here in Austria, the general opinion is that most Aristocrats are somewhat inbred and stupid (we have many jokes about “Graf Bobby”, who is extremely iditish. I only met a real life Graf (which equals earl/count) once and he was as stupid as this invented figure, so I guess that disillusioned me…)

    Reply
  110. A side note on commoners – it is a really misleading naming as it says absolutely nothing about the social status of a person, except that he/she is not a member of the aristocracy. The way the English system works, a commoner might be a weathly landowner, a doctor, a servant, the grandson of a duke, a merchant, a mine worker…. whatever. So there is no way of saying a commoners life was “grim”. Some people’s lifes were, but some were not. I always felt that romances put too much emphasis on the aristocracy while ignoring the gentry, which was enormously important yet less “exclusive” and more accessible. Personally I never quite got the appeal of all those titles. Over here in Austria, the general opinion is that most Aristocrats are somewhat inbred and stupid (we have many jokes about “Graf Bobby”, who is extremely iditish. I only met a real life Graf (which equals earl/count) once and he was as stupid as this invented figure, so I guess that disillusioned me…)

    Reply
  111. I’m with LizA. I tend to get a bit irritated with all the titles and to think less of the characters who are obsessed with them. I think the real appeal of this period is the formality and the codes of behavior to which people did feel obliged to conform — and this is as true of the gentry as of the aristocracy. It’s so unlike the contemporary world that it adds to the fantasy. But one of these days I’m going to try writing a romance myself so that I can stick in a character who points out that a “gentleman” who doesn’t pay his tailor is a thief, and a poor man who took a suit of clothes without paying for it would be lucky to be transported and not hanged.

    Reply
  112. I’m with LizA. I tend to get a bit irritated with all the titles and to think less of the characters who are obsessed with them. I think the real appeal of this period is the formality and the codes of behavior to which people did feel obliged to conform — and this is as true of the gentry as of the aristocracy. It’s so unlike the contemporary world that it adds to the fantasy. But one of these days I’m going to try writing a romance myself so that I can stick in a character who points out that a “gentleman” who doesn’t pay his tailor is a thief, and a poor man who took a suit of clothes without paying for it would be lucky to be transported and not hanged.

    Reply
  113. I’m with LizA. I tend to get a bit irritated with all the titles and to think less of the characters who are obsessed with them. I think the real appeal of this period is the formality and the codes of behavior to which people did feel obliged to conform — and this is as true of the gentry as of the aristocracy. It’s so unlike the contemporary world that it adds to the fantasy. But one of these days I’m going to try writing a romance myself so that I can stick in a character who points out that a “gentleman” who doesn’t pay his tailor is a thief, and a poor man who took a suit of clothes without paying for it would be lucky to be transported and not hanged.

    Reply
  114. I’m with LizA. I tend to get a bit irritated with all the titles and to think less of the characters who are obsessed with them. I think the real appeal of this period is the formality and the codes of behavior to which people did feel obliged to conform — and this is as true of the gentry as of the aristocracy. It’s so unlike the contemporary world that it adds to the fantasy. But one of these days I’m going to try writing a romance myself so that I can stick in a character who points out that a “gentleman” who doesn’t pay his tailor is a thief, and a poor man who took a suit of clothes without paying for it would be lucky to be transported and not hanged.

    Reply
  115. I’m with LizA. I tend to get a bit irritated with all the titles and to think less of the characters who are obsessed with them. I think the real appeal of this period is the formality and the codes of behavior to which people did feel obliged to conform — and this is as true of the gentry as of the aristocracy. It’s so unlike the contemporary world that it adds to the fantasy. But one of these days I’m going to try writing a romance myself so that I can stick in a character who points out that a “gentleman” who doesn’t pay his tailor is a thief, and a poor man who took a suit of clothes without paying for it would be lucky to be transported and not hanged.

    Reply
  116. From MJP:
    Lisa, you’re proving my theory: that exposure to -real- lords is enough to kill the romanticism. 🙂 If we had Graf Bobbys here, we might fantasize less about aristocrats!
    Jane, naturally you’re right many of those lords were basically bandits–I think of VANITY FAIR and the people ruined by the feckless Becky Sharp and her husband. MY characters, naturally, are honorable and pay all their bills promptly. 🙂 In other words, they share my middle class values in this. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  117. From MJP:
    Lisa, you’re proving my theory: that exposure to -real- lords is enough to kill the romanticism. 🙂 If we had Graf Bobbys here, we might fantasize less about aristocrats!
    Jane, naturally you’re right many of those lords were basically bandits–I think of VANITY FAIR and the people ruined by the feckless Becky Sharp and her husband. MY characters, naturally, are honorable and pay all their bills promptly. 🙂 In other words, they share my middle class values in this. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  118. From MJP:
    Lisa, you’re proving my theory: that exposure to -real- lords is enough to kill the romanticism. 🙂 If we had Graf Bobbys here, we might fantasize less about aristocrats!
    Jane, naturally you’re right many of those lords were basically bandits–I think of VANITY FAIR and the people ruined by the feckless Becky Sharp and her husband. MY characters, naturally, are honorable and pay all their bills promptly. 🙂 In other words, they share my middle class values in this. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  119. From MJP:
    Lisa, you’re proving my theory: that exposure to -real- lords is enough to kill the romanticism. 🙂 If we had Graf Bobbys here, we might fantasize less about aristocrats!
    Jane, naturally you’re right many of those lords were basically bandits–I think of VANITY FAIR and the people ruined by the feckless Becky Sharp and her husband. MY characters, naturally, are honorable and pay all their bills promptly. 🙂 In other words, they share my middle class values in this. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  120. From MJP:
    Lisa, you’re proving my theory: that exposure to -real- lords is enough to kill the romanticism. 🙂 If we had Graf Bobbys here, we might fantasize less about aristocrats!
    Jane, naturally you’re right many of those lords were basically bandits–I think of VANITY FAIR and the people ruined by the feckless Becky Sharp and her husband. MY characters, naturally, are honorable and pay all their bills promptly. 🙂 In other words, they share my middle class values in this. 🙂
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  121. Mary Jo & Jo – thanks for your responses. I apologize for my less than timely reply, but here in Iowa we’re in the midst of a caucus frenzy, and it’s hard to pay attention to anything else.
    Jo – you’re right about the abundance of Mauds/Matildas. In the SK Penman book I’m reading, there are 4 of each. She seems to use Matilda for the Normans & Maud for the English.
    Mary Jo – I get what you mean about writing medievals. It’s a hard period to romanticize, not in small part because of the attitude towards women. But yes – Richard and Lady Cecily were two I had in mind for sequels, and I’d be most interested in reading their story.
    Thanks again, ladies!

    Reply
  122. Mary Jo & Jo – thanks for your responses. I apologize for my less than timely reply, but here in Iowa we’re in the midst of a caucus frenzy, and it’s hard to pay attention to anything else.
    Jo – you’re right about the abundance of Mauds/Matildas. In the SK Penman book I’m reading, there are 4 of each. She seems to use Matilda for the Normans & Maud for the English.
    Mary Jo – I get what you mean about writing medievals. It’s a hard period to romanticize, not in small part because of the attitude towards women. But yes – Richard and Lady Cecily were two I had in mind for sequels, and I’d be most interested in reading their story.
    Thanks again, ladies!

    Reply
  123. Mary Jo & Jo – thanks for your responses. I apologize for my less than timely reply, but here in Iowa we’re in the midst of a caucus frenzy, and it’s hard to pay attention to anything else.
    Jo – you’re right about the abundance of Mauds/Matildas. In the SK Penman book I’m reading, there are 4 of each. She seems to use Matilda for the Normans & Maud for the English.
    Mary Jo – I get what you mean about writing medievals. It’s a hard period to romanticize, not in small part because of the attitude towards women. But yes – Richard and Lady Cecily were two I had in mind for sequels, and I’d be most interested in reading their story.
    Thanks again, ladies!

    Reply
  124. Mary Jo & Jo – thanks for your responses. I apologize for my less than timely reply, but here in Iowa we’re in the midst of a caucus frenzy, and it’s hard to pay attention to anything else.
    Jo – you’re right about the abundance of Mauds/Matildas. In the SK Penman book I’m reading, there are 4 of each. She seems to use Matilda for the Normans & Maud for the English.
    Mary Jo – I get what you mean about writing medievals. It’s a hard period to romanticize, not in small part because of the attitude towards women. But yes – Richard and Lady Cecily were two I had in mind for sequels, and I’d be most interested in reading their story.
    Thanks again, ladies!

    Reply
  125. Mary Jo & Jo – thanks for your responses. I apologize for my less than timely reply, but here in Iowa we’re in the midst of a caucus frenzy, and it’s hard to pay attention to anything else.
    Jo – you’re right about the abundance of Mauds/Matildas. In the SK Penman book I’m reading, there are 4 of each. She seems to use Matilda for the Normans & Maud for the English.
    Mary Jo – I get what you mean about writing medievals. It’s a hard period to romanticize, not in small part because of the attitude towards women. But yes – Richard and Lady Cecily were two I had in mind for sequels, and I’d be most interested in reading their story.
    Thanks again, ladies!

    Reply
  126. Lisa Kleypas has written a number of romances with for exm. Bow Street Runners or actors as the leading man, rather than lords–though I’d have to double check to see if they are actually regencies, i think they may be set just past that period, 1830s-1840s. But I do recall finding it refreshing to read romances about other members of gentry/middle class living alognside the aristrocrats–and yes I do love a lord!

    Reply
  127. Lisa Kleypas has written a number of romances with for exm. Bow Street Runners or actors as the leading man, rather than lords–though I’d have to double check to see if they are actually regencies, i think they may be set just past that period, 1830s-1840s. But I do recall finding it refreshing to read romances about other members of gentry/middle class living alognside the aristrocrats–and yes I do love a lord!

    Reply
  128. Lisa Kleypas has written a number of romances with for exm. Bow Street Runners or actors as the leading man, rather than lords–though I’d have to double check to see if they are actually regencies, i think they may be set just past that period, 1830s-1840s. But I do recall finding it refreshing to read romances about other members of gentry/middle class living alognside the aristrocrats–and yes I do love a lord!

    Reply
  129. Lisa Kleypas has written a number of romances with for exm. Bow Street Runners or actors as the leading man, rather than lords–though I’d have to double check to see if they are actually regencies, i think they may be set just past that period, 1830s-1840s. But I do recall finding it refreshing to read romances about other members of gentry/middle class living alognside the aristrocrats–and yes I do love a lord!

    Reply
  130. Lisa Kleypas has written a number of romances with for exm. Bow Street Runners or actors as the leading man, rather than lords–though I’d have to double check to see if they are actually regencies, i think they may be set just past that period, 1830s-1840s. But I do recall finding it refreshing to read romances about other members of gentry/middle class living alognside the aristrocrats–and yes I do love a lord!

    Reply
  131. Sorry to be so late with this. Had a little trouble figuring out which book I was remembering. Finally came up with it – Madeline Hunter’s By Design features a hero who is a master freemason; and the heroine is a pottery maker (at least as far as we know when the story begins). Really interesting to show something of the lives of the common people – artisans, etc.

    Reply
  132. Sorry to be so late with this. Had a little trouble figuring out which book I was remembering. Finally came up with it – Madeline Hunter’s By Design features a hero who is a master freemason; and the heroine is a pottery maker (at least as far as we know when the story begins). Really interesting to show something of the lives of the common people – artisans, etc.

    Reply
  133. Sorry to be so late with this. Had a little trouble figuring out which book I was remembering. Finally came up with it – Madeline Hunter’s By Design features a hero who is a master freemason; and the heroine is a pottery maker (at least as far as we know when the story begins). Really interesting to show something of the lives of the common people – artisans, etc.

    Reply
  134. Sorry to be so late with this. Had a little trouble figuring out which book I was remembering. Finally came up with it – Madeline Hunter’s By Design features a hero who is a master freemason; and the heroine is a pottery maker (at least as far as we know when the story begins). Really interesting to show something of the lives of the common people – artisans, etc.

    Reply
  135. Sorry to be so late with this. Had a little trouble figuring out which book I was remembering. Finally came up with it – Madeline Hunter’s By Design features a hero who is a master freemason; and the heroine is a pottery maker (at least as far as we know when the story begins). Really interesting to show something of the lives of the common people – artisans, etc.

    Reply
  136. I would like to know if the Kincavel Estate Reserve were lands that ince belonged to Sir William Dundas of Kincavel or was this named after his lands?
    Charles E. Miller, BA, MA

    Reply
  137. I would like to know if the Kincavel Estate Reserve were lands that ince belonged to Sir William Dundas of Kincavel or was this named after his lands?
    Charles E. Miller, BA, MA

    Reply
  138. I would like to know if the Kincavel Estate Reserve were lands that ince belonged to Sir William Dundas of Kincavel or was this named after his lands?
    Charles E. Miller, BA, MA

    Reply
  139. I would like to know if the Kincavel Estate Reserve were lands that ince belonged to Sir William Dundas of Kincavel or was this named after his lands?
    Charles E. Miller, BA, MA

    Reply
  140. I would like to know if the Kincavel Estate Reserve were lands that ince belonged to Sir William Dundas of Kincavel or was this named after his lands?
    Charles E. Miller, BA, MA

    Reply
  141. I would like to know if the Kincavel Estate Reserve were lands that once belonged to Sir William Dundas of Kincavel or was this named after his lands?
    Charles E. Miller, BA, MA

    Reply
  142. I would like to know if the Kincavel Estate Reserve were lands that once belonged to Sir William Dundas of Kincavel or was this named after his lands?
    Charles E. Miller, BA, MA

    Reply
  143. I would like to know if the Kincavel Estate Reserve were lands that once belonged to Sir William Dundas of Kincavel or was this named after his lands?
    Charles E. Miller, BA, MA

    Reply
  144. I would like to know if the Kincavel Estate Reserve were lands that once belonged to Sir William Dundas of Kincavel or was this named after his lands?
    Charles E. Miller, BA, MA

    Reply
  145. I would like to know if the Kincavel Estate Reserve were lands that once belonged to Sir William Dundas of Kincavel or was this named after his lands?
    Charles E. Miller, BA, MA

    Reply

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