Vive La France! (or Maybe Not)

French.mistress.front cover By Susan Holloway Scott       

It’s a pleasant reader fantasy that all of us writers visit every place that’s mentioned in our books.  Alas, for every writer fortunate enough to be able to document  step-by-step visits to exotic locales on her or his web site (Here’s the house where my hero was born in London!  Here’s where he fought a duel in Paris! Here’s where he met the heroine in Rome!), there are far, far more of us who can’t. I’m in that category: with two kids in college and a tumbling economy, there’s not much room in my budget for research junkets, no matter how much I long to travel.

Of course all is not lost.  Like endless historical writers before me, I rely heavily on diaries, journals, and other contemporary accounts to reconstruct “my” version of the past.  Facts and experience are important, but not nearly as much as a healthy imagination, which is both free and priceless.  Besides, after 300 or so years of wars, occupations, fires, and modern progress, the places I’m writing about often no longer exist, or have changed so dramatically that they’d be unrecognizable to my characters. 

800px-ChateauVersailles But by far the most spectacular research for stay-at-home writers comes by way of the internet.  The first part of my July book, The French Mistress, takes place at the French court of Louis XIV, where my heroine, Louise de Keroualle, is a maid of honor to Henriette-Anne d'Angleterre, Duchess d'Orleans.  The French king had only just begun to build the Chateau de Versailles (a tiny part of the chateau is shown left) into his grandest palace while Louise was there in the late 1660s, but I still found plenty at the Chateau’s website to help me describe where her quarters might have been, where she would have been taken to meet in private with Louis to discuss her espionage missions to England, and exactly how far she would have walked with the Duke of Buckingham to reach the Grand Canal in the Chateau’s enormous gardens.  (The famous Hall of Mirrors wasn’t constructed until after Louise had left the French court for the English one at Whitehall, but here’s a delightfully dizzying panorama visit, and without any modern tourists, too.  And here are more, including a glimpse of the king’s bedchamber.)

While I was “visiting”, I also discovered that Versailles will be hosting a fantastic exhibition this springVersailles04-300x217 called Court Pomp: Court Dress in Europe, 1650-1800, featuring rare costumes from the collections all over Europe, and appropriately sponsored by Chanel! (Many thanks to fellow historical novelist Sandra Gulland, author of a wonderful Versailles-set book, Mistress of the Sun, for alerting me about the exhibition.)  No, I can’t go in person, but the web site for the exhibition is a treat, like a grand picture-book.  Beautiful Baroque music plays as a background to breathtaking photographs, and there’s even a detailed glossary of fashion terms for court dress to download as a pdf.  My favorite is at right: the late 18th century gown from Rose Bertin, Marie-Antoinette’s dressmaker.  I don’t know if this site will remain live after the exhibition closes in June, so go feast your eyes now.

Which brings me to my question for you.  Despite its reputation for love and romance and seduction, beautiful places and fabulous food and fashion, France remains unpopular with NYC publishers.  English settings outnumber French ones by an astonishing degree, and there are precious few French heroes to be found anywhere.  Henry VIII and the Prince Regent are everywhere at Barnes & Noble, while FrancoisRuiterportret_Lodewijk_XIV I and Louis XIV (he's there to the right) are scarce.  Maybe it's the common language of English-English and American-English that makes England seem somehow more accessible?  Do American readers hear Pepe Le Pew's voice coming from every French hero's lips?  Or is it still some lingering fear of eating frogs' legs and snails?

On the other hand, it's this same Francophobia that forms one of the biggest conflicts of The French Mistress. Although Louise de Keroualle lived fifteen years in England as an unofficial diplomat at the English court as well as the favored mistress of the English king, she was always considered a greedy, dangerous foreigner, and was out-and-out despised by the English people. As a writer, I found Louise's challenge to balance her French heritage with her place in London to be a fascinating one.  The perpetual outsider, she found love, power, and rewards, but never the respect (and the respectability) that she so desperately wanted.  I'm hoping readers will enjoy her story, too.

So do you believe there's a "French jinx"?  Do you personally reject a book if it's set in Paris rather than London?  Or for a change, would your rather see more stories set on the far side of the English Channel? There's no right or wrong answer here: I'm just curious.  Any opinions?

120 thoughts on “Vive La France! (or Maybe Not)”

  1. I believe we often read what we relate to, or know, so it’s nice to read English settings, etc. But there is probably more to that than one post could explain. I love France myself. My next project is set in both France and England. And I’m looking forward to reading yours. Frankly, it’s time for some French settings in romance! Most readers have settings they come back to over and over. Let’s face it, London is one of them.

    Reply
  2. I believe we often read what we relate to, or know, so it’s nice to read English settings, etc. But there is probably more to that than one post could explain. I love France myself. My next project is set in both France and England. And I’m looking forward to reading yours. Frankly, it’s time for some French settings in romance! Most readers have settings they come back to over and over. Let’s face it, London is one of them.

    Reply
  3. I believe we often read what we relate to, or know, so it’s nice to read English settings, etc. But there is probably more to that than one post could explain. I love France myself. My next project is set in both France and England. And I’m looking forward to reading yours. Frankly, it’s time for some French settings in romance! Most readers have settings they come back to over and over. Let’s face it, London is one of them.

    Reply
  4. I believe we often read what we relate to, or know, so it’s nice to read English settings, etc. But there is probably more to that than one post could explain. I love France myself. My next project is set in both France and England. And I’m looking forward to reading yours. Frankly, it’s time for some French settings in romance! Most readers have settings they come back to over and over. Let’s face it, London is one of them.

    Reply
  5. I believe we often read what we relate to, or know, so it’s nice to read English settings, etc. But there is probably more to that than one post could explain. I love France myself. My next project is set in both France and England. And I’m looking forward to reading yours. Frankly, it’s time for some French settings in romance! Most readers have settings they come back to over and over. Let’s face it, London is one of them.

    Reply
  6. By and large, anyone who even whispers that Napoleon instituted a lot of reforms that were much more progressive than anything in the England of the era, for instance:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleonic_Code
    is not welcomed on regency romance websites 🙂 Neither is a mention that under Napoleon, the French army was far more open to commoners with talent rising to the top than was the English army.
    It’s a very deeply ingrained xenophobia.

    Reply
  7. By and large, anyone who even whispers that Napoleon instituted a lot of reforms that were much more progressive than anything in the England of the era, for instance:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleonic_Code
    is not welcomed on regency romance websites 🙂 Neither is a mention that under Napoleon, the French army was far more open to commoners with talent rising to the top than was the English army.
    It’s a very deeply ingrained xenophobia.

    Reply
  8. By and large, anyone who even whispers that Napoleon instituted a lot of reforms that were much more progressive than anything in the England of the era, for instance:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleonic_Code
    is not welcomed on regency romance websites 🙂 Neither is a mention that under Napoleon, the French army was far more open to commoners with talent rising to the top than was the English army.
    It’s a very deeply ingrained xenophobia.

    Reply
  9. By and large, anyone who even whispers that Napoleon instituted a lot of reforms that were much more progressive than anything in the England of the era, for instance:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleonic_Code
    is not welcomed on regency romance websites 🙂 Neither is a mention that under Napoleon, the French army was far more open to commoners with talent rising to the top than was the English army.
    It’s a very deeply ingrained xenophobia.

    Reply
  10. By and large, anyone who even whispers that Napoleon instituted a lot of reforms that were much more progressive than anything in the England of the era, for instance:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleonic_Code
    is not welcomed on regency romance websites 🙂 Neither is a mention that under Napoleon, the French army was far more open to commoners with talent rising to the top than was the English army.
    It’s a very deeply ingrained xenophobia.

    Reply
  11. Irresistible chance to brag: I’m going to Paris next week on purpose to see this exhibition in Versailles and the crinoline dress exhibition in the Musee Galliera in Paris itself. And we’ve booked a hotel in the heart of the Marais, where you can see some wonderful 17th-century mansions. I’m definitely going to visit the Hotel de Soubise again to see the wonderful Rococo apartments of the princess.
    I’m really looking forward to it! But Paris is only 3 hours by train from where I live, so Paris is a lot easier to get to for me than for people living on other continents.
    Below a link to a short film of the Galliera exhibition. The commentary is in French, but the camera wanders over some mouth-watering dresses.
    http://www.v2asp.paris.fr/v2/paristv/loisirs.asp?v=22

    Reply
  12. Irresistible chance to brag: I’m going to Paris next week on purpose to see this exhibition in Versailles and the crinoline dress exhibition in the Musee Galliera in Paris itself. And we’ve booked a hotel in the heart of the Marais, where you can see some wonderful 17th-century mansions. I’m definitely going to visit the Hotel de Soubise again to see the wonderful Rococo apartments of the princess.
    I’m really looking forward to it! But Paris is only 3 hours by train from where I live, so Paris is a lot easier to get to for me than for people living on other continents.
    Below a link to a short film of the Galliera exhibition. The commentary is in French, but the camera wanders over some mouth-watering dresses.
    http://www.v2asp.paris.fr/v2/paristv/loisirs.asp?v=22

    Reply
  13. Irresistible chance to brag: I’m going to Paris next week on purpose to see this exhibition in Versailles and the crinoline dress exhibition in the Musee Galliera in Paris itself. And we’ve booked a hotel in the heart of the Marais, where you can see some wonderful 17th-century mansions. I’m definitely going to visit the Hotel de Soubise again to see the wonderful Rococo apartments of the princess.
    I’m really looking forward to it! But Paris is only 3 hours by train from where I live, so Paris is a lot easier to get to for me than for people living on other continents.
    Below a link to a short film of the Galliera exhibition. The commentary is in French, but the camera wanders over some mouth-watering dresses.
    http://www.v2asp.paris.fr/v2/paristv/loisirs.asp?v=22

    Reply
  14. Irresistible chance to brag: I’m going to Paris next week on purpose to see this exhibition in Versailles and the crinoline dress exhibition in the Musee Galliera in Paris itself. And we’ve booked a hotel in the heart of the Marais, where you can see some wonderful 17th-century mansions. I’m definitely going to visit the Hotel de Soubise again to see the wonderful Rococo apartments of the princess.
    I’m really looking forward to it! But Paris is only 3 hours by train from where I live, so Paris is a lot easier to get to for me than for people living on other continents.
    Below a link to a short film of the Galliera exhibition. The commentary is in French, but the camera wanders over some mouth-watering dresses.
    http://www.v2asp.paris.fr/v2/paristv/loisirs.asp?v=22

    Reply
  15. Irresistible chance to brag: I’m going to Paris next week on purpose to see this exhibition in Versailles and the crinoline dress exhibition in the Musee Galliera in Paris itself. And we’ve booked a hotel in the heart of the Marais, where you can see some wonderful 17th-century mansions. I’m definitely going to visit the Hotel de Soubise again to see the wonderful Rococo apartments of the princess.
    I’m really looking forward to it! But Paris is only 3 hours by train from where I live, so Paris is a lot easier to get to for me than for people living on other continents.
    Below a link to a short film of the Galliera exhibition. The commentary is in French, but the camera wanders over some mouth-watering dresses.
    http://www.v2asp.paris.fr/v2/paristv/loisirs.asp?v=22

    Reply
  16. Susan here:
    Melinda –– I’m glad to hear you’re working on a French and English-set project yourself. I have to admit that research in two languages was a challenge (hmm, maybe that’s another reason), but it’s worth it. Good luck with yours, and I’m glad you’re looking forward to The French Mistress.
    Virginia –– You’re completely right about Napoleon. In addition, there probably wouldn’t even be an America without the help of the French to defeat the English during the American Revolution. But as you say, it’s a very determined xenophobia.

    Reply
  17. Susan here:
    Melinda –– I’m glad to hear you’re working on a French and English-set project yourself. I have to admit that research in two languages was a challenge (hmm, maybe that’s another reason), but it’s worth it. Good luck with yours, and I’m glad you’re looking forward to The French Mistress.
    Virginia –– You’re completely right about Napoleon. In addition, there probably wouldn’t even be an America without the help of the French to defeat the English during the American Revolution. But as you say, it’s a very determined xenophobia.

    Reply
  18. Susan here:
    Melinda –– I’m glad to hear you’re working on a French and English-set project yourself. I have to admit that research in two languages was a challenge (hmm, maybe that’s another reason), but it’s worth it. Good luck with yours, and I’m glad you’re looking forward to The French Mistress.
    Virginia –– You’re completely right about Napoleon. In addition, there probably wouldn’t even be an America without the help of the French to defeat the English during the American Revolution. But as you say, it’s a very determined xenophobia.

    Reply
  19. Susan here:
    Melinda –– I’m glad to hear you’re working on a French and English-set project yourself. I have to admit that research in two languages was a challenge (hmm, maybe that’s another reason), but it’s worth it. Good luck with yours, and I’m glad you’re looking forward to The French Mistress.
    Virginia –– You’re completely right about Napoleon. In addition, there probably wouldn’t even be an America without the help of the French to defeat the English during the American Revolution. But as you say, it’s a very determined xenophobia.

    Reply
  20. Susan here:
    Melinda –– I’m glad to hear you’re working on a French and English-set project yourself. I have to admit that research in two languages was a challenge (hmm, maybe that’s another reason), but it’s worth it. Good luck with yours, and I’m glad you’re looking forward to The French Mistress.
    Virginia –– You’re completely right about Napoleon. In addition, there probably wouldn’t even be an America without the help of the French to defeat the English during the American Revolution. But as you say, it’s a very determined xenophobia.

    Reply
  21. I like a good story. Although I pretty much keep to the Regency, I don’t mind if the setting is other than in London. France during the Regency sounds like a great place for spy stories, and I love spy stories.

    Reply
  22. I like a good story. Although I pretty much keep to the Regency, I don’t mind if the setting is other than in London. France during the Regency sounds like a great place for spy stories, and I love spy stories.

    Reply
  23. I like a good story. Although I pretty much keep to the Regency, I don’t mind if the setting is other than in London. France during the Regency sounds like a great place for spy stories, and I love spy stories.

    Reply
  24. I like a good story. Although I pretty much keep to the Regency, I don’t mind if the setting is other than in London. France during the Regency sounds like a great place for spy stories, and I love spy stories.

    Reply
  25. I like a good story. Although I pretty much keep to the Regency, I don’t mind if the setting is other than in London. France during the Regency sounds like a great place for spy stories, and I love spy stories.

    Reply
  26. Susan again:
    Ingrid — I’d be braggng, too, if I were going to Paris and Versailles! *g* Enjoy for the rest of us, and many thanks for the clip of the crinoline exhibition. ::sigh:: I’m such a sucker for beautiful clothes, no matter the time period….

    Reply
  27. Susan again:
    Ingrid — I’d be braggng, too, if I were going to Paris and Versailles! *g* Enjoy for the rest of us, and many thanks for the clip of the crinoline exhibition. ::sigh:: I’m such a sucker for beautiful clothes, no matter the time period….

    Reply
  28. Susan again:
    Ingrid — I’d be braggng, too, if I were going to Paris and Versailles! *g* Enjoy for the rest of us, and many thanks for the clip of the crinoline exhibition. ::sigh:: I’m such a sucker for beautiful clothes, no matter the time period….

    Reply
  29. Susan again:
    Ingrid — I’d be braggng, too, if I were going to Paris and Versailles! *g* Enjoy for the rest of us, and many thanks for the clip of the crinoline exhibition. ::sigh:: I’m such a sucker for beautiful clothes, no matter the time period….

    Reply
  30. Susan again:
    Ingrid — I’d be braggng, too, if I were going to Paris and Versailles! *g* Enjoy for the rest of us, and many thanks for the clip of the crinoline exhibition. ::sigh:: I’m such a sucker for beautiful clothes, no matter the time period….

    Reply
  31. Hi Susan (Sandra here),
    I’ve heard a U.S. agent say that it’s impossible to get French-based historical novels published in the U.S. I just had to laugh. My own novels, all French-based, publish and sell very well there. I could name any number of other examples, as well.
    I personally don’t believe an anti-French xenophobia exists in the U.S.(which tends, Freedom Fries or not, to be enthusiastic about the French — or, at the least, Napoleon), but in the U.K., the Napoleonic Wars are certainly not over. My Josephine B. Trilogy sold well there (the first in the series made the Guardian bestseller list), but the reviewers complained: “What, no smut?” When it came to Josephine, U.K. readers wanted dirt!
    Xenophobia affects other eras, as well. Shauna SingH Baldwin’s fine historical novel THE TIGER CLAW (shortlisted for the prestigious Giller in Canada) is not published in either the U.S. or U.K. (at least at last report), likely because she portrays Churchill as less that perfect.
    Interesting post. I like a lively discussion!
    Cheers,
    Sandra
    http://www.sandragulland.com

    Reply
  32. Hi Susan (Sandra here),
    I’ve heard a U.S. agent say that it’s impossible to get French-based historical novels published in the U.S. I just had to laugh. My own novels, all French-based, publish and sell very well there. I could name any number of other examples, as well.
    I personally don’t believe an anti-French xenophobia exists in the U.S.(which tends, Freedom Fries or not, to be enthusiastic about the French — or, at the least, Napoleon), but in the U.K., the Napoleonic Wars are certainly not over. My Josephine B. Trilogy sold well there (the first in the series made the Guardian bestseller list), but the reviewers complained: “What, no smut?” When it came to Josephine, U.K. readers wanted dirt!
    Xenophobia affects other eras, as well. Shauna SingH Baldwin’s fine historical novel THE TIGER CLAW (shortlisted for the prestigious Giller in Canada) is not published in either the U.S. or U.K. (at least at last report), likely because she portrays Churchill as less that perfect.
    Interesting post. I like a lively discussion!
    Cheers,
    Sandra
    http://www.sandragulland.com

    Reply
  33. Hi Susan (Sandra here),
    I’ve heard a U.S. agent say that it’s impossible to get French-based historical novels published in the U.S. I just had to laugh. My own novels, all French-based, publish and sell very well there. I could name any number of other examples, as well.
    I personally don’t believe an anti-French xenophobia exists in the U.S.(which tends, Freedom Fries or not, to be enthusiastic about the French — or, at the least, Napoleon), but in the U.K., the Napoleonic Wars are certainly not over. My Josephine B. Trilogy sold well there (the first in the series made the Guardian bestseller list), but the reviewers complained: “What, no smut?” When it came to Josephine, U.K. readers wanted dirt!
    Xenophobia affects other eras, as well. Shauna SingH Baldwin’s fine historical novel THE TIGER CLAW (shortlisted for the prestigious Giller in Canada) is not published in either the U.S. or U.K. (at least at last report), likely because she portrays Churchill as less that perfect.
    Interesting post. I like a lively discussion!
    Cheers,
    Sandra
    http://www.sandragulland.com

    Reply
  34. Hi Susan (Sandra here),
    I’ve heard a U.S. agent say that it’s impossible to get French-based historical novels published in the U.S. I just had to laugh. My own novels, all French-based, publish and sell very well there. I could name any number of other examples, as well.
    I personally don’t believe an anti-French xenophobia exists in the U.S.(which tends, Freedom Fries or not, to be enthusiastic about the French — or, at the least, Napoleon), but in the U.K., the Napoleonic Wars are certainly not over. My Josephine B. Trilogy sold well there (the first in the series made the Guardian bestseller list), but the reviewers complained: “What, no smut?” When it came to Josephine, U.K. readers wanted dirt!
    Xenophobia affects other eras, as well. Shauna SingH Baldwin’s fine historical novel THE TIGER CLAW (shortlisted for the prestigious Giller in Canada) is not published in either the U.S. or U.K. (at least at last report), likely because she portrays Churchill as less that perfect.
    Interesting post. I like a lively discussion!
    Cheers,
    Sandra
    http://www.sandragulland.com

    Reply
  35. Hi Susan (Sandra here),
    I’ve heard a U.S. agent say that it’s impossible to get French-based historical novels published in the U.S. I just had to laugh. My own novels, all French-based, publish and sell very well there. I could name any number of other examples, as well.
    I personally don’t believe an anti-French xenophobia exists in the U.S.(which tends, Freedom Fries or not, to be enthusiastic about the French — or, at the least, Napoleon), but in the U.K., the Napoleonic Wars are certainly not over. My Josephine B. Trilogy sold well there (the first in the series made the Guardian bestseller list), but the reviewers complained: “What, no smut?” When it came to Josephine, U.K. readers wanted dirt!
    Xenophobia affects other eras, as well. Shauna SingH Baldwin’s fine historical novel THE TIGER CLAW (shortlisted for the prestigious Giller in Canada) is not published in either the U.S. or U.K. (at least at last report), likely because she portrays Churchill as less that perfect.
    Interesting post. I like a lively discussion!
    Cheers,
    Sandra
    http://www.sandragulland.com

    Reply
  36. For me, it’s all about the characters. If I love the characters, I willingly go with them to France, Italy, Egypt, India,China–even Albania. 🙂
    Jo Bourne’s The Spymaster’s Lady opens in a French prison, and the heroine is French. It was one of my favorite books last year; it was also one of the big-buzz books of 2008, has won all sorts of awards, and is a Rita finalist. Clearly French settings and characters can attract readers. But I doubt that any other setting is ever going to rival England in popularity. I think not only our common language but our education and our culture predispose American readers to favor English settings and characters.

    Reply
  37. For me, it’s all about the characters. If I love the characters, I willingly go with them to France, Italy, Egypt, India,China–even Albania. 🙂
    Jo Bourne’s The Spymaster’s Lady opens in a French prison, and the heroine is French. It was one of my favorite books last year; it was also one of the big-buzz books of 2008, has won all sorts of awards, and is a Rita finalist. Clearly French settings and characters can attract readers. But I doubt that any other setting is ever going to rival England in popularity. I think not only our common language but our education and our culture predispose American readers to favor English settings and characters.

    Reply
  38. For me, it’s all about the characters. If I love the characters, I willingly go with them to France, Italy, Egypt, India,China–even Albania. 🙂
    Jo Bourne’s The Spymaster’s Lady opens in a French prison, and the heroine is French. It was one of my favorite books last year; it was also one of the big-buzz books of 2008, has won all sorts of awards, and is a Rita finalist. Clearly French settings and characters can attract readers. But I doubt that any other setting is ever going to rival England in popularity. I think not only our common language but our education and our culture predispose American readers to favor English settings and characters.

    Reply
  39. For me, it’s all about the characters. If I love the characters, I willingly go with them to France, Italy, Egypt, India,China–even Albania. 🙂
    Jo Bourne’s The Spymaster’s Lady opens in a French prison, and the heroine is French. It was one of my favorite books last year; it was also one of the big-buzz books of 2008, has won all sorts of awards, and is a Rita finalist. Clearly French settings and characters can attract readers. But I doubt that any other setting is ever going to rival England in popularity. I think not only our common language but our education and our culture predispose American readers to favor English settings and characters.

    Reply
  40. For me, it’s all about the characters. If I love the characters, I willingly go with them to France, Italy, Egypt, India,China–even Albania. 🙂
    Jo Bourne’s The Spymaster’s Lady opens in a French prison, and the heroine is French. It was one of my favorite books last year; it was also one of the big-buzz books of 2008, has won all sorts of awards, and is a Rita finalist. Clearly French settings and characters can attract readers. But I doubt that any other setting is ever going to rival England in popularity. I think not only our common language but our education and our culture predispose American readers to favor English settings and characters.

    Reply
  41. I’m with Janga–the language and common culture predispose us to like English set books, since England is familiar enough to be comfortable but exotic enough to be interesting.
    But I think another factor is historical violence. The Reign of Terror casts a long, bloody shadow, and 19th century France had a fair amount of turbulence also.
    One sees something similar in the British Isles also. Scottish settings are much more popular than Irish. The Rising of ’45 in Scotland was painful, but before that there are centuries of hunks in kilts and after, the Scots got on with life as engineers and inventors and British soldiers. There’s a lot more pain in Irish history.
    Personally, I find it easier to believe in an HEA if I know that my characters aren’t all going to be slaughtered in a decade or two. Of course, I’m probably wimpier than most.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  42. I’m with Janga–the language and common culture predispose us to like English set books, since England is familiar enough to be comfortable but exotic enough to be interesting.
    But I think another factor is historical violence. The Reign of Terror casts a long, bloody shadow, and 19th century France had a fair amount of turbulence also.
    One sees something similar in the British Isles also. Scottish settings are much more popular than Irish. The Rising of ’45 in Scotland was painful, but before that there are centuries of hunks in kilts and after, the Scots got on with life as engineers and inventors and British soldiers. There’s a lot more pain in Irish history.
    Personally, I find it easier to believe in an HEA if I know that my characters aren’t all going to be slaughtered in a decade or two. Of course, I’m probably wimpier than most.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  43. I’m with Janga–the language and common culture predispose us to like English set books, since England is familiar enough to be comfortable but exotic enough to be interesting.
    But I think another factor is historical violence. The Reign of Terror casts a long, bloody shadow, and 19th century France had a fair amount of turbulence also.
    One sees something similar in the British Isles also. Scottish settings are much more popular than Irish. The Rising of ’45 in Scotland was painful, but before that there are centuries of hunks in kilts and after, the Scots got on with life as engineers and inventors and British soldiers. There’s a lot more pain in Irish history.
    Personally, I find it easier to believe in an HEA if I know that my characters aren’t all going to be slaughtered in a decade or two. Of course, I’m probably wimpier than most.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  44. I’m with Janga–the language and common culture predispose us to like English set books, since England is familiar enough to be comfortable but exotic enough to be interesting.
    But I think another factor is historical violence. The Reign of Terror casts a long, bloody shadow, and 19th century France had a fair amount of turbulence also.
    One sees something similar in the British Isles also. Scottish settings are much more popular than Irish. The Rising of ’45 in Scotland was painful, but before that there are centuries of hunks in kilts and after, the Scots got on with life as engineers and inventors and British soldiers. There’s a lot more pain in Irish history.
    Personally, I find it easier to believe in an HEA if I know that my characters aren’t all going to be slaughtered in a decade or two. Of course, I’m probably wimpier than most.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  45. I’m with Janga–the language and common culture predispose us to like English set books, since England is familiar enough to be comfortable but exotic enough to be interesting.
    But I think another factor is historical violence. The Reign of Terror casts a long, bloody shadow, and 19th century France had a fair amount of turbulence also.
    One sees something similar in the British Isles also. Scottish settings are much more popular than Irish. The Rising of ’45 in Scotland was painful, but before that there are centuries of hunks in kilts and after, the Scots got on with life as engineers and inventors and British soldiers. There’s a lot more pain in Irish history.
    Personally, I find it easier to believe in an HEA if I know that my characters aren’t all going to be slaughtered in a decade or two. Of course, I’m probably wimpier than most.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  46. What Mary Jo said –
    But also, I do agree that xenophobia plays a role – but perhaps of a more recent nature. The reading base is still reaching from people who recall WW2 or whose parents do, and the culture still has a strong view of our ‘friends’ our ‘enemies’ and ‘the french.’

    Reply
  47. What Mary Jo said –
    But also, I do agree that xenophobia plays a role – but perhaps of a more recent nature. The reading base is still reaching from people who recall WW2 or whose parents do, and the culture still has a strong view of our ‘friends’ our ‘enemies’ and ‘the french.’

    Reply
  48. What Mary Jo said –
    But also, I do agree that xenophobia plays a role – but perhaps of a more recent nature. The reading base is still reaching from people who recall WW2 or whose parents do, and the culture still has a strong view of our ‘friends’ our ‘enemies’ and ‘the french.’

    Reply
  49. What Mary Jo said –
    But also, I do agree that xenophobia plays a role – but perhaps of a more recent nature. The reading base is still reaching from people who recall WW2 or whose parents do, and the culture still has a strong view of our ‘friends’ our ‘enemies’ and ‘the french.’

    Reply
  50. What Mary Jo said –
    But also, I do agree that xenophobia plays a role – but perhaps of a more recent nature. The reading base is still reaching from people who recall WW2 or whose parents do, and the culture still has a strong view of our ‘friends’ our ‘enemies’ and ‘the french.’

    Reply
  51. Mary Jo has it right- I don’t want to think the characters will be slaughtered in the Terror- or in the case of medeival novels, wiped out by the Black Death- or starved in a famine, incinerated in the Great Fire of London, or otherwise tragically eliminated a few years after the novel ends. That is why the Regency appeals to me- the characters will just live on into the reign of Victoria, with nothing to stop that happily ever after.

    Reply
  52. Mary Jo has it right- I don’t want to think the characters will be slaughtered in the Terror- or in the case of medeival novels, wiped out by the Black Death- or starved in a famine, incinerated in the Great Fire of London, or otherwise tragically eliminated a few years after the novel ends. That is why the Regency appeals to me- the characters will just live on into the reign of Victoria, with nothing to stop that happily ever after.

    Reply
  53. Mary Jo has it right- I don’t want to think the characters will be slaughtered in the Terror- or in the case of medeival novels, wiped out by the Black Death- or starved in a famine, incinerated in the Great Fire of London, or otherwise tragically eliminated a few years after the novel ends. That is why the Regency appeals to me- the characters will just live on into the reign of Victoria, with nothing to stop that happily ever after.

    Reply
  54. Mary Jo has it right- I don’t want to think the characters will be slaughtered in the Terror- or in the case of medeival novels, wiped out by the Black Death- or starved in a famine, incinerated in the Great Fire of London, or otherwise tragically eliminated a few years after the novel ends. That is why the Regency appeals to me- the characters will just live on into the reign of Victoria, with nothing to stop that happily ever after.

    Reply
  55. Mary Jo has it right- I don’t want to think the characters will be slaughtered in the Terror- or in the case of medeival novels, wiped out by the Black Death- or starved in a famine, incinerated in the Great Fire of London, or otherwise tragically eliminated a few years after the novel ends. That is why the Regency appeals to me- the characters will just live on into the reign of Victoria, with nothing to stop that happily ever after.

    Reply
  56. Susan here again:
    Interesting discussion!
    I can understand the animosity between England and France, considering how the two countries have been near-constant enemies since 1066, and probably before.
    But one of the elements that’s always fascinated me is how closely the English kings were to the French, at least until the Hanovers came over in the 18th century. Before that, the royal families intermarried over and over, so that while they were supposed to be mortal enemies, they were also cousins/nieces & nephews/in-laws. Once Henry VIII made Britain primarily Protestant, the religious conflicts added another layer of intolerance, and extra difficulty for the rulers. By the late 17th century, Charles II is king and nominal leader of the Anglican Church: yet the Catholic king of France is his first cousin, his mother was a French Catholic princess, his youngest sister (also Catholic) is married to the brother of the King of France, and his brother, the future James II, converts to Catholicism as an adult — and, in time, looses his throne because of it, fleeing, of course, to France. It’s really a tangled mess. *g*

    Reply
  57. Susan here again:
    Interesting discussion!
    I can understand the animosity between England and France, considering how the two countries have been near-constant enemies since 1066, and probably before.
    But one of the elements that’s always fascinated me is how closely the English kings were to the French, at least until the Hanovers came over in the 18th century. Before that, the royal families intermarried over and over, so that while they were supposed to be mortal enemies, they were also cousins/nieces & nephews/in-laws. Once Henry VIII made Britain primarily Protestant, the religious conflicts added another layer of intolerance, and extra difficulty for the rulers. By the late 17th century, Charles II is king and nominal leader of the Anglican Church: yet the Catholic king of France is his first cousin, his mother was a French Catholic princess, his youngest sister (also Catholic) is married to the brother of the King of France, and his brother, the future James II, converts to Catholicism as an adult — and, in time, looses his throne because of it, fleeing, of course, to France. It’s really a tangled mess. *g*

    Reply
  58. Susan here again:
    Interesting discussion!
    I can understand the animosity between England and France, considering how the two countries have been near-constant enemies since 1066, and probably before.
    But one of the elements that’s always fascinated me is how closely the English kings were to the French, at least until the Hanovers came over in the 18th century. Before that, the royal families intermarried over and over, so that while they were supposed to be mortal enemies, they were also cousins/nieces & nephews/in-laws. Once Henry VIII made Britain primarily Protestant, the religious conflicts added another layer of intolerance, and extra difficulty for the rulers. By the late 17th century, Charles II is king and nominal leader of the Anglican Church: yet the Catholic king of France is his first cousin, his mother was a French Catholic princess, his youngest sister (also Catholic) is married to the brother of the King of France, and his brother, the future James II, converts to Catholicism as an adult — and, in time, looses his throne because of it, fleeing, of course, to France. It’s really a tangled mess. *g*

    Reply
  59. Susan here again:
    Interesting discussion!
    I can understand the animosity between England and France, considering how the two countries have been near-constant enemies since 1066, and probably before.
    But one of the elements that’s always fascinated me is how closely the English kings were to the French, at least until the Hanovers came over in the 18th century. Before that, the royal families intermarried over and over, so that while they were supposed to be mortal enemies, they were also cousins/nieces & nephews/in-laws. Once Henry VIII made Britain primarily Protestant, the religious conflicts added another layer of intolerance, and extra difficulty for the rulers. By the late 17th century, Charles II is king and nominal leader of the Anglican Church: yet the Catholic king of France is his first cousin, his mother was a French Catholic princess, his youngest sister (also Catholic) is married to the brother of the King of France, and his brother, the future James II, converts to Catholicism as an adult — and, in time, looses his throne because of it, fleeing, of course, to France. It’s really a tangled mess. *g*

    Reply
  60. Susan here again:
    Interesting discussion!
    I can understand the animosity between England and France, considering how the two countries have been near-constant enemies since 1066, and probably before.
    But one of the elements that’s always fascinated me is how closely the English kings were to the French, at least until the Hanovers came over in the 18th century. Before that, the royal families intermarried over and over, so that while they were supposed to be mortal enemies, they were also cousins/nieces & nephews/in-laws. Once Henry VIII made Britain primarily Protestant, the religious conflicts added another layer of intolerance, and extra difficulty for the rulers. By the late 17th century, Charles II is king and nominal leader of the Anglican Church: yet the Catholic king of France is his first cousin, his mother was a French Catholic princess, his youngest sister (also Catholic) is married to the brother of the King of France, and his brother, the future James II, converts to Catholicism as an adult — and, in time, looses his throne because of it, fleeing, of course, to France. It’s really a tangled mess. *g*

    Reply
  61. I’d love to see more diversity in book settings. There is far too much same old, same old. What more can be done with regency London? That was part of what made Loretta Chase’s last book such a treat, that it took place in Venice. You new book sounds wonderful!

    Reply
  62. I’d love to see more diversity in book settings. There is far too much same old, same old. What more can be done with regency London? That was part of what made Loretta Chase’s last book such a treat, that it took place in Venice. You new book sounds wonderful!

    Reply
  63. I’d love to see more diversity in book settings. There is far too much same old, same old. What more can be done with regency London? That was part of what made Loretta Chase’s last book such a treat, that it took place in Venice. You new book sounds wonderful!

    Reply
  64. I’d love to see more diversity in book settings. There is far too much same old, same old. What more can be done with regency London? That was part of what made Loretta Chase’s last book such a treat, that it took place in Venice. You new book sounds wonderful!

    Reply
  65. I’d love to see more diversity in book settings. There is far too much same old, same old. What more can be done with regency London? That was part of what made Loretta Chase’s last book such a treat, that it took place in Venice. You new book sounds wonderful!

    Reply
  66. I’m with Mary Jo and the others. It’s the story and the author that matter more to me then any location. That’s why I’ll buy anything you write, and I can’t wait for the French Mistress this summer. Will that be the last of the Charles the Second books? I can’t imagine there are any other major mistresses with him.

    Reply
  67. I’m with Mary Jo and the others. It’s the story and the author that matter more to me then any location. That’s why I’ll buy anything you write, and I can’t wait for the French Mistress this summer. Will that be the last of the Charles the Second books? I can’t imagine there are any other major mistresses with him.

    Reply
  68. I’m with Mary Jo and the others. It’s the story and the author that matter more to me then any location. That’s why I’ll buy anything you write, and I can’t wait for the French Mistress this summer. Will that be the last of the Charles the Second books? I can’t imagine there are any other major mistresses with him.

    Reply
  69. I’m with Mary Jo and the others. It’s the story and the author that matter more to me then any location. That’s why I’ll buy anything you write, and I can’t wait for the French Mistress this summer. Will that be the last of the Charles the Second books? I can’t imagine there are any other major mistresses with him.

    Reply
  70. I’m with Mary Jo and the others. It’s the story and the author that matter more to me then any location. That’s why I’ll buy anything you write, and I can’t wait for the French Mistress this summer. Will that be the last of the Charles the Second books? I can’t imagine there are any other major mistresses with him.

    Reply
  71. I’m with Mary Jo and the others. It’s the story and the author that matter more to me then any location. That’s why I’ll buy anything you write, and I can’t wait for the French Mistress this summer. Will that be the last of the Charles the Second books? I can’t imagine there are any other major mistresses with him.

    Reply
  72. I’m with Mary Jo and the others. It’s the story and the author that matter more to me then any location. That’s why I’ll buy anything you write, and I can’t wait for the French Mistress this summer. Will that be the last of the Charles the Second books? I can’t imagine there are any other major mistresses with him.

    Reply
  73. I’m with Mary Jo and the others. It’s the story and the author that matter more to me then any location. That’s why I’ll buy anything you write, and I can’t wait for the French Mistress this summer. Will that be the last of the Charles the Second books? I can’t imagine there are any other major mistresses with him.

    Reply
  74. I’m with Mary Jo and the others. It’s the story and the author that matter more to me then any location. That’s why I’ll buy anything you write, and I can’t wait for the French Mistress this summer. Will that be the last of the Charles the Second books? I can’t imagine there are any other major mistresses with him.

    Reply
  75. I’m with Mary Jo and the others. It’s the story and the author that matter more to me then any location. That’s why I’ll buy anything you write, and I can’t wait for the French Mistress this summer. Will that be the last of the Charles the Second books? I can’t imagine there are any other major mistresses with him.

    Reply
  76. In addition to the Joanna Bourne books, I believe that Jo’s ‘Ladys Secret’ took place in France, and I do recall one of Loretta’s early books ‘Captive of the Night’ not only was in Paris, but had a French hero, a count, I believe. So there are some out there, just not as many as there should be. I spent a year abroad in Paris in college and I have nothing but fond memories of the country and its people. So yes more books with France, please

    Reply
  77. In addition to the Joanna Bourne books, I believe that Jo’s ‘Ladys Secret’ took place in France, and I do recall one of Loretta’s early books ‘Captive of the Night’ not only was in Paris, but had a French hero, a count, I believe. So there are some out there, just not as many as there should be. I spent a year abroad in Paris in college and I have nothing but fond memories of the country and its people. So yes more books with France, please

    Reply
  78. In addition to the Joanna Bourne books, I believe that Jo’s ‘Ladys Secret’ took place in France, and I do recall one of Loretta’s early books ‘Captive of the Night’ not only was in Paris, but had a French hero, a count, I believe. So there are some out there, just not as many as there should be. I spent a year abroad in Paris in college and I have nothing but fond memories of the country and its people. So yes more books with France, please

    Reply
  79. In addition to the Joanna Bourne books, I believe that Jo’s ‘Ladys Secret’ took place in France, and I do recall one of Loretta’s early books ‘Captive of the Night’ not only was in Paris, but had a French hero, a count, I believe. So there are some out there, just not as many as there should be. I spent a year abroad in Paris in college and I have nothing but fond memories of the country and its people. So yes more books with France, please

    Reply
  80. In addition to the Joanna Bourne books, I believe that Jo’s ‘Ladys Secret’ took place in France, and I do recall one of Loretta’s early books ‘Captive of the Night’ not only was in Paris, but had a French hero, a count, I believe. So there are some out there, just not as many as there should be. I spent a year abroad in Paris in college and I have nothing but fond memories of the country and its people. So yes more books with France, please

    Reply
  81. I would be delighted to see more historical books set in Paris or anywhere in addition to England.
    One thing that has always amused me (or bothered me, depending on my mood) is the way Regency books tend to talk as if everyone in England loathed Napoleon. Many considered Napoleon the hero, not Wellington.

    Reply
  82. I would be delighted to see more historical books set in Paris or anywhere in addition to England.
    One thing that has always amused me (or bothered me, depending on my mood) is the way Regency books tend to talk as if everyone in England loathed Napoleon. Many considered Napoleon the hero, not Wellington.

    Reply
  83. I would be delighted to see more historical books set in Paris or anywhere in addition to England.
    One thing that has always amused me (or bothered me, depending on my mood) is the way Regency books tend to talk as if everyone in England loathed Napoleon. Many considered Napoleon the hero, not Wellington.

    Reply
  84. I would be delighted to see more historical books set in Paris or anywhere in addition to England.
    One thing that has always amused me (or bothered me, depending on my mood) is the way Regency books tend to talk as if everyone in England loathed Napoleon. Many considered Napoleon the hero, not Wellington.

    Reply
  85. I would be delighted to see more historical books set in Paris or anywhere in addition to England.
    One thing that has always amused me (or bothered me, depending on my mood) is the way Regency books tend to talk as if everyone in England loathed Napoleon. Many considered Napoleon the hero, not Wellington.

    Reply
  86. Susan, you raise such an interesting point. Some of my other author friends and I were recently musing over the very same question—why aren’t there more books set in Paris/Versailles. There are such wonderful possibilities for intrigue and romance in a French setting. Personally, I’ve never understood the bias, and would love to see more stories set across the Channel. I hope that your book will help convince publishers that readers are looking for a little Continental joie de vivre!

    Reply
  87. Susan, you raise such an interesting point. Some of my other author friends and I were recently musing over the very same question—why aren’t there more books set in Paris/Versailles. There are such wonderful possibilities for intrigue and romance in a French setting. Personally, I’ve never understood the bias, and would love to see more stories set across the Channel. I hope that your book will help convince publishers that readers are looking for a little Continental joie de vivre!

    Reply
  88. Susan, you raise such an interesting point. Some of my other author friends and I were recently musing over the very same question—why aren’t there more books set in Paris/Versailles. There are such wonderful possibilities for intrigue and romance in a French setting. Personally, I’ve never understood the bias, and would love to see more stories set across the Channel. I hope that your book will help convince publishers that readers are looking for a little Continental joie de vivre!

    Reply
  89. Susan, you raise such an interesting point. Some of my other author friends and I were recently musing over the very same question—why aren’t there more books set in Paris/Versailles. There are such wonderful possibilities for intrigue and romance in a French setting. Personally, I’ve never understood the bias, and would love to see more stories set across the Channel. I hope that your book will help convince publishers that readers are looking for a little Continental joie de vivre!

    Reply
  90. Susan, you raise such an interesting point. Some of my other author friends and I were recently musing over the very same question—why aren’t there more books set in Paris/Versailles. There are such wonderful possibilities for intrigue and romance in a French setting. Personally, I’ve never understood the bias, and would love to see more stories set across the Channel. I hope that your book will help convince publishers that readers are looking for a little Continental joie de vivre!

    Reply
  91. I love reading romance books set in lots of different places for me it opens the world up I probably will never get the chance to travel so I love travelling thru the books I read.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  92. I love reading romance books set in lots of different places for me it opens the world up I probably will never get the chance to travel so I love travelling thru the books I read.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  93. I love reading romance books set in lots of different places for me it opens the world up I probably will never get the chance to travel so I love travelling thru the books I read.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  94. I love reading romance books set in lots of different places for me it opens the world up I probably will never get the chance to travel so I love travelling thru the books I read.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  95. I love reading romance books set in lots of different places for me it opens the world up I probably will never get the chance to travel so I love travelling thru the books I read.
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  96. Susan: You’re so right. So many times I’ve heard agents/editors say the same thing–‘no French settings’, and wondered why, given the wealth of history yet to be told about that country’s past. Still, I persisted, spent two wonderful weeks there visiting ruins and trying to imagine living in the 13th century. Finally finished my book and Five Star bought it (a 2010 release). I don’t know what that proves except that maybe books don’t sell unless they’re written 😉
    Joyce Moore

    Reply
  97. Susan: You’re so right. So many times I’ve heard agents/editors say the same thing–‘no French settings’, and wondered why, given the wealth of history yet to be told about that country’s past. Still, I persisted, spent two wonderful weeks there visiting ruins and trying to imagine living in the 13th century. Finally finished my book and Five Star bought it (a 2010 release). I don’t know what that proves except that maybe books don’t sell unless they’re written 😉
    Joyce Moore

    Reply
  98. Susan: You’re so right. So many times I’ve heard agents/editors say the same thing–‘no French settings’, and wondered why, given the wealth of history yet to be told about that country’s past. Still, I persisted, spent two wonderful weeks there visiting ruins and trying to imagine living in the 13th century. Finally finished my book and Five Star bought it (a 2010 release). I don’t know what that proves except that maybe books don’t sell unless they’re written 😉
    Joyce Moore

    Reply
  99. Susan: You’re so right. So many times I’ve heard agents/editors say the same thing–‘no French settings’, and wondered why, given the wealth of history yet to be told about that country’s past. Still, I persisted, spent two wonderful weeks there visiting ruins and trying to imagine living in the 13th century. Finally finished my book and Five Star bought it (a 2010 release). I don’t know what that proves except that maybe books don’t sell unless they’re written 😉
    Joyce Moore

    Reply
  100. Susan: You’re so right. So many times I’ve heard agents/editors say the same thing–‘no French settings’, and wondered why, given the wealth of history yet to be told about that country’s past. Still, I persisted, spent two wonderful weeks there visiting ruins and trying to imagine living in the 13th century. Finally finished my book and Five Star bought it (a 2010 release). I don’t know what that proves except that maybe books don’t sell unless they’re written 😉
    Joyce Moore

    Reply
  101. Pam Rosenthal’s “The Bookseller’s Daughter” is set in France just before the Revolution and manages to incorporate the simmering intellectual and political tensions of the times. I liked the book a lot, after all, how could I not like a book where the hero and heroine fall in love over discussions of their favorite books? And she even manages to avoid our worries about what would happen to them in the Terror by having them move to the fledgling US.

    Reply
  102. Pam Rosenthal’s “The Bookseller’s Daughter” is set in France just before the Revolution and manages to incorporate the simmering intellectual and political tensions of the times. I liked the book a lot, after all, how could I not like a book where the hero and heroine fall in love over discussions of their favorite books? And she even manages to avoid our worries about what would happen to them in the Terror by having them move to the fledgling US.

    Reply
  103. Pam Rosenthal’s “The Bookseller’s Daughter” is set in France just before the Revolution and manages to incorporate the simmering intellectual and political tensions of the times. I liked the book a lot, after all, how could I not like a book where the hero and heroine fall in love over discussions of their favorite books? And she even manages to avoid our worries about what would happen to them in the Terror by having them move to the fledgling US.

    Reply
  104. Pam Rosenthal’s “The Bookseller’s Daughter” is set in France just before the Revolution and manages to incorporate the simmering intellectual and political tensions of the times. I liked the book a lot, after all, how could I not like a book where the hero and heroine fall in love over discussions of their favorite books? And she even manages to avoid our worries about what would happen to them in the Terror by having them move to the fledgling US.

    Reply
  105. Pam Rosenthal’s “The Bookseller’s Daughter” is set in France just before the Revolution and manages to incorporate the simmering intellectual and political tensions of the times. I liked the book a lot, after all, how could I not like a book where the hero and heroine fall in love over discussions of their favorite books? And she even manages to avoid our worries about what would happen to them in the Terror by having them move to the fledgling US.

    Reply
  106. Perhaps the reasson why more books are not written about France, and/or the French, is a question of period. While we love our Regency and Georgian period books, France in that time is not as romantic. With beheadings and the elimination of the royalty and their life style, much of the romance of that time is lost. There are wonderful books about that period – Les Miserables, The Scarlet Pimpernel (or is that really an English book), the Dumas books, etc. – it’s hard to imagine the sort of light hearted attitude of the English Court. As evidenced by the recent exhibit, the French Court was certainly colorful. Perhaps writing about France in the 1500’s – 1750’s would gather more interest.

    Reply
  107. Perhaps the reasson why more books are not written about France, and/or the French, is a question of period. While we love our Regency and Georgian period books, France in that time is not as romantic. With beheadings and the elimination of the royalty and their life style, much of the romance of that time is lost. There are wonderful books about that period – Les Miserables, The Scarlet Pimpernel (or is that really an English book), the Dumas books, etc. – it’s hard to imagine the sort of light hearted attitude of the English Court. As evidenced by the recent exhibit, the French Court was certainly colorful. Perhaps writing about France in the 1500’s – 1750’s would gather more interest.

    Reply
  108. Perhaps the reasson why more books are not written about France, and/or the French, is a question of period. While we love our Regency and Georgian period books, France in that time is not as romantic. With beheadings and the elimination of the royalty and their life style, much of the romance of that time is lost. There are wonderful books about that period – Les Miserables, The Scarlet Pimpernel (or is that really an English book), the Dumas books, etc. – it’s hard to imagine the sort of light hearted attitude of the English Court. As evidenced by the recent exhibit, the French Court was certainly colorful. Perhaps writing about France in the 1500’s – 1750’s would gather more interest.

    Reply
  109. Perhaps the reasson why more books are not written about France, and/or the French, is a question of period. While we love our Regency and Georgian period books, France in that time is not as romantic. With beheadings and the elimination of the royalty and their life style, much of the romance of that time is lost. There are wonderful books about that period – Les Miserables, The Scarlet Pimpernel (or is that really an English book), the Dumas books, etc. – it’s hard to imagine the sort of light hearted attitude of the English Court. As evidenced by the recent exhibit, the French Court was certainly colorful. Perhaps writing about France in the 1500’s – 1750’s would gather more interest.

    Reply
  110. Perhaps the reasson why more books are not written about France, and/or the French, is a question of period. While we love our Regency and Georgian period books, France in that time is not as romantic. With beheadings and the elimination of the royalty and their life style, much of the romance of that time is lost. There are wonderful books about that period – Les Miserables, The Scarlet Pimpernel (or is that really an English book), the Dumas books, etc. – it’s hard to imagine the sort of light hearted attitude of the English Court. As evidenced by the recent exhibit, the French Court was certainly colorful. Perhaps writing about France in the 1500’s – 1750’s would gather more interest.

    Reply
  111. I hadn’t realised until you mentioned it, that I do tend to avoid books which are a) set in France b) have a French hero or heroine – French villains or cowards are OK though… I think Betty is correct, in that the Regency and Georgian periods in France were pretty dismal. If you think about it, Bonaparte was an early version of Hitler – not very conducive to a romance novel. Yes I would love to read stories set in France in an earlier time. I seem to remember a series based on a woman called Angelique by Sergeanne Golon? which my pal and I avidly devoured in the 60s. That was set round the French court of Louis XIV.

    Reply
  112. I hadn’t realised until you mentioned it, that I do tend to avoid books which are a) set in France b) have a French hero or heroine – French villains or cowards are OK though… I think Betty is correct, in that the Regency and Georgian periods in France were pretty dismal. If you think about it, Bonaparte was an early version of Hitler – not very conducive to a romance novel. Yes I would love to read stories set in France in an earlier time. I seem to remember a series based on a woman called Angelique by Sergeanne Golon? which my pal and I avidly devoured in the 60s. That was set round the French court of Louis XIV.

    Reply
  113. I hadn’t realised until you mentioned it, that I do tend to avoid books which are a) set in France b) have a French hero or heroine – French villains or cowards are OK though… I think Betty is correct, in that the Regency and Georgian periods in France were pretty dismal. If you think about it, Bonaparte was an early version of Hitler – not very conducive to a romance novel. Yes I would love to read stories set in France in an earlier time. I seem to remember a series based on a woman called Angelique by Sergeanne Golon? which my pal and I avidly devoured in the 60s. That was set round the French court of Louis XIV.

    Reply
  114. I hadn’t realised until you mentioned it, that I do tend to avoid books which are a) set in France b) have a French hero or heroine – French villains or cowards are OK though… I think Betty is correct, in that the Regency and Georgian periods in France were pretty dismal. If you think about it, Bonaparte was an early version of Hitler – not very conducive to a romance novel. Yes I would love to read stories set in France in an earlier time. I seem to remember a series based on a woman called Angelique by Sergeanne Golon? which my pal and I avidly devoured in the 60s. That was set round the French court of Louis XIV.

    Reply
  115. I hadn’t realised until you mentioned it, that I do tend to avoid books which are a) set in France b) have a French hero or heroine – French villains or cowards are OK though… I think Betty is correct, in that the Regency and Georgian periods in France were pretty dismal. If you think about it, Bonaparte was an early version of Hitler – not very conducive to a romance novel. Yes I would love to read stories set in France in an earlier time. I seem to remember a series based on a woman called Angelique by Sergeanne Golon? which my pal and I avidly devoured in the 60s. That was set round the French court of Louis XIV.

    Reply

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