I wish I'd paid more attention to history in school. Eleanor makes it fun today!
always loved history. I spent much of my childhood imaging myself in gorgeous
gowns while stomping about in the clothes my mother ‘made me wear’. I know real
life wasn’t very glamorous – but in my imagination… The Regency Period has always been of particular interest, likely due
to a youthful over- indulgence in Georgette Heyer.
However, in addition to Heyer, this period fascinates because it is a
society in the throes of change. During my first novel, No Conventional Miss,
I focused on the emergence of innovation connected with the Industrial
Revolution. My protagonist creates several inventions, including a butter
churn. By the way, current historians now recognize the
scientific contributions of some amazing women! Three cheers for Sarah Guppy
inventor of the tea or coffee urn, which also cooked
eggs and warmed toast. Oh yes,
and she also figured out a way to keep barnacles off ships.
My new book, Married for His Convenience, is set slightly earlier
during the French Revolution. This era has also always fascinated me; those
wonderful ideals which so soon dissolved into blood thirsty chaos. Married
for His Convenience touches on that time period and explores its impact on
a family touched by its violence.
The French Revolution
greatly impacted English society. More than 40,000 French refugees came, many
arriving with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Never reluctant to
turn tragedy into a high society event, Victims’ Balls were thrown. When a
gentleman entered the party, he would bow his head as if presenting it to the
guillotine while women wore red ribbons about their necks to symbolize spilled
the French and American Revolutions frightened the British upper classes that
were somewhat attached to their heads. This made the British even more hesitant
to improve the life of the working poor or change the electoral system.
The society of the
time is also a fascinating study in French/English relations, which is another
intriguing topic. My mother, staunchly middle-class from Sheffield, England,
was never a tremendous fan of the French language or culture. As an adolescent,
I found this surprising. Had France and England not been allied during two
world wars? Moreover, thanks to Georgette Heyer, I knew that every educated
person had to speak French with fluency. Therefore, I was surprised when my own
attempts at French conjugations were met by a muffled grunt by my maternal unit.
British and their relationship with French language and culture has
historically been influenced by class.
During regency times and beyond, the aristocracy adored the French
language, art, fashion, food, wine, furniture. Indeed, the fact that the two
countries were at war between 1793 and 1815 (except for a brief truce in 1802),
did nothing to lessen this fascination.
In contrast, the British
populace, the poor and growing middle class, were strongly anti-French. This
attitude was fueled less by the enemy and more perhaps by the French
fascination of their own aristocracy. Therefore, my personal theory is that
this sentiment continues, perhaps even to this day, and certainly influenced my
own mother, grounded as she was in Yorkshire commonsense and middle-class
As for me, the
unraveling of societal mores and influences throughout the ages make the study
of history even more fascinating.
Webster loves high-heels and sun, which is ironic as she lives in northern
Canada, the land of snowhills and unflattering footwear. Various crafting
experiences, including a nasty glue-gun episode, have proven that her creative
soul is best expressed through the written word.
is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in psychology and holds an
undergraduate degree in history and creative writing. She loves to use her
writing to explore her fascination with the past.
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Married for His
by illegitimacy, plain Sarah Martin has no illusions of a grand marriage. So
when the Earl of Langford makes her a proposal that will take her one step
closer to finding her half sister, she can't refuse!
dreams of romance died with his late wife's affair, so now he needs a
convenient wife to act as governess for his silent daughter. Yet Sarah
continues to surprise and challenge him, and soon Sebastian can't deny the joy
his new bride could bring to his life—and into his bed!