Good morning lovelies! We are starting the weekend early here at RBtWBC with Historical Romance Weekend! We have some wonderful authors and books to share with you this weekend, thanks so much for joining us! Right now I would like to welcome historical romance author, Grace Burrowes, with her newest release of Darius!
WHAT is my favorite historical setting, and why?
Interesting question! I’d have to narrow my favorites to three, starting with the late Georgian period (about 1776 to 1811). I backed into this period by virtue of having written a Regency sibling series. When readers began to ask about the parents’ story… back to the research sources I did go.
I found a period more cosmopolitan than the Regency in some ways, one where the Napoleonic wars had not yet reduced the common British experience of Continental travel to Iberian battlefields. Because dynastic marriages were still in use in the late Georgian period, a certain autonomy between spouses meant women—some women—were social, political and literary forces in their own right. Mary Wollstonecraft’s “Vindication of the Rights of Women,” came out in 1792, for example.
As we close in on the Regency period, we see a greater emphasis on romantic love, and I like that too. I also like the gentleman’s fashions that emerged around the Regency, thinking them the most attractive attire a fellow can wear. The Regency is where the waltz became acceptable, (le big sigh), and when forward thinking and well heeled families might begin to include indoor plumbing—always nice to have.
As a writer, the Regency is a comfortable place to set romances because it’s well researched and many readers enjoy it. Then too, many authors, myself included, have read Regencies by the bucketful and have thus acquired some passive understanding of the period. The downside is that competition in the Regency genre is fierce, some readers are quite sure they know the world as well as any author ever could, and if Jane Austen had something to say on a subject, then the discussion, in many circles, is closed.
Because of that downside, I took a notion to set some books in Scotland in the 1850s, the beginning of the “high Victorian.” I wasn’t sure I’d like the Victorians—they wore corsets we now consider hideous, hoops so wide more than one lady’s skirts accidentally caught fire, and they hatched up the first recognized industrial diseases, so nasty were some of the working conditions in the cities.
And yet, the Victorian period is also when a female ruler (deeply in love with her husband) could begin the transition of the monarchy from a ruler whose authority rested on theology, to more ceremonial office respected for its links to antiquity and its contribution to affairs of state. The Victorians cleaned up London’s sewers, built some subway stations still in use, and created one of the largest empires in history.
What I found when I started researching for my Scottish trilogy is that the Victorian period is so vast, varied and vibrant, that for nearly any Victorian generalization, history provides us counterexamples and contradictions. Then too, simply by virtue of being closer to us in time, original period sources still exist in abundance, from journals to architecture to clothing.
All of which is to say, I enjoy all three. Georgian, Regency and Victorian social habits and customs all provide interesting settings for romance, and I hope to continue writing in all three.
Sourcebooks is giving away 1 copy of Darius to 1 reader, US and Canada only. To enter, just leave a comment on this post: What is you favorite historical setting, and why? Then fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!