Guest Post: Regency Romance by Ella Quinn
In the Regency World, we tend to focus a lot on heroes. Rakes, otherwise tortured souls, ranging from the results of bad parenting, to war injuries. And I do like to torture, um, tortured heroes. Tight pantaloons, a well tied cravat, but what about the ladies? I mean after all, if you have a fantastic hero you must also have an equally fantastic heroine. Some people think that is more difficult for an historic woman to be strong, like a contemporary one. I disagree.
There are historical accounts of ladies running estates, think large companies. They were involved in politics and influenced votes, even when they didn’t have the right to vote. Ladies of the time, were many times more educated than many of our contemporaries, piano, voice, literature, art, French and Italian, were the minimum requirements, and they got to ride horses and drive carriages; all while wearing awesome clothes.
True, they did not as many choices as the modern woman, but their strength was in what they did with the options they had, and they aren’t that hard to find. For example, Lady Hester Stanhope led an archaeological expedition to, what is now, Israel in 1815, and is credited for the first modern excavation in the history of Holy Land archeology.
I sometimes wonder if the late Elizabeth Peters used her as a role model, her Amelia Peabody character.
It’s well known that women spies were used by the Americans during Revolutionary War, yet the English had female spies as well. There was a French woman known only as Miss Jenny, who spied for the British at the time. How many more women spies did England have that we don’t know about, I mean that is part of the job, and how much of a jump it that to Shana Galen’s Lord and Lady Spy series?
Georgette Heyer, who began writing close to a hundred years ago, Eileen Dreyer and Stephanie Laurens could be called the queens of strong heroines, even though most of the time their heroines never stray too far from traditional roles who deal with everything from lost love to forced marriages to having to save their families.
Real Regency women did what it took to deal with the problems thrown at them and succeed.
So what does a Regency heroine need to be a match for a strong hero? For me they must be intelligent, resilient, willing to push societal limits, but not break them, and be able to fight for what they believe in.
What do you think makes the best sort of Regency heroine?
About the Author:
Ella Quinn lived all over the United States, the Pacific, Canada, England and Europe before finally discovering the Caribbean. She lives in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands with her wonderful husband, three bossy cats and a loveable great dane.
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