I loved history in school and have always enjoyed reading history text books, and biographies as well as historical fiction. Likely my favorite era is Regency England, thanks to an addiction to Georgette Heyer developed in my early teenage years, but I also enjoy medieval. One of the first biographies I read was of Queen Elizabeth I of England and I developed, and have maintained, a great deal of admiration for her.
People and what motivates them don’t change, but the means by which they achieve their ambitions may change. I think kids enjoy history more when they hear the stories of the people. Learning the dates of battles may be boring but hearing about the people who lived through those battles is more engaging.
Factual accuracy is essential. People did not know about germs, microscopes and antibiotics had not been invented. They would never have sterilized the wounds. But your hero can fall into a river and wash off the dirt that way. Politically correct is a bit different. You do need to be correct to the ideas of the times. For example “bloody” was not used as a swear word as it was considered a reference to menstruation, something that was never discussed. The farther back in history you go though, the more difficult it is to use the correct language as we have lost the words or their meanings have changed. But I consider it very important not to use a concept that was not yet understood. No psychology in medieval times, but your heroine may be considered mad or a witch.
Georgette Heyer is still my favorite historical romance author. Any of her Regencies. She is the epitome of the era for me.
If I went back in history, I would like to go to the Court of Queen Elizabeth I of England. It was a very exciting time historically and she was an incredibly powerful ruler. But I would likely miss bathrooms and heating or air conditioning and the internet, and would come home after a little while – in winter if not before.
“The Vicar’s Virgin”: Blurb: The Reverend Mr. Ridley needs a wife so he focuses his attentions on Georgina Arnott, a sensible, intelligent, yet attractive woman. On their wedding night he’s relieved to discover she enjoys the pleasures of the bed, and, after a slow start, their evenings are full of passion and joy for both of them. Unfortunately, when she takes an interest in his parish, it seems to involve filling his house with noisy people tramping muddy boots through the hallways, and filling his kitchen with dirty children. He loves his wife. But can this marriage work?
“A Promising Virgin”: Blurb: Zethan, Earl of Mitcham, decides, after careful thought, that the stunningly beautiful Miss Sapphira Arnott will make him the perfect wife. It’s only when she declines his oh-so-flattering offer, that he realizes how rude and arrogant he’d been to her and her brother, and how much he loves her. The only solution is to woo her properly. Meanwhile Simeon Arnott is in love with Miss Anne Smith. But she’s incredibly rich and he’s a mere Baronet. Fortunately her brother and she herself accept his proposal and they have an extremely successful wedding night. Their ball, however, is almost less than successful thanks to the “help” of the three youngest Arnotts and their plans to go one better than a recent much-talked-about society event. The Season is almost over. Can Zethan win his lady’s trust?
“Almost a Virgin”: Blurb: Theodora has loved John Smith ever since she was a little girl. But he’s very wealthy and she is only a vicar’s daughter and sister. John had been waiting for Theodora to grow up. When he kisses Theodora in the garden at the ball, lust roars through him and he takes her there in the garden, fully dressed, only a few yards away from a hundred people. She’s warm and more than willing in his arms, and it’s not until the deed is done that he realizes he’s just dishonored his best friend’s sister. Theodora doesn’t regret what she’s done. She enjoyed it and wants more of him. Even though he’s only marrying her because he dishonored her, she doesn’t care. She’ll make him so happy in bed and in his home he’ll stay with her even though he may never love her.
The Reverend Mr. Barnabas Ridley stepped down from his carriage, nodded his thanks to his groom, settled his top hat on his shiny black hair, and said, “Now, David. Make sure you’re back here to meet me in exactly half an hour. My mother may have browbeaten me into making this morning call, but not even for her will I stay one second past the proper half hour.”
The elderly retainer’s eyes sparkled with suppressed laughter, but his voice was suitably respectful. “Of course, sir. Half an hour it is, sir.”
Barnabas climbed the steps to the front door of the smart town house, touched his hat again to reassure himself all was at it should be, then raised his hand to knock.
The butler had evidently seen or heard his approach for the door opened before he could grasp the knocker and he was ushered into the hallway.
“The Dowager Lady Arnott is expecting you, sir,” the butler said, tenderly laying Barnabas’s gloves, cane, and hat on the hall table before helping him out of his greatcoat.
Barnabas followed him toward the door of the morning room, mentally noting that in at least one aspect his mama had been correct. Old Mrs. Arnott did seem to require use of the courtesy title she no longer held. Well, it would be a small price to pay to flatter the old biddy if she agreed to take Theodora to some Ton parties along with her two granddaughters. And as for his mama’s plan that he marry the eldest granddaughter, Georgina, that would depend on whether or not she was an appropriate wife for a man of the cloth.
The butler opened the door and announced sonorously, “The Rev—”
A thunderous crash split the air, followed by a moment of total silence, then hysterical screaming. Barnabas swung around facing the hallway, looking right and left for whatever danger approached.
A young woman jumped up from her chair by the fire and hurried out into the hallway, which was becoming crowded as people arrived from every direction. A housekeeper, several maids and footmen all talking at once. A young man dressed in the height of fashion, a stunningly beautiful young blonde woman, a small girl, and two boys hotly pursued by a fat cook waving a carving knife.
The boys ran to the front door, which the little girl had just opened, and disappeared down the steps, the cook still running after them.
Barnabas wasn’t sure what he’d just seen, but could only assume this was not an auspicious time for a morning visit. Silently he picked up his greatcoat, gloves, and cane, slapped his hat on his head, and departed.