The Jaunty Quills are pleased to welcome debut historical author, Jennifer Delamere!! Her new book sounds fabulous. Comment on her post and enter for a chance to win it!
I’m here today to tell you why I find the Victorians so much fun to write about.
When I decided to write a historical romance, I got out my paper and quill (or, if you will, my 1874 Remington Model 1 typewriter), and the first question I naturally had to ask myself was: which time period will I set it in? (Hint: the typewriter really made the writing easier!)
Like many romance readers, I love books set in Regency England. Regencies are wildly popular, and for good reason. But here’s the thing: I don’t really know much about the Regency period, outside of what I’ve gleaned from novels.
On the other hand, I’ve been happily immersed in Victoriana for years. I’ve read many fascinating histories about Victorian life. I’ve read so many novels by authors of the time, such as Charles Dickens and others, that my head was already in that era, so to speak. I’ve been a big fan of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operettas (written in the 1870s and 1880s) ever since my parents took me to my first production when I was twelve. When it comes to theater, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest is one of my favorite plays.
When I read Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South (written in 1851), and subsequently found the fantastic BBC miniseries starring Richard Armitage, that sealed the deal. I knew then that I loved the world of the Victorians. Their lives were endlessly changing, always in flux, with the old order being challenged by the rise of factories and trains and telegraphs and new wealth, and all the endless inventions that were beginning to turn their world into one we’d recognize today.
In the early to mid-Victorian era (1840-1870) Englandbegan rising to a position of world prominence in trade, manufacturing, and colonization. The worlds of science were opening up in ways never before imagined. That glory would begin to fade toward the end of the century, but at the time the future seemed full of enormous promise. An Heiress at Heart and the next two books in the series are set right in the middle of that era. Many events that were bringing sweeping changes to England and the world—including the rise of the railroads, the invention of photography, and even the Australian gold rush—are going to have an enormous impact on the lives of my characters.
So I hope you will journey with me into the exciting and ever-changing lives of the Victorians. And while I’ll be the first to admit that the fashions of the Regency period were on the whole much more appealing, the bell-shaped dresses of the mid-Victorian era—before the tight skirts and bustles came in—could be beautiful, too.
And, lest you think the Victorians never had any irreverent “fun,” allow me to refer you once again to Gilbert and Sullivan and Oscar Wilde. Even in this brave, new world there is still plenty of room for humor and romance.
If you are a historical romance reader, do you read Regencies only? Or do you have some other favorite time period? If you’ve read Victorian-set romances, what did you like best about them? I’ll be giving away a copy of An Heiress at Heart to one lucky person who comments.
Jennifer Delamere earned her B.A. in English fromMcGillUniversity in Montreal,Canada, where she also became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She’s been an editor of educational materials for over fifteen years. She loves reading classics and histories, which she mines for the details to bring to life the people and places in her books.
Book excerpt: You can read an excerpt from An Heiress at Heart here: http://www.jenniferdelamere.com/books/heiressatheart.php
Website address: www.jenniferdelamere.com