Gents, Cads and Scoundrels
We all adore a dashing Mr Darcy with his stern expression and smouldering eyes, don’t we? Or perhaps you favour the charming and sweet Mr Bingley? Maybe you’re a sucker for the brooding and reproachful Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre? Whichever historical hero tickles your fancy, rest assured there is a cad or scoundrel to match him.
I love a good cad as much as a good hero in a book, I really do, and there really is nothing quite as fun as writing one.
There has been much contention over the ‘hero’ (you may notice the speech marks, as I use the term loosely) in my second Regency Diary, The Wicked Confessions of Lady Cecelia Stanton. The contention stems from the fact that he is for all intents and purposes quite the scoundrel. He cheats, he drinks and he debauches – all whilst married to the heroine. My fictional Lord William Stanton is in fact, rather unheroic in general.
Heroism, of course, is all in the eye of beholder, or in this case, the mind of reader. My idea for Lord Stanton stemmed from my readings of the real life diary of James Boswell. Boswell was an obsessive diarist, whose London Journal 1762 – 1763 was published in 1950.
The diary reveals his inner thoughts and his many (and I do mean many) indiscretions. It also however, reveals his deep affection for his long suffering wife, who forgave and accepted her way-ward husband’s philandering, if not with good grace – then stoic resolve.
There is no doubt that Boswell was a cad or perhaps a loveable (if not annoying) rogue. It appeared he could no more control his lusts and appetites than he could control the twenty-something bouts of gonorrhoea he developed because of them. If you want to read a real diary of a historic scoundrel, then I recommend it!
Rest assured, the fictional character of Lord Stanton isn’t nearly so bad as Boswell, but the recorded existence of such a man certainly inspired him.
In my latest novel, The Private Affairs of Lady Jane Fielding, the hero is a gentleman and much less a scoundrel, although by no means without his flaws. Nonetheless, when you’re next settling down to read a historical romance, consider the scoundrels and gentlemen and see how the combination creates depth and interest in a world that has long since disappeared.
On that note, I shall leave you with some amusing words from the very modest James Boswell himself.
“A more voluptuous night I never enjoyed. Five times was I fairly lost in supreme rapture. Louisa was madly fond of me; she declared I was a prodigy…”
James Boswell (1740–1795), Scottish author. London Journal, journal, January 12, 1763, p. 139, McGraw-Hill (1950).
Title: The Private Affairs of Lady Jane Fielding by Viveka Portman
Publisher: Escape Publishing – Harlequin Enterprises, Australia Pty Ltd
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length: 94 pages
In the world of Regency England, only one thing matters — the begetting of an heir…
There is one fact I cannot hide nor deny. I have borne my husband no sons…
When Lord Jacob Fielding suffers a traumatic injury denying him more children, it devastates both his present and his future. He and his wife Jane have only daughters, and the brother in line to inherit his title and lands is a disgusting reprobate, a man who should never have power over anyone.
In desperation, Lord Fielding formulates a wicked plan. He invites his distant cousin Matthew to come and share their home…and possibly more. Jane is shocked, but cannot deny her curiosity. She loves her husband, and their situation is desperate, and Matthew is a kind, gentle, attractive man. But what can this situation bring, but tension and jealousy?
Emotions and libidos run high as the Fielding men search for a way to satisfy the need for an heir, their own lusts, and, most importantly, the desires of Lady Jane, before time runs out.
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