As the name implies, we’re a group of readers and authors who love both history and romance, especially when they’re combined in a delightful story. If you feel the same, you’re welcome to join us on our Facebook page and converse with us about historical romance fiction.
Below you’ll find authors of historical romances set in a wide variety of time periods. Perhaps by participating in our Grand Tour you’ll discover some new authors for your future reading pleasure. Hop around to your heart’s content, feel free to comment on the posts, hunt for answers to the authors’ questions, and perhaps you’ll be one of our 25 lucky prize winners (see contest details below)…although you’re already a winner if you find a new story to read, do you not agree?
The theme for this tour is Courting Rituals, and for my post, I’ve chosen to talk about the difficulty of finding suitable husbands for young ladies confined to the country.
The Plight of Country Ladies of Limited Means
Previous posts about the London Season and Almack’s have mentioned the most appealing attractions in London, and I’m sure these will be described by some of the other Regency authors on this tour. But what I’d like to consider here is how difficult it could be for a genteel young lady confined to the country to find a suitable husband.
All you have to do is recall the situation of the Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice to understand that it was not an easy task, even if the young lady was exceedingly pretty like Jane or appealing in other ways like Lizzie. While the Bennets possessed no wealth or aristocratic family connections to give them entrée into the elegant ballrooms of London society, they were still of sufficiently high social status to prevent them from making matches with the lower classes: farmers, tradesmen, etc. Consequently, young ladies like Lizzie Bennet and Charlotte Lucas often had to choose between a mundane marriage to a man like Mr. Collins or a life of blessed spinsterhood. Jane Austen herself chose the latter when her own Mr. Darcy failed to appear.
Genteel country families did socialize, of course. There were dinners and parties and, for those who had the means, house parties, where guests were invited to spend a week or more hobnobbing with their host family. Young people could become acquainted at local assemblies or at other community activities, such as church services or local fêtes, such as the one Theresa and Damian organized for the village of Granville in Treasuring Theresa.
However, in many places there was a dearth of eligible suitors. Well-to-do families could send their sons and daughters to London to find spouses, which reduced the number even further for young ladies like the Bennet daughters. All things considered, Mrs. Bennet’s excitement when she heard Netherfield was to be let to a young single man of means seems only natural. Such an opportunity did not come often; surely one of her girls could manage to entice him into marriage.
The Bennet family’s situation was an unenviable one also because the estate was entailed to the nearest male relative, which meant that the house and attached lands would pass to Mr. Collins upon Mr. Bennet’s death. While there would be a jointure of some sort for his widow and daughters, it wouldn’t be much, and they would have to find another place to live as well. If one of the daughters could marry well, they would be able to assist their mother and sisters when Longbourne passed to Mr. Collins.
Although she is an earl’s daughter and did have a London Season, Lady Theresa is a country girl who has always expected to marry the boy next door, Reese Bromfield, the squire’s son. But when her father loses his fortune and Reese returns from London with a fiancée, Theresa’s options are few. To make it worse, her father becomes ill and seems determined to match Theresa with his heir, a distant cousin she despises…and who returns her feelings full-force. But what other options does she have? Marriage to a Cit in search of aristocratic connections? A life of servitude as a governess or companion? What would you do in a similar situation?
The prize I am offering is a wooden gift box of goodies from London and Scotland ($50 value) and it will go to one lucky responder (chosen randomly) to the question: What would you do if you were in a situation similar to Lady Theresa’s? Be sure to include your email address with your comment.
Here’s my question for the scavenger hunt: In the British system of primogeniture, titles and estates were often entailed, or required to be passed on, to what person after the death of the owner?
Click on the History Lovers Grand Tour page to fill in the answer, and you may continue on from there. Enjoy!
About Treasuring Theresa
At the betrothal ball of the man she had expected to marry herself, Lady Theresa latches on to Damian Ashby, hoping to divert attention from her own humiliating situation. Of course, she’s not seriously interested because he’s a useless London fribble, in her opinion. He is not favorably impressed with her either.
Still, she’s the daughter of an earl, and he’s the heir to her father’s title and estate, so they are destined to spend more time in each other’s company…sooner rather than later. And who knew that the two of them would develop an unlikely attraction to one another?
But can a London swell and a country lady ever make their diverse lives and interests work together?
The dancing had already begun when they arrived. Damian stayed close at Theresa’s side, his arm lightly around her so that his fingers pressed into the small of her back, while she introduced him to her friends and acquaintances. They shared a set of country dances, and when he returned to her side after fetching a glass of lemonade, she was chatting merrily with a cluster of her friends, so he danced a trio of sets with some of the other young ladies. He managed to get back to her in time for the supper dance, just ahead of a tall, fresh-faced youth in a poorly tied Mathematical and a waistcoat that went out of style years ago.
“When does the waltzing begin?” he whispered as they performed the elaborate steps of the country dance. “I must claim the first waltz.”
“We do not waltz here,” she whispered back. “It’s considered far too scandalous. Besides,” she added when they came back together, “we have already danced twice. A third would make us the talk of the shire.”
He chuckled. “Isn’t that what you were aiming for at the Sedgely ball? A juicy scandal to divert the gossips’ attention?”
She looked up at him in surprise. “You know,” she said, “I just realized I don’t care about that anymore. I’m glad Reese is happy with Eugenia.”
“Indeed,” he managed, wondering why he suddenly felt so relieved.
She did condescend to dance another set with him, and Damian hoped all of the old biddy gossips had noticed.
On the return trip, Mrs. Noble babbled on incessantly about gowns and stale cakes while Damian found his eyes lingering over the curvaceous form of the young lady on the seat across from him, the light of the moon being thankfully dim enough to conceal his bold appraisal.
She was silent, in a reflective mood, her head turned toward the window and the shadowed images of the scenery outside.
“Imagine that scamp Dickie Fielding enticing the Hampton chit to meet him in the garden!” Mrs. Noble exclaimed indignantly. “Why I thought her father would explode when they were discovered.” She lowered her voice. “I have it on good authority that they were embracing,” she revealed. “A dreadful scandal indeed should they not marry post-haste.”
Theresa’s head shot around to face him, and he knew she was recalling that night at the betrothal ball when she’d tried to lure him out to the terrace and he’d made a hasty escape. He rather thought now that he would enjoy a pleasant interlude alone in the moonlight with her. He would hold her against him, her head on his chest, while his hands swept over her curves. When he felt her pulse rising, he would draw her chin toward him and take her lips in a long kiss while his other hand would cup her breast, already pebbling with her desire.
Damian froze. What was he thinking? Cousin Theresa was no strumpet. The only way he could indulge in such carnal delights with her would include an obligatory wedding first. And that was out of the question.
History Lovers Grand Tour Authors
Rue Allyn • Amylynn Bright • Collette Cameron • Téa Cooper • Beverley Eikli • Susana Ellis • Aileen Fish • Debra Glass • Amy Hearst • Evangeline Holland • Piper Huguley • Eliza Knight • Kristen Koster • Cora Lee • Georgie Lee • Suzi Love • Denise Lynn • Deborah Macgillivray • Barbara Monajem • Shelly Munro • Ella Quinn • Eva Scott • Shereen Vedam • Elaine Violette
- Each author will offer a prize for a contest, the specifics of which is set up entirely by her. The contest will be open to all participants, regardless of geographic location. For logistical purposes, authors may substitute a digital prize (gift card, etc.) of equal value for another prize that might prove difficult to mail to a distant location.
- The Grand Prize for the Scavenger Hunt will be awarded to the participant with the most correct answers to the authors’ scavenger hunt questions. In case of a tie, the winner will be chosen randomly.
- The winners will be posted on the History Lovers Grand Tour page the following week.
- Click on the above links to each author’s blog. The blog tour entry can be identified by the graphic in the upper right corner of the post. If it is not the top post, look for the graphic in a prominent location on the sidebar, and click on it to find the blog tour entry.
- Read the blog post and the author’s short answer question at the end. Locate the answer to the question, then click on the link to the History Lovers Grand Tour page and type in the answer next to the author’s name. Be sure to fill in the your name and email address!
- You may go back to same page and read more of the author’s post (excerpt, etc.) or you may click on another author’s name on the answer sheet and repeat the process.
- When you are finished, check to make sure the spaces for your name and email address are filled in correctly, and submit your answer sheet to the tour coordinator. If you submit an incomplete answer sheet, you may come back later and make another submission with the remaining answers when you have more time.
- Any questions about the scavenger hunt should be directed to the tour coordinator .