Highlighting Historical Romance with Jude Knight, who brings us an extra this week.
In my latest novel, I imagined a Regency house flipper. My hero is a retired exploring officer, the Napoleonic Wars equivalent of a special forces operative, and he makes his living buying run down manors from overstretched aristocrats, and doing them up for those of the rising middle classes who were making their fortunes from the industrial revolution, what the aristocracy might derisively call mushrooms
In Regency England, wealth was only half the story. You could be the richest man in England, but if you didn’t come from the ‘right’ family background, you could never be accepted by the sticklers of high Society. In fact, if your money came from the labour of your hands or the sale of goods, even your children wouldn’t stand a chance. Your daughter’s children might make it, if she married into the gentry and stayed well away from the family of her birth.
Yet it was the newly wealthy and their children – rich, educated, innovative and even daring – who would carry Great Britain and the world into the new era. They put England on the path to Empire and eventually to better conditions for everyone. Later, in the Victorian era, these newly rich would move more easily into local Society with a capital ‘S’. In 1860, Edward Walford noted a `constant addition of fresh families’ swelling the roll-call of county gentry. `Mainly owing to the influence of trade and commerce’, Walford observed, `individuals and families are continually crossing and re-crossing the narrow line which severs the aristocracy from the commonalty.’ (County Families: Titled and Untitle Aristocracy)
Even in the Regency, the wealthy could assume at least the trappings of gentility: the city townhouse, the country manor, sufficient servants that the aspiring gentleman’s wife and daughters could be idle, or at least occupy themselves with elegant trivia. Bear Gavenor made his own fortune catering to that appetite for social status.
About the Book, House of Thorns
His rose thief bride comes with a scandal that threatens to tear them apart.
Retired spy, Bear Gavenor has fled the marriage mart for the familiarity of his work; restoring abandoned
country manors to sell to the newly rich. Never does he anticipate that his first task will be to deal with
the thief he’s caught stealing his roses.
Evicted from her home and ruined with claims she has a lover, Rosa Neatham fears she will soon be
unable to care for her invalid father. When she returns to her former home to gather roses to brighten
his room, her fortune worsens. She’s startled by the home’s new owner and injured in a fall.
Bear takes her in, but when the rector confronts him about living with an unmarried woman, Bear
decides to halt the rumormongers’ attempts to ruin her further and marries Rosa.
He needs an heir.
She needs a home.
Love needs to overcome the scandal, secrets and self-doubts that each brings to this marriage of
About the Author
Jude Knight’s writing goal is to transport readers to another time, another place, where they can enjoy adventure and romance, thrill to trials and challenges, uncover secrets and solve mysteries, delight in a happy ending, and return from their virtual holiday refreshed and ready for anything.
She writes novels, novellas, and short stories, mostly historicals set in the early 19th Century. She writes strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, villains you’ll love to loathe, and all with a leavening of humour.