Highlighting Historical Romance with Edie Cay about Ladies boxing in Georgian England
Regency England is a well-researched topic. I was able to use plenty of respected secondary sources that compiled information, like maps and descriptions of London. However, when researching Regency boxing, sources became very focused, and when researching women’s participation boxing, resources were sparse.
My book, A LADY’S REVENGE is about women boxing during the Regency era. This is a true phenomena, and in the prior century, the Georgian Era, the most famous boxer was actually a woman. While I did not base my main character on her, I did use her as the basis for a secondary character, who will have her own book next in the series.
My primary source for boxing was a man named Pierce Egan. He was a sportswriter who viewed pugilism as the manliest and noblest of all sports, which is why it was quintessentially English. He was prolific, and wrote serialized pieces in a collection called Boxiana. His writings propelled the use of slang (or cant, as it is also called), and could be used like a Rosetta Stone. Boxing slang heavily influenced the cant of the time, and continues to do so.
Some examples people probably already know: “up to scratch” is a boxing reference. There were no set time limits per round. A round lasted as long as the boxers were standing. If someone went to the ground, then that ended the round. They had thirty seconds in their corners to recover, and then had to return to the middle, where a line was scratched in the ground. In order to continue the fight, they had to be up to scratch, where they would go toe-to-toe.
But there was slang for spectators as well, a “cove” could be “fly,” if he knew the proper slang, and could discuss a match (also called a “mill”) using cant.
About the Book, A LADY’S REVENGE
Lady Lydia Sommerset is an earl’s daughter. At the ripe age of twenty-five, she still wears the lavish gowns and dances the dainty steps of the haute ton as if she were pursuing a husband; but she her goals are far more personal. Instead, she pursues her tormenters: the men who bet that taking a girl’s virginity really can cure a brothel’s plague. Pugilism, England’s manliest pastime, is her only relief. Training in secret with a female boxer keeps her sane, but when her instructor is hired away by one of the men she is seeking to destroy, she is in a bind.
John Arthur was a street kid who dazzled with his fists, he now impresses as a miracle worker on the London Stock Exchange. But a man can’t forget a boyhood spent in the gutter. Easy-going and affable, John Arthur knows he should be happy with a full belly and coin-filled pockets. But when he finds a woman who finds boxing as vital as he does, his life gets suddenly complicated.
Caught between revenge and finding love with a man who might truly understand her, Lady Lydia must commit to opening her heart or closing it forever.
About the Author
Katie Stine, who writes as Edie Cay, has an MFA in Creative Writing and a host of other degrees. She is a history buff, an avid traveler, and an eager reader of all genres. She has lived all over the United States, but currently calls California home. Under her other name, she has published articles and participated in documentary filmmaking. She is a member of the Paper Lantern Writers, a historical fiction author collective, as well as a member of the Historical Novel Society. A LADY’S REVENGE is her first published novel.