The Regency Spy ~ Sorting Fact from Fiction

The Regency Spy. He is such a popular figure in fiction that it can be difficult to know where the story ends and the truth begins.

Accounts of actual spies are vague and difficult to find. Not surprising, as they were spies. Undercover work wasn’t exactly respected at the time and was usually done by people acting as double agents: mistresses, traveling poets, scholars, diplomats, etc.

By most accounts, the French were a little better at it than the English, though it’s possible the English were simply a bit better at keeping their activities secret.

In my recent book, A Noble Masquerade, a Napoleonic spy had infiltrated England and our heroic English spy has to stop him. The spies in A Noble Masquerade are considerably more organized than the real Regency spies were, all being connected by a centralized War Office.

There was no organized spy office in England at the time, particularly not a government recognized one. Instead of having a centralized organization, if someone such as the prime minister, foreign minister, or even General Wellington needed information, they built their own slipshod network. Most spy work at the time was actually happening in France, which is where the spy in A Noble Masquerade got his start.

A Noble Masquerade is now available in eBook, paperback, and audio book formats. Find out more at Kristi’s website.

More about A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter:

NobleCoverLady Miranda Hawthorne acts every inch the lady, but inside she longs to be bold and carefree. Entering her fourth Season and approaching spinsterhood in the eyes of society, she pours her innermost feelings out not in a diary but in letters to her brother’s old school friend, a duke–with no intention of ever sending these private thoughts to a man she’s heard stories about but never met. Meanwhile, she also finds herself intrigued by Marlow, her brother’s new valet, and although she may wish to break free of the strictures that bind her, falling in love with a servant is more of a rebellion than she planned.

When Marlow accidentally discovers and mails one of the letters to her unwitting confidant, Miranda is beyond mortified. And even more shocked when the duke returns her note with one of his own that initiates a courtship-by-mail. Insecurity about her lack of suitors shifts into confusion at her growing feelings for two men–one she’s never met but whose words deeply resonate with her heart, and one she has come to depend on but whose behavior is more and more suspicious. When it becomes apparent state secrets are at risk and Marlow is right in the thick of the conflict, one thing is certain: Miranda’s heart is far from all that’s at risk for the Hawthornes and those they love.

 

Regency Nobility: Sorting It All Out

Hi all! Dana R. Lynn here. This is my first post on Christian Regency, so I decided to write about something that I had only recently discovered myself…the peerage in Regency England. Now I have been reading Regency romance since high school, when I discovered the works of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and Dame Barbara Cartland.  I devoured their books as fast as I could, and then moved on to others. But I never quite understood how all those Dukes and Earls fit together. And if the wife of a Duke was a Duchess and the wife of a Marquess was a Marchioness, what was the title of the wife of a Earl? An Earless? Didn’t think so.

When I decided to write Regency romance, I also began to keep track. So…

The highest rank below the monarchy is the Duke. His wife is known as a Duchess. Dukes are followed by Marquess, or Marquis. Their spouses are Marchionesses. Earl’s are next, and their wives are known as Countesses. Which makes no sense, except that an Earl and a Count are pretty much the same thing. Next, are Viscounts and Viscountesses. The final rung on the peerage ladder is held by the Barons.

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My first regency novella, An Inconvenient Courtship, was released in October of 2014. It was a Pride and Prejudice variation novella. My next variation novella will be released in late 2015. I will tell you more about that one as it gets closer to the release date.

I hope this post was helpful! Blessings and happy reading!

 

 

Barbara Cartland’s “Curse of the Clan” Set in 1822

100_8609Dame Barbara Cartland wrote over 723 books.  Known for setting her novels in the Victorian era, she was an exceptionally popular novelist, peaking in the 1970s.  (I remember my mother reading her novels.)  After recently picking up two Cartland books at a used book sale, I was pleasantly surprised to find  The Curse of the Clan (published in 1977) to be quite satisfying.

Imagine my further delight that the novel is set in 1822.  Set in the late “Regency” to be sure, the tale follows an orphan who is elevated to the title of Scottish Duchess.  Her fearsome, yet handsome husband marries her to gain revenge upon a neighboring clan who foisted an adulterous, now-dead, wife upon him.

The story boomed along with vivid action and upon reflection, would make an excellent movie, if historical films were popular. The scenes at the orphanage, a carriage accident (which affected the plot), a shooting attack, revelation of her true parentage, then the winning over of the husband…all would make for a delightful, picturesque movie.
I got a real kick out of finally trying a Cartland book, and wouldn’t hesitate to read more –especially if I can ferret out which were set in the early 1800s.

Have you read any of Barbara Cartland’s books? What do you think?