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The Latest from Will & Jane
Will and Jane’s Excellent Adventure #45
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For all the stir it caused, the actual Regency lasted only nine years: From Feb. 5, 1811, when George, Prince of Wales, was sworn in as regent, to Jan. 31, 1820, when he was proclaimed king of England. So why do you hear “Regency Era” used to describe the years 1780 to 1830 in English history?
The answer is simple: Those years are marked by the influence of the man who became King George IV. Some would say the decades took on the character and personality of the Prince Regent himself—a Royal known for his flamboyance, passion for the arts and fondness of earthly pleasures. Fittingly, the Regency of “Prinny,” as he was known to his peers, is forever linked with the high living class that was the ton. And Sabrina’s novels offer readers a sexy, behind-the-scenes peek into that era. Read more
Advice from the Heiresses Themselves
How to Plague Your Scottish Kidnapper
by Lady Venetia Campbell
- Threaten to report him to the authorities. Do not become annoyed when he laughs.
- Bite him hard, but not when he has his pistol aimed at you.
- Sing ballads about the downfall of criminals at the top of your lungs.
- Run away, if possible. Avoid tangling with Highland wildcats while doing so.
- Kick him hard in the shins, but be prepared for a tussle in the bracken afterward.
- Flirt with his accomplice.
- Tell his friends you’re his wife. Be careful not to let that land you in even more trouble.
From Mrs. Harris
- Some men are like fresh croissants–delicious to look at, but filled with hot air.
- Elopements may be quick, but bad marriages last forever.
- A kiss does not obligate anyone to anything.
- Swooning is for old ladies and fools.
- Many a scandal lies behind a smooth smile.
- Never take a man at face value.
- Your duty to your family is to marry well; your duty to yourself is to marry happily.
- Take care what man you let across your moat.
- Too much honey can draw flies.
- Any man afraid to marry in England is not the man for you.
Advice from a Rakehell to the Heiresses
Courtesy of the Viscount Norcourt
All around you, ladies, lurk beasts masquerading as gentlemen, eager to steal either your virtue or your fortune or both. You can recognize them by these markers:
- A deplorable tendency to flatter with finesse.
- Excellent skills in the sensual arts.
- A love of nitrous oxide parties as a venue for seduction.
- Vehicles of the riskier sort, like phaetons or racing curricles.
- An oft-disguised penchant for strong spirits.
- Friends who are also rakehells.
- An ability to use anything, even scientific curiosity, to tempt you into wickedness.
Yes, I invented the harem tales book that the girls are always hiding or sneaking around to read. But it was based on a real book of the late Regency period called The Lustful Turk, which described in detail the deflowering of a woman in a harem and her subsequent sexual adventures. What can I say? When I was young, the whole woman in a harem thing fascinated me, so I am positive I would have been clamoring to read it along with all the others.
The school is located in Richmond, just outside of London (now part of London). Why? Because my brother lives in Richmond, Virginia. I couldn’t resist making that little connection.
I got the idea for Cousin Michael from, believe it or not, the TV show “Charlie’s Angels.” I always loved the anonymous Charlie, so I just had to do my version of him. Besides, one of the angels was named Sabrina, so how could I resist?
1. Who among the heiresses did NOT get to read the harem tales book?
a. Lucy Seton
b. Venetia Campbell
c. Elinor Bancroft
d. Amelia Plume
2. Which two of the following books had heroines who never attended Mrs. Harris’s school?
a. Never Seduce a Scoundrel
b. Only a Duke Will Do
c. Beware a Scot’s Revenge
d. Let Sleeping Rogues Lie
e. Don’t Bargain with the Devil
3. What river is the school situated on in Richmond?
A Letter from Charlotte
Welcome to my School for Young Ladies! My name is Charlotte Harris, and I founded this institution to help impressionable girls make wise decisions about their marital prospects. As a widow who traveled a rather rocky road in that area myself, I would like them to learn from my mistakes. My late husband, Jimmy Harris, wasn’t a bad man, mind you—he just had a way of spending all my inheritance that was rather annoying. And when he left me destitute after fighting some silly duel, I was forced to fend for myself. I would not want to see my girls suffer the same misfortune.
That is why my curriculum now emphasizes lessons for avoiding fortune-hunters. And yes, I know the more vulgar in society call my academy “The School for Heiresses” as a result of my success in that area of education, but we do offer other courses for young women. My ladies can dance, play the pianoforte, and sing with the best of them (just ask Lady Venetia–she once softened up a kidnapper by singing him ballads).
Fortunately, I’m not alone in my endeavor. I have a wonderful benefactor who ferrets out gossip about potential husbands for my girls and who advises me in matters concerning the school. Since he wishes to keep his anonymity, he will only say that he’s a distant cousin of my late husband. He goes by the name Michael, but between you and me, I doubt that he’s Jimmy’s cousin. No one in Jimmy’s family ever showed an ounce of the wit “Cousin Michael” shows in his letters.
Truth be told, I’d very much like to know who Cousin Michael is, but he’s not saying, and in exchange for his help I agreed not to pursue it. That grows more difficult by the day, however. Especially since I think I have a bit of crush on him (shhh, don’t tell my pupils).
Nonetheless, thanks to him, several of my young ladies have navigated the treacherous waters of society successfully to find husbands who not only suit them—but love them. I hope you’ll enjoy their stories!
Owner and Headmistress
Mrs. Harris’s School for Young Ladies