Society Norms and How
Thwarts Every One
by Christy English
The Regency Period was a time of calm conversation and sedate dancing. A time when the waltz was considered a little scandalous, and an unmarried woman would never consider dancing it without the permission of Almack’s.
It isn’t that Caroline Montague, the heroine of my novel HOW TO TAME A WILLFUL WIFE, doesn’t know these things. Her mother did her level best to raise Caroline to behave like a lady. It’s simply that Caroline doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.
In Regency England, it is best if a young lady is seen and not heard. A young lady should sit demurely and wait at her mama’s side until a gentleman asks her to dance. A young lady might shoot a bow and arrow, but never in competition with gentlemen who would clearly best her in any contest.
Caroline has never waited for permission to do anything in her life. She enjoys dancing, but she prefers country dances to the waltz. She finds it simpler to lead the young men she knows instead of letting them lead her. Caroline loves her bow so much that she keeps it in her bedroom, along with her throwing knives. She doesn’t hesitate to outshoot the men around her whenever she can, and she takes pleasure in her victory.
A Regency lady should always wear a riding habit when on horseback. Caroline prefers to ride in breeches, astride her war stallion, Hercules. Occasionally, she makes the concession of hiding her breeches underneath a gown, but not often.
Would a woman in Regency England have been allowed to break as many social conventions as Caroline does? I don’t think so. Which is all the more reason I enjoyed creating this woman, and watching her thwart every convention put in front of her. She does learn to compromise after she is married, but so does her husband Anthony. In the end, neither is truly tamed. They finally learn to communicate with each other, and to live together as equals. Caroline keeps her bow and her knives, but she and Anthony learn that when they spar together, it is better to use blunted blades.
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How to Tame a Willful Wife by Christy English
A clever Regency retelling of “The Taming of the Shrew”
Anthony Carrington, Earl of Ravensbrook, returns from war to marry his commanding officer’s daughter. A man of fiery passion and strict self-control, Anthony expects a biddable bride who obeys him without question. But Caroline Montague is no simpering miss; she rides a war stallion named Hercules, fights with a blade, and can best most men with both bow and rifle. It’s a duel of wit and wills in this charming first book of a new series.
Visit the author at her website: http://www.christyenglish.com/